In honour of the feast day of St. Therese of Lisieux
By Victor (not his real name), a Courage member
I was an ambitious child who had big dreams, from owning a company to even becoming a President of my country. Little did I know that, with St Therese of the Child Jesus, the patron saint of my school, I was called to do something little and unseen, yet significant for others.
Throughout her life, St Therese is known for her persistence in doing simple things, even mundane acts, with great love. Her autobiography, “The Story of a Soul” proposes “The Little Way” to holiness by doing ordinary things with extraordinary love.
Looking back at my upbringing, I never received the proper love I needed. People would often dismiss my feelings and invalidate my struggles. Their actions caused me to have trust issues, to close myself off from most of the world, and to struggle with self-doubt and self-hatred. As someone struggling with same-sex attraction, it is a big challenge to embrace whatever remaining love I have and believe I am a good person and Christian.
However, despite the lack of love given to me in those days, God has persisted to love to this point in my life. He even calls me to impart His love for others. Inspired by St Therese’s life, God also calls me to a vocation of friendship. This means to do small acts of kindness that mean a lot for those who matter to me the most. I do not expect anything in return. Indeed, a simple message of thanksgiving or appreciation is already enough.
I also recall a time when a few of my brothers in Courage and I took part in a simple outreach program to donate rations to a group of old transgender people whose families have distanced themselves from. Seeing their homes and witnessing their lives touched my heart, and I trust that they experienced Jesus’s mercy and compassion through our simple acts of love.
St Therese may not have crossed borders to proclaim the Good News in foreign lands and she may not have died a martyr but through her life story and The Little Way certainly challenges me to strive for holiness by trusting in God in our daily and mundane lives, regardless of our backgrounds. I hope her life and story does the same for you today.
St Therese, pray for us!
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Victor is a Courage member who enjoys cooking whilst listening to a variety of music and strives to sit at the frontmost row of his parish for Sunday Mass.
The opinions and experiences expressed in each entry in the Reflections page belong solely to the original authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of Courage Singapore. Some entries have been edited for length and clarity.