St. Therese - a Saint for Writers

Today - October 1st is the feast day of St. Therese of Lisieux - or St. Therese of the Little Flower.  She died at age 24 after being a Carmelite nun for a few short years.  She wasn't a martyr.  She didn't heal or cure people.  She didn't even do public ministry.  She was a rather impetuous, if not spoiled child and served in a convent where her adoring sister was the mother superior.  So why is she a saint?  Why do we even know about her?

She wrote a memoir.

And she resisted writing it until her sister (Mother Superior) ordered her to write it.  ...ah, if only someone who could hurt me would order me to write Thin Places ....

St. Therese served in a convent with several of her sisters and they would talk in the evenings about their faith, the family, their parents and how they felt about prayer.  St. Therese was the baby in the family and had a great child-like faith.  Her sister, Celine saw that great gift in her and knew others could benefit, so she told Therese to write down her memories of childhood, family and journey in faith.  Therese resisted and admitted that she hated writing - hated the discipline, but had to follow orders ... so she wrote.

She died young of TB and after her death, the sisters printed her memoir.  It was reprinted and reprinted and word of it spread throughout Europe and eventually around the world.  The Story of a Soul has sold millions of copies and is still a best seller. She never lived to see the success, but her last words, on her deathbed, spoken to her sisters were, "I want to spend my heaven doing good on earth."

Many people chide me about me devotion to saints - especially my Christian (non-Catholic) friends who consider it a kind of idolatry.   For those that tend to agree, please read .... Why Do We Pray to the Saints?

A saint can be your friend who prays with you, making your prayer stronger. St. Therese has always been my special soul friend in heaven and has spoken in my life.  Being a reluctant writer, I always pray to her before I write anything and I pray for my writing career.  I'm the poster child for the procrastinating, lazy, reluctant writer.  I think she helps me.

My last book, Haunted Eastern Shore was very successful, and it was hell to write.  It was released on October 1st - her feast day.  The third printing (in one year) just came off the press - today - October 1st.

Funny.

They say if you pray to St. Therese and ask her to answer your prayer, she'll send you a rose.  I've gotten whole bouquets after praying to her for intercession.

5 comments:

  1. Writing does not just include books. Books can be daunting unless you whittle them down to more manageable pieces such as chapters and pages. Nobody sits down and writes a book; we string words together and suddenly we have a page and then a chapter and eventually a book if we are lucky. If you set manageable goals, say a page a day you will have a rough draft in a year. Just keep plugging along, and remember St. Therese is pulling for you.

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  2. Lovely (w)rite, Mindie... I'll be receiving roses, soon! (-;

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  3. Hi Mindie,
    Funny you should write this post as St. Therese has been one of my favorite saints since I learned about her - only a few years ago. I've gotten a lot of roses (I believe) sent from her after I had asked for her intercession for particular things.

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  4. This is so lovely to read. I pray to St. Therese all the time and have received roses also. Many years ago I worked with children with polio in India. Surrounded by immense poverty I felt a little disillusioned and prayed to St. Therese. On the fifth day, one little girl I worked with handed me a rose, saying "This is for you, Aunty." I truly believe St. Therese sent me that rose.
    I have never prayed to her about my writing, but after reading this post I plan to recruit her as my writing coach in heaven. I need her inspiration to help me finish a novel I have been working on for years. I procrastinate and get side-tracked, but hopefully with her help, I will finish it before the end of 2012.
    Thanks again for reminding me that today is her Feast Day.

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    1. I love the link with roses and St. Therese. I think that's how she hooked me into devotion. She just showered me with roses at all the right times. It wasn't until I really focused on writing that I recalled she was such a reluctant writer. That just tied me closer to her.

      If we had to walk through this life with a spiritual guide, I'd say St. Therese (and St. Anthony) have been mine.

      Good luck in your writing. I pray you and St. Therese become good friends.

      Slainte!

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