Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Ground Ivy and The Little Flower

I was weeding yet another flower garden today (the gardens all seem quite small until I start to weed them.) The weed I was pulling up out of this garden was almost exclusively Ground Ivy, an insidious weed. This weed (which has pretty purple flowers) was once mentioned in a gardening column and the columnist suggested that perhaps the homeowner should just "get to like it."

So, as I was pulling up countless ivy runners, I was thinking about this and how maybe I should just get to like it, when St. Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower) came to mind. Saint Therese believed in "the little way."

This paragraph from Catholic Online shows what she meant by "the little way"

She knew as a Carmelite nun she would never be able to perform great deeds. " Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love." She took every chance to sacrifice, no matter how small it would seem. She smiled at the sisters she didn't like. She ate everything she was given without complaining -- so that she was often given the worst leftovers. One time she was accused of breaking a vase when she was not at fault. Instead of arguing she sank to her knees and begged forgiveness. These little sacrifices cost her more than bigger ones, for these went unrecognized by others. No one told her how wonderful she was for these little secret humiliations and good deeds.

Not all of us are called to great deeds or great sacrifices. Some of us are called to do small things on a regular basis. She "got to like" the things she didn't like. Or if not liking them, accepting and loving them anyway.

While I don't know if I'll "get to like" Ground Ivy. I do know that I will try to follow St. Therese's example and do good things - even in the smallest way.

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