When I was very young and unbelieving of all of heaven I had a dream. I was on the edge of a lake surrounded by mountains and there was a woman with a llama taking it to the water to drink. Suddenly in the middle of the lake a giant pink rose grew and bloomed. The petals gently fell away and in the center was a woman. I shouted excitedly, “St. Therese! St. Therese!” The woman with the llama looked at me as if I was crazy. I asked her, “Can’t you she her?” but she just walked away with her llama. It was vivid and clear and I still remember so many details of that odd dream.
St. Therese would go on later to be an amazing force in my continuing spiritual journey. I would later learn of her connection with roses and discover another St. Teresa. The other St. Teresa would lead me all the way to a foreign land with llamas and Andes mountains to see her. And the definitive St. Teresa would lead me further still and maybe one day to Spain. St. Therese of Lisieux was the first Carmelite to be a part of my life and bless me in ways too many to count and so many yet to come.
The whole of the 1986 movie is a quiet and glorious study of her life. She wrote poetry, prayed for condemned murderers, painted, thwarted heresies, changed the way we receive the sacraments and is traveling the world after her death. She broke rules to be a Discalced Carmelite and became an official Doctor of the Church with her brilliant and accessible theology touching countless lives through her writings.
Today is St. Therese’s feast day and love her everyday. You will too if you get to know her wisdom, wit and strength. Everyone is welcome. Even me! I wrote about her effect on Louise Brooks as well.