There are only a few “chores” I truly enjoy doing…and one of them is laundry. Luckily, we have a laundry room in our apartment building. There is always music playing, and there is a large table where you can fold your clothes. When no one is around, it’s actually a nice, peaceful chore to do.
When I was doing laundry this week, placing our clothes on the table to fold, I saw a few random postcards sitting on the table. Finding random items on that table is not that rare a thing – it’s often a place where people place magazines and paperback novels they no longer want, so others can take them. These postcards, however, were quite out of the ordinary. They practically jumped off the table, asking me to read them.
On these postcards were pictures of St. Therese of Lisieux (a 19th century nun who was known for her “little ways”), and one of them in particular had a quote that I really enjoyed. It said, “Jesus, help me to simplify my life by learning what you want me to be – and becoming that person.”
I found this postcard at the beginning of the week, and am still thinking about the meaning. At first I thought St. Therese was talking about how people try to be too many things at once, or aim to excel in various areas of their life – particularly when it comes to skills and jobs. However, the more I think about it, I think that the true meaning is still escaping me. Does it mean we should try to stick with our talents and remain in a particular position or job? Partially, that makes sense to me – after all, the more you focus on something, the better you can become. Yet, the more I think about the quote, the more meanings I find for it. I am beginning to think that St. Therese was referring to character, to a person’s soul, and not particular skills when she said this. Although I am not sure, I think she was saying that our lives would be simpler if we remained true to ourselves, our morals and our faith. That this kind of simplicity would help us live simpler, happier lives.
I’d love to hear what you think St. Therese meant when she said these words. Please share your thoughts!