THE BREAD OF LIFE
St. Thérèse of Lisieux
Saint Therese of Lisieux, toward the end of her life, had a beautiful image of salvation. It’s not in her autobiography, so many have not heard of it. She describes salvation in this way: All of her life she is a little girl. She is proud and happy to be a little girl. Her heavenly Father is standing at the top of a great staircase, always beckoning her, “Come, Therese! Come! I ask more of you!” She lifts her little foot again and again by all the actions of her Catholic faith and religious life, trying to please God. She is trying to climb up to God.
God watches Therese and sees her desire to come. Then in one moment that we call grace, God rushes down the staircase, picks her up and takes her. She knows afterward by hindsight that God has done it, from beginning to end. But it was important for her to keep lifting up her little foot. Our struggle, our desire, our “yes” is significant and necessary. But in the end it is always grace that carries us up the staircase.
Richard Rohr in Radical Grace: Daily Meditations, p.324, Day 336