St Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, better known as St Thérèse of Lisieux or the Little Flower (feast day October 1st) was a French Discalced Carmelite and the daughter of Saints Louis and Zélie Martin.
She died of tuberculosis at the age of 24, leaving the surviving sisters in the convent wondering what could have been written in her obituary because of her short and simple life mostly spent in the Carmel.
An autobiography written under the vow of obedience to her superior, however, revealed a depth of soul so remarkable not only her canonisation was expedited but has also been declared Doctor of the Church.
Her piety, which can be summarised by the title "The Little Way", revolved around the idea of doing small things with great love and finding a little way that would be suitable for an ordinary person with a desire to get to Heaven. She knew from an early age how much we depend on God's grace and not our own effort, but her road to such spiritual maturity was not straightforward.
She was a vivacious and determined child, who petitioned bishops and even the Pope for permission to join the convent before the normal age of postulancy. She entered the religious life with the determination of becoming a saint, but the life of the convent made her realise how small she was, bringing her to the realisation that would bring her to achieve her goal of spending time in Heaven doing good on earth.
Her example of true humility that doesn't mean resignation to mediocrity but a total surrender to the Lord can inspire us to adapt her Little Way to our own life. The charism of the Carmelites is contemplation, and we don't need to spend our lives in a convent or monastery to be able to do that. In fact, contemplation is not something we do, it's something we receive from God. Contemplation leads us to grow in virtue by growing closer to God who is source of all virtue, and gives us strength in the course of duty of our different vocations.