I received a very special gift. A little book Simply Surrender  by series Editor John Kirvan of “30 Days with a Great Spiritual Teacher.” The writer walks me through 30 days of meditations and prayers from St Therese of Lisieux’s autobiography Story of a Soul.

St Therese of Lisieux is such a perfect patron saint for alcoholics. Since we are often prone to grandiosity, her “Little Way” can be very helpful for us.

Born in Alencon, france in 1873, Therese was the youngest of five sisters and entered the Carmel at Lisieux when she was fiften.  Nine anonymous years later, she was dead. There was no indication her reputation for holiness had spread beyond her cloistered walls—no one but her immediate family and Carmelite sisters knew of her existence.

But within a few years after her death, she was a household name, the object of an extraordinary worldwide following.  She was called “The Little Flower.”  She was keeping her deathbed promise that she would spend her heaven doing good on earth. In 1925, less than thirty years after her death, she was canonized saint of the universal Church. Today she is one of the most popular and best-loved saints of the faithful.

From the forward, “What shattered her anonymity was the publication of her autobiography, written in several stages under obedience to her religious superiors. It’s enormous impact was from the extraordinary spiritual insight she brought to a life which was by all means ordinary…All over the world people began to recognize, accept and devlelop their potential for sanctity by adopting what she termed her “Little Way.”  In our relationship with God, we are very small children. We always will be. There is no need to be anything else. On the contrary, it is essential that we never try to be anything else.”

In every other aspect of my life–work, health, caring for my family, making a living—my willpower and self-reliance are assets.  But not in my relationship with God.  I develop a rich relationship with God by surrendering my will, giving God the power.  And then that power greater than myself can restore me to sanity.