“We live only for them.” St. Zelie Martin
I have been reflecting lately on the Lord’s call for sainthood in each of our lives. Growing up I used to think that saints were only men and women religious who left the world completely to follow the Lord’s call and it was very rare that I heard about saints who were not priests or religious. This causes me to think about the fact that maybe if we did hear more about the saints who lived every day, ordinary lives, then maybe we would be more convicted to live our every day ordinary lives while striving to be saints. St. Zelie Martin was a woman who lived an everyday, ordinary life, but with so much trust and hope in the Lord that it brought her to the ultimate level of Catholicism: sainthood.
Most people would know St. Zelie as the mother of St. Therese of Lisieux. St. Zelie was also the mother of eight other children. St. Zelie and her husband only lived for their children and their children were their entire happiness. This happiness also came with a level of sadness. Within three years the Martins had lost four of their children. St. Zelie was quoted saying, “I haven’t a penny’s worth of courage.” I cannot even imagine losing a child, but I think what happened after these loses is really what showed the true strength and ultimate sainthood of the two parents. These deaths did not deter or stop the parents’ relationship with the Lord. Instead of turning away from the Lord during this time of hardship, the Martins clung to Him will all of their might.
St. Zelie’s devotion and relationship with the Lord is something that we can all strive for. Even though she was living a life much life I am sure many women are living, she lived that life with great love and devotion to our Lord. This is a calling for all of us. Some of us are not going to travel the world, cure cancer, or fight injustices in our Lord, but we all have the opportunity to live a life full of love. Yes, there are going to be times of hardship and great sadness. There are going to be times where we haven’t a penny’s worth of courage left, but let’s remember St. Zelie in these moments and ask for her intercession. Let’s ask her to help us to keep going and to love the Lord even in our times of sadness.
The last message is mainly for mothers and future mothers reading today’s study. St. Zelie bore one of the greatest women saints of our time. She gave St. Therese an environment of love and a place to grow in relationship with our Lord. This is something very key and important for parents. As parents you should strive for your children to be holier than you. As a parent your job is not only for you to be a saint, but also to help your children become saints who like St. Zelie and St. Therese changed the world with great love.
Reflect and Discuss: I challenge you to think and pray about this today. How are you called to be a saint in your everyday life? If you are a parent, how can you help your children become saints one day?
Act: Find one situation today where you can act with great love. Love others as the Lord has loved us