St. Thérèse of Lisieux’s “Little Way” has been embraced by people of all walks of life. InTwelve Little Ways to Transform Your Heart, author Susan Muto explores twelve facets of St. Thérèse’s simple spiritual path as a way to personal holiness and the secret to being a powerful witness to Christ in the world today.
Though she lived only to the age of twenty-four and spent almost her entire life at her family home and in the Carmelite convent, St. Thérèse of Lisieux displayed a love for Jesus and a passion for his gospel that have made her the patroness of the missions. The “Little Flower’s” humility and childlike trust are still powerful examples of how ordinary people can grow closer to Jesus and respond to Pope Francis’s call for a new evangelization.
The calls to holiness and to witness to Christ can seem daunting, but as Susan Muto—renowned speaker and expert on Carmelite spirituality—explains, Thérèse shows us that they are neither difficult nor dramatic. The Little Way can be lived by any of us, even with what Thérèse called the “ministry of the smile.”
With deep insight and warm personal devotion, Muto explains the Little Way and will help you put twelve dimensions of it into practice, drawing others to Christ by living a simple, joyful life. These twelve ways, derived from the example of Thérèse, are:
Learn to love the hidden life
Appreciate what a treasure the ordinary is
Trust in Divine Mercy as little children do
Receive the sacraments devoutly day after day
Abandon yourself to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
Foster friendship with God and others
Take up your cross and follow Jesus
Simplify your life
Let God free you to be your best self
Commit yourself—body, mind, and spirit—to living the Gospel
Leave a legacy of evangelical virtues others want to cultivate
Muto features short quotations from the saint’s autobiography, poetry, letters, and prayers, as well as perceptive reflection questions and personal prayers to show how imitating Thérèse can make us a powerful force of love. Muto also offers practical spiritual advice for those who want to deepen their faith and are attracted to the simplicity of St. Thérèse’s Little Way.
Review of Twelve Little Ways to Transform Your Heart by The Book Matron
Susan Muto’s “Twelve Little Ways to Transform Your Heart” takes the reader on a journey using the simple philosophy of St. Therese of Lisieux to assist us in our part of the evangelical mission of the Church to bind ourselves to Christ by doing the ordinary to accomplish the extraordinary. It’s all about realizing we can use the most unremarkable and routine, even wearisome daily moments of our lives to achieve holiness and become shining examples of God’s love to others.
Using her knowledge of this saint known as The Little Flower, Dr. Muto breaks down this process into twelve dimensions explaining how each relate to St. Therese’s “Little Way” and how they in turn can affect and transform our lives. Each facet is simplistic but allows the reader to realize that holiness can be accomplished no matter how complex or simple our lives. Holiness can be achieved if we but abandon ourselves to God and free ourselves of what binds us to this world. We don’t have to be pastors or well know evangelizers, we only have to be ourselves and take advantage of everyday occasions in order to become little saints and a blessing to others.
I really liked the way this book was laid out for the reader. For those who are curious but have no knowledge of St. Therese a brief history was given of this great saint, her childhood and her time spent in Carmel. The author then proceeded to lay out the twelve facets of evangelization according to St. Therese’s “Little Way” and enumerate examples to emulate her in their own life. The gem after each facet was the reflections and closing prayer. Not only was the reader learning, but able to reflect on their own personal life and how to apply what was given in that particular facet. The closing prayer applied to what was just learned and was a beautiful way to end each segment.
I really enjoyed “Twelve Little Ways to Transform Your Heart”. It was a beautiful lesson in so many ways. Anyone wanting to learn more about the “Little Flower” and her “Little Way” must read this book. Anyone yearning to increase their faith and become an example of God’s love needs to read this book. You will learn that holiness is achievable for you and your loved ones through the simplicity of the hidden life and simple ordinary days.
I was privileged to receive a copy of Susan Muto’s “Twelve Ways to Transform Your Heart” through NetGalley for a fair and honest review.
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