Saturday evening my wife, Maria, and I meandered into a small town in PA. We had been in the general vicinity many times, but somehow it had eluded us. The main street of the town resembled a Norman Rockwell painting with a row of adjacent storefronts across from a small train depot. We parked and then quickly dissipated our hard-earned cash at a French bakery, a toy store (lest you think it was for us, we were buying a gift for my nephew and niece!), and a cheese shop where we picked up some some delectable Brie.
A quick walk down the main thoroughfare showed us that the entire town followed the same design. An Irish pub gave way to a Five and Dime, the mandatory Asian cleaners, and a repertory movie theater. Just past these there loomed down the street a stone church steeple in the waning sunlight. Could it be a Catholic Church?
As we approached the church it became clear that it was indeed Catholic – St. Margarets Roman Catholic Church to be exact. Luckily it was only a half hour until the Saturday Vigil Mass, so the doors were not locked. Upon entering Maria and I surveyed the quaint nave of the church occupied only by a nun and one gentleman. Then we saw it almost simultaneously – in the back corner of the church was a life-like statue of my beloved Therese in a wood-paneled alcove with a vase of real roses in front of her. I immediately felt at home here!
I began to think about the wanderings of the day and how St. Therese seemed to guide us to this place at this time just as she so often does in life. Therese has been the guiding star of my spiritual journey for the past two decades and she continues to make this evident in such unexpected ways.
I have come to trust that St. Therese will always lead me to Jesus in a very direct path. That path will often entail suffering and hardship, but the reward is getting closer to Jesus, the Source and Summit of our Faith.