The Little Way

The third classical approach to Formation Prayer is "The Little Way" from Therese of Lisieux. Foster says this "deceptively simple" way to bring spiritual transformation into our lives is "to seek out the menial job, to welcome unjust criticism, to befriend those who annoy us, to help those who are ungrateful." He calls this the "ministry of small things."

As I've read these three approaches to the formation prayer, I've been surprised at how simple they are. The kingdom of God is like this. Dying to self and following Christ is the easiest thing in the world, yet at the same time its the hardest. Pursuing a relationship with God through prayer is not hard to understand, but it can be difficult to do. We grow by overcoming so when we find it difficult to love an unpleasant person, the best way is to serve them, put them first, and give our self fully to this simple task. Foster says these are "unrecognized conquests over selfishness." This is so true. Self does not like to be set aside with no credit or recognition. Have you ever done something selfless or sacrificial and no one knows you had anything to do with it? Doesn't your mind keep coming up with ways to subtly let people know or get people to ask if it was you? Staying in that secret place is key.

I would encourage you to find a few of these simple, serving, and selfless acts to do on a consistent basis. Try to do one a week or one a day. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you some ideas. Trust me, he will!

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