Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!


In his review of Rod Dreher’s The Little Way of Ruthie Leming , William Doino reminds us that even though Dreher’s title references St. Thérèse of Lisieux’s “Little Way,” Ruthie Leming was Methodist, not Catholic.

It seemed an occasion to point out that St. Thérèse was something of a Protestant herself, at least in her practical piety. Indeed, a quotation from Thérèse’s writing is what makes for the most Protestant moment in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

After earth’s exile, I hope to go and enjoy you in the fatherland, but I do not want to lay up merits for heaven. I want to work for your love alone . . . In the evening of this life, I shall appear before you with empty hands, for I do not ask you, Lord, to count my works ( 2011 ).

Seeing John Wesley likewise insisted that “every believer in Christ is deeply convinced that there is no merit but in Him; that there is no merit in any of his own works,” then what could be more natural than the Methodist pursuit of St. Thérèse’s Little Way?

Comments are visible to subscribers only. Log in or subscribe to join the conversation.



Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles