I got a great new read last Sunday after attending the “With Hearts Burning” event at the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Hamilton. I went straight to the bookstore after the Holy Mass and I found a couple of books that I wanted to try but this particular writing immediately caught my attention.

The Way of Trust and Love (A Retreat Guided by St. Therese of Lisieux) by Fr. Jacques Philippe

It’s easy for me to connect with St. Therese of Lisieux because she’s one of my inspirations in life. This book was certainly right for me, I relate to it so much. I was floored by how humble and positive dear St. Therese was, I can’t help but love her even more. I’m learning a lot from her simple but impactful ways of loving and serving the Lord with a joyful and peaceful heart. I bought it mainly because I want to pickup wisdom from my dear saint best friend and also because I want to help move the mission forward here in New Zealand.

As stated in the book, it is best used as a guideline for a retreat. I decided to read and meditate on one chapter per week. The first chapter was absolutely beautiful for the topic was about trusting in God. It explains the little flower of Jesus’ way of simple loving trust, her spiritual journey to holiness and how this ‘completely new little way’ will make us realize that we’re not crazy to aspire for holiness for the way of spiritual childhood can help us get there.

I feel empowered and motivated after reading the first part of this book. Also, there were certain questions and quotes that will hit you right where you need it:

What is the ‘yes’ you are asking me for today? The little act of courage and trust you’re calling me to make today? What is the little conversion, the door that opens to let in the Holy Spirit? For if we make it, God’s grace will visit us and touch us in the depths of our being.

I don’t think we talk about this enough but this online universe was just overwhelming. It’s not a horrible place… actually I’m really into the whole social media trend especially Facebook, but I just felt that I needed change. There’s a lot more that happens behind the alluring computer screen. The world is out there! Sometimes we get so caught up in the virtual world but what about the actual world we once knew? Does anyone out there feel the same? Not gonna lie, there were times when I feel like I’m drowning in other people’s life updates and whether you like it or not, all sorts of information were pounded on you whenever you’re connected. Let’s be honest, we’re becoming slaves to technology and I know that God wants to protect me from being bombarded with all these noise in the social media world. I need to take a break and that’s the reason why I’m giving up Facebook for a good period of time. It’s something I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately and I know it’s off the rocker because people tend to communicate on this site more but I believe that I could get down with that. Since we’re entering into a brand new season, I’m ready to explore some new grounds, enjoy the present moment and focus more on things that I care deeply about.

Some people don’t like the discomfort of detaching themselves from these incredible gadgets and state of the art technology but it’s easy for us to be swept up in the hype. Aside from that, real life doesn’t really translate well on the social media platforms, that’s why allowing myself to disconnect with Facebook makes a huge difference. We need to hit that refresh button every now and then. I know taking the first step is always the hardest but even our friends in high places were not exempted from the human struggle of being easily discouraged. St. Therese have experienced spiritual dryness and great sufferings during her lifetime but she continue the journey until the end because of the brand new strength that she received from the Lord.

Clearly, we really need to make a drastic change and we must do it now! I want to make the most of this new chapter of my life. My goal is to be fearlessly authentic in sharing the gospel and at the same time encourage others in their path to a life like no other. I desire to live and follow God’s will wholeheartedly but every day I need to ask the Holy Spirit for strength. There’s a great need to be in a much deeper conversation with the Lord, we need to dive into God’s word or else we’ll end up in the middle of nowhere. We have limited time on earth that’s why we need to be courageous in saying ‘yes’ to God’s will today.

“We have a choice to make, for it is at the same time a cure and a conversion, our freedom has to opt for an act of courage. Making an act of courage even over some small thing, which is what God is asking of us, can open the gate to in-depth cures, to a new freedom granted us by God.” – Fr. Jacques Philippe

Nothing better than an intimate and love-filled relationship with my One True Love. Spending more time with the Lord made me discover more about myself too. Thank you St. Therese of the Child Jesus for being a beautiful soul. Though you’re no longer alive, your little ways will live on! <3

If you want a little slice of my life and if you’re interested to follow along on my stories then be sure to subscribe to this blog, shoot me a message on Instagram or just e-mail me at: marialearnstotravel@gmail.com. And if you guys ever feel this way, don’t be afraid to leave a comment below. I’m interested to discuss this important matter and let’s continue to support each other. Thank you so much for reading this post and may people see the face of Jesus shining through us.


Real life awaits,


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A Completely New Way

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