I was thinking recently about St. Therese and Judgment Day. Therese wanted to stand before God with “empty hands.” As part of her plan to trust in God rather than in her merits, she chose to give away all her spiritual goods. She offered them to God, not for herself, but for others. She left herself spiritually poor and naked. Then she was able to focus, not on her acts of virtue and self-denial, but on the merits of Jesus. She believed that, seeing her with no works on which to be judged, God would apply Jesus’ works to her account. Thus, her confidence was in Jesus alone.
Following St. Therese, when I make a sacrifice, accept the trials and disappointments of my day, or act virtuously, I picture myself handing a plain brown box to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is my gift for the Infant Jesus. Mary takes the package and wraps it splendidly with her love and virtues. Then she passes it on to her Son, and He distributes it as He sees fit.
St. Therese had countless gifts to give to God for souls. My gifts, on the other hand, are few and small. I cannot outdo Therese. But I am still hoping to match her. I am giving God my widow’s mite, all I have to live on. And who can give more than that?
“And He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the multitude putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came, and put in two copper coins, which make a penny. And He called his disciples to Him, and said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For they all contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, her whole living'” (Mark 12:41-44).