Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
for myself, I have chosen your altars,
my King and my God.
(Léonie Martin, known as Sister Françoise-Thérèse)
Since I was adopted as a baby I’ve never known whether I had a sister or not.
I did not have a sister in my adoptive family.
However, I do know what it means to have been a bit of a difficult child.
I was rather headstrong growing up.
I wouldn’t say I was difficult, but that label might need to be addressed by my mom and dad,
and since neither of them is here to add to or refute such a claim, we’ll just keep it as headstrong.
I was often willful, somewhat defiant and had a mind of my own.
I knew what I liked and what I wanted despite those wants and ideas not always being the
wisest of thoughts.
After reading the following story about a rather obscure woman and nun,
I found that I could actually relate to her story.
She is what I call a shadow dweller—a person who lives in the shadows of a more prominent sibling.
A girl who wrestled with her own standing in life and what hand she had been dealt.
That’s the thing…isn’t life just merely a matter of what we make of it…
or on the other hand, it’s what Life makes of us?
Either of which makes us, in turn, who we will become
Will we choose to rise above or will we simply succumb?
Will we allow all of the negative to swallow us whole or will we learn to stand up and out
of the negative, rising up to our true potential?
We can either give in and up or we can purposely and willfully fight our demons in order
to be who we are truly called to be.
And who we are called to be might just be a person who is content living in the shadow
of a more famous sibling…
“Léonie Martin is arguably the least known and admired member of her entire family,
but I doubt she minds.
She’s used to being in that position.”
I’ve written often about one of her sisters.
A now well know sister, who despite having lived a very short life, dying from TB at the age of 24,
made a tremendous impact on the world.
Her parents were just recently recognized by the Pope as exceptional.
All of her sisters sought the vocation of serving Christ.
One sister, however, had a more difficult path to walk than that of her siblings.
And the thing is that once she found her way…Grace prevailed over a lifetime of trial,
willfulness, and difficulty.
Here is the link to Léonie Martin’s story…the sister of The Little Flower.
What We Can Learn From the Forgotten Sister of St. Thérèse of Lisieux