Let me say right up front, Catholics do not worship statues or icons. I know this and believe this. However, I also know that certain pictures, statues, or icons move me more than others. Think of photographs of your children. Every picture of your child represents someone who is near and dear to your heart. However, certain photographs are magical. They capture the personality and spirit of your child. They make your child present to you even when he or she is physically absent.
My mother and I were poking about an antique mall. There was a white resin garden statue of St. Therese of Lisieux. She carried her identifying cross and roses. Now St. Therese is one of my favorite saints. Her “Little Way” reminds me that nothing I do is too insignificant to be offered for the glory of God. This particular statue attracted me. It was not great art, but her serene face was very calming. As I looked at the price tag I saw this lovely piece was labeled as a statue of the Virgin Mary. I felt so sad for St. Therese I was compelled to purchase the piece.
I suppose there is nothing wrong with being mistaken for the Virgin Mary. I am sure St. Therese does not take offense at being so identified. Still, it is like looking at a picture of my grandmother in a photo album and seeing her identified as her sister. I had to make it right.
So now St. Therese will join the communion of saints in my garden. She will join St. Joseph, Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Francis, and St. Fiacre. Pulling weeds, sowing seeds, and harvesting flowers, herbs, tomatoes, and peppers bring me great joy. St. Therese will be a steady reminder to offer these labors for the Glory of God.