I just finished reading Audrey: The True Story of One Child’s Heroic Journey of Faith, written by Gloria Conde, which was sent to me to review by The Catholic Company. It is not a book I would have picked up to read had it not been sent to me, but, nonetheless, found myself becoming absorbed in the story.
The author describes the book as neither a biography nor a eulogy. It is simply a story of the life of a remarkable young girl who seemed to intuit at an very early age spiritual insights it has taken some of us decades to gain. Upon learning she is very ill (the leukemia that ultimately takes her life at age 10), she tells her mother, “We will be like the birds of the sky. We are going to live one day at a time.”
The book recounts the tremendous influence Audrey had on so many people. Many learned a habit of prayer through coming together to pray for her. Her prayers aided some in discerning vocations (praying for vocations was an important part of her charism), others in facing their own pain and suffering. Audrey herself suffered enormously from her illness and the treatments aimed at combatting it, and yet she rarely if ever complained. The author describes a defining trait of Audrey during her illness: “If she was selfless before her sickness, always thinking of the needs of others, now she was lamost unable to think of herself. Her sensitivity to others had grown to such a degree that she had completely stopped thinking of herself.”
We know that our God often works through his little ones, and then brings them home to him earlier than family and friends might like. St. Therese of Liseux wrote that in addition to the great saints, God “has also created the tiny saints and these are content to be daisies or violets destined to please the eyes of God who has put them under his feet.” Truly, here was one of God’s tiny saints and her story is an inspiring one. Her faith and her love of Jesus serve as a wonderful model.