The struggle against the passions and toward the virtues takes many turns. Following the spirituality of the ancient Fathers confronts us with a work that seems totally impossible, and when we crash and burn, it takes all of our strength and courage to keep walking. Grace meets us, and we carry on. But sometimes we crash and cannot get up right away. We need a place to rest - to recover. St. Therese and her sisters kept hiding the books on the Desert Fathers from their father, Louis, because he was all in with the severe praxis of the ancient way, and they felt it might compromise his health. Therese herself knew this way from the books, and later from her study of St. John of the Cross. But she said she needed to practice a spirituality that very little souls could follow. That is why she developed the Little Way. It focused on total confidence in God's love, staying very small, and living in absolute trust in God's providence. She practiced love every moment of every day, with virtually every one. Humility and love were her North Star.
God put me on both paths at once, so when I fail in my walk with the "adults", the Desert Fathers, I can resort to Therese - my place to stay attached to Jesus and to recover strength. Grace provides and I am always back on the ancient path before long. She is my safety net against despair when I can't keep up with the big kids. If you feel you are called to walk the more severe path, be very open to finding your own sanctuary city!