St. Therese

‘Ah! My brother, how the goodness of Jesus, His merciful love, are so little known!’

‘It must be that you don’y know me at all well, if you are afraid that a detailed account of your faults could lessen the tenderness I feel for your soul! O my brother, believe me that I shall not need to “put my hand over the mouth of Jesus.” He has forgotten your infidelities long ago. Only your desires for perfection remain to make His heart rejoice. I implore you, don’t drag yourself to His feet ever again. Follow that “first impulse which draws you into His arms.” That is where you belong and I have decided, now more so than from your other letters, that you are forbidden to go to heaven by any other road than the one your poor little sister travels.

‘I completely agree with you that “the heart of God is saddened more by the thousand little indelicacies of His friends than it is by the faults, even the grave ones, which people of the world commit.” But my dear little brother, it seems to me that it is only when his friends, ignoring their continual indelicacies, make a habit out of them and don’t ask forgiveness for them, that Jesus can utter those touching words which the Church puts on his lips in Holy Week: “These wounds you see in the palms of my hands are the ones I received in the house of those who loved me.” For those who love Him, and after each fault come to ask pardon by throwing themselves into His arms, Jesus trembles with joy. He says to His angels what the father of the prodigal son said to his servants: “Put his best robe on him and put a ring on his finger, and let us rejoice.” Ah! My brother, how the goodness of Jesus, His merciful love, are so little known! It is true that to enjoy these riches we must be humbled and recognise our nothingness, and that is what so many are not will to do. But my little brother, that is not the way you behave, so the way of simple love and confidence is just made to order for you.`

-From a letter from St. Therese of Lisieux to Maurice Belliere, a young seminarian [Taken from Maurice & Therese: The Story of a Love]

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God bless you!

St. Therese of Lisieux

St. Therese is my favourite Saint (except of course Mary, my mother), or more accurately, my best friend in heaven. I love her deeply, and thought I would give her a brief introduction, so you might discover or rediscover her.

The funny thing about St. Therese, is it’s difficult to say if she’s very ordinary or extraordinary. She clearly thought of herself as completely ordinary. But this ordinary young nun has made a truly extraordinary impact on the world, and on those she personally knew. Of all the unlikely people to change the world, few are as out of the blue as her. Perhaps the carpenter’s son…

And it’s just this paradox of the extraordinary ordinary that characterises her. Her greatness doesn’t lie in any special talents or abilities or genius. She performed no great feats or miracles. To all human eyes, she was not made for greatness. But God doesn’t judge by our standards, and like the little King David, she had a heart after the Lord’s own heart.

She is extraordinary only because of her extraordinary love and trust in Jesus. That is all she had, but that’s all we need, and all that counts.

So please, get to know St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower. Her autobiography, ‘The Story of a Soul’, is available for free online, although you’ll want a copy once you read it. There’s a very good reason she’s been called the greatest Saint of modern times, and a favourite of Bl. Mother Teresa and Pope Francis, among many others.

For some time I had been accustomed to offer myself as a plaything to the Child Jesus. I told Him not to treat me like an expensive toy which children look at but dare not touch. I was a cheap little ball which He could fling on the ground or kick or pierce or leave neglected in a corner or even press to His Heart if it gave Him pleasure. To put it in a nutshell, I longed to amuse the little Jesus and offer myself to His childish whims.

He answered my prayer. In Rome, Jesus pierced His little toy. He wantedto see what was inside and then, having found out, He let His little ball drop and went to sleep. What did He dream about and what happened to the abandoned ball? Jesus dreamt that He was still playing with it, picking it up and dropping it, letting it roll away from Him, but in the end pressing it close to His Heart and never letting it slip again from His little Hand. You can understand, Mother, how sad the little ball was to see itself lying on the ground, but she went on hoping against all hope.

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God bless you