The Little Flower of Jesus
Today is the Feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. St. Therese is one of the most popular saints throughout the history of the church. She is known for being a Doctor of the Church, the Patroness of missions, model for living a simple and practical life within her Carmelite community, the list continues.
Thérèse had a childhood filled with many obstacles she overcame with the help of her trust in God’s will. At the age of 15, she entered a cloistered Carmelite community in Lisieux, Normandy. Thérèse lived a hidden life filled with prayer, faith, hope, love of God, and love of others. After living as a religious for 9 years she died of tuberculosis at the age of 24. Before her passing Thérèse wrote, what later became known as The Story of a Soul, which are a collection of different manuscripts.
Here are a few excerpts from The Story of a Soul:
“Much later, when I understood what perfection was, I realized that to become a saint one must suffer a great deal, always seek what is best, and forget oneself. I understood that there were many kinds of of sanctity and that each soul was free to respond to the approaches of Our Lord and to do little or much for Him — in other words,to make a choice among the sacrifices He demands. Then, just as when I was a child, I cried: “My God, I choose all. I do not want to be a saint by halves. I am not afraid to suffer for You. I fear only one thing — that I should keep my own will. So take it, for I choose all that You will.” – St. Thérèse of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul. (New York: Double Day, 2001) 9.
“For me, prayer is an upward leap of the heart, an untroubled glance towards heaven, a cry of gratitude and love which I utter from the depths of sorrow as well as from the heights of joy. It has a supernatural grandeur which expands the soul and unites it with God. I say an Our Father or a Hail Mary when I feel so spiritually barren that I cannot summon up a single worth while thought. These two prayers fill me with rapture and feed and satisfy my soul.” — St. Thérèse of Lisieux,The Story of a Soul. (New York: Double Day, 2001) 140.
“You knew all my intimate thoughts and cleared up all my doubts. I once told you how astonished I was that God does not give equal glory in heaven to all His chosen. I was afraid they were not at all equally happy. You made me bring Daddy’s tumbler and put it by the side of my thimble. You filled them both with water and asked me which was fuller. I told you they were both full to the brim and that it was impossible to put more water in them than they could hold. And so, Mother darling, you made me understand that in heaven God will give His chosen their fitting glory and that the last will have no reason to envy the first. By such means, you made me understand the most sublime mysteries and gave my soul its essential food.” –St. Thérèse of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul. (New York: Double Day, 2001) 20.
Also take a look at 4 Ways to Grow in Holiness from St.Thérèse