Thinking About St Therese

August 2016

Story of a Soul, translated by John Clarke OCD - A Study Edition by Marc Foley. 
ICS Publications Washington 2005

Though I am unable to be present to join in the discussion at our meeting this month, I thought I might at least list a few keywords & phrases that stood out for me.

Introduction to the First Edition

“I feel my mission is about to begin…”  What about OUR mission?  Do we have a contribution to make?

“…the entire book is a lesson in how to live this ‘way of trust and absolute surrender’.” (Clarke p x)

“In spiritual childhood is the secret of sanctity for all the faithful of the Catholic World” Pope Benedict XV, p xi

“There is a call to all the Faithful of every nation, no matter what their age, sex, or state of life, to enter wholeheartedly into the Little Way which led Sister Therese to the summit of heroic virtue.  It is our desire that the secret of sanctity of Sister Therese of the Child Jesus be revealed to all our children”  (ibid)

“We earnestly desire that all the faithful should study her in order to copy her, becoming children themselves; since otherwise they cannot , according to the words of the Master, arrive at the kingdom of heaven.” (Pope Pius XI, p xi)

For example…

“Amen, I say to you, unless you be converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 18:3)

“Whoever, therefore, shall humble himself as this little child, will be greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”  (Matt 18:4)

“Allow the little ones to come to me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mark 10:14)

“Amen, I say to you, whoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall never enter into it.” (Mark 10:15)

‘ …it is interesting to note that when she (Therese) teaches her “little way” explicitly, she uses texts from the Old Testament’

“Whoever is a little one, let him come to me.” (Proverbs 9:4)

“For to him who is little, mercy will be shown.” (Wisdom 6:7)

“As one whom a mother caresses, so will I comfort you: you shall be carried at the breasts, and upon the knees they shall fondle you.” (Isaiah 66: 12-13)

 Also see Psalm 118:130;  Ps 18:8;  Ps 114:6

Therese’s book, like the simple and direct message of the Gospels, can be the source of a deep religious inspiration for those who read it with an open mind.  (Clarke, p xiii)

Surely we can do that, but how can we promote it amongst others?

Chapter 1 – Alencon (1873-1877)

  • Therese readily refers to the Scriptures (cf p14) “…he called to himself men of his own choosing” Mk 3:13
  • He does not call those who are worthy but those whom he pleases. (ibid)
  • God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy. (St. Paul – Rom 9:15-16)
  • Does God have preferences? (Cf p14)  Perfection consists in doing his will, in being what he wills us to be. (p15)
  • Inspiration within family…Pauline – “you were my ideal” (p22) “…it was your example that drew me towards the Spouse of Virgins at the age of two.”
  • “Having nothing but good example around me, I naturally wanted to follow it.” p27

About Les

I'm Les Walters, Immediate Past President in our OCDS Community from 17 July 2016 to August 2018. Now First Councillor - August 2018 till August 2021 and Secretary
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2 Responses to Thinking About St Therese

  1. jilld says:

    I think the first thing is that if he gospel message is to be promoted and that is what Therese would want ,we need to have a certain disposition of heart. A disposition that is not self promoting and focused on one’s own satisfactions. Now that is hard and in order to be like that a soul must love God above all things abandon itself to God’s will and trust that God will form it in such a way that it will have a positive effect on others.
    It is likely that soul may not know the effect it has on others and that is ok, even good.

  2. Les says:

    Thanks for your insights Jill.

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