Tuesday, October 1, 2013

the Little Flower and me

St Thérèse at Amiens Cathedral
"[Y]ou know my weakness, Lord. Every mornng I make a resolution to practice humility and in the evening I recognize that I have committed again many faults of pride. And I am tempted to become discouraged but I know that discouragement is also pride. Therefore, O my God, I want to base my hope in You alone. Since you can do everything, deign to bring in my soul the virtue I desire. To obtain this grace of your infinite mercy I will very often repeat: 'O Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, make my heart like yours!'"

~St. Thérèse of Lisieux (†1897), 

Although completely out of our way, the visit to Lisieux was one of the highlights of our French pilgrimage earlier this year

Set deep in northwest France, the town of Lisieux is generally uninteresting—and not highlighted or recommended in any of our tour books! That’s because two-thirds of the town was destroyed in 1944 by allied bombs and few of its historical monuments and landmarks remain.

But the visit to Thérèse's Carmel was well worth the effort to get there. Much in the spirit of the Little Flower, the Carmel chapel, her grave, and the adjacent display on Saint Thérèse and her life was simple, reverent, and exceptionally inspiring.

"The Imitation of Christ," book of devotion in the Lammenais translation that Thérèse knew by heart
Last picture painted by Thérèse

"It is confidence and nothing but confidence 
that must lead us to love"

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NoteIf you want to learn more about her, I highly recommend Heather King's book, "Shirt of Flame: a year with St. Thérèse of Lisieux"-- a powerful and provocative contemporary reflection on this timeless saint!