Thursday, November 16, 2006

A Blossom from the Little Flower

Therese of Lisieux never used to be one of my favorite saints. Back when I was going through my divorce in 1996 someone suggested that I read her autobiography and I tried. Honestly, I tried. But I kept thinking as I read it "what could a 19th century French girl teach me?" Back then her observations seemed far too maudlin, almost sacharrine.

I don't know precisely what changed. Perhaps I grew up a bit. Maybe I got more used to Gallic Catholic piety. But now her words and even more her humble attitude function like a beacon to the soul, guiding me home to a safe harbor.

Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus (1873-1897), Carmelite, Doctor of the Church from Autobiographical Manuscript A, 84 r°

“The reign of God is in your midst”

It is above all the Gospel which supports me during my prayer. There I find all that my poor little soul needs. There, I always discover new lights, hidden and mysterious meaning. I understand and know from experience “that the reign of God is in our midst”.

Jesus doesn’t need books or scholars to teach souls, he who is the Scholar of scholars teaches without the noise of words. I have never heard him speak, but I feel that he is in me.

He guides me at every moment, he inspires me with what I have to say or do. Just when I need it, I discover lights that I had not seen yet. Most often, this does not happen above all during my prayer, but rather in the midst of my day’s occupations.

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