Tag Archive | St. Therese of Lisieux

Love Begets Love

I still have the wisdom of St. Therese on my mind today!  I suppose it is partly because Friday was her feast day, and partly because I am still reading her autobiography.  Every time I read her words I am so inspired by the intensity of her deep compasion and her constant unwavering faith in God’s will. 

The following excerpt from “Story of a Soul”, illustrates just how fervent her deep love for our Lord was:

“You know, O my God, I have never desired anything but to love you, and I am ambitious for no other glory.  Your love has gone before me, and it has grown with me, and now it is an abyss whose depths I cannot fathom.  Love attracts love, and, my Jesus, my love leaps toward Yours; it would like to fill the abyss which attracts it, but alas! it is not even like a drop of dew lost in the ocean! ….O my Jesus, it is perhaps an illusion but it seems to me that You cannot fill a soul with more love than the love with which You have filled mine; it is for this reason that I dare to ask You “to love those whom you have given me with the love with which you loved me.”

The following is a prayer that I wrote a couple of months ago while feeling inspired after reading some of St. Therese’s book.   Writing has always been a very powerful type of prayer method for me in my life!

You Lord

Pierce my heart

Pierce my soul

with Your fervent love and desire

to create in me this burning zeal for Your Truth.

Hold on tightly, never let go,

make my life a living prayer

always suspended and lifted up

in order to lift You up and out of the dark corners of our world.

A kind word, a sweet smile, a sincere thought or deed,

to never choose the easy path of comfort over charity…

to not extinguish that opportunity

to shine Your light

or to give others true sight,

through You!  Amen.

One of my favorite songs right now is called, For Love of You, by a contempary christian artist named, Audrey Assad.  It is an upbeat and uplifting song that captures so beautifully this burning zeal for God’s love!  If I could attach it to this post, I would, but unfortunatly I am not savvy enough yet!  Here are some of her inspiring lyrics:

And for love of You

I’m a sky on fire

And because of You, I come alive…

and it’s Your sacred heart within me beating

Your voice within me singing out….for love of  You…It’s all for You, Yeah!

Last night at bedtime I read a beautiful picture book to my kids titled, God’s Dream, written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams.  On one of the pages there is a beautifully illustrated picture which shows children of all different nationalities.  The kids are all holding hands while forming a circle in the shape of a giant heart.   The words on this page beautifully sums up  my commentary on “love”!

Each of us carries a piece of God’s heart within us.

And when we love one another, the pieces of God’s heart are made whole!

“You know that our Lord does not look at the greatness or the difficulty of an action but at the love with which you do it.”  ~ St. Therese of Lisieux

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Feast Day For St. Therese of Lisieux!

Today, October 1st, is the feast day of St. Therese of Lisieux, who is one of most celebrated Catholic Saints of all time!  Catholics honor saints because of the virtuous and selfless ways that they consistently lived their lives.  We don’t worship them, but we do ask them to pray for us and help us along on our faith journey.  Saints are our good friends…they are “best friends” with God, so they know God’s heart better than anyone!

St. Therese was born in 1873 with the name Marie-Francoise Therese Martin, and was the 9th and youngest child of Louis Martin, watchmaker, and Azelie-Marie Guerin, lacemaker.  After her mother’s death from breast cancer when Therese was 4 years old, the family moved to Lisieux, France.  At the age of 15, Therese entered the Carmelite order to become a religious sister.  She died at the age of 24 from tuberculosis.  She was canonized in 1925 and was named a doctor of the Church in 1997.  She is one of three women doctors of the Church, along with St. Terese of Avila and St. Catherine of Sienna.  She is known as St. Therese the Little Flower or St. Therese of the Child Jesus.

I am currently re-reading her autobiography titled, The Story of a Soul.  I have been so inspired by her wisdom and how she always tried to have trust and complete self-surrender to God in both the small and big things in her life.  She wanted to be known as the “little flower” of Jesus, a humble and simple follower, who always sought out the warm rays of God’s love in every moment,  through self-sacrifice and giving to others.   She used visual imagery so beautifully for describing the love of God.  She describes how in her mind she would present to Jesus a beautiful flower for every good deed that she performed….and then at the end of the day she would have the biggest and most beautiful bouquet to present to Our Lord!  That, to me, is a very tangible and accessible way to try to be closer to the heart of God!  I love some of her descriptions of  “Jesus’ garden of souls”,

“I understood how all the flowers He has created are beautiful, how the splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the Lily do not take away the perfume of the little violet or the delightful simplicity of the daisy.  I understood that if all flowers wanted to be roses, nature would lose her springtime beauty, and the fields would no longer be decked out with wild little flowers……..Perfection consists in doing His will, in being what He wills us to be……Just as the sun shines simultaneously on the tall cedars and on each flower as though it were alone on the earth, so Our Lord is occupied particularly with each soul as though there were no others like it.  And just as in nature all the seasons are arranged in such a way as to make the humblest daisy bloom on a set day, in the same way, everything works out for the good of each soul.”

I want to share an excerpt from a poem written by St. Therese, titled         “The Little Flower’s Prayer to Mary” .  I had recited a line in this poem during a very heart wrenching moment this past May, just before praying the rosary with my rosary group friends while standing around the bedside of our friend Angie Hegele, who was very courageously passing away from breast cancer.  Angie had a strong love and devotion to Our Blessed Mother, as well as to St. Therese, and I have no doubt that she is with them both now!

Beloved Mother   

in this harsh exile,

I want to live always with you

and follow you every day.

I am enraptured by the contemplation of you

and I discover the depths of  the love of your Heart.

All my fears vanish under your Motherly gaze,

which teaches me to weep  and rejoice!

Like St. Therese, may we learn to blossom where God has put us and realize that “Love is repaid by love alone!”