Sunday, November 29, 2015


IT is Jesus alone, content with my feeble efforts, who will lift me to his side. Covering me with his infinite virtue, he will make a saint of me (Story of the Soul)

I have understood that Our Lord's love will reveal itself as well in the simplest soul which offers no resistance, as in the most noble (Story of the Soul)

Like a mother caressing her child, in this way I will comfort you, I will carry you at my breast and caress you in my lap...Having said this, there's nothing else to say all that's left is to wrap in gratitude and love (Story of the Soul). 

I understand that to become a saint, one must suffer a great deal, always seek perfection and forget one's self (Story of the Soul)

Now nothing surprises me, I am not concerned when i see that I am weak. On the contrary, it is that weakness which glorifies me. Every day I expect to discover new imperfections within myself.

God wanted to create great Saints who could be compared to lilies and roses, but also created lesser Saints. They should be content to be daises and violets, destined to simply enjoy God's glance as they lie humbly at His feet. 

I do not know if you are still feeling as you did when you last wrote, but I am sending you in answer this passage from the Canticle of Canticles, which describes so vividly a soul in a state of dryness, who can find no comfort anywhere: "I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valleys, and to look if the vineyard had flowered, and the pomegranates budded. I knew not: my soul troubled me for the chariots of Aminadab (Cant 6:10,11)." That is a picture of our souls. How often we go down to the fertile valleys where we found spiritual food, to the pleasant fields fo Scripture where we discovered so many treasures, but which now seem like a waterless desert. We no longer know where we are: instead of peace and light our lot is darkness and distress, but like the Bride we know the cause of this trial. We are not yet in our fatherland, but have still to be tried by temptation as gold in the furnace. Sometimes we feel utterly abandoned, and cannot make sure whether the chariots, that is the noise and commotion which surround us, are whitin or without. We do not know, but Jesus knows, and He sees our sorrow, and suddenly in the dark night, His voice is heard: "Return, return, O Sulamitess: return, return that we may behold thee (ibid, 6:12).

But if the son comes to know the dangers from which he has been spared, will he not love him [his Father] more? Well, I am this child, object of the provident love of a Father who did not send his Son to redeem the righteous, but the sinners.

  Oh! I love you, Mary, saying you are the servant
Of the God whom you charm by your humility
(Lk 1: 38).
This hidden virtue makes you all-powerful.
It attracts the Holy Trinity into your heart.
Then the Spirit of Love covering you with his shadow,
(Lk 1: 35)
The Son equal to the Father became incarnate in you,
There will be a great many of his sinner brothers,
Since he will be called: Jesus, your first-born!
(Lk 2: 7)

O beloved Mother, despite my littleness,
Like you I possess The All-Powerful within me.
But I don't tremble in seeing my weakness:
The treasures of a mother belong to her child,
And I am your child, O my dearest Mother.
Aren't your virtues and your love mine too?
So when the white Host comes into my heart,
Jesus, your Sweet Lamb, thinks he is resting in you! ...

You make me feel that it's not impossible
To follow in your footsteps, O Queen of the elect.
You made visible the narrow road to Heaven
While always practicing the humblest virtues.
Near you, Mary, I like to stay little.
At the home of Saint Elizabeth, receiving your visit,
I learn how to practice ardent charity.

There, Sweet Queen of angels, I listen, delighted,
To the sacred canticle springing forth from your heart
(Lk 1: 46).
You teach me to sing divine praises,
To glory in Jesus my Savior.
Your words of love are mystical roses
Destined to perfume the centuries to come.
In you the Almighty has done great things.
I want to ponder them to bless him for them.

("Why I love you, o Mary" from 'The Poetry of St Therese of Child Jesus')

All citation from the 'Story of the Soul' unless otherwise specified.

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Monday, November 02, 2015

All Souls' Day

'Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light' (Matt 11:30) 

Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom...Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise (Luke 23: 42-43)

' we recommended her to the Lord and offered prayers for her soul in all our monasteries'...'it is those who do not recall there is an everlasting life that feel such pain when someone departs from the miseries of this life' (St Teresa letter to Lorenzo de Cepeda, 1570) 
' can consider all the nuns of this house to be your servants and capellanas (Carmelites devoted to pray for specific souls) (St Teresa letter to Diego de San Pedro de Palma, 1570)
'...why we should feel sorry about those who depart for a safe heaven, whom God draws out of this world with its dangers and instability'.  (St Teresa letter to Dona Luisa de la Cerda, 1571).
'I feel it, we must go to heaven by the same route, the one of suffering united with love. When I reach the harbour, I will teach to navigate on the stormy sea of the world, with the abandon and love of a child who knows that his Father cherished him and would not leave him alone in a time of danger'. ( St Therese Letters)

'...I cannot bring myself to fear Purgatory; I know that I am not worthy to enter that place of expiation with the Holy Souls, but I also know that the fire of love is more sanctifying that that of Purgatory, that Our Lord does not want us to suffer needlesly, and that He would never inspire me with desires that He does not intend to fulfill'. (St Therese Story of a soul)

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Sunday, November 01, 2015

All Saints Day

I am He who made all the saints; I gave them grace; I have brought them to glory. I know the first and the last; I embrace them all with an inestimable love.  I am to be praise in all my Saints; I am to be blessed above all things, and to be honoured in every one of them, whom I have thus gloriously magnified and eternally chosen, without any foregoing merits of their own. The Imitation of Christ, 3, 58.

Today is the vigil of All Saints. All Souls Day is the anniversary of my receiving the habit. Ask God to make me a genuine Carmelite nun, for better late than never. Your unworthy servant and loyal subject. Blessed be God, for I will always be so, come what may. Teresa of Jesus. Collected Letters, vol 1.

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