Friday, October 26, 2012

St. Therese of Lisieux quotes

St. Therese of Lisieux
St. Therese as a child
Reading St. Therese of Lisieux's The Story of a Soul was a page-turner and exceeded expecations for me, just like Mother Teresa's book. Actually, the two Teresas have a lot in common, as I was surprised to find out when I read this book. Common themes of being missionaries, of spiritual darkness, of satiating Jesus's thirst for love on the cross, of redemptive suffering, etc.

The most incredible thing for me after reading this book was how such a simple person and small life could be such a great and far-reaching saint. It really is true that small things are made great by God and all of the best things are hidden. The epilogue concludes, "Her heroic virtue was exercised in such ordinary ways that it was not easily recognizable. One Sister was heard to remark: 'She is very good, but she has certainly never done anything worth speaking about.'" 

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

  • My thoughts used to become very deep then, and though I had no idea of what meditation was, my soul was really lost in prayer. I listened to the sounds that came from far away and the murmur of the wind. Sometimes snatches of martial music were carried from the town, making me feel rather sad; earth seemed to me a place of exile, and I dreamed of Heaven. (p. 18)
  • I must admit that, when I read certain tales of chivalry, I did not always grasp the realitites of life; in my enthusiasm I wanted to do all the patriotic things the heroines of France had done, especially Joan of Arc. It was at this time that I was given what I have always considered one of my life's greatest graces, for God did not enlighten me then in the way He does now. He taught me that the only glory which matters is the glory which lasts forever and that one does not have to perform shining deeds to win that, but to hide one's acts of virtue from others, and even from oneself, so that "the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing." (Cf. Matt. 6:3) (p. 40) 
    I was born the same day of Sainte Therese de l´enfant Lisieux. She was a funny saint...proved that to be saint you don´t have to be boring. Here playing Jeanne D´arc.
    St. Therese dressed up as Joan of Arc
  • I should have been a thousand times happier under a thatched roof with a hope of entering Carmel than I was in the midst of gilded apartments, marble staircases and silk hangings, while my heart was in anguish. I learned from experience that joy does not reside in the things about us, but in the very depths of the soul, that one can have it in the gloom of a dungeon as well as in the palace of a king. (p. 80)
  • I know from experience that "the Kingdom of God is within us" (Luke 17:21), that Jesus has no need of books or doctors to instruct our soul; He, the Doctor of Doctors, teaches us without the sound of words. (p. 109)
  • Prayer, for me is simply a raising of the heart, a simple glance towards Heaven, an expression of love and gratitude in the midst of trial, as well as in times of joy; in a word, it is something noble and supernatural expanding my soul and uniting it to God. (p. 141)
  • It is therefore unnecessary, my Jesus, to say "draw those I love in drawing me." It is quite enough to say simple, "Draw me." For once a sould has been captivated by the odor of Your ointments, she cannot run alone; by the very fact of being drawn to You herself, she draws all the souls she loves after her. Just as a mighty river carries with it all it meets into the ocean's depths, so, my Jesus, a soul which plunges into the boundless ocean of Your love bears all her treasures with her. (p. 150) ... This is just what I ask. I want Jesus so to draw me into the flames of His love, so to make me one with Himself that He may live and act in me. I feel that the more the fire of love inflames my heart, the more I shall say, "Draw me," and the more swiftly those who are around about me will run "in the sweet odor of the Beloved." (p. 153) 

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