St. Therese of the Child Jesus
“I feel that my mission is about to begin, my mission to make God loved as I love Him, to teach souls my little way. It is the way of spiritual childhood, the way of trust and absolute surrender.” -Words spoken by St. Therese on July 17, 1897
Picture of St. Therese taken in 1881 is of Celine and Therese, but in this picture you can only see Celine's hand on Therese's shoulder. Therese was 8 years old at the time and had a jump rope in her hands.
St. Therese Basilica in Lisieux, France
This picture was taken by Therese's sister Celine in the courtyard outside the sacristy in the monastery. It was taken in July 1896 when Therese was 23 and she is holding a rosary, although you cannot see that in the picture.
Les Buissonnets, childhood home of St. Therese in Lisieux, France 1877-1888
Our mission is to teach Catholics and all people of good will how to love God and make Him loved via the Little Way of St. Therese of the Child Jesus. The goal of this work is to teach people St. Therese’s simple and direct way to live with greater serenity and contentment today, and more importantly, how to glorify God more wholeheartedly and get to heaven. Our aim is to offer an excellent resource on the life and teachings of St. Therese.
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sample from talk at St. Katharine's
Wayne, PA, Jul 2012
Sample from Talk at St. Isaac Jogues
Wayne, PA, Jan 2013
Quote from St. Therese
"What offends Jesus, what wounds Him to the Heart, is want of confidence (trust)"
- Letter to her cousin Marie Guerin
Discovering The Little Way
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What is the ‘Little Way’ of St. Therese?
St. Therese made the great discovery of her "little way" most likely toward the end of 1894. Therese desired to become a saint, but when she compared herself to the great saints like St. Paul or St. Thomas Aquinas, she realized that she was only an obscure grain of sand. She knew that God never inspired unrealizable desires so there must be a way for "little souls" to grow in holiness.
Therese articulated her discovery: “But I want to seek out a means of going to heaven by a little way, a way that is very straight, very short, and totally new. We are living now in an age of inventions, and we no longer have to take the trouble of climbing stairs, for, in the homes of the rich, an elevator has replaced these very successfully. I wanted to find an elevator which would raise me to Jesus, for I am too small to climb the rough stairway of perfection. I searched, then, in the Scriptures for some sign of this elevator, the object of my desires, and I read these words coming from the mouth of Eternal Wisdom: ‘Whoever is a LITTLE ONE, let him come to me.’ And so I succeeded. I felt that I had found what I was looking for. But wanting to know, O my God, what you would do to the very little one who answered Your call, I continued my search and this is what I discovered: ‘As one whom a mother caresses, so I will comfort you; you shall be carried at the breasts, and upon the knees they shall caress you.’ Ah! never did words more tender and more melodious come to give joy to my soul. The elevator which must raise me to heaven is Your arms, O Jesus! And for this I had no need to grow up, but rather I had to remain little and become this more and more.” (Story of A Soul, p. 207-208),
When Charity is deeply rooted in the soul it shows itself exteriorly: there is so gracious a way of refusing what we cannot give, that the refusal pleases as much as the gift.
-Story of A Soul, Chapter IX
According to St. Therese, what is prayer?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church opens Part IV on Christian Prayer with Therese’s definition of prayer. Here is an extended version of the same quote.
"For me, prayer is an aspiration of the heart, it is a simple glance directed to heaven, it is a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trial as well as joy; finally, it is something great, supernatural, which expands my soul and unites me to Jesus.” (Story of A Soul, p. 242)
Disclosure: All the writings and recommended resources of this website are in line with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
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