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Saint Therese of Lisieux-Excerpts from autobiography:STORY OF A SOUL
Conservation.Catholic.Org ^ | 1975-6 | Discalced Carmelites

Posted on 10/01/2002 4:52:37 PM PDT by Lady In Blue

Excerpts about nature from the autobiography of St. Therese, Story of a Soul

    AH!  HOW QUICKLY those sunny years passed by, those years of my childhood, but what a sweet imprint they have left on my soul!  I recall the days Papa used to bring us to the pavilion; the smallest details are impressed in my heart.  I recall especially the Sunday walks when Mamma used to accompany us.  I still feel the profound and poetic impressions which were born in my soul at the sight of fields enameled with corn-flowers and all types of wild flowers.  Already I was in love with the wide-open spaces.  Space and the gigantic fir trees, the branches sweeping down to the ground, left in my heart an impression similar to the one I experience still today at the sight of nature.

    JESUS DEIGNED TO teach me this mystery.  He set before me the book of nature; 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 little wild flowers.  And so it is in the world of souls, Jesus' garden.  He willed to create great souls comparable to Lilies and roses, but He has created smaller ones and these must be content to be daisies or violets destined to give joy to God's glances when He looks down at His feet.  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 little 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 WAS HAPPY to see Papa coming to fetch us.  When we were on the way home, I would gaze upon the stars which were twinkling ever so peacefully in the skies and the sight carried me away.  There was especially one cluster of golden pearls which attracted my attention and gave me great joy because they were in the form of a -T-.  I pointed them out to Papa and told him my name was written in heaven.  Then desiring to look no longer at this dull earth, I asked him to guide my steps; and not looking where I placed my feet I threw back my head, giving myself over completely to the contemplation of the star-studded firmament!

    GOD REJOICES MORE in what He can do in a soul humbly resigned to its poverty than in the creation of millions of suns and the vast stretch of the heavens.

    AH! IF GOD had not showered His beneficent rays upon His little flower, she could never have accustomed herself to earth, for she was too weak to stand up against the rains and the storms. She needed warmth, a gentle dew, and the springtime breezes.  Never were these lacking.  Jesus had her find them beneath the snow of trial!

    NEVER WILL I forget the impression the sea made upon me; I couldn't take my eyes off it since its majesty, the roaring of its waves, everything spoke to my soul of God's grandeur and power.  

    WITH ENRAPTURED GAZE we beheld the white moon rising quietly behind the tall trees, the silvery rays it was casting upon sleeping nature, the bright stars twinkling in the deep skies, the light breath of the evening breeze making the snowy clouds float easily along; all this raised our souls to heaven.

    I HAVE NOTICED in all the serious circumstances of my life that nature always reflected the image of my soul.  On days filled with tears the heavens cried along with me; on days of joy the sun sent forth its joyful rays in profusion and the blue skies were not obscured by a single cloud.

    BEFORE REACHING...the goal of our pilgrimage, we were given the opportunity of contemplating many marvels.  First there was Switzerland with its mountains whose summits were lost in the clouds, its graceful waterfalls gushing forth in a thousand different ways, its deep valleys literally covered with gigantic ferns and scarlet heather.  Ah! Mother, how much good these beauties of nature, poured out in such profusion, did my soul.  They raised it to heaven....  There was, farther on, a huge lake gilded by the sun's rays, its calm waters blending their azure tints with the fires of the setting sun.  All this presented to our enraptured gaze the most poetic and enchanting spectacle one could possibly imagine.  And at the end of the vast horizon, we perceived mountains whose indistinct contours would have escaped us had not their snowy summits made visible by the sun not come to add one more charm to the beautiful lake which thrilled us so.  When I saw all these beauties very profound thoughts came to life in my soul.  I seemed to understand already the grandeur of God and the marvels of heaven.... I shall remember what my eyes have seen today.  This thought will encourage me and I shall easily forget my own little interests, recalling the grandeur and power of God, this God whom I want to love alone.  I shall not have the misfortune of snatching after straws, now that "my HEART HAS AN IDEA of what Jesus has reserved for those who love him (1 Corinthians 2:9).

    I DREAM USUALLY about such things as woods, flowers, streams, and the sea; I see beautiful children almost all the time; I catch butterflies and birds the like of which I've never seen before.

    YOU KNOW, DEAR Mother, how much I love flowers; when making myself a prisoner at the age of fifteen [when Therese entered Carmel of Lisieux], I gave up forever the pleasure of running through the fields decked out in their springtime treasures.  Well, never in my life did I possess so many flowers as after my entrance into Carmel.  It is the custom for fiancés to often give their fiancées bouquets and Jesus didn't forget it.  He sent me in great abundance sheaves of corn flowers, huge daisies, poppies, etc., all the flowers that delighted me the most.  There was even a little flower called corn-cockle which I had never found since our stay at Lisieux; I wanted very much to see it again, that flower of my childhood which I had picked in the fields of Alencon.  And at Carmel it came to smile at me again and show me that in the smallest things as well as the greatest, God gives the hundredfold in his life to those souls who leave everything for love of Him.

    I LOOK UPON myself as a weak little bird, with only a light down as covering.  I am not an eagle, but I have only an eagle's EYES AND HEART.  In spite of my extreme littleness I still dare to gaze upon the Divine Sun, the Sun of Love, and my heart feels within it all the aspirations of an Eagle.... O Divine Word!  You are the Adored Eagle whom I love and who alone attracts me!... Eternal Eagle, You desire to nourish me with Your divine substance and yet I am but a poor little thing who would return to nothingness if Your divine glance did not give me life from one moment to the next.

    I WILL LET fall from heaven...a shower of roses.

--From "Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux."

Translation Copyright © by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc. 1975, 1976.

St. Therese, the Little Flower

    "St. Therese loved nature, and often used the imagery of nature to explain how the Divine Presence is everywhere, and how everything is connected in God's loving care and arms.  Therese saw herself as 'the Little Flower of Jesus' because she was just like the simple wild flowers in forests and fields, unnoticed by the greater population, yet growing and giving glory to God.  Therese did not see herself as a brilliant rose or an elegant lily, by simply as a small wild flower.  This is how she understood herself before the Lord - simple and hidden, but blooming where God had planted her."

                             -Society of the Little Flower

   Therese Martin was born in Alençon, France, in 1873, the youngest of nine children.   Therese entered the Lisieux Carmel at the age of fifteen.  She took the religious name of Sister Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face.

    Therese developed a simple spirituality based on the spirituality of childhood--a bold and confident trust in God. The spirituality of her "little way" was not about extraordinary things, but rather doing the simple things of life well and with extraordinary love.  Therese loved flowers and trees, birds and butterflies, the sea and the stars.  She often wrote about the "book of nature" and its ability to "raise our souls to heaven."

    Her poems and plays reflect her struggle to give all to God. Her love became surrender as she slowly died of tuberculosis.  Therese's superior asked her to write down her reflections, which became the book, "Story of a Soul." She died at the age of twenty-four, believing that her life was really just beginning for God, resolving to spend her time in heaven doing good deeds on earth. Her promised "shower of roses" began and has since become a torrent in the Church.

    Pope Pius XI canonized Therese on May 17, 1925, twenty-eight years after her death.  A canonization so soon after death was unprecedented. However, her qualities of love, kindness, and closeness to God were so apparent to those around her that the Church quickly bestowed the honor of sainthood upon her. On October 19, 1997, Pope John Paul II declared her a Doctor of the Church because of the impact that her spirituality has had on the lives of so many of God's children.

--Adapted from the National Shrine of Saint Therese

"Joy isn't found in the material objects surrounding us but in the inner recesses of the soul." -St. Therese

Strewing Flowers, a poem by St. Therese

Jesus, my only Love, how I love to strew Flowers
Each evening at the foot of your Crucifix !...
In unpetalling the springtime rose for you,
I would like to dry your tears...
Strewing Flowers is offering you as first fruits
My slightest sighs, my greatest sufferings.
My sorrows and my joys, my little sacrifices,
Those are my flowers !...

Lord, my soul is in love with your beauty.
I want to squander my perfumes and my flowers on you.
In strewing them on the wings of the breeze,
I would like to inflame hearts !...
Strewing flowers, Jesus, is my weapon
When I want to fight for sinners.
The victory is mine... I always disarm you
With my flowers !...

The flower petals, caressing your Face,
Tell you that my heart is yours forever.
You understand the language of my unpetalled rose,
And you smile at my love.
Strewing Flowers, repeating your praise,
That is my only delight in this valley of tears.
Soon I shall go to Heaven with the little angels
To strew Flowers !... ,

PN 34

To learn more about St. Therese, click here.


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St.Therese in death

Xaverian Missionaries USA Saint Therese of Lisieux

St. Therese of LisieuxSaint Therese of Lisieux 



Be not afraid to tell Jesus that you love Him; even though it be without feeling, this is the way to oblige Him to help you, and carry you like a little child too feeble to walk.



The image of a Ripen Fruit

When a gardener carefully tends a fruit he wants to ripen before its time, it’s not to leave it hanging on a tree but to set it on his table. It was with such an intention that Jesus showered His graces so lavishly upon His little flower, He, who cried out in His mortal life: "I thank thee, Father that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and the prudent and revealed them to babes," willed to have His mercy shine out in me. Because I was little and weak He lowered Himself to me, and He instructed me secretly in the things of His love. Ah! Had the learned who spent their life in study come to me, undoubtedly they would have been astonished to see a child of fourteen understand perfection’s secrets, secrets all their knowledge cannot reveal because to possess them one has to be poor in spirit!

As St. John of the Cross writes in his Canticle:

"On that glad night
In secret, for no one saw me
Nor did I look at anything,
With no other light or guide
Than the one that burned in my heart;
This guided me more surely that the light of non to where He waited for me Him I knew so well
In a place where no one else appeared."

This place was Carmel. Before "resting in the shadow of him whom I desire," I was to pass through many trials, but the divine call was so strong that had I been forced to pass through flames, I would have done it out of love for Jesus.

Story of a Soul


Talking to her father about her Decision to Enter Carmel

I chose the Feast of Pentecost as the day to break the news, all day long begging the apostles to pray for me, to inspire me with the right words. Shouldn’t they help the timid child to who was chosen by God to be the apostle of apostles through her prayers and sacrifices in Carmel? I found the opportunity to speak to my dear little Father only in the afternoon after Vespers. He was seated by the well, contemplating the marvels of nature with his hands joined. The sun whose rays had lost their ardor gilded the high tree tops where little birds were joyfully chanting their evening song. Pap’s handsome face had a heavenly expression about it, giving me the feeling that peace flooded his heart. Without saying a word, I sat down by his side, my eyes already wet with tears. He gazed at me tenderly, and taking my head he places it on his heart, saying, "What’s the matter, my little Queen? Tell me." Then rising as though to hide his emotion, he walked while still holding my head on his heart.

Through my tears, I confided my desire to enter Carmel and soon his tears mingled with mine. He didn’t say one word to turn me from my vocation, simply contenting himself with the statement that I was still very young to make such a serious decision. I defended myself so well that, with Papa’s simple and direct character, he was soon convinced my desire was God’s will, and in his deep faith he cried out that God was giving him a great honor in asking his children from him; we continue our walk for a long time and, encouraged by the kindness with which my incomparable Father received my confidences, my heart poured out itself to him.

Story of a Soul


I have never wished for human glory, contempt it was that had attraction for my heart; but having recognized that this again was too glorious for me, I ardently desire to be forgotten.

Events in Rome with Pope Leo XIII

After the Mass of thanksgiving, following that of the Holy Father the audience began. Leo XIII was seated on a large armchair; he was dressed simply in a white cassock, with a cape of the same color, and on his head was a little skullcap. Around him were cardinals, archbishops, and bishops, but I saw them only in general, being occupied solely with the Holy Father. We passed in front of him in procession; each pilgrim knelt in turn, kissed the foot and hand of Leo XIII, received his blessing, and two noble guards touched him as a sign to rise (touched the pilgrim, for I explain myself so badly one would think it was the Pope.)

Before entering the pontifical apartment, I was really determined to speak, but I felt my courage weaken when I saw Father Révérony standing by the Holy Father's right side. Almost at the same instant, they told us on the Pope's behalf that it was forbidden to speak, as this would prolong the audience too much. I turned toward my dear Céline for advice: "Speak!", she said. A moment later I was at the Holy Father's feet. I kissed his slipper and he presented his hand, but instead of kissing it I joined my own and lifting tear-filled eyes to his face, I cried out: "Most Holy Father, I have a great favor to ask you!"

The Sovereign Pontiff lowered his head towards me in such a way that my face almost touched his, and I saw his eyes, black and deep, fixed on me and they seemed to penetrate to the depths of my soul. "Holy Father, in honor of your Jubilee, permit me to enter Carmel at the age of fifteen!"

Emotion undoubtedly made my voice tremble. He turned to Father Révérony who was standing at me with surprise and displeasure and said: "I don't understand very well." Now if God had permitted it, it would have been easy for Father Révérony to obtain what I desired, but it was the cross and not consolation God willed to give me.

"Most Holy Father," answered the Vicar General, "this is a child who wants to enter Carmel at the age of fifteen, but the Superiors are considering the matter at the moment." "Well, my child," the Holy Father replied, looking at me kindly, "do what the Superiors tell you!" Resting my hands on his knees, I made a final effort, saying in a suppliant voice: "Oh! Holy Father, if you say yes, everybody will agree!" He gazed at me steadily, speaking these words and stressing each syllable: "Go . . . go . . . You will enter if God wills it!" (His accent had something about it so penetrating and so convincing, it seems to me I still hear it.)

I was encouraged by the Holy Father's kindness and wanted to speak again, but the two guards touched me politely to make me rise. As this was not enough they took me by the arms and Father Révérony helped them lift me, for I stayed there with joined hands resting on the knees of Leo XIII. It was with force they dragged me from his feet. At the moment I was thus lifted, the Holy Father placed his hand on my lips, then raised it to bless me. Then my eyes filled with tears and Father Révérony was able to contemplate at least as many diamonds as he had seen at Bayeux, the two guards literally carried me to the door and there a third one gave me a medal of Leo XIII.

Story of a Soul


On Prayer and Personal Weaknesses

How great is the power of Prayer! One could call it a Queen who has at each instant free access to the King and who is able to obtain whatever she asks. To be heard it is not necessary to read from a book some beautiful formula composed for the occasion. If this were the case, alas, I would have to be pitied! Outside the Divine Office which I am very unworthy to recite, I do not have the courage to force myself to search out beautiful prayers in books. There are so many of them it really gives me a headache! and each prayer is more beautiful than the others. I cannot recite them all and not knowing which to choose, I do like children who do not know how to read, I say very simply to God what I wish to say, without composing beautiful sentences, and He always understands me. 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







Evening of Life

At the evening of life, I will appear in front of you with empty hands, because I don't ask you to count my works.  For your eyes, all our good deeds have stains.  Because of this I want to clothe myself of your own justice, and to receive from your love.


Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing




















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1 posted on 10/01/2002 4:52:37 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: *Catholic_list; father_elijah; Salvation; nickcarraway; NYer; Siobhan; JMJ333
2 posted on 10/01/2002 4:54:59 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: Lady In Blue
3 posted on 10/01/2002 5:48:45 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: Lady In Blue
5 posted on 10/02/2002 12:57:04 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: Lady In Blue

BTTT on her feast day -- 10-01-04

6 posted on 10/01/2004 9:16:51 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Lady In Blue; father_elijah; nickcarraway; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Siobhan; attagirl; goldenstategirl; ...
Saint of the Day Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Saint of the Day Ping List.

7 posted on 10/01/2004 10:25:20 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Lady In Blue

Is it possible for a saint not to like you?

I prayed to St. Therese for years and I NEVER got an answer from her. Strange. She has never answered any of my prayers.

It seems I have better luck with other saints. Why do you think that is?


8 posted on 10/01/2004 10:33:42 AM PDT by MarineMomJ (The truth only hurts when it's true.)
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To: Lady In Blue

I love this saint... she loved Jesus soooooooooo much!!!

9 posted on 10/01/2004 10:38:15 AM PDT by diamond6 (Everyone who is for abortion has already been born. Ronald Reagan)
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To: MarineMomJ; diamond6
Miraculous Invocation To St. Therese

O glorious Saint Therese, whom Almighty God has raised up to aid and counsel mankind, I implore your Miraculous Intercession. So powerful are you in obtaining every need of body and soul our Holy Mother Church proclaims you a "Prodigy of Miracles . . . the Greatest Saint of Modern Times." Now I fervently beseech you to answer my petition [describe your petition here] and to carry out your promises of spending Heaven doing good on earth . . . of letting fall from Heaven a Shower of Roses. Henceforth, dear Little Flower, I will fulfill your plea "to be made known everywhere" and I will never cease to lead others to Jesus through you. Amen.

10 posted on 10/01/2004 10:41:20 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: MarineMomJ

Have you tried the 24 Glory Be novena?

11 posted on 10/01/2004 10:44:12 AM PDT by diamond6 (Everyone who is for abortion has already been born. Ronald Reagan)
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To: Salvation

12 posted on 10/01/2004 11:48:51 AM PDT by Smartass (BUSH & CHENEY 2004 Si vis pacem, para bellum - Por el dedo de Dios se escribió)
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To: Salvation
I love St. Therese. Thank you for the post!!
13 posted on 10/01/2004 12:33:06 PM PDT by amdgmary
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To: diamond6

No, but I heard of it. Does St. Therese sponsor that one too?



14 posted on 10/01/2004 12:55:36 PM PDT by MarineMomJ (The truth only hurts when it's true.)
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To: MarineMomJ

Yes, it is also a very powerful novena. I also recommend highly the Thirty Day Prayer to St. Joseph. It can be found all over the internet.

15 posted on 10/01/2004 2:04:35 PM PDT by diamond6 (Everyone who is for abortion has already been born. Ronald Reagan)
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To: Lady In Blue

My wife and I just got back from seeing the movie, Therese. It was great!

16 posted on 10/01/2004 2:50:21 PM PDT by Puzzleman (Bush = Steadfast leadership in time of change)
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To: MarineMomJ

My friend is very devoted to St. Therese. It's said that if you say the novena to St. Therese, you will receive a rose on the ninth day. My friend ALWAYS receives a rose - and from the most unexpected places!

17 posted on 10/01/2004 3:05:25 PM PDT by sneakers
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To: Lady In Blue

thanks much

18 posted on 10/01/2004 4:43:48 PM PDT by ex-snook (Vote for candidates who represent your views or your views won't be represented.)
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To: sneakers; diamond6

Thanks...I will try them!


19 posted on 10/01/2004 4:50:24 PM PDT by MarineMomJ (The truth only hurts when it's true.)
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To: sneakers

I was doing a Therese novena, I think it was the 24 Glory Be prayer. This was several years ago and I don't remember which day I was on or maybe I had already finished the novena.

Anyway, I was driving to work and the inside of my car started to smell like roses and I was searching for the source at every red light, then realized, it was coming out of my hands............... incredible!!!

20 posted on 10/01/2004 5:30:55 PM PDT by diamond6 (Everyone who is for abortion has already been born. Ronald Reagan)
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