St Therese Lisieux
Saint Therese, Doctor of the Church.
One day a priest said to Pope Pius X who had signed the decree for the introduction of St. Therese's cause, that there was nothing extraordinary in the life of Therese. The Pontiff replied: "What is most extraordinary about this soul is precisely her extreme simplicity. Consult your theology." This theological truth, that sanctity lies in simplicity is the teaching most needed in our time. It was the littleness of St. Therese, that is to say, her utter dependence on God, her complete dependence as a little child, and with it the confidence which only a little child can possess, it was upon these foundations that God fashioned His Saint. It is upon these foundations alone that God can build true greatness.
Pope Pius X signed the decree for her cause on June 10, 1914; the rapidity with which her cause went forward was literally unparalleled in the Church. Pope Benedict the XV, in order to hasten the process dispensed with the usual fifty year process under canon law between death and beatification. On the 14th of August, 1921 he declared that Therese had lived a life of heroic virtue. Pope Pius XI continued the cause from beatification through canonization. The two miracles necessary for the first was easy and on April 29th, 1923, she was Beatified in St. Peter's Basilica. the outpouring from all over the world and the Pontiff's on guidance from the Holy Spirit again spurred a Pope to dispense with canon law time frames and Therese was canonized while her four sister nuns were still living, just two years after her beatification, on May 17, 1925. The scene in St. Peter's is almost impossible to describe in words; the gathering was the largest and most distinguished for centuries. Thirty-four cardinals were present, over two hundred bishops and innumerable representatives from religious orders and missionary societies.
St. Therese is still sending miracles, her Shower of Roses, to earth to this day. Come in and learn about and be inspired by this great great Saint.
From the Story of A Soul
Jesus set the book of nature before me and I saw that all the flowers he has created are lovely. The splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of its scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. I realized that if every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness and there would be no wildflowers to make the meadows gay. It is just the same in the world of souls - which is the garden of Jesus. He has created the great saints who are like the lilies and the roses, but he has also created much lesser saints and they must be content to be the daisies or the violets which rejoice his eyes whenever he glances down. Perfection consists in doing his will, in being that which he wants us to be. Jesus, help me to simplify my life by learning what you want me to be - and becoming that person.
From Story of A Soul
The practice of charity, as I have said, dear Mother [Mother Agnes, i.e., her sister Pauline, prioress at the time], was not always so sweet for me, and to prove it to you I am going to recount certain little struggles which will certainly make you smile. For a long time at evening meditation, I was placed in front of a Sister who had a strange habit and I think many lights because she rarely used a book during meditation. This is what I noticed: as soon as this Sister arrived, she began making a strange little noise which resembled the noise one would make when rubbing two shells, one against the other. I was the only one to notice it because I had extremely sensitive hearing (too much so at times). Mother, it would be impossible for me to tell you how much this little noise wearied me. I had a great desire to turn my head and stare at the culprit who was very certainly unaware of her "click." This would be the only way of enlightening her. However, in the bottom of my heart I felt it was much better to suffer this out of love for God and not to cause the Sister any pain. I remained calm, therefore, and tried to unite myself to God and to forget the little noise. Everything was useless. I felt the perspiration inundate me, and I was obliged simply to make a prayer of doing it without annoyance and with peace and joy, at least in the interior of my soul. I tried to love the little noise which was so displeasing; instead of trying not to hear it (impossible), I paid close attention so as to hear it well, as though it were a delightful concert, and my prayer (which was not the Prayer of Quiet) was spent in offering this concert to Jesus.
From The Story of A Soul
Our Lord needs from us neither great deeds nor profound thoughts. Neither intelligence nor talents. He cherishes simplicity. Saint Therese of Lisieux
O Jesus, Your little bird is happy to be weak and little. What would become of it if it were big? Never would it have the boldness to appear in Your presence, to fall asleep in front of You. Yes, this is still one of the weaknesses of the little bird: when it wants to fix its gaze upon the Divine Sun, and when the clouds prevent it from seeing a single ray of that Sun, in spite of itself, its little eyes close, its little head is hidden beneath its wing, and the poor little thing falls asleep, believing all the time that it is fixing its gaze upon its Dear Star. When it awakens, it doesn’t feel desolate; its little heart is at peace and it begins once again its work of love. It calls upon the angels and saints who rise like eagles before the consuming Fire, and since this is the object of the little bird’s desire the eagles take pity on it, protecting and defending it, and putting to flight at the same time the vultures who want to devour it. These vultures are the demons whom the little bird doesn’t fear, for it is not destined to be their prey but the prey of the Eagle whom it contemplates in the center of the Sun of Love.