Thérèse de Lisieux, fully Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. born Marie-Françoise-Thérèse Martin

Thérèse de Lisieux, fully Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. born Marie-Françoise-Thérèse Martin
1873
1897

French Carmelite Nun also known as "The Little Flower of Jesus" or Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face

Author Quotes

God’s love shows itself just as well in the simplest soul which puts up no resistance to His grace as it does in the loftiest soul. Indeed, as it is love’s nature to humble itself, if all souls were like those of the holy doctors who have illumined the Church with the light of their doctrine, it seems that God would not have stooped low enough by entering their hearts. But God has created the baby who knows nothing and can utter only feeble cries. He has created the poor savage with no guide but natural law, and it is to their hearts that He deigns to stoop. They are His wild flowers whose homeliness delights Him. By stooping down to them, He manifests His infinite grandeur. The sun shines equally both on cedars and on every tiny flower. In just the same way God looks after every soul as if it had no equal. All is planned for the good of every soul, exactly as the seasons are so arranged that the humblest daisy blossoms at the appointed time

I feel that when I am charitable it is Jesus alone who acts in me; the more I am united to Him the more do I love all my Sisters. If, when I desire to increase this love in my heart, the demon tries to set before my eyes the faults of one or other of the Sisters, I hasten to call to mind her virtues, her good desires; I say to myself that if I had seen her fall once, she may well have gained many victories which she conceals through humility; and that even what appears to me a fault may in truth be an act of virtue by reason of the intention.

In times of aridity when I am incapable of praying, of practicing virtue, I seek little opportunities, mere trifles, to give pleasure to Jesus; for instance a smile, a pleasant word when inclined to be silent and to show weariness. If I find no opportunities, I at least tell Him again and again that I love Him; that is not difficult and it keeps alive the fire in my heart. Even though this fire of love might seem extinct I would still throw little straws upon the embers and I am certain it would rekindle.

Our Lord's love makes itself seen quite as much in the simplest of souls as in the most highly gifted, as long as there is no resistance offered to his grace.

Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

A day...an hour...and we shall have reached the port! My God, what shall we see then? What is that life which will never have an end?...Jesus will be the Soul of our soul. Unfathomable mystery! "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man what great things God hath prepared for them that love him." (1 Corinthians 2:9). And this will all come soon - yes, very soon, if we ardently love Jesus.

God's love is revealed just as much in the most simple soul who does not resist His graces as in the most sublime.

I had wondered for a long time why God had preferences and why all souls did not receive an equal amount of grace... He 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 whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of its scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. I realised that if every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness and there would be no wild flowers to make the meadows gay.

It is necessary to consent to remain poor and weak; this is hard . I have always longed to be unknown, I am resigned to being forgotten. It is necessary to count on nothing.

Perfection consists in doing His will, in being that which He wants us to be.

Trust and trust alone should lead us to love

A word or a smile is often enough to put fresh life in a despondent soul.

Great is the power of prayer - a queen, as one might say, having free access always to the King, and able to obtain whatever she asks. In order to be heard, it is not necessary to read from a book a beautiful form of prayer adapted to the circumstances; if it were so, how greatly to be pitied should I be!

I know now that true charity consists in bearing all our neighbors'defects--not being surprised at their weakness, but edified at their smallest virtues.

It is needful to remain little before God and to remain little is to recognize one's nothingness, expect all things from the good God just as a little child expects all things from its father; it is not to be troubled by anything, not to try to make a fortune. Even among poor people, a child is given all it needs, as long as it is very little, but as soon as it has grown up, the father does not want to support it any longer and says: Work, now you are able to take care of yourself. Because I never want to hear these words I do not want to grow up, feeling that I can never earn my living, that is, eternal life in heaven. So I have stayed little, and have no other occupation than of gathering flowers of love and sacrifice and of offering them to the good God to please Him.

Prayer is, for me, an outburst from the heart; it is a simple glance darted upwards to Heaven; it is a cry of gratitude and of love in the midst of trial as in the midst of joy! In a word, it is something exalted, supernatural, which dilates the soul and unites it to God. Sometimes when I find myself, spiritually, in dryness so great that I cannot produce a single good thought, I recite very slowly a Pater or an Ave Maria; these prayers alone console me, they suffice, they nourish my soul.

What a comfort it is, this way of love! You may stumble on it, you may fail to correspond with grace given, but always love knows how to make the best of everything; whatever offends our Lord is burnt up in its fire, and nothing is left but a humble, absorbing peace deep down in the heart.

Ah! since that day love penetrates me and surrounds me; this Merciful Love each moment renews and purifies me, leaving in my heart no trace of sin. No, I cannot fear Purgatory; I know that I do not merit even to enter with the Holy Souls into that place of expiation, but I know too that the fire of Love is more sanctifying than the fire of Purgatory, I know that Jesus cannot will needless suffering for us, and that He would not inspire me with the desires I feel if He were unwilling to fulfill them.

He whose Heart ever watcheth, taught me, that while for a soul whose faith equals but a tiny grain of mustard seed, He works miracles, in order that this faith which is so weak may be fortified; yet for His intimate friends, for His Mother, He did not work miracles until He had put their faith to test. Did He not let Lazarus die through Martha and Mary had sent to tell Him that he was sick? At the marriage at Cana, the Blessed Virgin having asked Him to come to the assistance of the master of the house, did He not reply that His hour was not yet come? But after the trial, what a recompense! Water changed to wine, Lazarus restored to life...

I know of one means only by which to attain to perfection: LOVE. Let us love, since our heart is made for nothing else. Sometimes I seek another word to express Love, but in this land of exile the word which begins and ends (St. Augustine) is quite incapable of rendering the vibrations of the soul; we must then adhere to this simple and only word: TO LOVE.

Just as a torrent sweeps along with it unto the depths of the sea whatsoever it encounters on its course, even so, my Jesus, does the soul which plunges into the boundless ocean of Thy Love draw after her all her treasures. Lord, Thou knowest that for me these treasures are the souls it has pleased Thee to unite to mine.

Seeing the eternal recompense so disproportionate to the trifling sacrifices of this life, I longed to love Jesus, to love Him ardently, to give him a thousand proofs of tenderness while yet I could do so...

Whatever, my God, I burn in hell for all eternity, if it is your will.

All the Saints have understood this, and more especially perhaps those who have enlightened the world with the luminous teaching of the Gospel. Was it not from prayer that Saint Paul, Saint Augustine, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa and so many other friends of God drew that wondrous science which enraptures the greatest intellects?

Her prayer was continual though she was habitually plunged in aridity. One day a novice entered her cell paused, struck by the celestial expression of her countenance. She was sewing with alacrity yet seemed lost in profound contemplation.

Author Picture
First Name
Thérèse de Lisieux, fully Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. born Marie-Françoise-Thérèse Martin
Birth Date
1873
Death Date
1897
Bio

French Carmelite Nun also known as "The Little Flower of Jesus" or Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face