This year, on the 9th of June, feast of the Holy Trinity, I received the grace to understand more than ever how much Jesus desires to be loved.
I thought of the souls who offer themselves as victims to the Justice of God in order to divert and draw upon themselves the punishments reserved for the guilty, this offering seemed great and generous to me, but I was far from feeling inclined to make such an offering. O my God!” I cried in the depths of my heart, “will your Justice alone receive souls who immolate themselves as victims? Doesn’t your Merciful Love need them also?… On all sides it’s misunderstood, rejected; the hearts on which you desire to lavish your Love turn to creatures asking them for happiness, along with their miserable affections, instead of throwing themselves into your arms and accepting your infinite Love… O my God! Will your Love, which is despised, remain in your Heart? It seems to me that if you found souls offering themselves as Holocaust Victims to your Love, you would quickly consume them; it seems to me that you would be happy not to repress the streams of infinite tenderness that are within you… If your Justice delights in being released, which only covers the earth, how much more does your Merciful Love desire to set souls ablaze, since your Mercy rises to Heaven… O my Jesus! let me be this happy victim, consume your holocaust by the fire of your Divine Love!… “
My beloved Mother, you who allowed me to offer myself in this way to the Good God, you know the rivers or rather the oceans of graces which came to flood my soul… Ah! since that happy day, it seems to me that Love penetrates me and surrounds me, it seems to me that at every moment this Merciful Love renews me, purifies my soul and leaves no trace of sin, so I cannot fear purgatory… I know that on my own I would not deserve to enter a place of atonement, since only holy souls can have access to it, but I know that the Fire of Love is more sanctifying than that of Purgatory, I know that Jesus cannot desire useless sufferings for us and that He would not inspire me with the desires I feel, if He did not want to fulfill them…
Oh, how sweet is the way of Love! I want to do the will of the Good Lord with the greatest abandon!
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
Ms A 84r–84v (excerpts)
It was the tender and delicate love that Sister Thérèse had for God that inspired her to give herself to Merciful Love. It was on the feast of the Holy Trinity, 9 June 1895, that it was suggested to her that she offer herself as a victim of Love rather than Justice, for she was saddened to see that the love of God was never reciprocated. Upon leaving the Holy Sacrifice [of the Mass], she took me with her and asked Mother’s permission for both of us to make this offering. Mother gave her permission. The Servant of God then composed a formula of consecration which was submitted to a theologian and approved by him.
By this act, she asked that God may release upon her the love that he wishes to pour out upon this world, which creatures refuse to receive, committing herself to respond to it by the total sacrifice of herself. Thus she adopted love as the center of her spiritual life, as she had written long before to her cousin Marie Guérin: “For me, I know no other way to reach perfection than love” (LT 109).
Sister Geneviève of St. Teresa, O.C.D. (Céline Martin)
Apostolic Process, Witness 8
Response to Question 31 (excerpt)
You are mistaken, my dear, if you think that your little Thérèse always walks with ardor along the path of virtue, she is weak, quite weak, every day she has a new experience of this, but Marie, Jesus likes to teach her, as he taught St. Paul, the art of boasting in one’s infirmities, this is a great grace, and I beg Jesus to teach it to you, for there alone is found peace and calm in your heart, when we see ourselves so miserable, we don’t want to consider ourselves anymore and we can only look at the Beloved One!…
My dear little Marie, for myself I know no other way to reach perfection than “Love”… To love, how well our hearts are made for that!… Sometimes I look for another word to express love, but in this land of exile words are powerless to express all the vibrations of the soul, so we must stick to this one word: “Love!
But upon whom will our poor heart, hungry for Love, bestow it?… Ah! who will be great enough for that… Will a human being be able to understand it… and especially know how to return it?… Marie, there is only one being who can understand the depth of this word: Love! Only our Jesus knows how to repay us infinitely more than we give him…
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
LT 109 to Marie Guérin (excerpt)
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