Quote of the day, 13 August: St. Thérèse of Lisieux

I find that Jesus is very good in allowing my poor letters to do you some good, but, I assure you, I am not making the mistake of thinking I have anything to do with it. “If the Lord does not build the house, in vain do those work who build it.”

All the most dutiful discourses of the greatest saints would be incapable of making one single act of love come from a heart that Jesus did not possess. He alone can use His lyre, no one else can make its harmonious notes sound; however, Jesus uses all means, all creatures are at His service, and He loves to use them during the night of life in order to hide His adorable presence, but He does not hide Himself in such a way that He does not allow Himself to be divined.

In fact, I really feel that often He gives me some lights, not for myself but for His little exiled dove, His dear spouse. This is really true. I find an example of it in nature itself.

Here is a beautiful peach, pink and so sweet that all confectioners could not imagine a taste so sweet. Tell me, Céline, is it for the peach that God has created this pretty pink color, so velvety and so pleasing to see and to touch? Is it for the peach that He has given so much sugar?… 

No, but for us and not for it. What belongs to it and what forms the essence of its life is its stone; we can take away all its beauty without taking from it its being.

Thus Jesus is pleased to shower His gifts on some of His creatures, but very often this is in order to attract other hearts to Himself, and then when His end has been attained, He makes those external gifts disappear, He despoils completely the souls dearest to Him.

When seeing themselves in so great poverty, these poor little souls are fearful, it seems to them that they are good for nothing, since they receive all from others and can give nothing. But it is not so: the essence of their being is working in secret.

Jesus forms in them the seed which must be developed up above in the celestial gardens of heaven. He is pleased to show them their nothingness and His power. In order to reach them, He makes use of the vilest instruments so as to show them that He alone is working. He hastens to perfect His work for the day when the shadows having vanished, He will no longer use any intermediaries but an eternal Face to Face…

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

Letter 147 to Céline Martin (excerpt)

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