St. Thérèse Anniversary: Triduum Day 1

Reading

Springtime story of a little white flower written by herself and dedicated to the Reverend Mother Agnes of Jesus.

It is to you, dear Mother, to you who are doubly my Mother, that I come to confide the story of my soul. The day you asked me to do this, it seemed to me it would distract my heart by too much concentration on myself, but since then Jesus has made me feel that in obeying simply, I would be pleasing Him; besides, I’m going to be doing only one thing: I shall begin to sing what I must sing eternally: “The Mercies of the Lord.”

I wondered for a long time why God has preferences, why all souls don’t receive an equal amount of graces. […]

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.

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

Manuscript A, 2r–2v (excerpts)


Reflection

The story of the little flower picked by Jesus (Ms A, 3v) runs through the whole of Manuscript A. Thérèse’s love for flowers is reflected in her personal history: the “little white flower” is the saxifrage that her father plucked from a wall and offered to her when she confided her vocation to him (Ms A, 50v).

Thérèse has a vocabulary that uses symbols a lot. In this section, the symbolism of the flower is very present. How do these symbols speak to us? Today, in our eagerness to proclaim the Gospel, what are the symbols that would seem most appropriate to us? What would we suggest?

Discalced Carmelite Friars, Paris Province

Reflection courtesy of the Discalced Carmelite General Curia, which is part of their anniversary study plan, Reading of the writings of Thérèse of the Child Jesus.

We always refer to the website of the Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux for the vast majority of our quotes concerning Saint Thérèse, Saint Zélie, and Saint Louis Martin, but if you would like to purchase any of the English translations that appear on the Archives website, please visit the website of our Discalced Carmelite friars at ICS Publications

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