St. Thérèse Anniversary: Triduum Day 2


Before taking up my pen, I knelt before the statue of Mary (the one that has given so many proofs of the maternal preferences of heaven’s Queen for our family), and I begged her to guide my hand that it trace no line displeasing to her.

Then opening the Holy Gospels my eyes fell on these words: “He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him.” (Mk 3:13).

This is the mystery of my vocation, my whole life, and especially the mystery of the privileges Jesus showered on my soul. He does not call those who are worthy but those whom He pleases or as St. Paul says: “For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God who shows mercy” (Rom 9:15–16). […]

It is with great happiness, then, that I come to sing the mercies of the Lord with you, dear Mother. It is for you alone I am writing the story of the little flower gathered by Jesus. I will talk freely and without any worries as to the numerous digressions I will make.

A mother’s heart understands her child even when it can but stammer, and so I’m sure of being understood by you, who formed my heart, offering it up to Jesus!

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

Manuscript A, 2r, 3v (excerpts)


The theme of Mercy echoes throughout the entire manuscript, up to the last pages consecrated to the Act of Offering to Merciful Love. The term mercy recurs 29 times in the autobiographical manuscripts.

Thérèse tells us that she is preparing to sing God’s mercies in her life. She thus testifies that spiritual maturity is linked to the expression of our gratitude to God. What actual space do we give to the acceptance of Mercy? How can we help the world experience Mercy?

Discalced Carmelite Friars, Paris Province

Reflection courtesy of the Discalced Carmelite General Curia, which is drawn from 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

All scripture references are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America as accessed from the Bible Gateway website.

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