Quote of the day, 16 April: St. Thérèse of Lisieux

I cannot fear a God who made himself so small for me… I love him!… because he is only love and mercy!

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
Letter 266 to Abbé Maurice Bellière
25 August 1897

“Yes, I feel it; even though I had on my conscience all the sins that can be committed, I would go, my heart broken with sorrow, and throw myself into Jesus’ arms, for I know how much He loves the prodigal child who returns to Him. It is not because God, in His anticipating Mercy, has preserved my soul from mortal sin that I go to Him with [trust] and love.”

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
Ms C 36v–37r

With her distinctive doctrine and unmistakable style, Thérèse appears as an authentic teacher of faith and the Christian life. In her writings, as in the sayings of the Holy Fathers, is found that life-giving presence of Catholic tradition whose riches, as the Second Vatican Council again says, “are poured out in the practice and life of the Church, in her belief and prayer” (Dei Verbum, n. 8). […]

She has made the Gospel shine appealingly in our time; she had the mission of making the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, known and loved; she helped to heal souls of the rigours and fears of Jansenism, which tended to stress God’s justice rather than his divine mercy. In God’s mercy she contemplated and adored all the divine perfections, because “even his justice (and perhaps even more so than the other perfections) seems to me clothed in love” (Ms A, 83v). Thus she became a living icon of that God who, according to the Church’s prayer, “shows his almighty power in his mercy and forgiveness” (cf. Roman Missal, Opening prayer, 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time). […]

Fulfilling the wishes of many Brothers in the Episcopate and of a great number of the faithful throughout the world, after consulting the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and hearing the opinion of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith regarding her eminent doctrine, with certain knowledge and after lengthy reflection, with the fullness of Our apostolic authority We declare Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, virgin, to be a Doctor of the Universal Church. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Saint John Paul II

Divini Amoris Scientiae
19 October 1997

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. If you would like to purchase English translations for the collected works of St. Thérèse, please visit the website of our Discalced Carmelite friars at ICS Publications

Featured image: Photo 18 is the source for this cropped image of St. Thérèse. Her sister Céline was the photographer for a community photo in the cloister courtyard (préau) on Easter Monday, 15 April 1895. When the nuns gathered for the photo near the refectory door, Pauline was seated at her right and her cousin Marie was seated in front of her. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)

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