St. Thérèse wrote one of her last poems for Sr. Thérèse of St. Augustine, the nun who displeased her the most. Today this poem teaches us that we can rest in the shade of the tree called “love” and savor its fruit: "abandonment".
If the psalmist prayed “for God alone my soul waits,” then St. Thérèse repeated that heartfelt cry with greater fervor: “My only peace, my only happiness, my only love is you, Lord!”
St. Thérèse described her sister Céline as someone who found God in all of nature, everywhere. In the poem, “Canticle of Céline”, which Thérèse wrote for her sister, Céline sings, “in Him I found peace forever!”
On the night before He died, Jesus spoke plainly to the disciples. St Thérèse notes that Jesus was “speaking without parable” to them. To the one who keeps God’s word, Jesus says: “We want him to remain, filled with peace, in our Love!”
On this date, three days before his death, Blessed John Paul I mentioned Georges Bernanos and the Dialogues of the Carmelites in his Angelus address. “Not violence but love,” he proclaimed, “can do everything.” His closing words were a prayer “that a new wave of love for our neighbour may sweep over this poor world.”
“Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went,” is one section of St. Joseph’s theme music in the Gospels. St. Thérèse knows how to sing that song, too, in Carmelite style: “Joseph, O tender Father, protect Carmel!”
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord,” says St. Paul. St. Thérèse was a model of obedience to her father, St. Louis Martin. Speaking in the third person as she writes about their relationship, Thérèse reminds her father: “it was always your hand that guided her. O Papa! remember…”
“Do not worry about tomorrow,” Jesus said. Thérèse took his advice and wrote, “if I think about tomorrow, I fear my fickleness. I feel sadness and worry rising up in my heart.” Her solution to this problem? Living “just for today.”
In this, the 125th anniversary year of the death of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, each day we will share excerpts from her poetry that reveal her eminent doctrine and passionate desire "to love Jesus and to make him loved" as a Discalced Carmelite nun.
St John of the Cross has advice for us about asking God for favors: He has “more compassion when He beholds the need and resignation of a soul that loves Him;” in other words, God doesn’t need our opinions about what is best for us!
While St Teresa was sick in Burgos in 1582, Blessed Mary of Jesus and the Discalced Carmelite nuns in Toledo sent 200 ducats of silver to help the Saint. Her words of gratitude come to us thanks to the correspondence of Blessed Mary of Jesus.
In 1576, St. Teresa of Avila described her mystical experiences in an objective way. We share excerpts concerning an "impulse" with references to her writings that provide us with examples of this grace.
Père Jacques de Jésus began his preached retreat for the Discalced Carmelite nuns at the Carmel of Pontoise on this date in 1943. He reminded the nuns, “Prayer is the reason why God has placed us on earth.”
Bishop Silvio José Báez, o.c.d. reflects on the Jesus' admonition that we must carry our own cross and follow him to be his disciple. The bishop says that "when Jesus speaks of the cross, he isn't simply talking about suffering. The cross is synonymous with extreme love, like that of Jesus."
Even at the tender age of 15, St. Teresa of the Andes comprehended the importance of taking up the cross and following Jesus. But He called her to "take up the cross with love and joy."
St. Teresa Margaret made a private retreat in February 1768, only eight months after she experienced the contemplative intuition of the mystery of divine love. We share her principal resolution from the retreat; does it remind you of other Carmelite saints or authors?
Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, always a spiritual director to her own mother, offers this word of wisdom in a letter written on this date in 1906: “The Master called the hour of his Passion ‘His hour’... When faced with great suffering or a tiny sacrifice, oh, let’s think right away that ‘this is our hour’...” Elizabeth faced great suffering in that moment of her life; was she encouraging herself, too?
One of St. Teresa's benchmark passages about humility, worthy of memorization, she describes the equivalence between humility and love: "I cannot understand how there could be humility without love or love without humility."
Monsignor Joseph de Beaufort was the first biographer of Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection. In 1692 he published a Eulogy testifying to the virtues of the humble Carmelite. One example: "He had singular affection for the Blessed Virgin Mary and was especially devoted to her..."