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".
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” urged the psalmist. St. Thérèse turns to her Guardian Angel as she responds: “With your celestial aid, in peace I await the other life, the joys that will last forever.”
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. Elizabeth of the Trinity began her ten-day retreat on this day in 1904, the first since her profession retreat in January 1903. She told her sister that the extra solitude and prayer “created a very enticing schedule” because “I'm going to lose myself in Him.”
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!”
“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!
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.
Here St. Teresa explains her image of the well-watered garden, irrigated by "the water flowing from a river or spring." She compares the soul's joy to the woman who called her neighbors when she found her lost coin, one of the parables in our Gospel for Sunday, 11 September.
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.”
St. Mary of Jesus Crucified experienced a phenomenon during prayer that seems to be common to us all at one point in our lives: she would fall asleep. "Without doubt, I am not distracted, but I cannot finish my brief prayer. Even if I want to say the Hail Mary, I stop at the first words: “I salute you Mary”... and I lose myself and I fall asleep."
On this day, 24 August 1562 St. Teresa established the first monastery of the Carmelite reform, St. Joseph's in Avila. As Father Peter-Thomas Rohrbach notes, she has "the unique distinction of being the only woman in the history of the Church ever to reform an order of men."
In his homily for the beatification of the Martyrs of Rochefort, St. John Paul II quoted the apostle Paul: "they fought the good fight of faith." He continued: "They even went through a long ordeal for having remained faithful to their faith and to the Church. If they died, it was because they insisted to the end on affirming their close communion" with the Pope.
In his retreat for the Carmel of Pontoise in 1943, the Servant of God Père Jacques de Jésus, OCD offered a meditation on The Divine Preparation in Mary and in Us. His essential point was this: "Divine preparations are always and above all spiritual rather than material."
In a tender letter to her mother, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity reassures her mother once again that her heroic sacrifice will be recorded "in the great book of life." But she also intimates that her health is failing: the prioress insists that Elizabeth should "spend time out in the fresh air."