St. Therese and the Hidden Life Exposed

St. Therese and the Hidden Life Exposed October 1, 2020

St. Therese and the Hidden Life Exposed

1925

In Theaters The first version of Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ is released.

Ben-Hur | historical novel by Wallace | Britannica

May 20thC. S. Lewis is elected a fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, where he tutors in English language and literature until 1954.

May 21st- St. Peter Canisius becomes the 25th Doctor of the Church.

March 25th – Catholic author Flannery O’Connor (March 25, 1925 – August 3, 1964) is born.

June 7th- Venerable Matt Talbot (May 2, 1856 –June 7, 1925) dies.

July 4th, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati,  (April  6, 1901 – July 4, 1925) died.

October 1st  – J. R. R. Tolkien becomes Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at the University of Oxford. He also publishes an  essay called ‘The Devil’s Coach Horses”

October 5th  St. Anna Schäffer.  She had mystical phenomena developed around her. She was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 21, 2012.

G. K. Chesterton publishes The Everlasting Man

Anna Schäffer.jpg

December 11 – Pope Pius XI‘s encyclical Quas primas, on the Feast of Christ the King, is promulgated.

And on May 17, 1925 

Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face or St. Thérèse of Lisieux or St. Thérèse the Little Flower was canonized  by Pope Pius XI.

St. Maximilian Kolbe offered his first Mass for the intention of the beatification and canonization of then-Sister Therese. He also dedicated his Asian missions to St. Therese.

 In the last post, Preserved in God’s Memory I talked about how God will not forget you and how He can take an obscure hidden life and expose it to the world. It was Pope Leo XIII that she begged to let her enter that hidden world, the cloistered Carmel convent at age 15.  He said to her “Well, my child, do what the superiors decide…. You will enter if it is God’s Will” and he blessed Thérèse.  She actually had to be carried out of the room away from the pope she refused to leave his feet.

God allowed  that young nun Thérèse Martin who was  living and praying in that cloistered Carmelite community in Lisieux, Normandy to be known to the greater world. She is now considered a saint and has films, music, and books made about her. She is admired by several popes.

“She is the greatest saint of modern times” Saint Pope Pius X

  “Dear little Thérèse , I was seventeen when I read your autobiography. It struck me forcibly…Once you had chosen the path of complete dedication to God, nothing could stop you: not illness, nor opposition from outside, nor the mists or inner darkness.”-Ven. Pope John Paul I 

“When I have a problem I ask the saint, not to solve it, but to take it in her hands and help me accept it.” –Pope Francis

 

She was born on January 2nd 1873. 

January 2nd

is Kristin and I’s

She died September 30th, 1897.

Her parents Zelie and Louis Martin were canonized saints.  She had 8 siblings. 3 died in infancy and Hélène died at 5 years old. Her remaining sisters all became nuns.

Marie (February 22, 1860, a Carmelite in Lisieux, in religion Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart, d. January 19, 1940),
Pauline (September 7, 1861, a Carmelite in Lisieux, in religion Mother Agnes of Jesus, d. July 28, 1951),
Léonie (June 3, 1863, a Visitandine at Caen, in religion Sister Françoise-Thérèse, d. June 16, 1941), and
Céline (April 28, 1869, a Carmelite in Lisieux, in religion Sister Geneviève of the Holy Face, d. February 25, 1959).

A Family of Saints: The Martins of Lisieux–Saints Thérèse, Louis, and Zélie (French Edition): Piat O.F.M., Fr. Stephane-Joseph: 9781621640790: Amazon.com: Books

But she is not just considered just an ordinary canonized saint. She is a

DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

This was made official in the Apostolic Letter Divini Amoris Scientia (The Science of Divine Love) on  October  19, 1997 by Pope John Paul II.  She is Doctor # 33.

This is a title not just given to any ol saint but it is given to canonized saints recognized as having made a rather significant contribution to Catholic theology or doctrine through their prayerful research, study, or deep spiritual writing.

This describes St. Therese’s ‘Story of a Soul’ which is richly packed with great wisdom from spiritual guru master.

“I want to suffer and even rejoice for love, for this is my way of scattering flowers. Never a flower shall I find but its petals shall be scattered for you; and all the while I will sing, yes always sing, even when gathering my roses in the midst of thorns; and the longer and sharper the thorns may be, the sweeter shall be my song.”

Story of a Soul: Study Edition

St. Pope John Paul 2 says…

Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face is the youngest of all the “doctors of the Church” , but her ardent spiritual journey shows such maturity, and the insights of faith expressed in her writings are so vast and profound that they deserve a place among the great spiritual masters. -Making St. Therese a Doctor of the Church Homily.

St. Therese stands with other great doctors of the church such as St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine  and

St. Francis De Sales

Do not fear what may happen tomorrow. The same loving Father who cares for you today will care for you tomorrow and everyday. Either he will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings.

She stands next to her fellow female doctor saints as one of only 4 female doctors out of 36 doctors.

St. Hildegard o Bingen
Be not lax in celebrating. Be not lazy in the festive service of God. Be ablaze with enthusiasm. Let us be an alive, burning offering before the altar of God.

 St. Catherine of Siena 
If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world on fire!

And her fellow Carmelite St. Theresa of Avila.

Her feast day is October 15th

“God save us from gloomy saints!”

As well as her other fellow Carmelite doctor

St. John of the Cross an O.C.D. saint.
In the twilight of life, God will not judge us on our earthly possessions and human successes, but on how well we have loved.

She is she one of seven Discalced Carmelite nuns to have been declared saints. The other six are:
Saint Teresa of Avila, whom we just mentioned.
St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross also known as St. Edith Stein.
St. Teresa of Los Andes another young saint.
St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, another youngish saint.
Saint Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D. yet another young saint.
St. Mariam Baouardy is the last O.C.D. saint.

Saint Thérèse Couderc (1805–1885), co-founder of the Sisters of the Cenacle,
Blessed Teresa of Portugal (1181–1250), a Benedictine nun
and Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta are a few more Teressa that have been canonized.

“I chose Thérèse as my namesake because she did ordinary things with extraordinary love”.

She is as beloved and popular a saint as St. Francis of Assisi whose feast day is October 4th and her feast day is October 1st.

While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.

She shares something in common with another Francis, Saint Francis Xavier as being a patron saint of missionaries.

She says…

“I feel my mission is soon to begin, to make others love God as I do, to teach others my ‘little way.’ I will spend my Heaven in doing good upon earth.”

St. Therese of Lisieux spirituality topic | Local | mtstandard.com

St. John Paul 2 says again from his homily…

Thérèse Martin, a discalced Carmelite of Lisieux, ardently desired to be a missionary. She was one, to the point that she could be proclaimed patroness of the missions. Jesus himself showed her how she could live this vocation: by fully practising the commandment of love, she would be immersed in the very heart of the Church’s mission, supporting those who proclaim the Gospel with the mysterious power of prayer and communion. Thus she achieved what the Second Vatican Council emphasized in teaching that the Church is missionary by nature (cf. Ad gentes, n. 2). Not only those who choose the missionary life but all the baptized are in some way sent ad gentes.

This is why I chose this missionary Sunday to proclaim St Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face a doctor of the universal Church: a woman, a young person, a contemplative.

Her feast day is surrounded by other wonderful feasts including

The Feast of St. Jerome September 30th (St. Therese’s Death Day)

St. Jerome said “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”

By reading Story of a Soul, you might assume that Thérèse had a well-thumbed Bible full of highlights, folded corners and notes scribbled on the side, for she makes well over 100 biblical references! The amazing fact is that she never owned a Bible, and she never even had access to a full Bible! This Little Flower collected together her wide array of verses from an assortment of sources: her breviary, various devotions, hymns, the Divine Office, etc. Her sister Céline copied chunks of the Old Testament down in a notebook and brought it to Thérèse at Carmel. While in the convent, she somehow acquired a copy of the Gospels, which she treasured with great love. Although the Bible has many more verses that would also support Thérèse’s Little Way, her collection of numerous biblical passages pulled together from her limited resources is impressive indeed.
Theresa Doyle-Nelson How Sacred Scripture Influenced St. Thérèse’s ‘Little Way’ (March 28, 2020) www.ncregister.com

The Feast of the Guardian Angels October 2nd
Glorious Guardian of my soul, You who shine in God’s beautiful Heaven
As a sweet and pure flame near the Eternal’s throne,
You come down to earth for me, and enlightening me with your splendor,
fair Angel, you become my Brother, my Friend, my Consoler! …

The feast of the Guardian Angels comes days after the feast days of
St. Michel, St. Raphael and St. Gabriel, on September 29th.
They are the only angels mentioned by name in the holy scriptures.

The Feast Day of St. Faustina who gave us the Divine Mercy October 5th

St. Faustina wrote…

I dreamed of Saint Thérèse, but it was as if she were still living on earth. She hid from me the fact that she was a saint and began to comfort me, saying that I should not be worried about this matter, but should trust more in God. She said, ‘I suffered greatly, too’ but I did not quite believe her and said, ‘It seems to me that you have not suffered at all.’ But Saint Thérèse answered me in a convincing manner that she has suffered very much indeed

THE ESSENCE OF SAINT THERESE: A LOVE BORN OF THE DIVINE MERCY | Catholic Strength

St. Therese wrote about Mercy…

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.”

The Feast of Our Lady of the RosaryOctober 7th

For me, prayer is an aspiration of the heart, it is a simple glance directed to heaven, it is a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trial as well as joy; finally, it is something great, supernatural, which expands my soul and unites me to Jesus.

Just a few days later on October 13this the anniversary of the final apparition of Mary to the 3 children at Fatima in which was performed the miracle of the sun.

The Feast Margaret Mary Alacoque- October 16th

She is the wonderful nun who gave us devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in it’s modern form.

You heard me, only Friend whom I love.
To ravish my heart, you became man.
You shed your blood, what a supreme mystery!…
And you still live for me on the Altar.
If I cannot see the brilliance of your Face
Or hear your sweet voice,
O my God, I can live by your grace,
I can rest on your Sacred Heart!

To be able to gaze on your glory,
I know we have to pass through fire.
So I, for my purgatory,
Choose your burning love, O heart of my God!
On leaving this life, my exiled soul
Would like to make an act of pure love,
And then, flying away to Heaven, its Homeland,
Enter straightaway into your Heart.

The Feast of St. Pope John Paul IIOctober 22
He is the one who made her a Doctor of the Church and initiated Divine Mercy Sunday and canonized St. Faustina. He lived in Poland at the same time as St. Faustina during World War 2 along with St. Maximilian Kolbe. 

Thérèse of Lisieux did not only grasp and describe the profound truth of Love as the centre and heart of the Church, but in her short life she lived it intensely. It is precisely this convergence of doctrine and concrete experience, of truth and life, of teaching and practice, which shines with particular brightness in this saint, and which makes her an attractive model especially for young people and for those who are seeking true meaning for their life.- Making St. Therese a Doctor of the Church Homily.

St. Therese's Life at Carmel | Society of the Little Flower - US

St. Therese was a missionary without ever leaving her convent. She was a fierce warrior that fought battles even thou she never picked up a sword. She greatly indetified with another young saint… St. Joan of Arc. She was not canonized until 1920.  There were over 30,000 people that  attended the ceremony in Rome, including 140 descendants of St. Joan of Arc’s family.

St. Therese wrote about her…

[In] my admiration of the patriotic deeds of the heroines of France, especially of the Venerable Joan of Arc, I longed to do what they had done. About this time I received what I have looked on as one of the greatest graces of my life, for, at that age, I was not favored with lights from Heaven, as I am now. Our Lord made me understand that the only true glory is that which lasts for ever; and that to attain it there is no necessity to do brilliant deeds, but rather to hide from the eyes of others, and even from oneself, so that “the left hand knows not what the right hand does.” Then, as I reflected that I was born for great things, and sought the means to attain them, it was made known to me interiorly that my personal glory would never reveal itself before the eyes of men, but that it would consist in becoming a Saint.

St. Joan was canonized  on May 16th, 1920.

Saint Thérèse (again) was canonized on May 17, 1925.

St. Therese did make it to the battlefields of World War 1 as soldiers invoked her named and prayed to her for miracles and healing.

St. Therese says…

On each fresh occasion of combat, when the enemy desires to challenge me, I conduct myself valiantly: knowing that to fight a duel is an unworthy act, I turn my back upon the adversary without ever looking him in the face; then I run to my Jesus and tell Him I am ready to shed every drop of blood in testimony of my belief that there is a Heaven, I tell Him I am glad to be unable to contemplate, while on earth, with the eyes of the soul, the beautiful Heaven that awaits me so He will deign to open it for eternity to poor unbelievers.

Blog: An Angel in the Trenches, A Bestseller in the Shops – Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, Commercial Religion and the First World War – Sophia Deboick

A WW 1 Soldier writes…

Drawn from the depths of the abyss of disbelief, I’m slowly journeying towards faith. Intensely aware of my own indigence, I one day came across Story of a Soul, which the chaplain at our camp lent to me. And there I read that there is one road, and one joy, which is called holy joy, and that even simple souls can follow it and won’t go astray. Sister Thérèse, the humble wildflower, emboldened me and made me see that Jesus loved the humble in a very special way. She instills courage within me and, with her, I wait and hope… she has completed my conversion. When I have the honour of going to fight, I would like Sister Thérèse – henceforth my patron saint – to accompany me. I will take her with me in my heart and in my head but I would like a flower from her grave to be placed in my wallet, against my heart.
Gérard, Charles / Capora February 1916
First World War – mail from the front lines
Excerpts from mail received at the Carmel of Lisieux from soldiers of the First World War

Another thing she has in common with St. Joan and with St. Mother Theresa is feeling darkness and an absence of the presence of God. She like St. John of the Cross suffered the Dark Night of the Soul

[God] allowed my soul to be overwhelmed with darkness, and the thought of Heaven, which had consoled me from my earliest childhood, now became a subject of conflict and torture. This trial did not last merely for days or weeks; I have been suffering for months, and I still await deliverance. I wish I could express what I feel, but it is beyond me. One must have passed through this dark tunnel to understand its blackness … When I sing of the happiness of Heaven and the eternal possession of God, I do not feel any joy therein, for I sing only of what I wish to believe. Sometimes, I confess, a little ray of sunshine illumines my dark night, and I enjoy peace for an instant, but later, the remembrance of this ray of light, instead of consoling me, makes the blackness thicker still.

But through it all she had hope.

Life is passing, Eternity draws nigh: soon shall we live the very life of God. After having drunk deep at the fount of bitterness, our thirst will be quenched at the very source of all sweetness.

Let St. Therese remind you that God can take an obscure hidden away person and make them alive for the whole world. But even if you should not be recognized by a lot of people in this earth, if your remembered by God in eternity, it’s all that really matters. We each have a role to play in God’s creation.

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 the flowers wanted to be roses, nature would lose her springtime beauty, and the fields would no longer be decked out with little wildflowers.

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 daises 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.

Remember All God’s Creatures Have a  Place in the Choir

 

 


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5 responses to “St. Therese and the Hidden Life Exposed”

  1. The 4 most important books for helping me understand Sterese:
    1) The Hidden Face by Federicke Ida Torres
    2) In the Context of Holiness by Fr. Marc Foley
    3) Light in the Night by Fr. Jean-Francois Six
    4) With Empty Hands by Fr. Conrad de Need her

    If I could ever rub elbows with director Julie Dash or Greta Gerwig to make a movie out of the book Maurice & Therese, based in their letter correspondence, examining choosing love and faith in a time of doubt, division, and skepticism, not shying away from the Diana Vaughn affair and Therese’s desire to sit at the table of sinners and unbelievers and Maurice’s tragic conclusion, not as a silent acquice to a despair like in that Silence movie but as a true testament to the San humanist Dark Faith spirituality. I would cast Timothee Chamelet as Maurice and Maisee Williams as Therese.

    Anyway,
    St. Therese of Lisieux of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, pray for us.

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