The good God does not need years to accomplish His work of love in a soul;
one ray from His Heart can, in an instant, make His flower bloom for eternity...
Those whom he saved from their sins are saved simply for beautiful moments in their lives. Mary Magdalen, when she sees Christ,
breaks the rich vase of alabaster that one of her seven lovers had given her, and spills the odorous spices over his tired dusty
feet, and for that one moment's sake sits for ever with Ruth and Beatrice in the tresses of the snow-white rose of Paradise.
St Therese of Lisieux
St Therese: a Gateway
Let us abandon everything within the scope of our thoughts and determine to love what is beyond comprehension.
We touch and hold God by Love alone.
The Cloud of Unknowing
If you want to be sure of the ground you stand on,
then close your eyes and walk in the dark.
St. John of the Cross
I know of no other means to reach perfection than by love. To love: how perfectly
our hearts are made for this! Sometimes I look for another word to use, but, in this
land of exile, no other word so well expresses the vibrations of our soul. Hence we
must keep to that one word: love.
There is a way of refusing that is so gracious... that the refusal gives as much pleasure as the gift.
If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
God no longer simply stands before us as the One who is totally Other. He is within us, and we are in Him.
His dynamic enters into us and then seeks to spread outward to others until it fills the world, so that
His love can truly become the dominant measure of the world.
Pope Benedict XVI
How to describe St Therese?
It's hard to describe someone when you're lost for words.
I think of her, first, as a young girl who was so absolutely sure of what she wanted.
must have been an incredible person. The youngest of 9 children
of a French middle-class family, she entered a Carmelite convent at the age of 15 and lived a short but
very inspired life.
She understood that, of all the possible vocations, the greatest one to aim for
was the contemplation of God's pure Love;
her faith in the God of Love was absolute.
The most sublime form of prayer for her was just to love God by
being lost in the contemplation of Divine presence - in that form of prayer where words would only become obstacles.
She had a deep appreciation of the beauty of nature and especially flowers; she liked to consider herself as a
"little flower" and the basis of her spirituality was just to live a normal life but to be 100% motivated by Love.
Therese suffered ill health and died of tuberculosus in 1897 at the age of 24. She was canonized by the Catholic Church in 1925.
A fresh green palm was placed in the hand of St. Thérèse just before closing her coffin for burial on October 4, 1897.
When the first canonical exhumation took place on September 6, 1910, her body had disintegrated (as she had foretold in
a vision the night before to the Prioress of the Gallipoli Carmel). In her skeleton hand the green palm was found in all
its freshness and can still be seen today in the Hall of Relics (see below) beside the Carmel Chapel. It is remarkable to see.
The Carmelite habit in which she had been buried was still fully intact but, on touch, was at the point of disintegration.
(Thanks to the late V. Rev. Fr. J. Linus Ryan, O. Carm R.I.P for updated information)
Relics from the first exhumation