Published Date : June 30, 2012: Republish
Declaring Saint Thérèse of Lisieux a “Doctor of the Church” in 1997, Pope John Paul II presented her as “an eminent model and guide for Christians today.” In this work, already published in several languages, a Spanish contemplative monk takes us into the depths of Thérèse’s spiritual life. Meditating on her own words in the light of the teaching of Saints Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, the author shows that Thérèse’s “little way,” far from mere childish sentimentality, is “nothing other than the Gospel way of holiness for all” (John Paul II).
“Like the gospels themselves St. Thérèse’s Story of a Soul is told simply and without ornamentation. She writes from a heart that is little and poor, and thus in a literary form that is poor. Once we accept this literary poverty we begin to discover at its core the infinite riches of the love of Jesus that floods her life. The paradox here resembles that of the gospels: in littleness lies true grandeur, and in poverty true riches. The more one reads Thérèse the more one is struck by the depth and coherence of her writings. But like her life, the depth is hidden. Her rapid ascent in the spiritual journey was concealed from her contemporaries. People paid little attention to her: at first, because she was always on the verge of tears, and later, because she always appeared cheerful and content. Inwardly, however, she moved from heroism to heroism, ever on the watch for fresh opportunities to purify the gold of her charity, her heart set toward unexplored heights.”
. . . Forward, Thérèse, The Little Child of God’s Mercy