Friday, September 29, 2006

September with St. Therese - September 29

Welcome to our series tracing the last month of St. Therese's life on this earth which was September 1897. It's called September with St. Therese and I hope you will visit her every day for an inspirational message about our dear little saint.

We will bring you excerpts from Her Last Conversations and Novissima Verba which follow her struggle the last few months of her life. On days for which there are no specific quotes, I will select a passage from one of her writings.

"From early morning, she appeared to be in her agony; she had a very heavy rattle in her throat and was unable to breathe. The community was summoned and gathered round her bed to recite the prayers of the dying from the manual. At the end of an hour, Mother Prioress dismissed the Sisters."

"At noon, she said to Mother Prioress:"
'Mother, is this the agony?...What must I do to die? Never will I know how to die!'

"I read again several passages from the Office of St. Michael and the prayers for the dying. When I came to the part concerning the demons, she made a childlike gesture as though threatening them, and she exclaimed with a smile:"
'Oh! Oh!' (This was said in a tone which meant: I don't fear them.)

"After the doctor's visit, she said to Mother Prioress; 'Is it today, Mother?' "
"She answered:'Yes, my little child."
"One of us said: 'God is very joyful today.'
'I too!'
'If I were to die right now, what happiness!'

'When shall I be totally suffocated!...I can't stand any more! Ah! Pray for me! Jesus! Mary!...Yes, I will it, I really will it...'

"Sister Marie of the Trinity came to see her; after a few minutes, Therese told her very gently to leave. When she had gone, I said: 'Poor little thing! She loves you so much.'"
'Was I wrong in sending her away?'
"Her face took on an expression of sorrow, but I quickly reassured her."

"Six o'clock. Some kind of insect got in her sleeve, and we tried to get it out."
'Leave it alone; it doesn't matter.'
"I said: 'But you might get stung by it.'"
'No, leave it alone, leave it alone; I assure you, I know these little beasts.'

"I had a violent headache and I was closing my eyes in spite of myself when looking at her."
'Go to bed...I, too!'
"But she couldn't sleep, and she said to me:"
'O Mother, what harm this does to the nerves!'

"During the evening recreation:"
'Ah! if you only knew!'
(If you only knew what I was suffering.)

'I'd like to smile at you all the time, and I turn my back on you. Does this cause you any pain?'
(This was during the silence.)

"After Matins, when Mother Prioress came to see her, her hands were joined, and she said in a gentle and resigned tone of voice:"
'Yes, my God, yes, my God, I want it all!'
"Mother said: 'It's terrible, then, what you are suffering.'"
'No, Mother, not terrible, but much, much...just what I can bear.'
"She asked to remain alone throughout the night, but Mother Prioress didn't want this. Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart and Sister Genevieve shared this great consolation. I remained in the cell, close to the infirmary." Excerpted from Her Last Conversations.

St. Therese, open our hearts to accept the sufferings that Jesus sends us. Teach us your little way and help us to see the graces that can come froim joining our sufferings to the passion of Jesus.

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