I'm blogging from this incredibly important book published in 1969 by a French priest who truly understood the spirituality of our dear little saint. Next to Story of a Soul, this book has been the most important for my carmelite spiritual journey. After reading it, I was able to focus and hold on to the truth that Jesus indeed loves me more than I will ever comprehend. Trust, trust, and more trust is the key to our spiritual growth. When we trust to the point of 'folly' Jesus rewards us with opportunities for more trust and sends us graces for our santification. "This spiritual classic has long been beloved by Catholics for its wondrous distillation of the teaching of St. Thérèse of Lisieux into a reader-friendly set of meditations. It’s perfect as a personal retreat when you have only a few moments to spare each day — and for spiritual reading anytime and anywhere. Fr. Jean C. J. d’Elbée, a French priest deeply imbued with St. Thérèse’s spirit, brings you St. Thérèse’s teachings on God’s love and the confidence in Him that it should inspire in your soul; humility, peace, and fraternal charity; the apostolate; the Cross; and what it means truly to abandon yourself to Divine Providence. I Believe in Love has helped countless souls embark on the way to the Father. It will help you focus on Him throughout each day, rest in Him amid your troubles, and live joyfully with Him at every moment! " Excerpted from the back cover, published by Sophia Institute Press.
CHAPTER TWO - HUMBLE CONFIDENCE Continued
"It is true that instinctively we seek to climb the rough stairway of perfection instead of taking the gentle elevator of the arms of Jesus. This is because we have been told so often of our miseries. We have been told, and rightly, that we are miserable; and then, we have been told about Jesus that He is good, yes, but not enough that He is wondrously good, infinitely good, infinite charity. No one has told us at the same time that He is Savior before He is Judge and that, in the Heart of God, 'justice and peace have embraced'.
We have been trained in the habit of looking at our dark side, our ugliness, and not at the purifying Sun, Light of Light, which He is, who changes the dust that we are into pure gold. We think about examining ourselves, yet we do not think, before the examination, during the examination, and after the examination, to plunge ourselves, with all our miseries, into the consuming and transforming furnace of His Heart, which is open to us through a humble act of confidence.
I am not telling you, 'You believe too much in your own wretchedness.' We are much more wretched than we ever realize. But I am telling you, 'You do not believe enough in mercuful love.'
We must have confidence, not in spite of our miseries, but because of them, since it is misery which attracts mercy.
Oh, this word, mercy -- misericordia -- 'miseris cor dare,' a Heart which gives itself to the miserable, a Heart which nourishes itself on miseries by consuming them. Mediate on this word.
St. Thomas says that 'to have mercy belongs to the nature of God, and it is in this that His omnipotence manifests itself in the highest degree.'
Little Therese perceived this when she wrote these lines which complete and crown her maunscript: 'Yes, I sense that even if I had on my conscience all the sins which can be committed, I would go, my heart broken, to repent and throw myself into the arms of Jesus, for I know how much He cherishes the prodigal child who returns to Him. It is not because the dear Lord in His provident mercy has preserved my soul from mortal sin that I am lifted up to Him by confidence and love.'
Again, shortly before her death, speaking to Mother Agnes, she said, 'You may truly say that if I had committed all possible crimes, I would still have the same confidence; I would feel that this multitude of offenses would be like a drop of water thrown into a flaming furnace.' All possible crimes, a multitude of offenses, a drop of water in an immense furnace; that is the proportion.
And this affirmation is so logical, it is irrefutable."
To be continued on the next blog.
St. Therese, open our hearts to your little way. Teach us to throw ourselves into the arms of Our Lord, casting away all doubt and fear and accepting all that He sends us as graces for the salvation of our souls.