Tuesday 23rd September 2014

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Reconnecting With Mary . . . St. Thérèse Of Lisieux: A Best-Loved Saint

August 1, 2014 Featured Today No Comments

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY

Part 2

This is the second article about St. Thérèse of Lisieux, and deals with her later life, death, and subsequent influence throughout the Catholic world. (See The Wanderer, July 10, 2014, p. 3B for part one.)
After a delay of eight months because of her youth, Thérèse was able to make her religious profession in September 1890, aged 17. During the retreat before this event she underwent a period of spiritual desolation, but afterward regained her inner peace.
Meanwhile, in 1889, her father suffered a stroke, and had to spend time in a private sanatorium. From this point on, Thérèse further deepened her inner life, expressing it outwardly in small acts and kindnesses, while accepting any criticisms and unpleasantness directed at her. She also focused more and more on the Gospels, as her spirituality became simpler but more profound. But to most of her fellow sisters, there seemed to be nothing outwardly remarkable about her.
In February 1893, Thérèse’s sister, Pauline, became prioress of the Lisieux Carmel, and made Thérèse assistant to the new novice mistress. As it happened most of the work of guiding the new novices fell to Thérèse and she displayed a rare talent for this.
Her father died in July 1894, and this allowed Céline to also enter the Lisieux Carmel. She brought her camera to the house and this is the reason why we have so many fine photographs of St. Thérèse. At the end of that year, as her sisters saw her health declining they asked to her write about her childhood.
In June 1895, Thérèse wrote an Act of Oblation, which she and Céline read out before a statue of our Lady. From this point on her health steadily declined as the tuberculosis from which she suffered took its toll. At the end of Lent in 1896 she coughed up blood, and saw this as a sign that God would soon be calling her to Himself. But it was to be more than a year before she actually died, and that was to be a period of progressively worse sufferings as the disease took hold.
In June 1897, her sister Pauline, now Mother Agnes of Jesus, asked Thérèse to write a further memoir focusing more on her religious life. Her sufferings, meanwhile, increased steadily, and as the end approached, she said, “I would never have believed it was possible to suffer so much, never, never!” She died at the age of only 24 on September 30, 1897, her last words being, “My God, I love you!”
Her autobiography, which included selections from some of her poems and letters, was published after her death, with 2,000 copies being printed. This work stimulated interest in her life and gradually pilgrims began to visit her grave, as the first miracles due to her intercession were reported.
The local bishop initiated her cause for canonization in 1910, and this taken up by Rome, under Pope Pius X. His Successor, Pope Benedict XV, waived the requirement for the usual 50-year delay between death and beatification due to the tremendous devotion to Thérèse that was already being displayed among Catholics.
She was beatified in April 1923, by Pope Pius XI, and canonized by him in St. Peter’s Square, in May 1925, before a huge crowd. He also named her a patroness of the missions, and later on, in 1944, during Pope Pius XII’s pontificate, she was named co-patroness of France with Joan of Arc.
Since then devotion to her has continued to grow around the world, and in October 1997, Pope John Paul II, on the basis of the depth and profundity of the teaching upon which her Little Way is based, declared her a doctor of the Church.
The major shrine dedicated to St. Thérèse is the large basilica built in her honor in Lisieux. Work on it began in 1929, with the enthusiastic support of Pope Pius XI. It was solemnly blessed by Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII, in July 1937, and finally consecrated in 1951.
A good number of organizations devoted to spreading the message of St. Thérèse, or under her patronage, exist in the Church, and there are also religious orders dedicated to her. A sign of the continuing extraordinary interest which St. Thérèse generates can be seen in the way that her relics have toured the world in recent years.
Thérèse’s spirituality has a number of striking characteristics, the most obvious being that unlike many of the great saints of the past, she lived a life without great outward asceticism. Similarly, she did not follow any of the traditional methods of meditation, but focused rather on simplicity and closeness to Christ.
In addition, unlike the great saints of old, St. Thérèse was not usually the recipient of any astounding spiritual favors: Rather in her spiritual life, she focused on profound contemplation, on seeking the gift of wisdom, on humility, and on her Little Way of love.

Spiritual Childhood

In this she immersed herself completely in the idea that she was a child of the Heavenly Father, a child totally dependent on Him for everything. She knew that little children do not try to do great things, but rather are content to do small acts for their parents, but acts done with great love. One of her sayings was: “What matters in life is not great deeds, but great love.”
St. Thérèse also focused on the importance of humility, the virtue which makes us recognize our need for God’s grace. She offered up many little acts of love to God, all the incidents, problems, and difficulties of her life, no matter how small, and we know that she took her self-offering to the point of heroic virtue and sanctity.
The necessity of becoming like a little child in our relationship with God was strongly put by Jesus, after the disciples had asked Him who was the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. In response, He called a little child to Him and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Thérèse, although she was not a child, possessed a childlike spirit, and her Little Way has also been described as a way of spiritual childhood, one which focuses on the simplicity and abandonment characteristic of a child who trusts his parents.
Regarding suffering, Thérèse made this rather disconcerting statement: “Sanctity lies not in saying beautiful things, or even in thinking them, or feeling them; it lies in truly being willing to suffer.” As we have seen, Thérèse had much to suffer toward the end of her life, but abandoned herself completely to God saying: “I thank you, O my God, for all the graces you have bestowed on me, and particularly for having made me pass through the crucible of suffering.”
Shortly before she died she said: “Ah! to suffer in my soul, yes, I can suffer much.” So while her sufferings were extremely painful, she accepted this pain in a spirit of love.
Ultimately, though, we have to remember that the way of Thérèse is a way of love and devotion, and that this love was the driving force of her life, expressed in a spirit of total abandonment to the will of God.

+    +    +

(Donal Anthony Foley is the author of a number of books on Marian Apparitions, and maintains a related website at www.theotokos.org.uk.)

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Will Catholic bishops annul Pope Francis’ marriage reform initiative?

VATICAN CITY ( RNS) Pope Francis has appointed a special commission to look at ways to make it easier for Roman Catholics to dissolve their marriages in the eyes of the church. The goal of the 11-member commission announced Saturday…Continue Reading

Spinning the Synod

Here are five misleading claims and skewed statements about the upcoming Synod of Bishops Carl E. Olson Here’s a word that hasn’t been used much in recent discussions about the approaching Battle of the Cardin—er, the Synod of Bishops, taking…Continue Reading

Archbishop Coakley: Though City Leaders Do Not Take Seriously Threat of Inviting Evil Into Community, I Do

Washington, D.C., September 18, 2014 (Zenit.org) Here is an article from the Sooner Catholic, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, regarding the black mass scheduled at the city’s civic center for this Sunday. Archbishop Paul Coakley has used…Continue Reading

Report: Bishop Cupich of Spokane to succeed Cardinal George in Chicago

The AP broke the story, and local media is now confirming, that Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane will succeed Cardinal Francis George as archbishop of Chicago. The Archdiocese of Chicago is expected to make the official announcement tomorrow morning at…Continue Reading

Sources confirm Cardinal Burke will be removed. But will he attend the Synod?

Sources in Rome have confirmed to LifeSiteNews that Cardinal Raymond Burke, the head of the Vatican’s highest court, known as the Apostolic Signatura, is to be removed from his post as head of the Vatican dicastery and given a non-curial…Continue Reading

Catholic Education Honor Roll Announced

Today, The Cardinal Newman Society released the list of schools recognized by the Catholic Education Honor Roll as 2014 Schools of Excellence. Since 2004 the Honor Roll has celebrated quality Catholic education throughout the United States. Honor Roll schools receiving…Continue Reading

Hermeneutic of Continuity: Pope Benedict XVI’s 10 Step Guide to Vatican II

pope200

In 2005 His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI gave a Christmas address to the Roman Curia that sparked a “Holy Revolution.” The good pontiff’s comments were received as “epoch-making” by many of those faithful to Sacred Tradition.1 At the heart of…Continue Reading

Satanists Sell Out Controversial Oklahoma ‘Black Mass’ Event, Will Stage Exorcism Despite Christian Protests

The Satanist group that will stage a controversial “black mass” at an Oklahoma City civic center has said that all 88 tickets for its Sept. 21 event are sold out. The co-founder of the group revealed that the ritual will…Continue Reading

Catholic League Bowing Out Of New York’s St. Patrick’s Parade

NEW YORK –  The Catholic League says it will sit out next year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York because parade organizers aren’t letting an anti-abortion Catholic group march. Catholic League head Bill Donohue said Thursday that his organization…Continue Reading

Catholic Cardinal McCarrick Embraces Islam

Catholic Cardinal Theodore McCarrick offered Islamic religious phrases and insisted that Islam shares foundational rules with Christianity, during a Sept. 10 press conference in D.C. “In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate,” McCarrick said as he introduced himself…Continue Reading

MURDER OF CATHOLIC NUNS SHOCKS WORLD

The triple murder of three elderly Italian religious sisters in Burundi has their religious family and the local community reeling. The Italian Foreign Ministry has confirmed Monday’s death of a third missionary, Sister Bernadette Boggian, who wasdecapitated, according to a…Continue Reading

Cardinal Dolan and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

by Hon. Bob Marshall Sept. 8, 2014 New York’s Cardinal Dolan, appointed as Grand Marshal of the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade, praised the decision to allow an openly gay group to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. “I have…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to subscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.

 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

Pope Francis’ Message for 2015 World Day of Migrants and Refugees

pope361

“Migration movements call us to deepen and strengthen the values needed to guarantee peaceful coexistence between persons and cultures.” Vatican City, September 23, 2014 (Zenit.org) “Church Without Frontiers, Mother to All” is the theme for the next World Day of Migrants and Refugees to take place 18 January 2015. Here below is the full text of the message made public…Continue Reading

Pope To Albania’s Faith Leaders: Religion Is Source Of Peace

pop527

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met with leaders of the different religious communities in Albania on Sunday afternoon, insisting once again that no-one can use the name of God to commit violence. Speaking at the Catholic University of Tirana, the Pope said “Authentic religion is a source of peace and not of violence….To kill in the name of God is a…Continue Reading

The Logic Of Birth Control Vs. The Logic Of Human Nature

By JOHN F. KIPPLEY (Editor’s Note: John F. Kippley is the author of Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality and other books and articles. With his wife Sheila, he is a coauthor of Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach and cofounder of NFP International.) + + + Peggy Noonan recently wrote two…Continue Reading

The Forever War

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN The strategy that President Obama laid out September 10 to “degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL,” is incoherent, inconsistent, and, ultimately, non-credible. A year ago, Obama and John Kerry were straining at the leash to launch air strikes on Syrian President Bashar Assad for his alleged use…Continue Reading

Marriage Is Not A Metaphor

By DONALD DeMARCO I passed through the metal detector at the Las Vegas Airport easily and uneventfully. While waiting for my wife, who was the inconvenient recipient of a more thorough random check, I turned to the attendant and told her that I was surprised to pass through the metal detector so quietly since I…Continue Reading

Reconnecting With Mary… Our Lady Of La Salette

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Part 1 This is the first of two articles on the apparition of our Lady at La Salette in September 1846, which has a lot to teach us in our own day. At that time, the small nearby town of Corps, in the Grenoble region in southeastern France, was a poor…Continue Reading

The Saint Who Was Never Born

By DONALD DeMARCO St. Raymond Nonnatus came into the world in the early 13th century (1200 or 1204 according to scholars) in Portello, Catalonia (Spain). His appended name, in Latin, means “not born.” He was taken from the womb of his mother by caesarean section after her death. Shakespeare used this notion of not being…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Love Has No Limits In Faith And In Life

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK We have done a very good job of catechizing our Catholics that Sunday Mass is obligatory. Now we need to educate them that Sunday Mass is not the only thing necessary. For many years I would nod in agreement when people would say, “Well, at least if we can get our kids to Mass they’ll…Continue Reading

Priestly Celibacy: Unnatural? Or . . . Supernatural? The Faith Of The Early Christians

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 5 It is a very comfortable position for the defenders of sola Scriptura to wish to interpret it according to their own criteria. In so doing, they pick and choose verses here and there to justify their views. God’s first commandment to mankind, “Be fruitful and multiply,” seems to be the “dogma” against celibacy.…Continue Reading

Catechesis In The Twenty-First Century

By Don Fier “In order to arrive at a systematic knowledge of the content of the faith, all can find in the Catechism of the Catholic Church a precious and indispensable tool. It is one of the most important fruits of the Second Vatican Council.” With these words in his apostolic letter Porta Fidei announcing the upcoming Year of Faith…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I am currently reading Paul Likoudis’ excellent but shocking book Amchurch Comes Out, regarding incidents of immoral conduct among our clergy, the cover-up, and the accompanying damage that has been wrought within the Church. I recall being alarmed while involved with religious education in our then parish in the late 1980s and attending diocesan seminars for teachers and hearing…Continue Reading

Our Attitude Should Be The Same As Christ’s

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Sixth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Ezek. 18:25-28 Phil. 2:1-11 Matt. 21:28-32   In the Gospel reading today our Lord asks the question of which son did the will of his father: the one who said he would not go into the field but eventually did or the one who said he would go…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes… Saints Cosmas And Damian

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the last book of the Old Testament, 2 Maccabees, we read of the mother who stood by her seven sons, encouraging them to hold true to the law of their fathers and not give in to the attempts of Antiochus IV Epiphanes to get them to abandon their faith by eating the flesh of a swine…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph Of Cupertino

By CAROLE BRESLIN Now that the school year has begun, students — especially Catholic students — will find recourse to their favorite patron saint of studying. Some may choose St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Augustine of Hippo. For those students who find it difficult to retain what they read and write about it, perhaps this saint will encourage them: St.…Continue Reading

What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants You to Get an Abortion?

by Krisi Burton Brown | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 2/20/14 4:00 PM Washington, DC (LiveActionNews) — Note: This article is for any girl or woman who is feeling pressured into having an abortion. If you are a guy who is trying to find out how to stop an abortion, please see this article written for dads. 1.  Stand your…Continue Reading

It’s Time to Build Schools, from the Ground Up

February 13, 2014 by Anthony Esolen   It might have been worth repairing, if it had once been noble and beautiful, or at least conceived in an orderly way, for ordinary human purposes. But it wasn’t. It was constructed upon false principles. Its walls looked like those of a bad factory. It smelled like a warehouse. It could be terribly…Continue Reading

Why I am Pro-Life

February 4, 2014   Pro-Lifers   By Therese Recinella   Editor’s note. This tribute was posted on Therese Recinella’s Facebook account. She is graciously allowing us to reprint it in NRL News Today.   There are many things that I could say about my Dad, but what I want people to know is this: My parents faithfully raised 8 children…Continue Reading

Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

Posted on February 10, 2014 by The Catholic Gentleman 13 Comments   Divorce rates skyrocketing; adultery rampant; non-married cohabitating couples; children abandoned by their fathers or mothers; “same-sex unions” adopting children and calling this the “modern family”; pornography invading homes, leading to powerful addictions and total alienation from other members of the family: all of this is a bird’s eye view…Continue Reading

How Much is One Billion Dollars?

This article appeared in the March 20, 1941 issue of The Wanderer. (Well, 70 years later we can add 15 trillion into the example.) Here’s a simple and homely illustration of what one billion dollars amounts to: Suppose we take an imaginary boy, aged 15 years, and assign to him the task of counting one billion dollars in one-dollar bills.…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood

This article appeared in The Wanderer, April 3, 1941.  (WOW, Look what we have 70 years later.) A group which calls itself the National Committee for Planned Parenthood has begun a nationwide campaign to have the promotion of birth control included in State and national health programs. The committee—which, according to propaganda sheets reaching our desk has a branch in…Continue Reading

Questions of Non-Catholics . . . Answered by Father Richard Felix, O.S.B.

Reprinted from The Wanderer April 10, 1941 Why Does God allow us to be tempted? God allows us to be tempted so that we may prove our attachment to him and merit a higher place in heaven. Temptations are the lot of all men; they are the battle ground upon which heaven is won or lost. “The kingdom of heaven…Continue Reading