Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Story Of A Soul

... I saw that all the flowers He has created are lovely. The splendour of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of its scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. I realised that if every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness and there would be no wild flowers to make the meadows gay. It is just the same in the world of souls - which is the garden of Jesus. He has created the great saints who are like the lilies and the roses, but He has created much lesser saints and they must be content to be the daisies or the violets which rejoice His eyes whenever He glances down. Perfection consists in doing His will, in being that which He wants us to be. (p.20)

I believe that if a little flower could speak, it would tell very simply and fully all that God had done for it. It would not say that it was ungraceful and had no scent, that the sun had spoilt its freshness, or that a storm had snapped its stem - not when it knew the exact opposite was true. The flower who is now going to tell her story rejoices at having to relate all the kindnesses freely done her by Jesus. She is well aware that there was nothing about her to attract His attention, and that it is His mercy alone which has created whatever there is good in her. It was He who ensured that she began to grow in a most pure and holy soil, and it was He who saw to it that eight fair lilies came before her. His love made Him want to keep His little flower safe from the tainted breezes of the world, and so she had scarcely begun to unfold her petals before He transplanted her on to the mountain of Carmel. (p.21)

The Autobiography of Saint Therese of Lisieux: The Story Of A Soul translated by John Beevers is a very inspiration book that tells of the short life of St. Therese of Lisieux, also known as the Little Flower. Marie Francoise Therese Martin was born in 1873 in Alencon, France. At the young age of fifteen she became a Carmelite nun. In 1897 she died at the age of twenty four. On May 17, 1925 she was canonised by Pius XI and became known as St. Therese of the Child Jesus.

However, The Story Of A Soul tells more about her devotion and insight to Jesus than it does about her life. The first half of the book describes her childhood and family, the calling to her vocation, and the beginning years of her life at Carmel. Then the book takes a turn and becomes more of a spiritual writing. St. Therese shares her faith and devotion to Jesus through the life lessons that she learned during her short life. I found this part of the book extremely inspirational. She uses scripture, life examples, and her thoughts and feelings when expressing these insights. And her humbleness and honesty are very refreshing.

I was watered by His tears and Precious Blood and His adorable Face was my radiant sun. (p.93)

John Beevers' introduction is informative and helps fill in the gaps of information. St. Therese's easy style of writing is enjoyable and moving. I highly recommend The Autobiography Of Saint Therese of Lisieux: The Story Of A Soul to others who like to read spiritual books or books of faith.

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