Commentary of the Day

Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus (1873-1897), Carmelite, Doctor of the Church Manuscript B, 2vo-3vo (trans. John Clarke, ©ICS publications)

"Whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me."To be your Spouse, O Jesus, to be a Carmelite, and by my union with you to be a Mother of souls, should not this suffice me? And yet it is not so. No doubt these three privileges sum up my true vocation: Carmelite, spouse, mother, and yet I feel within me other vocations… I feel the need and the desire of carrying out the most heroic deeds for you, O Jesus… In spite of my littleness, I would like to enlighten souls as did the Prophets and Doctors. I have the vocation of the Apostle. I would like to travel over the whole earth to preach your name and to plant your glorious Cross on infidel soil. But, O my Beloved, one mission alone would not be sufficient for me. I would want to preach the Gospel on all the five continents simultaneously and even to the most remote isles. I would be a missionary, not for a few years only but from the beginning of creation until the consummation of the ages…O my Jesus! What is your answer to all my follies? Is there a soul more little, more powerless than mine? Nevertheless, even because of my weakness, it has pleased you, O Lord, to grant my little, childish desires and you desire, today, to grant other desires that are greater than the universe… I understood that love comprised all vocations, that love was everything, that it embraced all times and places… in a word, that it was eternal!… My vocation, at last I have found it… my vocation is Love!

"Let us go forward in peace, our eyes upon heaven, the only one goal of our labors."- St. Thérèse

Saint Theresa had very great desires, yet she would never admit that she was a great soul or that she had the strength necessary to do great things, like the saints who had been proposed to her as models. So she had to find a way in keeping with this littleness of which she was so deeply conscious.


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