Saturday, September 20, 2008

13. St. Therese of Lisieux .....( afnta, afnta-questforallah, Allah, God, love for God, quest)

Another saint and pope , St Pius X, said this about her, “ The greatest saint of modern times” ( widely quoted from " the autiobiograpy..." see footnote )

I have chosen her to demonstrate that some mystics are preselected by God or His representatives. We know that she was preselected, because she had a “ spiritual event “ in childhood, at the age of fourteen, and thus satisfies the first criterion.

She fulfils the second criterion of ‘holiness’ (which is a mandatory requirement) for a preselected mystic or saint, although it need not be lifelong ( as lives of St Paul and St Augustine testify, who sinned against God ). We are sure of her holiness because she was made a saint not too long after her death . She died at the young age of twenty-four, in a convent, where her life must have been an open book. And we come across this astonishing statement from her confessor, made just two months after her entrance in the convent;
“Before God, the Blessed Virgin, the angels, and all the saints, I declare that you have never committed a single mortal sin……”

We have the added advantage of fulfillment of the third criterion, the truthfulness of the events of her life, because she has left an autobiography (see footnote). She did not write the autobiography at her own behest, to parade her virtues, but was ordered to do so by her superiors. The book is a pure delight to read. It has sold millions of copies and has been translated in dozens of languages .
Love for God overflows from every page. “The only good thing is to love God with all one’s heart, and to stay poor in spirit.”

She also tells us that God loves us, and this is a recurring theme of the book. She is awe-struck at how good and kind the God is. She made a profound statement to her sister a month before her death:” What I have written will do a lot of good. It will make the kindness of God better known”.

Her great desire, in all her life, was to glorify her Beloved, the God. If it meant torment and suffering, that was even better. Few months before her death she wrote:
“… Like you, my adorable Jesus, I want to be scourged and crucified. I want to be flayed like St Bartholomew. Like St John, I want to be flung into boiling oil. Like St Ignatius of Antioch, I long to be ground by the teeth of wild beasts, ground into bread worthy of God. With St Agnes and St Cecillia, I want to offer my neck to the sword of executioner and, like Joan of Arc, murmur the name of Jesus at the stake……” “My Jesus, fling open that book of life in which are set down the deed of every saint. I want to perform them all for You.

You have to read the book yourself

I will narrate her spiritual events in the next installment

1. The autobiography of St. Therese of lisieux. The sorry of a soul. Translated by John Beevers

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