STORY OF A SOUL LESSON 1
READ: Story of A Soul (St. Therese of the Child Jesus) Introduction and Prologue
REFLECT: Spend a few minutes with each of the following thoughts: (continued)
- I can’t use the excuse that St. Therese was too “great‟ for me to imitate. She didn’t do anything extraordinary, but rather did ordinary things extraordinarily well, that is, with great love.
- St. Therese said that if God found a soul smaller and weaker than hers, he would surely be pleased to grant it still greater favors. I can‟t excuse myself out of weakness then, can I?
- St. Therese said this would happen provided I abandon myself with total confidence to God‟s infinite Mercy. I don‟t need to have confidence in myself then, but in God! The weaker I am, the more he will be glorified in stooping to help me.
- Therese says that our Lord‟s love is revealed as perfectly in the most simple soul that resists his grace in nothing, as in the most excellent (gifted) soul. I must become better attuned to the movements of grace in my soul.
- God has granted me particular graces and gifts, and it is not a lack of humility to realize this. I need to sing the mercies of the Lord each day.
REPLY: Answer the following questions as briefly as you can:
- 1. How is the writing of her autobiography, Story of a Soul, an essential part of St. Therese‟s “mission”? In other words, what was that mission?
- 2. Why did Therese call her “way”, that is, her kind of approach to God, the little way? In other words, what is its essence?
- 3. Which popes publicly endorsed her “little way”, and why?
- 4. When did Therese die, and at what age? How soon afterwards was her book published?
- 5. What are some of the New Testament passages which refer to spiritual childhood?
- 6. Upon which Old Testament passages did St. Therese build her teaching?
- 7. For whom were the three sections of the autobiography written? For what reasons?
- 8. What was Therese‟s birth name? Where was she born?
- 9. How did Providence provide in a special way for little Therese to be born to her parents, Louis and Zelie Martin?
- 10. How was the poem which was brought in honor of Therese‟s birth rather prophetic?
- 11. What broke up the family‟s general happiness, and caused them to depart to Lisieux?
- 12. How does the last paragraph in the Introduction apply to us personally? What is the main condition for a soul to receive great favors of grace?
- 13. What factors in the Martin family atmosphere must have had a profound influence on St. Therese and the other children?
- 14. Is the edition you are now reading faithful to the original manuscripts? Is it also faithful to the first edition of 1898? Why is this better than the 1957 edition?