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)

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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?


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