READ: Story of a Soul. Chapters one and two

REFLECT: Spend a few minutes with each of the following thoughts:

  1. Even as a child, Therese refrained from complaining when someone took what belonged to her, and when she was accused unjustly. The next time this happens to me, how will I react? I should pray now for the grace to act likewise when the occasion arises.
  2. Therese was careful at age nine to discern the motive for her desire to enter Carmel, finding it was for God alone. Do I examine my motives that carefully when I decide to undertake something which seems good on the surface?
  3. Therese sensed that it is normally best to keep hidden in our hearts the graces and gifts God gives to us. Do I speak needlessly to others of his favors? How easily vanity enters in!
  4. God made Therese feel that true glory is that which will last forever, and to reach it, it is not necessary to perform striking works, but to hide oneself and practice hidden virtue. Has this truth penetrated my mind? How well do I hide my little sacrifices?

REPLY: Answer the following questions as briefly as you can:

  • 1. What virtue is demonstrated by St. Therese‟s “singing the mercies of the Lord”?
  • 2. Does perfection consist in being a “little soul”or a “great soul”? In just what does it consist?
  • 3. To what did Therese refer when speaking of how God‟s mercy worked in her life?
  • 4, What was the first significant period which Therese distinguishes in her life?
  • 5. What character traits are notable in Therese in this period?
  • 6. What was Therese’s disposition and attitude toward life in this period?
  • 7. What was Therese’s immediate reaction to her mother‟s death?
  • 8. Who was her second mother, and how did this come about?
  • 9. How did Therese‟s devotional life during this period prepare her for her vocation and the great graces which she later received?
  • 10. What virtue did Therese demonstrate in her relationship with Pauline?
  • 11. What was Therese‟s relationship with her father?
  • 12. What mystical premonition did she receive concerning her fathers trial?
  • 13. Who was Therese‟s constant companion in her childhood?
  • 14. What was her attitude toward her first and subsequent confessions?
  • 15. How did Pauline demonstrate to Therese how all souls in Heaven are completely happy, although not all have equal glory?
  • 16. What balanced out the painful loss of her mother, giving her strength for future trials?


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