READ: Story of a Soul Chapters three and four
REFLECT: Spend a few minutes with each of the following thoughts:
- Therese saw early that the only true good is to love God with all one‟s heart, and to be poor in spirit. How attached am I to the things of the world?
- Therese said she had a bold confidence in becoming a great saint because she didn‟t count on her own non-existent merits, but on trust in Him who is Virtue and Holiness. Do I feel this same bold confidence? Do I ask God to make me a saint, or do I hold back because I think I can‟t be that good?
- Therese found that mental prayer was a simple thing – being alone with God and “thinking” with him. Am I spending enough time in solitude, conversing with my Lord? Or do I waste time when we could be together by pursuing idle conversations and amusements?
- How carefully Therese prepared for her first communion! Do I prepare adequately for my own communions with the Lord, and for other important spiritual events in my life, such as clothing, promises, etc.? What about for the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
REPLY: Answer the following questions as briefly as you can:
- 1. What caused Therese‟s unhappiness during her five years at school?
- 2. How did Celine‟s first communion affect Therese?
- 3. What were some early signs of her contemplative vocation?
- 4. When did Therese first discuss her future vocation with the Prioress of Carmel?
- 5 After her illness, what caused Therese much grief for a long time?
- 6. To what did Therese later attribute her illness?
- 7. How was her cure affected? What trial was connected with the grace of this cure?
- 8. How did Therese receive her religious name?
- 9. What inspired her to offer herself to Jesus as his “little flower”?
- 10 What did God reveal to her about her destiny as she read about Joan of Arc?
- 11. How did the imagery of flowers enter into her preparation for her First Communion?
- 12. How did Therese describe the change effected in her relationship to Jesus?
- 13. In what prayer did she express her great desire of suffering?
- 14. When was she affected with scruples and for how long? Was her confessor aware of it?
- 15. How did Therese show her love for Mary at a tender age?
- 16. What consolation from Heaven did she receive after Marie left home for the Carmel?