READ: Story of a Soul Chapters five and six
REFLECT: Spend a few minutes with each of the following thoughts:
- Therese said that she felt it was not possible for a heart given over to the affection of creatures to be intimately united with God. How do I stand in this regard? Is my love for others a pure, unselfish love which seeks nothing for myself, or do I seek my joy and satisfaction from others rather than from God alone? (This does not mean I cannot find joy in them, but that I do not actively seek it there.)
- Therese found great consolation in her newfound relationship to her brothers and sisters in Heaven. Do I remember to speak to my family members who have gone before me? Do I ask for their prayers and express my unity with them, desiring to join them someday?
- When a little school friend gave Therese the cold shoulder, she continued to pray for her and to love her. God gave her, she said, a heart which was so faithful that once it had loved purely, it loved always. God will surely grant me a heart like hers if I desire it sufficiently.
- As a child Therese had a headache almost every day, but didn‟t complain (except on one memorable occasion!) Am I in the habit of complaining about my little miseries, or do I try to suffer them in silent patience?
- Therese suffered great aridity in her prayer life, but rejoiced in it. Do I desire the consolations of God more than the God of consolations? How do I react when prayer is dry and “unfulfilling”?
REPLY: Answer the following questions as briefly as you can:
- 1. Until the “grace of Christmas”, what was Therese‟s main fault?
- 2. How old was she when this grace was received? Of what did it consist?
- 3. How did God prove to Therese that her ardent desire to save sinners would be granted?
- 4. How did Therese feel later on about her time spent in study and learning?
- 5. Which book did Therese learn by heart? Have you read it, too?
- 6. What special graces did the Lord grant to Celine and Therese at this time?
- 7. Who was Therese‟s guide?
- 8. Who was the first to encourage Therese in her early desire to enter Carmel? Who were those most opposed to the idea?
- 9. For whom do we in Carmel have a special vocation to pray?
- 10. In Paris Therese paid homage to Our Lady under which title? What virtue did she beg her to guard?
- 11. What was Therese‟s interior response to the great beauty she saw on her pilgrimage?
- 12. What were some of the most interesting places she visited?
- 13. Which pope did Therese approach for permission to enter Carmel at age 15? What was his response to her?
- 14. How did Therese express her desire to give her will completely to Jesus?
- 15. How long did she have to wait before finally entering Carmel?