Therese invites you to Love….

 I beg You to choose in this world a multitude of little victims worthy of Your LOVE!!! (sic)

In my previous post, Will you be a victim…of Love, I shared the account of how Therese had been seized with the desire to offer herself as a victim to the Merciful Love of God.

Therese saw her Offering as a means to relieve the suffering of God Whose Love must remain pent up within His Heart, because It is rejected and refused by so many.. Enlightened by the Holy Spirit, she resolved to offer herself to be “consumed unceasingly” by this torrent of Love. Her dream was to become a true “holocaust” of Divine Love, being so burned up within these Flames, that she would eventually become “a martyr to Your Love, O my God!”

But Therese knew immediately that this revelation from the Most Tender Heart of God was not given for herself alone. Only moments after having received the inspiration during Mass on Trinity Sunday, 1895, she shared the invitation with two of her blood sisters, Celine (Sister Genevieve of St. Teresa),  and Pauline (Mother Agnes of Jesus), who were nuns in the same monastery. In fact, Pauline was then serving as prioress.

Later, Therese invited the novices in her care to make the Offering as well. She also tracked down her other blood sister, Marie, (Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart) while she was working in the garden one day. Marie at first protested, thinking that to make such an Offering would be to invite additional suffering and punishment upon herself.

But Therese gently explained that was not the case: I do understand what you are saying, but to offer oneself to love is an entirely different thing to offering oneself to His Justice. One does not suffer more. It is a matter only of loving God more for those who do not love Him.

As in most things, Therese was victorious, and Marie agreed to also become a victim of Merciful Love.

Hence, Therese offers to each of us the same invitation….to love God for those who refuse to love Him… to remain beneath His Heart, and allow ourselves to be immersed in the waves of Tenderness pouring forth from that Divine Heart, so grateful for release. For to love God is most of all about allowing Him to love us. 

“…..for God loves to be love, and love is His Ecstasy, His Life in the Trinity, His Mystery, and the Secret of His gratuitous creation, of redemption and of heaven.”  (from With Empty Hands, the message of St. Therese of Lisieux, by Conrad De Meester)

But now, let us return to June 9, 1895. And afterward, we shall see what God’s response to Therese’s Offering was…

Therese, accompanied by Celine, had explained to the prioress, that she wished to offer herself as a victim to the Merciful Love of God.  Mother Agnes, having such respect for the holiness of her little sister, immediately gave her consent.

Therese then set herself to the task of composing what truly must be one of the most beautiful prayers ever written by a Saint. It seems she wished to leave out nothing from her Offering, and so she proceeds to ask for all that Love can give.

Two days later, on June 11, Therese and her sister Celine, knelt before the statue of the Virgin of the Smile, and Therese read the Prayer of Offering that she had composed.

She neither asked for nor expected any sign from God in response to her offering.  She always sought the little, simple and hidden way in her life….the way of little souls.  Unlike her Holy Founders, St. Teresa of Jesus and St. John of the Cross, lofty mystical experiences were not part of Therese’s life.  In fact, almost her entire nine years in Carmel were spent in a state of spiritual dryness.

However, on Friday, June 14, while alone in the chapel making the Way of the Cross, Therese suddenly found herself seized with a Love for God which burned so intensely that she thought she would die. I was on fire with love, and I felt that one moment, one second more, and I would not have been able to bear this burning without dying.

Her Divine Spouse had deigned to manifest to His little victim that He was indeed pleased with her Offering to His Merciful Love.

Theresian scholars describe this experience as the consummation of the Mystical Marriage or Transforming Union, the final stage of the spiritual journey and the deepest union with God one can experience this side of Heaven.

As for Therese, she said only that she believed God had confirmed His acceptance of her Offering.  Out of obedience, she disclosed the mystical experience to her prioress, but then said no more about it. 

As for her Offering, she carried the written copy over her heart for the rest of her life, and she repeated the words often, even on her death-bed.

Her great dream had been to die of love for God, and one can hardly doubt that she did.

After months of unbearable suffering from the ravages of tuberculosis, when it seemed her death agony would drag on for hours, she picked up her crucifix and gazed at it tenderly, uttering with her last breath:

Oh, I love Him!  My God, I love Thee!

(Tomorrow I will post  the Prayer Therese wrote to offer herself as a victim of Holocaust to the Merciful Love of God.  Those who feel called are invited to follow her in this little way of LOVE).

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6 thoughts on “Therese invites you to Love….

    • Thank you, Anne! I’m running late, because I had written today’s post yesterday, but when I went to save the draft, there was a glitch, and I lost at least half of it! I was so frustrated. But then I remembered what I had been writing about, and hey, here I was complaining, instead of welcoming the inconvenience and sacrifice of having to start almost completely over. I wish I could say that I then sweetly offered it up peacefully…… But I did at least try to get over it : ) So, I had to find time to rewrite today. I couldn’t remember everything I had included yesteday, but I hope this post is the way Jesus wants it, even if I thought the original one was better : ) And so we learn…….
      God bless you, dear friend.

  1. I recall reading how the symptoms of late stage tuberculosis which St. Therese endured out of Love for Jesus, actually are uncanningly similar to many of the physical sufferings experienced during crucifixion. So St. Therese may not have been aware of this, but her physical sufferings actually mirrored much of what Jesus endured- except for His pierced hands and feet. And if she suffered that too, she would have been overjoyed to have been given that priviledge to be just like her Bridegroom even in that.

    Reading St. Therese’s life and testimony makes me spiritually jealous and inspires me to keep on asking the Lord for more love to Him so that I will not have so much self-love and will have that desire to pay the price for Him as these precious saints were so disposed!

    • Boldylocks, her sufferings did mirror those of Our Lord in many ways….especially the suffocation. I doubt she was unaware, as nothing ever seemed to escape her 😉 St. Therese used to pray that she would love God more than He had ever been loved before. Pretty bold, huh? But, I think He may have answered her prayer. And she was so simple and lowly, doing just ittle things with great love. Sometimes I ask Jesus to give me her heart…so that I too can love Him greatly. Therese herself asked the great Saints to give her a “double portion” of their love for God. I don’t think she minds your “jealousy” at all. But instead, hopes that you would even surpass her in loving God.

      • Hi dear Sister! That does sound like how Therese would be– wanting everyone to surpass her spiritually so that Jesus would be loved all the more 🙂

        I just now asked the saints to intercede for us so that we will be like the Wise Virgins and not the foolish ones in Jesus’s parable and be ready unto our deaths in the allotted time given us for our lives. And I added in the prayer that we will not limit God in any way in receiving His graces, nor will we get a big head over it and our carnal nature starts getting puffed up thinking we’re spiritually better than everyone once we receive His grace to keep moving foreward toward Him. That we will love Jesus in all humility and follow Him on the narrow road, being faithful to the Vision He gives us as well as desiring only Him in a World that is full of idols and distractions.

        Just said that prayer dear Sister and asked that both of us be prayed for by the saints and Mary as well as that I also prayed to Jesus too regarding this., so we have the saints, Mary praying for us and Jesus! If we stumble due to our human natures getting in the way, we’ll just have to follow the advice of St. Therese and know that we should expect to stumble because of our wretched natures, so we’ll just need to keep on depending on the Lord to help us back up nd learn to walk.

        Now, I wanted to tell you about st. Therese- what she did last year for us in my little non-denominational church I was born in. The pastors there really respect St. Therese. In fact, when I mentioned how I loved reading about her and her testimony to the head pastor, He was pleasantly surprised and told me, “ahhhh, St. Therese! She was little in the eyes of man but BIG in the eyes of God!” And in our last church retreat, he was led to tell the congregation about St. Therese, how that she was so disposed to follow Jesus as Lord and King of her life (not just Savior) that she would often pray, “Lord, do unto me what pleases Thee.” She, as well as many other Catholic saints, (like st. Augustine, etc) are often mentioned in our services as examples to learn from. He mentioned how dear it is to our Lord when we are willing to become His “”Nobody”.

        Well last Summer my mother was grocery shopping and came upon a little hydrangea bush that everyone overlooked so it was placed on Clearance. She purchased it and asked me if I knew where I could plant it. The idea came to me to plant it on the side of our church with the pastor’s approval. When I planted it I noticed that the nickname on the stake that was in the pot for that type of hydrangea is called “Sister Therese” I was sooo blown away and made sure to tell my pastor, who also knew it was not a coincidence!

        Seems that Saint Therese is definitely still doing work on Earth as in Heaven on this side of the Veil!

        hugs in Jesus
        lisa

        • Hi Lisa! I love reading your comments. You are totally delightful, and so in love with Our Lord! Thank you so much for sharing your story of St. Therese. She said she would shower us with roses, and I guess Hydrangea’s too! 😉 If I were in Heaven, I hope I would be able to help others on earth. I’m sure Our Lord allows such things, as we are all one body in Him. It would be strange to be cut off from our brothers and sisters once we left the earth.

          Thank you for that beautiful prayer, and for including me in it. Yes, humility is so iimportant. How silly we are when we are proud of ourselves, when the very Son of God, the King of kings, stooped to become one of us….and forever. I often cry when I think of Jesus kneeling to wash the feet of His apostles. How great is our God!!!!!

          I just posted an article about St. Therese. I think you might enjoy it. Let me know. I am behind in responding to comments, but I hope to catch up soon.

          God bless you, Lisa! What a joy you must be to His Heart! I will pray for you in Eucharistic Adoration tomorrow. xoxo

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