What is a victim of Love?

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

In my previous post, You are invited by St. Therese, 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!

(Next week, I will post the text of Therese’s Offering to Merciful Love….perhaps you too will choose to join her “multitude of little victims worthy of Your Love!!!”)

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14 thoughts on “What is a victim of Love?

    • Thank you, Sue. I love this time of the year…so many wonderful Feast Days coming…like those of the Archangels and our Holy Guardian angels and St. Francis and St. Tersesa of Avila, and of course, St. Therese. She stole my heart the first time I read The Story of a Soul. It will be a joy to post her exquisite prayer…..love pouring out of every word.

      Caught the latest Fab Four 😉 video, but was on my way out the door, so haven’t had time to comment yet. So precious though. You did an awesome job!
      Love you, dear friend…..find such joy when I visit your site xoxo

  1. Wow! This is the best explanation I have read anywhere as to what her “offering to Merciful Love”
    was and is. I cannot wait for your next addition to this series! “Multitude of little victims” what beauty and love. “To love God for those who refuse to love Him” is such a revelation. I have reread this several times as it is so enlightening. I will continue to reread it as I am a slow learner. Thank you a gazillion times for this amazing post Patricia. I know our “Little Saint” is smiling on you. May God continue to bless you dear lady…

    • HI Cynthia! It’s good to know someone else who uses words like “gazillion” 🙂
      I’m so grateful that you found this explanation helpful. It gives me hope that I’ve learned at least a bit while keeping my nose stuck in books about Therese for the past few decades..lol! Seriously, I truly love this Offering. It is, as you said, such a “revelation,” and yet so many seem not to have heard of it, or to understand what she truly meant. It’s very different from offering oneself as a victim of justice (thank goodness!), but it’s no cop-out, for through it one opens themselves to all that Love wants to give, and that can include crosses. But not in the sense of suffering punishment due to the sins of others, but in allowing God to transform us into Christ; it is living amidst the flames of His Love.
      I think we are all “slow learners,” when the teacher is a Doctor of the Church 🙂
      God bless you Cynthia…..who paints with words xo

  2. Patricia… I don’t think I ever really understood what St Therese meant by choosing to be a victim of love for Jesus …With Marie, I also would have said this: ‘to make such an Offering would be to invite additional suffering and punishment upon herself.’ Yet, I see from your beautiful explanation that an offering of Divine love is different from one of Divine Justice.
    So much to pray and think on ..I’m a way slow learner, too!
    Love and blessings +

  3. Welcome to the slow learner’s club 🙂 Seems that even Therese had trouble getting others to understand what God had revealed to her. I know the first time I came across this, I was also like Marie. But in reading the words of the Offering, it becomes more clear. Therese was only concerned that God suffered because His Love was so rejected and therefore had no object to receive it. So, she determined to become a victim in the most wonderful way, by asking God to pour out upon her all of that rejected love….oceans and oceans of Divine Love. In this way, He would not suffer rejection, for she would willingly receive all He desired to give. His Love would no longer have to remain “locked up” in His Heart. I think this is such an extraordinary concept and reveals such inspired insight into the Heart of God. Therese was fearless in her trust in God, and in her confidence in the immensity of His Merciful Love. I am so grateful that she goes before us, leading with such light and love. Yes, definitely so much to think and pray on…don’t think we will ever come to the end of it in this life. Love from one GM to another! 🙂 xoxo

    • I love your responses. I am just so taken by your beautiful explanations of this powerful offering of love.and ‘insight into the Heart of God”. Still, and will be experiencing the revelation of this! Thank you so very much again…God Bless…

      • Cynthia, I am so delighted and grateful that you are interested in and even excited over this beautiful revelation Therese shares with us: the invitation to console the Sweet Heart of Jesus by offering oneself as a little victim to the Torrents of His Merciful Love. I hope to post Therese’s text of the Offering today…if you haven’t already googled it 🙂 What a beautiful meditation it makes!
        Thank you for the kind words…and for sharing your joy over this precious “discovery” of Therese. Thank you so much for your prayers for my family and me. Our first grandchild is 6 weeks “on the way.” Yay…at last! I still have your prayer intention on my list, and was looking at it in adoration just the other day. Hope everything is well! Blessings always and a big hug!

        • Thank you and thank you for your beautiful example of our faith! And for your prayers. I am so grateful to tell you my son’s scans came back clear!! He will have them again in 3 mos. Your prayers are so dear and precious to me and for my son. I will pray for you and your son and family now growing! How joyful! I am looking forward to the Offering today!! A ginormous hug for you!!!God Bless…all love and light of Christ in you…

          • Oh Cynthia, that’s wonderful news! Praise God! Well, for sure I will keep him on my prayer list, as we have to be ready for that next scan. God is so Good. I’m so happy for your family. Thank you for your prayers as well. Yes, great JOY! We have a long wait, as due date is May 31, but waiting is so much a part of the fun. At first, we were sworn to secrecy, but my son and his wife ended up not being able to resist telling everyone, so now I’m set free…thank goodness. I was bursting! 🙂 Can’t wait to have a baby around again! Ginormous hugs right back atcha! Loved your poem today. Have to go back and savor it again. I always do that. Pssst, we need a collection…..yeah! 😉

            PS Will try to get Offering up tonight. Started clearing clutter from a spare room, and got carried away. Wanted to take advantage of this rare obsession to sort and clean..lol.

  4. This is such a beautiful act of love for Our Blessed Lord. After all, look what He has given to us. Am I mistaken to observe that our contemporary society has lost the understanding of the essence of sacrificial love from deep within the heart? Thank you for your post. By the way, the design of your blog reminds me of one of my favorite Carmelite Chapels, which is assciated with a cloister.

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