As I have written about in my two previous posts, God entrusted to St. Therese a most beautiful and astonishing revelation. It was truly a Divine response of Infinite Goodness to her deepest longing “…to love You as You have never been loved before.”
Therese, flushed with joy on Trinity Sunday, 1895, was inspired by her Beloved to offer herself as a victim to Merciful Love. No longer would God’s rejected Love have to remain “…locked up in Your Heart.” Therese would offer her entire being to receive these Torrents of Divine Love. She even hoped that they would consume her so that she would “…become a martyr to Your Love…”
But Therese knew that so great an invitation, springing from the depths of Infinite Tenderness, was not meant for her alone. She convinced several of the other nuns in her monastery to also make this Act of Oblation. And, she invites us too!
But lest anyone feel they are unworthy to make such an offering, please know that you are then the most worthy. I quote Therese: Is the choice of me worthy of Love? Yes, for in order that Love should be fully satisfied, it needs to stoop down, to stoop down to Nothingness and to transform this Nothingness into FIRE.
So, the least and littlest and the poorest souls are those which allow God’s Love to soar to the heights in manifesting Its Greatness and Magnanimity.
So, little souls, let us not be afraid. Therese thought of us long ago: I beg You to choose in this world a multitude of little victims worthy of Your LOVE!!!
ACT OF OBLATION TO MERCIFUL LOVE
Offering of myself as a Victim of Holocaust to God’s Merciful Love
O My God! Most Blessed Trinity, I desire to Love You and make You Loved, to work for the glory of Holy Church by saving souls on earth and liberating those suffering in purgatory. I desire to accomplish Your will perfectly and to reach the degree of glory You have prepared for me in Your Kingdom. I desire, in a word, to be a saint, but I feel my helplessness and I beg You, O my God! to be Yourself my Sanctity!
Since You loved me so much as to give me Your only Son as my Savior and my Spouse, the infinite treasures of His merits are mine. I offer them to You with gladness, begging You to look upon me only in the Face of Jesus and in His heart burning with Love.
I offer You, too, all the merits of the saints (in heaven and on earth), their acts of Love, and those of the holy angels. Finally, I offer You, O Blessed Trinity! the Love and merits of the Blessed Virgin, my dear Mother. It is to her I abandon my offering, begging her to present it to You. Her Divine Son, my Beloved Spouse, told us in the days of His mortal life: “Whatsoever you ask the Father in my name he will give it to you!” I am certain, then, that You will grant my desires; I know, O my God! that the more You want to give, the more You make us desire. I feel in my heart immense desires and it is with confidence I ask You to come and take possession of my soul. Ah! I cannot receive Holy Communion as often as I desire, but, Lord, are You not all-powerful? Remain in me as in a tabernacle and never separate Yourself from Your little victim.
I want to console You for the ingratitude of the wicked, and I beg of You to take away my freedom to displease You. If through weakness I sometimes fall, may Your Divine Glance cleanse my soul immediately, consuming all my imperfections like the fire that transforms everything into itself.
I thank You, O my God! for all the graces You have granted me, especially the grace of making me pass through the crucible of suffering. It is with joy I shall contemplate You on the Last Day carrying the sceptre of Your Cross. Since You deigned to give me a share in this very precious Cross, I hope in heaven to resemble You and to see shining in my glorified body the sacred stigmata of Your Passion.
After earth’s Exile, I hope to go and enjoy You in the Fatherland, but I do not want to lay up merits for heaven. I want to work for Your Love alone with the one purpose of pleasing You, consoling Your Sacred Heart, and saving souls who will love You eternally.
In the evening of this life, I shall appear before You with empty hands, for I do not ask You, Lord, to count my works. All our justice is stained in Your eyes. I wish, then, to be clothed in Your own Justice and to receive from Your Love the eternal possession of Yourself. I want no other Throne, no other Crown but You, my Beloved!
Time is nothing in Your eyes, and a single day is like a thousand years. You can, then, in one instant prepare me to appear before You.
In order to live in one single act of perfect Love, I OFFER MYSELF AS A VICTIM OF HOLOCAUST TO YOUR MERCIFUL LOVE, asking You to consume me incessantly, allowing the waves of infinite tenderness shut up within You to overflow into my soul, and that thus I may become a martyr of Your Love, O my God!
May this martyrdom, after having prepared me to appear before You, finally cause me to die and may my soul take its flight without any delay into the eternal embrace of Your Merciful Love.
I want, O my Beloved, at each beat of my heart to renew this offering to You an infinite number of times, until the shadows having disappeared I may be able to tell You of my Love in an Eternal Face to Face!
Marie, Francoise, Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, unworthy Carmelite religious.
This 9th day of June, Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, In the year of grace, 1895.
(All emphases by St. Therese)
Reproduced with permission from Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux, translated by John Clarke, O.C.D. Copyright 1975 by the Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc. Washington, D.C.: ICS Publications.
Wow..I am speechless and dust. What an invitation. What an amazing saint and most powerful offering. Thank you for this. I will sit with it for a long while. God Bless….
You too, huh? “Dust,” I mean! Therese was only 22 when she wrote this. I can’t imagine the grace which had already flooded her soul. One of her sisters would tell Therese that she was literally “possessed” by God, and she compared it to the unfortunate people who are possessed by the devil. God was just so apparent in Therese. One of my favorite lines from her Act of Oblation is, “Be Yourself my Sanctity.” Not just make me holy, but “be” my Sanctity. I love this! It gives me hope 🙂 I think her concept of being a martyr to the Love of God is so extraordinary. Rather than being tortured to death the way we usually understand martrydom, she offers herself to be consumed by Love. What trust in God she had! I often ponder the immense glory God has bestowed upon her, beyond what most canonized Saints enjoy. To me, it is as though God is affirming the greatness of her “little way.”
“Dust!” I should have known you’d find the perfect word! 🙂 Therese asked the Saints for a “double portion” of their love. Perhaps we could ask her the same… Thank you for sharing the joy of Therese with me, dear Cynthia! xo
Wonderful posts on St. Therese! I am heading out today for my annual silent retreat. I will keep you in my prayers. From one burning heart to another – may the gentle fire raise to a blaze of love.
Rebecca, can I come? 🙂 Thank you so much for your prayers. I am so grateful for them. I will keep you in prayer this weekend as you dwell in solitude with our King. May Therese obtain for you her own heart’s desires. Peace and blessings. Have a beautiful retreat! xo
Thank you for posting this.
I am so confident that God gives us the means to become saints, to do His will perfectly. But the longing and the love that St Therese talks about… I fall short. But I have heard that wanting to love is actually an act of loving and love can grow. I pray the words “please make me love You more” all the time. I will have to spend more time praying and meditating upon Love as you do.
God bless you, dear Patricia!
Sue, Therese herself speaks about how much God values our desires, even when we can’t accomplish all that we long for. He knows our weaknesses, but looks at our heart. Her secret is that she depended on Him for everything. She would even ask to love with “His Love.”
“I will appear before you with empty hands…” How I love that! We must try our best, but “all our works are stained in Your sight..” May God Himself fill our empty hands. “Be Yourself my Sanctity.” I think she “stole” His Heart, because she absolutely believed that He wants to give us everything and to literally carry us in His arms…like in the elevator analogy she was so fond of. How great is His tenderness for those who seek Him!
I think you love much more than you realize. It shows in all that you write, do, share, etc. Your heart is huge. It has had to accomodate such grief, but now it also has room for so much more love. You shine, my friend…without even writing directly about these things. You just live them, which is ever so much better. And why we all love you! You know we do! 🙂 xoxo Huge Hugs!
While I was turning off my music on my iPod this morning after running, I noticed I had some emails to read (my iPod receives emails.) Your kind comment contained the first words of my day! Thank you! You really inspired me to try hard today, and to feel encouraged.
“I think she “stole” His Heart…” Yes! I will remember that. I often ask Mary to lend me her heart, especially at Mass. To love like Mary and to love like God…
By the way, I love that line from the Anima Christi… “Within Thy wounds hide me.” I pray that prayer at Mass too, after receiving Holy Communion. That thought is probably irrelevant to your post and St Therese but never mind!
“It has had to accommodate such grief, but now it also has room for so much more love.” I am going to save those words. Thank you!
I feel this is a disjointed comment but I know you won’t mind. Love to you, dear Patricia!
I love your comment Sue! It’s not disjointed at all. You have given me so much to think about. I love how you borrow Mary’s Heart at Mass. Her Immaculate Heart. Imagine how much she loved Jesus! And then, what you said about the Anima Christi…so beautiful. I’ve been wanting to write a post about the Wounds of Jesus…and how He still has them. I love that we can “hide” within…especially within the wound in His Heart. So unfathomable…all that God gives us to savor about His Infinite Love! We can never come to the end of His “secrets.” Thank you for sharing such beautiful thoughts with me. And if my other comment encouraged you, I’m so happy. You should feel encouraged because you are amazing and a truly beautiful person. I learn so much from you….and laugh 🙂 so much too! Thank you! Many hugs…..
“I want to console You for the ingratitude of the wicked, and I beg of You to take away my freedom to displease You. If through weakness I sometimes fall, may Your Divine Glance cleanse my soul immediately, consuming all my imperfections like the fire that transforms everything into itself.”
Oh yes..yes Jesus..yes!!
Thank you dear friend, for sharing St Therese’s beautiful oblation-heart with us.
And your own….
much love as always..Trish xx
Trish…always so lovely to “see” you! 🙂 I know you love this Oblation. I remember your comment when I first posted it in 2011. I savored reading the lines quoted in your comment above. Each word is so rich… Therese, literally on fire, and God even permitted her to experience the flames on the Friday after she made her Offering. If you recall, she was making the way of the Cross when she was seized with such love for God that she could hardly bear it and said she would have died if it had lasted even a moment longer. She was burning. Oh that we could burn too! Let’s keep trying to imitate this beautiful young Saint.
Much love to you too! I hope you will be sharing on your blog, what you’ve been up to lately. First Friday is coming. Will you link up to the Sacred Heart sight? I hope I find time to post something for that day. Such a beautiful gift to Jesus…all the First Friday posts about His Sacred Heart. Hugs, dear Trish! xoxo
I have been re-introduced to this beautiful and powerful prayer recently in reading Jean Petit’s Descending Fire. I find that it takes great courage to pray this prayer and mean it. The fact that Therese did it at 22 is amazing. God did so much in and with her in her very short life.
In the context of Jean Petit’s writings, I can see even more how we, even as little souls, can make every one of our acts a single act of love. That we can be the recipients of all the Divine Love that is rejected by so many souls is both awesome and humbling.
Thanks for sharing this here, Patricia.
Oh Karen, what a beautiful comment! I especially love the last sentence: That we can be the recipients of all the Divine Love that is rejected by so many souls is both awesome and humbling. You stated it so perfectly. It’s beyond imagining, isn’t it?! How good God is!
How like Him to reveal this secret of love to a little and trusting soul like Therese, who dreamed of climbing up and playing “on Your lap” in Heaven. Such an echo of Our Lord’s words about us becoming like little children to enter His Kingdom. Therese truly had the trust and confidence of a child toward our Heavenly Father.
Isn’t it awesome how Jean Petit constantly quotes Therese? And..the way he chooses to include her Offering in his little book? I sense that he too was on fire…sort of a kindred soul in some ways to Therese. So happy you are being blessed by his book. I just fell in love with it.
Karen, I agree with you about needing great courage to pray this prayer as a true offering of oneself. I think such courage can only be given by God. We could never pray the prayer without asking first for His help. (Which is what Therese always did 🙂
I love that God raised up such a young woman to such heights of sanctity. When I first “met” her, we were the same age. Now I love to tell her that I’m growing old, while she remains forever young. I can’t imagine Therese living to old age. There was something so childlike about her…even with that head chocked full of wisdom! Happy Sunday, and much love to you, Karen. xo
Patricia, When I read this: ‘to stoop down to Nothingness and to transform this Nothingness into FIRE,’ I’m transfixed..Then I look on the holy sweetness of her face and realize she understood this to a heroic degree at such a young age. I’m such a slow learner…All I can do is give the Lord my constant hunger for Him and thank Him for the example of St Therese.
I thought of you when I read this about Pope Francis and St Therese’ white rose.
Love and blessings always +
Oh Caroline, thank you so much for that link! What a beautiful story! I just shared it on Facebook…the perfect ending to celebrating her Feast Day. I’m sorry so late in responding. Can’t seem to spend as much time as I’d like writing these days, and was trying to keep something about Therese up for the past couple of weeks…. I do love her so much.
All I can do is give the Lord my constant hunger for Him… A priest once told me that the desire to love God is the same as already loving Him. Therese said something similar, about how God looks at our desires, our hearts, even though we may not be able to always achieve those desires. That’s why she desired to give Him EVERYTHING! 🙂 So see, you are following in her footsteps.
Tomorrow, we’ll be talking angels. I love October! How is the little one? We are 6 weeks along here. (I have been released from my “vow” of silence.) My son and his wife couldn’t keep it a secret afterall! 🙂 Love and prayers….xoxo