St. Thérèse de Lisieux

St. Thérèse is one of our favourite saints, mainly because of her "little way". Pope Pius XI called St. Thérèse "a masterpiece of grace and nature" and stated that "if her way of spiritual childhood became general, it would bring the reform of human society". That is quite an amazing statement!  Pope Pius XI was actually declaring that if a great number of people embraced St. Thérèse's little way, the world would essentially be transformed. That's one of the many compelling reasons we have for sharing with you what we've learned about her teaching on spiritual childhood.

Linda and I have seen a few movies and read a few books on her life, but they have often struck us as being a little "syrupy" and a tad sentimental.  We see her as a strong woman of faith whose doctrine may be simple but definitely not easy! Her "way" is robust and deeply anchored in the gospels. St John Paul II named her a Doctor of the Church but some people may not fully appreciate the implications of that. It means that her spiritual doctrine is on par with the likes of Sts Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, to name but a few. That should be enough to gain our attention.

Another striking feature of her life is that even though she quickly attained a very high degree of holiness, St. Thérèse went relatively unnoticed in her own convent. This and several other somewhat surprising and little known characteristics are all part of what makes our favourite saint so unique.

The videos below were first presented as a weekly series. We suggest that you view them in the sequence presented below, since they build one onto another. (Intro, Week 1, 2, 3...etc.). 

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In this introductory video, Marcel explains why St. Thérèse is considered to be "the greatest saint of modern times" (Pope St Pius X), helping us to rediscover the heart of the Gospels.

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When interviewed, Sr. Geneviève revealed that her "sister had no devotions". Thérèse's prayer was really very simple; she would gaze upon God and allow Him to gaze upon her. 

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St. Thérèse de Lisieux's spirituality was very simple. Her trust in God's love for her was the one thing that undergirded her whole relationship with Him which is why she attained holiness so quickly.

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Four characteristics, common in the lives of most saints, are conspicuously absent from the life of St Thérèse.  One of these  was the absence of mystical phenomena.

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Despite having achieved a high degree of holiness, the life of St Thérèse was not accompanied by any remarkable deeds, as is so often the case in the life of a saint. 

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This superb book by a renowned spiritual director, Fr. Jean C.J. d'Elbée, is the transcription of a personal retreat based on the teachings of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. 

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St Thérèse was a spiritual pioneer and innovator. Marcel explains how little souls, taking St. Thérèse as their model, can achieve a great degree of holiness through practicing the way of "little" penances.

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St Thérèse, considered a spiritual genius, articulated one of the most beautiful definitions of holiness; one that reflects her 'new way' to holiness.