#33. The Story of a Soul

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You know, God, that I have never wanted anything but to love You alone. I long for no other glory.... Love attracts love and mine soars up to you, eager to fill the abyss of Your love, but it is not even a drop of dew lost in the ocean. To love You as You love me, I must borrow Your love--only then can I have peace. O Jesus, it seems to me that You cannot give a soul more love than You have bestowed on me, and that is why I dare ask You to love those You have given me "even as You have loved me." ... I cannot imagine any greater love than that You have given me without any merit of my own.

Author: St. Therese of Lisieux (translated by John Beevers)

Synopsis: When Therese Martin was fifteen years old, she threw herself at the feet of the Pope and begged him to convince her spiritual advisors to let her enter the Carmelite convent early. She did enter quite young, and devoted her short life--she died in her early twenties--to loving Jesus and praying for the souls of others. Her story of faith, which her superiors in the convent asked her to write, was published shortly after her death and became very well-known and very well-beloved.

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I wish I had the firm, wholehearted devotion she speaks of. I can only struggle with my wandering mind and stubborn nature and pray for greater ability to love than I have now. But "Therese of the Child Jesus" comes to her God as His child, as a 'little one', His 'little flower' among the great saints. And I, despite my thirty-one years and my almost six feet of height, can wholly sympathize.

The book is a challenging if short read and not one I pore over regularly, but its meaning stays with me. May Therese, who is now with her Jesus, pray for another flower who struggles against the shadows of doubt and self-will and longs for the sun.

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