Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Story of A Soul

I had started another book, that I just couldn't get into - but then it got to be halfway through March, and I needed to find a book that I could handle before the month was over, or risk falling behind schedule in month three of my plan.
For the unfamiliar, The Story of a Soul is the Autobiography of Saint Therese of Lisieux, known as "The Little Flower".  She was a Carmelite nun, entering the convent at 15 and dying at 24.  I've known the basic story of St. Therese for a number of years, but one thing I had never considered is how she became declared a Saint, when she had a short life of a cloistered nun.  Few people probably knew of her existence during her life, and it is this autobiography that introduced the world to St. Therese.

I'm pretty sure I could read this book a dozen more times and get more out of it every time.  I will admit that the flowery language was difficult for me - I'm just not the biggest fan of the style.  She also bounces around a lot (and apologizes a lot for her bouncing around!)  It is easy to see that she just wrote - she didn't think of writing a book, she just wrote about what she was told to write, and let the Holy Spirit be her guide.

I was surprised to learn that St. Therese had a lack of consolations in prayer, as I often think of Saints as having intense God experiences regularly (as some Saints did, of course!)  I loved this particular line:

"Don't imagine that I'm overwhelmed with consolations.  I'm not.  My consolation is not to have any in this life.  Jesus never manifests Himself nor lets me hear His voice.  He teaches me in secret.  I never learn anything from books, for I don't understand what I read.  Yet from time to time a sentence comforts me."

Also, when she talks about her "little way" - the little sacrifices she makes, it is clear that she does so humbly and with humility:

"You see, Mother, that I am a very little soul who can only offer very little things to God; it often happens that I let slip the chance of making these little sacrifices which give such peace, but I'm not discouraged.  I put up with having a bit less peace and try to be more careful next time.  Ah! How happy God makes me!  It is so pleasant and easy to serve Him during this life."

I wish I had some great and profound thoughts about this book, but I guess all I need to have a very little thoughts - and perhaps to work harder towards making little sacrifices in life for God.


Christine said...

I feel like all I have is little thoughts sometimes. ;)

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