St Therese of the Child Jesus was a young Carmelite nun who devoted her life to loving God.
St Therese sought to serve others, to do something outside herself, to forget herself in quiet acts of love. She is one of the great examples of the gospel paradox that we gain our life by losing it, and that the seed that falls to the ground must die in order to live. St Thérèse went out of her way to spend time with, and therefore to love, the people she found repellent.
She embraced simplicity and had childlike trust in Jesus. In the face of her littleness and nothingness, she trusted in God to be her sanctity. She wanted to go to heaven by an entirely new little way. “I wanted to find an elevator that would raise me to Jesus.” The elevator, she wrote, would be the arms of Jesus lifting her in all her littleness.
Below are some quotes from St Therese:
“On the day of my conversion Charity entered into my heart and with it a yearning to forget self always; henceforward I was happy.”
“You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love at which we do them.”
“Be not afraid to tell Jesus that you love Him; even though it be without feeling, this is the way to oblige Him to help you, and carry you like a little child too feeble to walk.”
“Even now I know it: yes, all my hopes will be fulfilled… yes… the Lord will work wonders for me which will surpass infinitely my immeasurable desires.”
“On earth for awhile . . . in heaven forever.”