27 November 2006

Of Spiritual Childhood.


Al Kimmel recently posted this excerpt from the writings of St Thérèse de Lisieux - so wonderful that rather than simply link to it, I'm reproducing it in full:

Even if I had performed all the deeds of St Paul, I would consider myself an UNPROFITABLE SERVANT. I would notice that my hands are empty. But that is precisely the cause of my joy: since I have nothing, I shall expect everything from the good God.

We must do everything we are obliged to do: give without reckoning, practice virtue whenever opportunity offers, constantly overcome ourselves, prove our love by all the little acts of tenderness and considerations we can muster.

In a word, we must produce all the good works that lie within our strength—out of love for God. But it is in truth indispensible to place our whole trust in Him who alone sanctifies our works and who can sanctify us without works, for He can raise up children to Abraham out of stones.

Yes, it is needful, when we have done everything we believe we have to do, to confess that we are unprofitable servants, at the same time hoping that God, out of grace, will give us everything that we need. This is the way of spiritual childhood.

Lord, I do not want to gather merit for heaven … in the evening of this life I will appear before You with empty hands. For I do not ask you, O Lord, in any way to count my good works. Rather, I will clothe myself with Your justice and receive from Your Love the eternal possession of Yourself.

Some resources (gathered from Wikipedia) for St. Therese:

Web site of the Pilgrimage Office at Lisieux
ICS Publications, source of the authoritative English translation of the writings of St. Therese
Official web site of the full-length feature film on the life of St. Thérèse of Lisieux
Poems of St Thérèse of Lisieux
Pope John Paul II's Divini Amoris Scientia in English
Catholic Encyclopedia article
Works by Thérèse de Lisieux at Project Gutenberg

Please pray for Al, who is to be ordained into the priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church this Sunday.

 

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