Tag Archives: St. Thérèse of Lisieux

On the Calendar: The Solemnity of All Saints

John Nava, The Communion of Saints (www.johnnava.com)

John Nava, The Communion of Saints (detail) – Sts. Paul, Peter, Charles Lwanga, Maria Goretti, and Agatha (www.johnnava.com)

“Very often, without our knowing it, the graces and lights that we receive are due to [the prayer of] some hidden soul, for God wills that the saints communicate grace to each other through prayer, with great love – a love much greater than that of a family, even the most perfect family on earth. How often have I thought that I may owe all the graces I’ve received to the prayers of a person who begged them from God for me, whom I shall know only in Heaven… In Heaven, we shall not meet with indifferent glances, because all the elect will discover that they owe to each other the graces that merited the crown for them.”

– St. Therese of Lisieux

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On the Calendar: St. Therese of Lisieux

Leonard Porter, St. Thérèse

Leonard Porter, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower of Jesus (detail) – leonardporter.com

Have any of you seen the movie Julie & Julia? It tells the story of a young writer named Julie who develops an odd sort of “friendship” with the famous cook Julia Child by cooking her way through Child’s iconic cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Throughout the film, Julie talks incessantly about this woman whom she has never met as though she is her dearest friend. She praises Julia’s confidence and spirit, expresses gratitude for her guidance and “company” in the kitchen, and wishes she could be exactly like her.

I recently watched the film again, and this time I realized why I felt so much pity for Julie: her “friendship” with Julia Child isn’t real. No matter how much she imagines that the legendary cook is present in her life to impart wisdom and assistance, this is only true in the sense that she has imagined it to be so. That would be enough reason to pity her, but the real reason I felt so sorry for her was that it is, in fact, possible to have a close friendship with a person whom you’ve never met — someone who embodies qualities you admire, who is present to guide and assist you, who serves as an example for you to imitate — if that person happens to be a saint in heaven!

I talk a great deal about St. Thérèse of Lisieux because she really has become as dear to me as any one of my closest friends. The Mother Superior at the local Carmel once told me that she was placing my vocation in the hands of St. Thérèse, and she promised me (with a great deal of audacity, I thought) that the Little Flower would not fail to help me to find my vocation. Not surprisingly (Reverend Mother is a very holy woman, and Thérèse a very eager intercessor!) her words turned out to be prophetic.

About two years after that conversation, my godfather surprised me with a precious gift: he took me to visit the Basilica of the Little Flower in San Antonio, TX. (That day I learned that my great-grandmother was also devoted to St. Thérèse and had donated towards the construction of the Basilica!) Since we happened to be the only people there that morning, we were given a private tour and the chance to venerate a first-class relic of the Little Flower. I remember those moments vividly – I was overwhelmed by the feeling that I was meant to be in that church at that very moment because Thérèse wanted to tell me something: I had no reason to be anxious; she really was leading me to my vocation.

Only one other time in my life (after the death of Pope John Paul II) had I ever been so convinced of a saint’s intercession for me. After those moments with Thérèse, I knew that never again could I allow myself to doubt that she was with me on my journey.

What a friend I have found in the Little Flower! How eager she has been to help me by her prayers in my most desperate moments! How perfectly she has kept her promise, to “spend [her] Heaven doing good on earth!” St. Thérèse, pray for us!

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Little Flower Novena, Day 9

Prayers To Be Said Each Day

Therese

Ora pro nobis!

Come, Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.
V.  Send forth Your Spirit, and they shall be created.
R.  And You shall renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray: O God, who have instructed the hearts of Your faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant that by the gift of that same Spirit, we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love

O my God! I believe in You: strengthen my faith. All my hopes are in You: do You secure them. I love You: teach me to love You daily more and more. Amen.

The Act of Contrition

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend You, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.

Prayers for the Ninth Day

Dear Little St. Thérèse, by love and suffering while you were on earth, you won the power with God which you now enjoy in heaven. Since your life there began, you have showered down countless blessings on this poor world; you have been an instrument made use of by your divine Spouse to work countless miracles. I beg of you to remember all my wants. Sufferings must come to me also, may I use them to love God more, and follow my Jesus better. You are especially the little missionary of love. Make me love Jesus more, and all others for His sake. With all my heart I thank the most Holy Trinity for the wonderful blessings conferred on you, and upon the world through you.

[Mention your intentions…] Intercede for us all the days of our life, but especially during this Novena and obtain for us from God the graces and favors we ask through your intercession. Amen.

Thought for the day: The Mission of the Little Flower

I do not intend to remain inactive in Heaven. I want to work for the Church and for souls. I have asked this of God and I am certain that He will grant my request.

I will spend my Heaven doing good upon earth. This is not impossible, since the angels though always enjoying the beatific vision, watch over us. No, I cannot be at rest until the end of the world.

I beseech Thee, O Jesus, to cast Thy divine glance on a great number of little souls. I beg of Thee to choose in this world a legion of little victims, worthy of Thy Love.

Concluding Prayer Prayed Each Day

O Lord, You have said: unless you become as little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven; grant us, we beg You, so to follow, in humility and simplicity of heart, the footsteps of the Virgin blessed Thérèse, that we may attain to an everlasting reward. Amen.

Adapted from EWTN.com

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Little Flower Novena, Day 8

Therese in death

St. Thérèse after her death

Prayers To Be Said Each Day

Come, Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.
V.  Send forth Your Spirit, and they shall be created.
R.  And You shall renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray: O God, who have instructed the hearts of Your faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant that by the gift of that same Spirit, we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love

O my God! I believe in You: strengthen my faith. All my hopes are in You: do You secure them. I love You: teach me to love You daily more and more. Amen.

The Act of Contrition

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend You, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.

Prayers for the Eighth Day

Dear St. Thérèse, like you, I too must die one day. I beseech you, obtain from God, by reminding Him of your own precious death, that I may have a holy death, strengthened by the Sacraments of the Church, entirely resigned to the most holy Will of God, and burning with love for Him. May my last words on earth be, “My God, I love You.”

[Mention your intentions…] Intercede for us all the days of our life, but especially during this Novena and obtain for us from God the graces and favors we ask through your intercession. Amen.

Thought for the day: Death

It says in the catechism that death is nothing but the separation of the soul and body. Well, I have no fear of a separation which will unite me forever with the good God.

I am happy to die because I shall be able to help souls who are dear to me, far more than I can here below.

Life is not sad; it is very joyous. If you say, “This exile is sad,” I understand you. We are wrong to give the name “life” to something which will end; it is only to the things of Heaven that we should apply this beautiful name.

Concluding Prayer Prayed Each Day

O Lord, You have said: unless you become as little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven; grant us, we beg You, so to follow, in humility and simplicity of heart, the footsteps of the Virgin blessed Thérèse, that we may attain to an everlasting reward. Amen.

Adapted from EWTN.com

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Little Flower Novena, Day 7

Therese in habitPrayers To Be Said Each Day

Come, Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.
V.  Send forth Your Spirit, and they shall be created.
R.  And You shall renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray: O God, who have instructed the hearts of Your faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant that by the gift of that same Spirit, we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love

O my God! I believe in You: strengthen my faith. All my hopes are in You: do You secure them. I love You: teach me to love You daily more and more. Amen.

The Act of Contrition

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend You, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.

Prayers for the Seventh Day

O little martyr of Love, you know now even better than in the days of your pilgrimage that Love embraces all vocations; that it is Love alone which counts, which unites us perfectly to God and conforms our will with His. All you sought on earth was love; to love Jesus as He had never yet been loved. Use your power in heaven to make us love Him. If only we love Him we shall desire to make Him loved by others; we shall pray much for souls. We shall no longer fear death, for it will unite us to Him forever. Obtain for us the grace to do all for the love of God, to give Him pleasure, to love Him so well that He may be pleased with us as He was with you.

[Mention your intentions…] Intercede for us all the days of our life, but especially during this Novena and obtain for us from God the graces and favors we ask through your intercession. Amen.

Thought for the day: Love of God

I will love God alone and will not have the misfortune of attaching myself to creatures, now that my heart perceives what He has in store for those who love Him.

What attracts me to the kingdom of Heaven is the call of our Lord, the hope of loving Him as I have so desired and the thought that I shall be able to make Him loved by a great number of souls who will bless Him forever.

When Christ said, “Give me a drink,” it was the love of His poor creatures that He, the Creator of all things, desired. He thirsted for love.

Remember that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you, for you alone. Remember that He is consumed with a desire to come into your heart.

Concluding Prayer Prayed Each Day

O Lord, You have said: unless you become as little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven; grant us, we beg You, so to follow, in humility and simplicity of heart, the footsteps of the Virgin blessed Thérèse, that we may attain to an everlasting reward. Amen.

Adapted from EWTN.com

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Little Flower Novena, Day 6

Therese and The Holy Family (detail)

Unknown Artist, Thérèse and The Holy Family (detail)

Prayers To Be Said Each Day

Come, Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.
V.  Send forth Your Spirit, and they shall be created.
R.  And You shall renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray: O God, who have instructed the hearts of Your faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant that by the gift of that same Spirit, we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love

O my God! I believe in You: strengthen my faith. All my hopes are in You: do You secure them. I love You: teach me to love You daily more and more. Amen.

The Act of Contrition

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend You, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.

Prayers for the Sixth Day

St. Thérèse, Patroness of the Missions, be a great missionary throughout the world to the end of time. Remind our Master of His own words, “The harvest is great, but the laborers are few.” Your zeal for souls was so great, obtain a like zeal for those now working for souls, and beg God to multiply their numbers, that the millions to whom Jesus is yet unknown may be brought to know, love and follow Him.

[Mention your intentions…] Intercede for us all the days of our life, but especially during this Novena and obtain for us from God the graces and favors we ask through your intercession. Amen.

Thought for the day: Zeal for souls

Let us work together for the salvation of souls. We have only the day of this life to save souls and to give them to the Lord as proofs of our love.

I tell Jesus that I am glad not to be able to see, with the eyes of my soul, this beautiful heaven which awaits me, in order that He may vouchsafe to open it forever to poor unbelievers.

I cannot perform brilliant works; I cannot preach the Gospel or shed my blood. But what matter? My brothers work in place of me, and I a little child, keep very close to the royal throne. I love for those who are carrying on the warfare.

My deeds, my little sufferings, can make God loved all over the world.

Concluding Prayer Prayed Each Day

O Lord, You have said: unless you become as little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven; grant us, we beg You, so to follow, in humility and simplicity of heart, the footsteps of the Virgin blessed Thérèse, that we may attain to an everlasting reward. Amen.

Adapted from EWTN.com

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Little Flower Novena, Day 5

Therese with cross

Ora pro nobis!

Prayers To Be Said Each Day

Come, Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.
V.  Send forth Your Spirit, and they shall be created.
R.  And You shall renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray: O God, who have instructed the hearts of Your faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant that by the gift of that same Spirit, we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love

O my God! I believe in You: strengthen my faith. All my hopes are in You: do You secure them. I love You: teach me to love You daily more and more. Amen.

The Act of Contrition

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend You, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.

Prayers for the Fifth Day

Little Flower of Jesus, from the very first moment of your religious life you thought only of denying yourself in all things so as to follow Jesus more perfectly; help me to bear patiently the trials of my daily life. Teach me to make use of the trials, the sufferings, the humiliations, that come my way, to learn to know myself better and to love God more.

[Mention your intentions…] Intercede for us all the days of our life, but especially during this Novena and obtain for us from God the graces and favors we ask through your intercession. Amen.

Thought for the day: Patience in Sufferings

I do not fear trials sent by Jesus, for even in the most bitter suffering we can see His loving hand.

When we are expecting nothing but suffering, we are quite surprised at the least joy; but then suffering itself becomes the greatest of joys when we seek it as a precious treasure.

Far from resembling those beautiful saints who practiced all sorts of austerities from childhood, my penance consisted in breaking my self-will, in keeping back a sharp reply, in doing little kindnesses to those about me, but considering these deeds as nothing.

Concluding Prayer Prayed Each Day

O Lord, You have said: unless you become as little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven; grant us, we beg You, so to follow, in humility and simplicity of heart, the footsteps of the Virgin blessed Thérèse, that we may attain to an everlasting reward. Amen.

Adapted from EWTN.com

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Little Flower Novena, Day 4

Therese with the Pope

Thérèse begging the Holy Father to allow her to enter Carmel at age 15

Prayers To Be Said Each Day

Come, Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.
V.  Send forth Your Spirit, and they shall be created.
R.  And You shall renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray: O God, who have instructed the hearts of Your faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant that by the gift of that same Spirit, we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love

O my God! I believe in You: strengthen my faith. All my hopes are in You: do You secure them. I love You: teach me to love You daily more and more. Amen.

The Act of Contrition

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend You, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.

Prayers for the Fourth Day

Dear Little Flower of Carmel, bearing so patiently the disappointments and delays allowed by God, and preserving in the depths of your soul an unchanging peace because you sought only God’s Will, ask for me complete conformity to that adorable Will in all the trials and disappointments of life. If the favors I am asking during this Novena are pleasing to God, obtain them for me. If not, it is true I shall feel the refusal keenly, but I too wish only God’s Will, and pray in the words you used, that it “may ever be perfectly fulfilled in me.”

[Mention your intentions…] Intercede for us all the days of our life, but especially during this Novena and obtain for us from God the graces and favors we ask through your intercession. Amen.

Thought for the day: Abandonment to God

I fear only one thing – to keep my own will; take it, my God, for I choose all that You choose.

The only happiness here below is to strive to be always content with what Jesus gives us.

I can demand nothing with fervor, except the perfect accomplishment of God’s Will in my soul.

O my Beloved, I offer myself to You, that You may perfectly accomplish in me Your holy designs, and I will not allow anything created to be an obstacle in their path.

Concluding Prayer Prayed Each Day

O Lord, You have said: unless you become as little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven; grant us, we beg You, so to follow, in humility and simplicity of heart, the footsteps of the Virgin blessed Thérèse, that we may attain to an everlasting reward. Amen.

Adapted from EWTN.com

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Little Flower Novena, Day 3

Ora pro nobis!

Prayers To Be Said Each Day

Come, Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.
V.  Send forth Your Spirit, and they shall be created.
R.  And You shall renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray: O God, who have instructed the hearts of Your faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant that by the gift of that same Spirit, we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love

O my God! I believe in You: strengthen my faith. All my hopes are in You: do You secure them. I love You: teach me to love You daily more and more. Amen.

The Act of Contrition

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend You, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.

Prayers for the Third Day

Dear Little Flower, make all things lead me to heaven and God, Whether I look at the sun, the moon, the stars and the vast expanse in which they float, or whether I look at the flowers of the field, the trees of the forest, the beauties of the earth so full of color and so glorious, may they speak to me of the love and power of God; may they all sing His praises in my ear. Like you may I daily love Him more and more in return for His gifts. Teach me often to deny myself in my dealings with others, that I may offer to Jesus many little sacrifices.

[Mention your intentions…] Intercede for us all the days of our life, but especially during this Novena and obtain for us from God the graces and favors we ask through your intercession. Amen.

Thought for the day: The Use of God’s Gifts

How much benefit have I received from the beauties of nature, bestowed in such abundance. How they raise me to Him who placed such wonders in this land of exile which is only to last a day.

O sparkling nature, if I did not see God in you, you would be naught but a great tomb.

With your little hand which caresses Mary, You sustain the universe and bestow life; and You think of me, O Jesus my little King.

I do not wish creatures to have one atom of my love. I wish to give all to Jesus, since He has shown me that He alone is perfect happiness.

Concluding Prayer Prayed Each Day

O Lord, You have said: unless you become as little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven; grant us, we beg You, so to follow, in humility and simplicity of heart, the footsteps of the Virgin blessed Thérèse, that we may attain to an everlasting reward. Amen.

Adapted from EWTN.com

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Little Flower Novena, Day 2

St. Thérèse dressed up as St. Joan of Arc

St. Thérèse dressed up as St. Joan of Arc

Prayers To Be Said Each Day

Come, Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.
V.  Send forth Your Spirit, and they shall be created.
R.  And You shall renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray: O God, who have instructed the hearts of Your faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant that by the gift of that same Spirit, we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love

O my God! I believe in You: strengthen my faith. All my hopes are in You: do You secure them. I love You: teach me to love You daily more and more. Amen.

The Act of Contrition

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend You, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.

Prayers for the Second Day

O dear little Saint, now that you see the crucified Jesus in heaven, still bearing the wounds caused by sin, you know still more clearly than you did upon earth the value of souls, and the priceless worth of that Precious Blood which He shed to save them. As I am one of those children for whom Christ died, obtain for me all the graces I need in order to profit by that Precious Blood. Use your great power with our divine Lord and pray for me…

[Mention your intentions…] Intercede for us all the days of our life, but especially during this Novena and obtain for us from God the graces and favors we ask through your intercession. Amen.

Thought for the day: Sin

The only grace I ask, O Jesus, is never to offend Thee.

By love and not by fear, does a soul avoid committing the least fault.

Yes, even if I have on my conscience every possible crime, I should lose none of my confidence; my heart breaking with sorrow, I should go and throw myself into the arms of my Savior.

The remembrance of my faults humbles me and makes me afraid to rely on my own strength, which is nothing but weakness.

Concluding Prayer Prayed Each Day

O Lord, You have said: unless you become as little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven; grant us, we beg You, so to follow, in humility and simplicity of heart, the footsteps of the Virgin blessed Thérèse, that we may attain to an everlasting reward. Amen.

Adapted from EWTN.com

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