Read Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux by Thérèse de Lisieux Free Online
Book Title: Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux|
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The author of the book: Thérèse de Lisieux
Edition: ICS Publications
Date of issue: January 1st 1996
ISBN 13: 9780935216585
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 540 KB
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I can't remember the first time I read this but I think it was in high school. Dear St. Thérèse was my Confirmation saint so I wanted to read her autobiography. I remember being blown away by her simple and yet powerful approach to sanctity. It IS the Gospel -- so gentle, humble, meek and Christian -- and not even difficult in a way except that I kept forgetting to live it!
Then as I got older, I confess I sort of forgot about this book and my patron saint. I even came to think that she was too 'young' for me. She died in her mid-twenties so what could she have known or written which could be of help to a wife and mother, someone living the active life out in our modern world? Everything. I reread her book a few years ago and it spoke to my heart a million times more than it did when I was younger.
Here are some of my observations from my 2010 reading: I have so much to learn from her! In many ways I envy her that quiet, solitary life behind the walls of Carmel. So much crowds in on my life and seems to stand between me and simplicity, between me and the love of God. Then I read some more and know that all the 'things' don't matter, whether they be physical, emotional or mental. It is only a matter of a willing heart. Is this heart open to Him? Am I willing to give it all away in a second and run to Him when He calls? Am I following Him now ... or trying to anyway? Little Flower, please continue to be my guide! Dear gentle mentor saint, help this sinner follow Him Whom we both love.
Special note: My oldest daughter, Meg, was born on St. Thérèse's feast day, October 1st! That has always felt like such a special gift to me from her! A further 'rose' from her was the gift of my present job, as Director of Religious Education at my parish. Coincidentally (and of course there are no coincidents with God!) my first day on the job was her feast day as well ... the 1st of October, 2009. Thank you again dear St. Thérèse!
Just found out one of the dates/times I actually read this, so I'm recording it now.
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Read information about the authorSaint Thérèse de Lisieux or Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, born Marie-Françoise-Thérèse Martin, was a French Carmelite nun. She is also known as "The Little Flower of Jesus". She was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church May 17, 1925.
She felt an early call to religious life, and overcoming various obstacles, in 1888 at the early age of 15, became a nun and joined two of her older sisters in the enclosed Carmelite community of Lisieux, Normandy. After nine years as a Carmelite religious, having fulfilled various offices, such as sacristan and novice mistress, and having spent the last eighteen months in Carmel in a night of faith, she died of tuberculosis at the age of 24. The impact of her posthumous publications, including her memoir The Story of a Soul was great, and she rapidly became one of the most popular saints of the twentieth century. Pope Pius XI made her the star of his pontificate. She was beatified in 1923, and canonized in 1925. The speed of this process may be seen by comparison with that applied to a great heroine of Thérèse, Joan of Arc, who died in 1431 but was not canonized until 1920. Thérèse was declared co-patron of the missions with Francis Xavier in 1927, and named co-patron of France with Joan of Arc in 1944. On 19 October 1997 Pope John Paul II declared her the thirty-third Doctor of the Church, the youngest of all Doctors of the Church, and only the third woman Doctor. Devotion to Thérèse has developed around the world.
Thérèse lived a hidden life and 'wanted to be unknown' yet through her writings—as well as her spiritual autobiography she left letters, poems, religious plays, prayers and various notes, and her last conversations were recorded by her sisters—and thanks to the photographs taken inside the Lisieux Carmel by her sister Céline, she became known to, and later seen by, millions of men and women. According to one of her biographers, Guy Gaucher, after her death, "Thérèse fell victim to an excess of sentimental devotion which betrayed her. She was victim also to her language, which was that of the late nineteenth century and flowed from the religiosity of her age." Thérèsè herself said on her death-bed : "I only love simplicity. I have a horror of pretence", and she spoke out against some of the Lives of saints written in her day :" We should not say improbable things, or things we do not know. We must see their real, and not their imagined lives." The critic Marina Warner observed that the excesses sometimes associated with her cult should not blind one to the heroism of her, "struggle to be good, and the radical affirmation of ordinary lives that her sainthood stands for."
The depth of her spirituality, of which she said "my way is all confidence and love," has inspired many believers. 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.
The Basilica of Lisieux is the second greatest place of pilgrimage in France after Lourdes.