Here you will find a compilation of the texts of St. Thérèse of Lisieux cited or mentioned in the book Paths of Love.
On pure love
- I am very happy, my dear
little sister, that you do not feel a sensible attraction to come to
the Carmel; that is a treat from Jesus, who wants to receive a gift from you. He knows that it is much sweeter to give than to receive. We have only the brief moment of our life to give
to the good God.... And he already prepares himself to say: "Now it is
my turn...[to give to you]" What happiness to suffer for him who loves
us to folly and to pass for fools in the
eyes of the world. One judges of others according to onself, and as the
world is unreasonable it judges that it is we who are unreasonable. (LT
169, August 19, 1894).
Trust in God as loving Father
- It is Christ’s hand that guides everything. We must see him alone in everything. (LT 149, October 20, 1893).
All for love of God
- My dear Céline,
- Tomorrow, then, is your feast day. Oh! how
I would like to be the first to wish you a happy feast; if this is not
possible, at least I can do it in my heart. What do you want me to
offer you for your feast? If I were to listen to myself, I would ask
Jesus to send me all the sorrows, all the sadness, all the annoyances
in the life of my dear Céline, but, you see, I am not listening to
myself, for I would fear that Jesus may say to me that I am an egoist.
I would be wanting Him to give me all there is of the best without
leaving a little for His little fiancée whom He loves so much. It is to
prove her love for Him that He is making her feel the separation, so I
can't ask this from Jesus. And, then, He is so rich, so rich, that He
has much with which to enrich both of us....
- When I think that if God were to give us the entire universe with all its treasures that this would not be comparable to the lightest
suffering! What a grace when, in the morning, we feel no courage, no
strength to practice virtue; that is the moment to put the axe to the
root of the tree. Instead of wasting our time gathering a few baubles,
we can dip into diamonds, and what a profit at the end of the day....
It is true that sometimes, for a few moments, we look with scorn at
gathering our treasures, and this is the difficult moment. We are
tempted to leave all behind, but in one act of love, even unfelt
love, all is repaired, and Jesus smiles. He is helping us without
seeming to do so, and the tears that the wicked make Him shed are dried
by our poor and feeble love. Love can do all things, and the most
difficult things don't appear difficult to it. Jesus looks neither at
the greatness of our actions, nor at their difficulty, but at the love
that makes us do these acts....
- Some time ago, I found a saying
which I find very beautiful, and here it is, it will please you, I
believe: "Resignation is still distinct from God's will; there is in it
the same difference as exists between union and unity. In union, we are
still two; in unity, we are only one." Oh! yes, let us be only one with
Jesus; let us despise all that passes away. Our thoughts must be drawn
to heaven since the home of Jesus is there. I was thinking the other
day that we should not attach ourselves to what is around us since we
could be in another place other than where we are; our affections and
our desires would not be the same. I can't explain my thought to you; I
am too stupid for that, but when I see you, I will tell you about
it. (LT 65, October 20, 1888).
am not surprised that the thought of death is sweet to you since you no
longer hold on to anything on earth. I assure you that God is much
better than you believe. He is content with a glance, a sigh of love...
As for me, I find perfection very easy to practice because I have
understood it is a matter of taking hold of Jesus by His Heart....
Look at a little child who has just annoyed his mother by flying into a
temper or by disobeying her. If he hides away in a corner in a sulky
mood and if he cries in fear of being punished, his mamma will not
pardon him, certainly, not his fault. But if he comes to her, holding
out his little arms, smiling, and saying: "Kiss me, I will not do it
again," will his mother be able not to press him to her heart tenderly
and forget his childish mischief?... However, she knows her dear little
one will do it again on the next occasion, but this does not matter; if he takes her again by her heart, he will not be punished.
the time of the law of fear, before the coming of Our Lord, the Prophet
Isaias already said, speaking in the name of the King of heaven: "Can a
mother forget her child?... Well! even if a mother were to forget her
child, I myself will never forget you." What a delightful promise! Ah!
we who are living in the law of love, how can we not profit by the
loving advance our Spouse is making to us... how can we fear Him who
allows Himself to be enchained by a hair fluttering on our neck.
us understand, then, how to hold Him prisoner, this God who becomes the
beggar of our love. When telling us that it is a hair that can effect
this prodigy, He is showing us that the littlest things done out of love are those that charm our Lord’s Heart.
if we had to do great things, how much we should have to be pitied?...
But how fortunate we are since Jesus allows Himself to be enchained by
the littlest things...
is not little sacrifices you lack, dear Léonie, is not your life
made up of them?... I take delight at seeing you before such a treasure
and especially when thinking you know how to profit from it, not only
for yourself, but for souls.... It is so sweet to help Jesus by
our light sacrifices, to help Him save souls that He bought at the
price of His blood and that are awaiting only our help in order not to
fall into the abysss....
- It seems to me that if our sacrifices are the hairs which captivate Jesus, our joys are also; for this, it suffices not to center in on a selfish happiness but to offer our Spouse the little joys He is sowing on the path of life to charm our souls and raise them to himself. (LT 191, July 12, 1896).
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