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Story Of A Soul by Saint Therese of Lisieux

II 1894

1894

You are like some little village maiden who, when sought in marriage by a mighty king would not dare to accept him, on the plea that she is not rich enough, and is strange to the ways of a court. But does not her royal lover know better than she does, the extent of her poverty and ignorance?

Marie, though you are nothing, do not forget that Jesus is All. You have only to lose your own nothingness in that Infinite All, and thenceforth to think only of that All who alone is worthy of your love.

You tell me you wish to see the fruit of your efforts. That is exactly what Jesus would hide from you. He likes to contemplate by Himself these little fruits of our virtue. They console Him.

You are quite wrong, Marie, if you think that Thérèse walks eagerly along the way of Sacrifice: her weakness is still very great, and every day some new and wholesome experience brings this home more clearly. Yet Jesus delights to teach her how to glory in her infirmities. It is a great grace, and I pray Him to give it to you, for with it come peace and tranquillity of heart. When we see our misery we do not like to look at ourselves but only upon our Beloved.

You ask me for a method of obtaining perfection. I know of Love -- and Love only! Our hearts are made for this alone. Sometimes I endeavour to find some other word for love; but in a land of exile |words which have a beginning and an end| are quite unable to render adequately the emotions of the soul, and so we must keep to the one simple word -- LOVE.

But on whom shall our poor hearts lavish this love, and who will be worthy of this treasure? Is there anyone who will understand it and -- above all -- is there anyone who will be able to repay? Marie, Jesus alone understands love: He alone can give back all -- yea, infinitely more than the utmost we can give.

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