Words of St. Therese:

Her Thoughts and Words about...Prayer

My whole strength lies in prayer and sacrifice, these are my invincible arms; they can move hearts far better than words, I know it by experience.

Story of A Soul, Chapter X

I have not the courage to force myself to seek beautiful prayers in books; not knowing which to choose I act as children do who cannot read; I say quite simply to the good God what I want to tell Him, and He always understands me.

Story of A Soul, Chapter X

St. Therese's praying hands

Prayer is, for me, an outburst from the heart; it is a simple glance darted upwards to Heaven; it is a cry of gratitude and of love in the midst of trial as in the midst of joy! In a word, it is something exalted, supernatural, which dilates the soul and unites it to God. Sometimes when I find myself, spiritually, in dryness so great that I cannot produce a single good thought, I recite very slowly a Pater or an Ave Maria; these prayers alone console me, they suffice, they nourish my soul.

Story of A Soul, Chapter X

As I grew older I loved the good God more and more, and very frequently did I offer Him my heart, using the words my mother had taught me. I strove in all my actions to please Jesus and was most watchful never to offend Him.

Story of A Soul, Chapter II

St. ThereseGreat is the power of prayer - a queen, as one might say, having free access always to the King, and able to obtain whatever she asks. In order to be heard, it is not necessary to read from a book a beautiful form of prayer adapted to the circumstances; if it were so, how greatly to be pitied should I be!

Story of A Soul, Chapter X

"Draw me, we will run..."
To ask to be drawn is to will intimate union with the object which holds the heart captive. If fire and iron were gifted with reason, and that the latter said to the fire: "Draw me," would not this prove that it desired to become identified with the fire even so far as to share its substance? Well, that is exactly my prayer. I beg of Jesus to draw me into the flames of His Love, to unite me so closely to Himself that He may live and act in me. I feel that the more the fire of love inflames my heart, the more I shall say: "Draw me," the more also will the souls who draw near to mine run swiftly in the fragrant odors of the Well-Beloved.

Story of A Soul, Chapter XI

Souls thus on fire cannot rest inactive. They may sit at the feet of Jesus, like Saint Mary Magdalene, listening to His sweet and ardent words; but, while seeming to give nothing, they do give far more than Martha who troubles herself with many things (Luke 10:41). It is not however of Martha's labors that Jesus disapproves, but only her too great anxiety; to this very same work His Blessed Mother humbly submitted herself, when she had to prepare the repasts for the Holy Family.

All the Saints have understood this, and more especially perhaps those who have enlightened the world with the luminous teaching of the Gospel. Was it not from prayer that Saint Paul, Saint Augustine, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa and so many other friends of God drew that wondrous science which enraptures the greatest intellects?

Archimedes said: "Give me a lever and a fulcrum, and I will raise the world." What he was unable to obtain because his request had but a material end and was not addressed to God, the Saints have obtained in full measure. For fulcrum, the Almighty has given them Himself, Himself alone! for lever, prayer, which enkindles the fire of love; and thus it is that they have uplifted the world, thus it is that saints still militant uplift it, and will uplift it till the end of time.

Story of A Soul, Chapter XI

How beautiful is our vocation! It is for us, it is for us, it is for Carmel to preserve "the salt of the earth" (Matthew 5:13). We offer our prayers and sacrifices for the apostles of the Lord; we ought ourselves to be their apostles while by word and example they preach the Gospel to our brethren.

Story of A Soul, Chapter VI

Her prayer was continual though she was habitually plunged in aridity. One day a novice entered her cell paused, struck by the celestial expression of her countenance. She was sewing with alacrity yet seemed lost in profound contemplation.

"Of what are you thinking?" asked the young Sister. "I am meditating on the Pater," she replied. "It is so sweet to call the good God our Father." And tears shone in her eyes.

Story of A Soul, Chapter XII

I do not well see what more I shall have in Heaven than now, she once said. I shall see the good God, it is true; but as to being with Him, I am wholly with Him already upon earth.

Story of A Soul, Chapter XII


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