CW1 – St. Therese, Suffering, and Prayer – The Great Cloud of Witnesses: Guides for Prayer with Fr. Mark Cyza
Fr. Mark Cyza discusses the witness of St. Therese, especially in the light of the suffering she endured during the later years of her short 24 year old life. He talks about not only her physical challenge, but also that suffering her “dark night” and how it can actually be transformed into an experience of joy when united to the Cross of Christ with the aid of Our Lady.
From Story of a Soul (l’Histoire d’une Ame): The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux
LETTERS TO HER BROTHER MISSIONARIES
What attracts me towards our Heavenly Home is the Master’s call—the hope of loving Him at last to the fulfilling of all my desire—the thought that I shall be able to win Him the love of a multitude of souls, who will bless Him through all eternity.
I have never asked God that I might die young—that to me were a cowardly prayer; but from my childhood He has deigned to inspire me with a strong conviction that my life would be a short one.
I feel we must tread the same road to Heaven—the road of suffering and love. When I myself have reached the port, I will teach you how best to sail the world’s tempestuous sea—with the self-abandonment of a child well aware of a father’s love, and of his vigilance in the hour of danger.
I long so much to make you understand the expectant love of the Heart of Jesus. Your last letter has made my own heart thrill sweetly. I learnt how closely your soul is sister to mine, since God calls that soul to mount to Himself by the lift of love, without climbing the steep stairway of fear. I am not surprised you find it hard to be familiar with Jesus—one cannot become so in a day; but this I do know, I shall aid you much more to tread this beautiful path when I lay aside the burden of this perishable body. Ere long you will exclaim with St. Augustine: “Love is my lodestone!”