St. Thérèse of Lisieux – III
Brother Brian Dybowski describes Saint Thérèse’s Inner Journey in this four part series:
General Background – How could anyone do as much as she did in just 24 years?
Mercy – Thérèse learned God’s infinite mercy early in life.
God’s Fatherhood – Thérèse had a wonderful father. He loved his wife through the horrors of her early life, when she was abused. This masculine love inspired his wife to overcome those difficulties, and to be an example of love to her children. Four of these nine children died young. These additional tragedies would have deranged a less loving husband and father, but Louis Martin emerged from these trials more loving and supportive. In this way, he modeled God the Father to his family. He and his wife have been acknowledged blessed as a result. No doubt, they will be canonized. Louis fathered his five girls, helping them through serious illnesses, and even abuse by a maid. Neighbors of the Martins were dysfunctional, and persecuted the family. But Louis led his family through this grave social trial. Perhaps his greatest challenge, and most glowing success, was to help his five daughters overcome their grief when their mother died. Throughout all these sad experiences, Louis showed his children that love cures. (Note: Both Louis Martin and his wife, Zélie Martin, were beatified canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 19, 2008. For more on this most remarkable couple, see the book edited by Dr. Fran Renda.)
Self Surrender – Thérèse puts it simply: “Jesus was pleased to show me the only path which leads to the divine furnace of Love: the path is the abandonment of the little child who sleeps without fear in its Father’s arms.” Abandonment is the key. Abandonment means to surrender self.
Thérèse age 13