Lent is a time of reflecting on death, on dying to ourselves, and entering more deeply into the suffering and death of Our Lord Jesus Christ. So, since St. Therese of Lisieux is a favorite of mine (and is a Doctor of the Church for a reason!), I thought it would be fun and appropriate to go through some of her quotes from the last month of her life (September 1897). So here are 19 truly baller quotes from the saint’s last month of life on this earth.
1. “When we accept our disappointment at our failures, God immediately returns to us.”
Humility level up!
2. “Ah! It’s offered up to God. It no longer matters. Let them think what they want!”
3. “O little Mother, I don’t love one thing more than another; I could not say like our holy Mother St. Teresa: ‘I die because I cannot die.’ What God prefers and chooses for me, that is what pleases me more.”
Detachment was a hallmark of St. Therese’s life and spirituality.
4. “But I don’t want to change, I want to keep abandoning myself entirely to God.”
She was ever-transforming in herself but never failing in her desire for God above all else.
5. “I’m afraid I’ve feared death, but I won’t fear it after it takes place; I’m sure of this! And I’m not sorry for having lived; oh! no. It’s only when I ask myself: What is this mysterious separation of the soul from the body? It’s my first experience of this, but I abandon myself to God.”
There is room for fear and curiosity, but God alone suffices 😉
6. “Should I fear the devil? It seems I should not, for I am doing everything out of obedience.”
No need to fear the Evil One when you are totally consumed by Love!
7. She was unpetalling a rose over her Crucifix, touching each petal to the wounds of Our Lord. “When unpetalling for You the springtime rose, I would love to dry Your tears! Gather up these petals, little sisters, they will help you to perform favors later on…Don’t lose one of them.”
8. “Yes, I’m like a tired and harassed traveler, who reaches the end of his journey and falls over. Yes, but I’ll be falling into God’s arms!”
Running so as to win, although I’m sure St. Therese would insist that she could not run if she tried, so she would let God run for her.
9. “Yes! What a grace it is to have faith! If I had not had any faith, I would have committed suicide without an instant’s hesitation…”
She intimately understood the hope that faith instills so personally and entirely.
10. “O Mother, it’s very easy to write beautiful things about suffering, but writing is nothing, nothing! One must suffer in order to know! I really feel now that what I’ve said and written is true about everything….It’s true that I wanted to suffer much for God’s sake, and it’s true that I still desire this.”
11. “All I wrote about my desires for suffering. Oh! it’s true just the same! And I am not sorry for delivering myself up to Love. Oh! no, I’m not sorry; on the contrary!”
Kinda like when St. Thomas Aquinas said all his writing was like straw.
12. “No, it isn’t frightful [what she was going through]. A little victim of love cannot find frightful what her Spouse sends her through love.”
13. “When shall I be totally suffocated!…I can’t stand any more! Ah! pray for me! Jesus! Mary!…Yes, I will it, I really will it…”
14. “Oh it’s pure suffering because there are no consolations! No, not one!”
And we whine when we’re suffering BUT ALSO being consoled!
15. [Last words] Looking at her Crucifix: “Oh! I love Him! My God…I love you!”
16. “You must become gentle; never any harsh words, never a harsh tone; never take on a harsh look, always be gentle.”
Good life advice, awesome parenting advice!
17. “Believe me, don’t wait until tomorrow to begin becoming a saint.”
The time is NOW!
18. “You will call me little Therese.”
19. “When I am in heaven, you will have to fill my little hands with prayers and sacrifices to give me the pleasure of casting these as a shower of graces upon souls.”
She never wanted to sit still, not even in death; she always wanted to work for the glory of God by pouring out love upon the earth!
All quotes taken from the book St. Therese of Lisieux: Her Last Conversations, translated by John Clark, O.C.D.