October 1, 2010

The Vocation of St. Therese

I am gong to make you smile:  in my childhood I dreamed of fighting on battlefields.  When I was starting to learn the history of France, the story of Joan of Arc's exploits delighted me.  I used to feel  the desire and the courage to imitate her.  It seemed to me that the Lord destined me too for great things.  I was not mistaken.  But instead of voices from Heaven calling me to combat, I heard in the depths of my soul a voice that was gentler and stronger still:  the voice of the Spouse of virgins was calling me to other exploits and more glorious conquests, and in the solitude of Carmel I understood my mission was not to crown a mortal king but to make the King of Heaven loved, to conquer for Him the kingdom of hearts.
Letter to Maurice Belliere, April 5, 1897, trans. Patrick Ahern