The Many Treasures of Maurice


The Many Treasures of Maurice and Thérèse

Dylan mentions below giving Maurice and Thérèse by Father Patrick Ahern a miss the last time he was at the library. This book, along with an exquisite can-you-possibly-guess-the-century translation of Imitation of Christ are constantly to hand on my bedside table. Maurice and Thérèse dramatically changed my life and my attitudes about "The Little Flower." In these simple letters, the depths of her love and wisdom are brought forward dramatically. I quote below my favorite example:

I understand better than ever how much your soul is the sister of my own, since it is called to lift itself up to God by the ELEVATOR of love and not to climb the hard stairway of fear. I am not in the least astonished that the practice of familiarity with Jesus comes a bit hard to you. We don't get to this in a single day. But I am sure that I shall greatly help you to walk more evenly by this delightful way once I have been delivered from my mortal envelope; and soon you will say like St. Augustine, "Love is the weight that pulls me forward."

I'd like to try to make you understand, by a very simple example, how much Jesus loves even very imperfect souls who trust in Him:

I'm thinking of a father who has two children who are mischievous and disobedient, and when he comes to punish them he sees one who trembles and draws away from him in fright, knowing in the bottom of his heart that he deserves to be punished. His brother, on the contrary throws himself into his father's arms, protesting that he is sorry for hurting him, and he loves him, and that to prove it he will be good from now on. Then if this child asks his father to punish him with a kiss, I doubt that the heart of the happy father will be able to resist the childlike confidence of his son, of whose sincerity he is sure. He's well aware that the child will often fall back into these same faults, but he's always ready to forgive him, provided the boy always grasps him by the heart. I say nothing about the first child, dear little brother. Surely you know yourself whether his father can love him as much as the other and treat him with the same indulgence.

Wow! I gasped the first time I read this powerful insight. It helps me to understand that famous verse that became the title of a Flannery O'Connor book, "Since the time of John the Baptist heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by storm." Here is one of the violent, in love, taking Heaven by storm.

This books presents the letters from Thérèse to her missionary "brother." They go a long way to explaining why a cloistered nun is Patroness of the Missions.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on October 1, 2002 7:35 PM.

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