A Review of Thérèse

| | Comments (4)

is available at Cantánima.

What is nice about the review is how it took something that I was not particularly thrilled with and suggested that perhaps I might nevertheless benefit.

Also we face the perennial question that I know has often surfaced here--how does one by-pass the saccharine surface and arrive at the depths of St. Thérèse? The answer is simply--grace. I said some time ago that I long thought I disliked St. Thérèse. The reality, however, was that I disliked some of the excesses of the Saints admirers. I heard so much about "the Little Flower," that I was absolutely certain that there was nothing there for me. What I discovered was that an excess of devotion expressed effusively effectively kept me from embracing one of the strongest, most willful, most loving Saints of recent times. The amazing simplicity and sheer depth of grace that pervaded her entire life resulted in a Canonization that was uncommonly rapid for the time and in a body of doctrine that while not as formidable as that of St. John of the Cross is considerably more approachable. And the most beautiful part of it all is that St. Thérèse is truly a daughter of St. John of the Cross. Most of what one seeks in the Mystical Doctor, one can find, simpler, clearer, perhaps shorn of some of the rigors of the time, in his daughter. But enough, I've said this before and I know and sympathize with all the reasons people find her unapproachable. Perhaps the film might help some more of those.

Bookmark and Share



This sounds a lot like what initially kept me away from Mary. She was the little poor girl who kept silent, etc. Totally unappealing and, really, not reflective of the whole of who she is.

I am glad God has given both of us chances to dig deeper.

You've reminded me of something I forgot to say in my post: I've always found St. Bernadette Soubirous to be more "relevant" (if that be the correct word) to me than St. Thérèse. I still feel that way. I don't find a lot of the same shallow piety (which you describe aptly as "sickly treacle," if memory serves). There's something about Bernadette which I find far more compelling. That's no reason not to give Thérèse her due, though.

Dear Jack,

Curiously, the same has been true of me for a long time. I had a kind of holy envy of Bernadette's simplicity. How "easy" it was for her in ways that are impossible for me. And yet, I am who I am and who God made me, I am not Bernadette. I can admire her simplicity, but I cannot hope to achieve it. And why should I try--there is already a Bernadette.

I go on too long, but I'm trying to give you the gist of why Bernadette so profoundly appealed to me.



Two things struck me about the movie:

1. the purposefully beautiful and lyrical cinemaphotography that like the Passion made the dialogue superfluous.
2. the way that it captivated the children in the audience. They were totally engaged. I remember seeing Zeffrelli's Brother Sun Sister Moon when I was 13. It totally captured my imagination. Today I would challenge it probaby if were seeing it for the first time.

That said there is so much of Therese that is not captured. So many wonderful conversations with her sister that she held prior to entering the convent. Her fight through the darkness where 2 years of emtpy and dark is compressed into a few minutes. The dialogue tells rather than shows. It does not add more information that is not already apparent from the action. I went with a friend who is had a degree in theater and an author. She was thoroughly disappoionted. So much of the depth of St. Therese's spirituality was lost. She truly lived every moment for Jesus -- big, small, great, happy or sad. Just because Jesus is, ie "is" as in "exists." She loved for
love's sake



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on November 9, 2004 10:15 AM.

Prayer Requests was the previous entry in this blog.

My Thanks to Mme Ramotswe is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

My Blogroll