For Theresephobes Everywhere

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ICS Publications

Been traumatized by the flowery prose of a 19th century French girl? Shied away from sugary metaphors and sweetness and light? Terrified that someone may find out that you've never really been able to make it through Story of a Soul?

Well, you're in luck! The Institute of Carmelite Studies has just released a new study edition of Story of Soul. Yes, just in time for _________, this book, edited by Fr. Mark Foley, OCD, (from the superb translation by Fr. John Clarke OCD) may be your answer for acute theresephobia--a chronic condition which, left untreated, can deprive you of the some of the great spiritual insights of recent times.

When you go to this page, page down a bit, you'll see the new study edition and a biography of St. Edith Stein. Naturally enough, they're tops on my Christmas list, and I've already bought them for my birthday present from my in-laws.

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You are cracking me up ... I did struggle through Story of a Soul but it was a struggle. Thanks for the heads-up on this new edition. :-)

I haven't even tried, so I will probably get this edition and try.....

Dear Julie and Alicia,

Well, you know, I'm a good spokesperson for this attitude, because not only did I feel this way about Therese's writing, I felt a slight queasiness every time someone uttered the words, "Oh, the little flower." Really, I thought I was going to be ill. How could some little French schoolgirl who couldn't even write inspire such devotion.

Well, you won't hear "Oh, the Little Flower" from my lips (still have that aversion), but I've discovered what it is that many already knew. Some people can see past the pious perfumed cloud to the heart of what is really there. They were the fortunate ones. For the rest--well, I'm here to say, try harder--it's really worth it. (But it may be something better done in a sympathetic group.)

Good luck, Alicia. I don't know yet how the book is because I haven't got mine; however, the effort is really worth it! And if you find it worthwhile, I might recommend as strongly as possible the magnificent Maurice and Therese by Patrick Ahern.



I am guilty of feeling icky about my patron saint for most of my life. I cringed at the "little flower" appelation, and couldn't pierce through the sweetness of her story. I think I assumed it was "put on" and false.

Grace opened my eyes and heart to her strength and the simplicity of her sweetness. I wouldn't trade my name and my patron now for anything.

Thanks, I needed a label for my former "Theresephobia!"

Thanks for the tip, Steven. I am DELIGHTED to see the Edith book. Therese is okay; St. Edith is TERRIFIC. At least in my humble opinion.

I think it was Merton who found St. Therese delightful, becuase she wallowed in what he considered the overly-sweet French poetry/spirituality of her time and became a Saint by it. I don't think he liked her poetry much either, but he was devoted to her because she witnessed that God can raise up Saints in the midst of our daily lives, including the culture of bad poetry.

I guess I can't recognize bad or good poetry, because I've been a St. Therese fan for some time, but she's been a fan of me too, so that might have something to do with it.




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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on December 9, 2005 1:52 PM.

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