This book offers 99 short lessons, reflections and prayers from the life of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. The lessons are based upon Saint Thérèse’s own words as she shared her faith and her heart in the pages of the three manuscripts of her autobiography: "Story of a Soul." Each subsequent reflection attempts to capture one of her countless virtues so as to savor the “fragrance” of this precious little flower of God and to apply it to the reader's daily life. The prayer to conclude each lesson is not written only to be read, it is written to be prayed. You may find it helpful to pray that prayer slowly and meditatively at the end of each lesson and return to that prayer at the end of each day, especially to the prayers that are most pertinent to your life.
The reader might wish to use this book as a daily reflection book, reading one lesson each day. Doing so will allow you to ponder one lesson from her saintly life at a time, so as to absorb the sweetness of her love and the depth of her life. However, you might find it just as beneficial to read several lessons at a time.
This book is not intended to be a “onetime read.” Rather, the lessons we learn from Saint Thérèse’s life are worth absorbing many times over. The reflection and prayer after each lesson make this book a helpful source of daily self-examination and prayer throughout life. You who are parents might also find the lessons of St. Thérèse of benefit in the formation of your children. Telling Little Thérèse’s stories will inspire and challenge your children as they grow and mature in their own lives of faith.
BY JOHN PAUL THOMAS
“John Paul Thomas” is a pen name chosen by this priest in honor of the Apostles Saints John and Thomas and the great evangelist Saint Paul. This name also evokes the memory of the great Pope Saint John Paul II.
John is the beloved Apostle who sought out a deeply personal and intimate relationship with his Savior. Hopefully the writings in this book point us all to a deeply personal and intimate relationship with our God. May John be a model of this intimacy and love.
Thomas is also a beloved Apostle and close friend of Jesus but is best known for his lack of faith in Jesus’ resurrection. Though he ultimately entered into a profound faith crying out, “my Lord and my God,” he is given to us as a model of our own weakness of faith. Thomas should inspire us to always return to faith after struggling with doubt. For coming he doubted, doubting he saw, seeing he touched, touching he believed, and believing he shared.
As a Pharisee, Paul severely persecuted the early Christian Church. However, after experiencing a powerful conversion, he went on to become the great evangelist to the gentiles, founding many new communities of believers and writing numerous letters found in Sacred Scripture. His writings are deeply personal and reveal a shepherd’s heart. He is a model for all as we seek to embrace our calling to spread the Gospel.
"Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska" is soon to become a classic spiritual book that everyone is encouraged to read in their lifetime. However, many find this invitation intimidating, not just because of the width of her book, but because of the depth of its message on The Divine Mercy in each of Saint Faustina’s notebook entries. This book, "Daily Reflections on Divine Mercy," was written with the hope of guiding you through Saint Faustina’s Diary and her six notebooks of reflections. It can be used on its own to help you pause and reflect on the beauty of Jesus’ messages to her, or as a companion book, as you simultaneously read Saint Faustina’s Diary.
"Daily Reflections on Divine Mercy" offers 365 daily teachings, reflections and prayers based upon the pages of Saint Faustina’s Diary. The structured way to use this daily reflection book is to do just that…reflect upon one page each day. However, some may feel called to skip around a bit, read a few reflections at a time, or return to a particular reflection through which God spoke to you. Therefore, though this book was written with the intent of providing one reflection for each day of the year, the best way to use it is any way you feel called and the way that benefits your relationship with God the most.
The first paragraph for each day offers this author’s insights to the words and teachings of Saint Faustina. The section of her Diary used for the day’s teaching is marked so that the reader can also read her Diary first hand so as to see the primary source that the author of this book took inspiration from for that day’s reflection. Though the primary text of the Diary is never quoted, nor are the reflections of this book exact representations of the Diary, they do provide the foundational basis for the spiritual message shared in each reflection.
The second paragraph for each day offers a short reflection put more as a question to the reader. It offers the same insight in a different format so as to enter more deeply into the message of the day.
Finally, each daily reflection ends with a prayer focused upon the message and reflection for that day. The reader is encouraged to pray this prayer several times. Ideally, it is prayed first thing in the morning, again during the day, and again at night as an examination on how well the daily message was received.
As you seek to survive the world we live in, allow these pages to be a font of Mercy for you from God. Allow God’s Divine Mercy to penetrate your heart so that you will know the abundance of His love and be more prepared to share that love with others.
The meditations in this book are presented from the perspective of the greatest disciple of our Lord: His own dear Mother. Mother Mary was one who faced the Cross of her Son with perfect openness, faith, love and devotion. Her fidelity to her Son throughout His life was unwavering. As she stood before the Cross during those long three hours, that fidelity never ceased.
This devotional attempts to ponder that which our Blessed Mother would have pondered during those three hours. What was she thinking as she stood there gazing at her own Child dying? What memories went through her mind? What filled her heart, emotions and feelings as she watched this final act of love?
The Scriptures do not reveal much about the interior ponderings of our Blessed Mother during those three hours, but the Scriptures do reveal to us many encounters between this Mother and Son. Since the Cross was the culmination of the life of both Mother and Son, it’s beautiful to bring to this moment of the Cross all the many experiences that these two shared throughout their earthly lives. It’s inspiring to unite all that they did and said to this moment, since all was a preparation for this moment.
This book is helpful any time of year, especially if you find yourself facing a difficult cross in your own life. It is also perfect for Lent in that it offers 40 reflections as well as prayers that can be used throughout Lent and for Holy Week.