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.