- Publisher: Tan Books & Publishers Inc.
- Format: Paperback | 176 pages
- Dimensions: 130mm x 211mm x 15mm | 227g
- Publication date: 1 November 2014
- Publication City/Country: Rockford, IL
- ISBN 10: 0895551551
- ISBN 13: 9780895551559
- Sales rank: 8,485
The Story of a Soul conveys St Therese of Liseux's "Little Way" of spiritual childhood - her "elevator" to Heaven, as she called it. This method was approved by Pope Pius XI as a way for all to grow in holiness through unfailing confidence and childlike delight in God's merciful love. Again and again in this book, St. Therese shows us how her "Little Way" of love and trust comes straight from Sacred Scripture. This book belongs in every Catholic home, for Pope St Pius X stated St. Therese of Liseux the "greatest Saint of modern times." This is the original TAN edition now with updated typesetting, fresh new cover, new size and quality binding, and the same trusted content.
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St. Therese of Lisieux, also known as "Therese of the Child Jesus" and "The Little Flower," was the last of nine children born to Louis and Zelie Martin, at France in 1873. She was often anxious and depressed in childhood, as she suffered the early death of her mother. After she converted interiorly and began to read Thomas a Kempis' "The Imitation of Christ," she joined 2 of her sisters in a discalced Carmelite convent as a nun at just 15 years old. After her oldest sister was elected prioress, Therese became a permanent novice to allay suspicions that her family was dominating the small community. She lived humbly, concealing her intense prayer life and countless sacrifices Therese is the author of her own popular autobiography entitled "The Story of a Soul," which she began writing in 1895, and she instituted a simple path to holiness now widely known as the "Little Way." She died of tuberculosis on September 30, 1897, at the age of 24 and was canonized only 28 years later, in 1925, by Pope Pius XI. She was later installed as the thirty-third Doctor of the Church by Pope John Paul II in 1997.
By Nicola Mansfield 25 Jul 2011
Reason for Reading: Our church has been run by the Carmelites for over 100 years. Our priests are Carmelites and we have a statutory of St. Therese in the building. I was much intrigued about her "little way' and after watching the recent 2004 movie about her life was ready to read her autobiography.
In truth, the book is really not an autobiography but more of a snippet of memoirs. It is divided into three pieces, the first, being the longest, was commissioned by her Mother Superior who also happened to be her sister. This is where Therese tells of her childhood up until she is accepted into Carmel. Therese was a sheltered child, raised along with 4 other sisters who also became nuns and devout Catholic parents who kept them from the worldly ways of life but raised them within a deeply loving family atmosphere. Therese was very much childlike her entire life of 24 years, never having experienced any of life's degradations and was a complete innocent in so many matters. Yet her soul belonged to the Lord from a very early age (three) and she knew she wanted to be a saint. Even though her mother died while she was still young her childhood seems to have been happy enough, with Therese preparing herself for a Religious life and a holy, saintly, Heavenly eternal life which may have taken some of the childhood fun out of her but her soul was content with this and she yearned to suffer for Jesus while she was exiled here on earth.
The second piece is a much shorter memoir written for another Mother of the Abbey who had requested Therese write of life at Carmel. Here we see Therese grow-up though she will always retain her childlike innocence. Here for the first time she will actually suffer from things the reader is more able to relate to rather than the childish sufferings in the first part. Therese met fellow Sisters who did not care for her because of her young age and the nepotism that seemed to be going on with her family within the Abbey. She was treated harshly by some, worked hard at back breaking chores, and never let her faith slip. She learned to put into practice what she called her "little way", making small, little efforts to please to the Lord. Over time these little things will add up to a greater good in the end.
Finally, the last piece is more of a letter written to Sister Marie (again her actual sister) who has asked for a small piece from her as she now lays on her deathbed dying of Tuberculosis. Here she writes of her most secret thoughts and desires and requests of Jesus. Her visions, dreams and then glories that await her when she reaches Heaven as she knows she will be gong straight there to continue her work of saving earthly souls from her place in Heaven.
A beautiful little book, with a powerful message between its deceptively short pages. St. Therese was not writing for anyone to read other than her intended singular audience and perhaps she knew other sisters would read her words. Thus she writes simply and childlike and again this can be deceptive to the reader especially as one goes through the first half of the book about her childhood but there are some very wise lessons about living, love and the pursuit of eternal life that came from this dear soul who died at the age of 24. She actually gives us a way to live our lives according to the Gospels, her "Little Way" is an inspiring way to lead one's life. She was not made a Doctor of the Church without reason. This is one of those books that every Catholic should read.