Well this book has been such an emotional experience for me I guess I have now come full circle from my early childhood version of God magical nice fatherly fellow who granted wishes and protection from evil to my early adulthood and also completely wrong notion of God angry father who didn t love me, but seemed to reward evildoers to my later notion of their not being a God at all That was the only way I could explain the horrors of the modern world, the evils I learned of on the nightly news that broke my heart and cost me my faith How surprising to learn that this great saint had the same low spots as me, the same doubts She pulled thru and so have I It s a shame that it s mostly just catholics who read of the lives of saints We can learn so much by being open to others experiences I am also pleased to read in this autobio that so much of the methods I learned from the Buddha were helpful to her too The most important one being, Do not dwell in the past Do not worry about the future Concentrate the mind on the present moment the version I read was a freebie from for Kindle that didn t say so, but also contained many of her letters, prayers and poems What a treasure. This Book, First Published In In A Highly Edited Version, Quickly Became A Modern Spiritual Classic, Read By Millions And Translated Into Over Fifty Five Languages John Clarke S Acclaimed Translation, First Published In , Is Now Accepted As The Standard Throughout The English Speaking World I have always heard of her and didn t know what to make of her I read quotes here and there and didn t catch my attention much Since I have begun reading her autobiography, I have been completely absorbed and taken by every words she writes and I feel like she is sitting in front of me like a bosom friend telling me her story in all purity, in all simplicity, in an extremely natural manner Sometimes you read the Saints and you end up feeling they are way up there but not so with our beloved Th r se who is every bit as human as she can be I read a part of the book and I feel like I really miss her and I want to go back to her to hear her talking some to me Reading just excerpts of her quotes will not do her justice or help you know and meet the real Th r se You HAVE to read the Autobiography first and then you would hear her heartbeat in what she is saying in every word she is writing Reading her I feel like I am getting a letter from a pen pal living in France and sharing in full transparency how she really feels and what she longs for.Since the Lord has called me to missionary work reaching out to Muslims, it delighted me to know that my little friend Th r se also had real longing for proclaiming the Gospel in foreign lands, to the infidels, i.e those who are still living in darkness and Christ has yet to open their eyes I adore her missionary, evangelistic zeal On p 216 she talks about how since her entrance into the blessed ark, she has always thought that if Jesus did not bring her swiftly to heaven, her lot would be the same as that of Noah s little dove the Lord would open window of the ark one day, telling Th r se to fly very far, very far, towards infidel shores, carrying with her the little olive branch Now, this is true evangelist at heart, and can she preach She often talks about realizing her vocation for the foreign missions As a convert from Islam into Christianity, I had to leave my family and was exiled from my homeland, Egypt I feel Th r se can relate to my situation as she says in a child like manner that He, i.e Jesus, has given her the attraction for a complete exile p.218 In her heart, she knew that she is not to make lodging here but her real home is, indeed, heaven We leave our homelands, where we have had roots all along, and then for the sake of the cross we have to be pulled out of all this be called to a different kind of citizenship, to be a citizen of Heaven, my real home where my ultimate loyalty rests.I loved her honesty as she, like some of us, struggled with concepts of faith and how she wondered if heaven was real She was evidently intelligent and she struggled with the realness of some Christian concepts while she herself was full of heaven and her focus was heaven ward all along That is one thing I love about the saints they are not ashamed to express struggles and doubts, and this helps us in many ways to relate to them and take them for close friends Her littleness was the secret of her spiritual uniqueness and I believe she got her inspiration from the mouth of Eternal Wisdom speaking in the Holy Bible Whoever is a LITTLE ONE let him come to me Proverbs 9 4.What about people who aggravate us and keep giving us a hard time Does Th r se have something to say to us from her own experience Well, she share that in her Community there was a Sister who had the faculty of displeasing her in everything, in her ways, in her words, her character, everything seemed disagreeable to her Yet, despite all that, Th r se insists, she must be very pleasing to God, and this should count for a lot Everytime Th r se met her she prayed to God for her, offering Him all her virtues and merits Th r se says I felt this was pleasing to Jesus, for there is no artist who doesn t love to receive praise for his works, and Jesus the Artist of souls is happy when we don t stop at the exterior, but, penetrating into the inner sanctuary where He chooses to dwell, we admire its beauty Whenever Th r se was tempted to answer her back in a disagreeable manner, I was content with giving her the most friendly smile, and with changing the subject of the conversation as it says in the Imitation It is better to love each one in his own opinion than to enter into arguments The Imitation of Christ III, 44 1 Finally this Sister got curious and one day at recreation she asked Th r se in almost these words Would you tell me Sister Th r se of the Child Jesus, what attracts you so much toward me every time you look at me, I see you smile Th r se explains that what attracted her was Jesus hidden in the depths of her soul Jesus who makes sweet what is most bitter Then she answered her that she was smiling because she was so happy to see her While we hope to do great things for the Lord and be mightily used by Him, as the clich phrase goes, and we should give our best for the Lord and His work, Th r se teaches us that she is just delighted to be a little brush in the hands of the great Artist p 235 The brush can t boast of the masterpiece produced with it She explains An artist doesn t use only one brush, but needs at least two the first is the useful and with it he applies the general tints and covers the canvas entirely in a very short time the other, the smaller one, he uses for details Then she tells her mother that she is the precious brush the hand of Jesus lovingly holds when He wishes to do a great work in the soul of her children while she, Th r se, is the very small brush He deigns to use afterward for the smallest details I will always fondly remember her, she who was a soul winner, and believed in her effective role as a Christian in praying people into the Kingdom Her intercessory prayers never go in vain She believed in a God who draws all people to Himself and we are actively involved in His work and she could boldly pray as Jesus pray and see her role in the mission of the Father Many a friend of mine who have told me how she has impacted them greatly in the beginning of their monastic vocation and she is so indispensable to their spiritual growth What sheer joy and sheer delight St Theresa of the Child Jesus.. I am torn in my reaction to this book With all of our knowledge of psychiatric illnesses today, we would probably medicate Therese and send her to therapy due to her hallucinations, visions and, at least from the tone of Manuscript A, her self absorption I only became interested in the book and St Therese when I started reading Manuscript B which is almost 2 3 of the way through the book Manuscript C and the Epilogue were the sections that really moved me and brought home the true scope of her devotion and inner strength I should probably have cut her slack in that she was only 25 years old when she died I can t imagine a 25 year old these days with the same level of piety and grace under the extreme pain and discomfort that accompanied her final months.By all means read this book, but be prepared to see what at first blush seems to be a self absorbed brat turn into a devote and beautiful person. A fascinating book written by St Therese herself Not for everyone but a most interesting book. A sweet story I didn t like the book as well as I thought I would, though I think I just can t relate to someone as doted on as Therese was I kept thinking what a wuss she was and then feeling bad that I thought such a thing about someone who became a saint I ll admit that in the end she was not a wuss at all The best thing I got out of the book is that God gives everyone the ability to be a saint in his her own way, and doesn t expect anyone to be a saint in the way that anyone else did Which is a great relief, actually. 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 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 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 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.I will be finishing my study of St Therese with one book which is a fairly recent autobiographical book written about her life and her way. Until reading this book, all I d ever known of St Th r se was roses I knew that she was associated with flowers, was known as the little flower and was often depicted with a crown or an armful of roses I d heard her great promises to send down blessings like a shower of roses after death From all this, I guess I d drawn up an image of a soft, sweet saint, permanently transported by her love for Christ How wrong I was Her turn of phrase may be a little quaint or cutesie at times although it s hard to know how much of that was the translator I was reading an older translation from the 50s by Ronald Knox but Th r se was a woman of pure iron, always willing and in fact eager for any kind of suffering She was anything but saccharine she was practical, thoughtful and deeply canny She figured out the trick to sainthood, if there can be such a thing to offer every ordinary, everyday circumstance of her life to God Nothing was too small for her to hand over to Him The other great surprise was that she was so like me Not in virtue, of course, but in her experience of faith How heartening to discover that such a great saint had such the exact same difficulties I ve had Th r se felt empty in prayer, Th r se struggled to say the rosary with proper devotion, Th r se found the people around her incredibly annoying, Th r se doubted the existence of heaven so much that the thought of it became torture to her And it never stopped her she didn t fall into the trap of feeling unworthy and falling away from prayer because of her shortcomings Instead she recognised them as an opportunity to rely heavily on God What absolute spiritual genius Although I m sure she would say that the genius was that of the Holy Spirit I feel bad for battering my mother s copy of this book by having it in my bag constantly for the last month I m definitely going to have to get my own because I m going to need to reread it. Began reading this book a little begrudgingly as St Therese of Lisieux just never really appealed to me My opinion was that she was spoiled and had an easy life, so what would she have to offer me Well, this is one of my favorite books The first few chapters I had to drag myself through, after that it was smooth sailing She had such a practical and easy outlook on life and holiness, very much like St Josemaria Escriva that it s through the small, every day events in our lives that we can grow as people and attain holiness and eventually union with God Just very practical guidance.