Monday, October 1, 2012

Best Book on St. Therese

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There a lot of books about  the spirituality of  St. Therese, and I'm not sure why.  Since this saint and doctor of the church wrote during the late nineteenth century--indeed, she missed out on being a 20th century saint by only a few years--her writing is not at all difficult to get through. My own inclination is to skip the commentaries and just read Therese. (Today's Office of Readings give just one sample of her beautiful, ardent   thoughts.)

But I'll make one exception. If you  want a refresher on the Little Flower's teaching, yet are  not in the mood to wade through her entire autobiography, you might want to try out I Believe in Love.  This series of retreat conferences, translated from French, has been around since the 70s.
The author, Father Jean  D'Elbee,  takes you quickly into the heart and genius of Therese: her unique confidence in God's Love. A confidence that never fails, despite out sins, despite dryness and desolation, despite any suffering.

You can read I Believe in Love in a couple of sittings, or spread it out,say, with two chapters per day for a five-day, do-it-yourself retreat.   This book has been a spiritual milestone for me, my husband, and many people that I know.

Great stuff to read during Eucharistic adoration.


  1. What's your pick for best movie on St. Therese?

    1. I've actually never seen the AMerican made Therese movie all the way through. The bits and pieces I did see were pretty to look at but I did't get the feel of the St. Therese I know from her autobiographpy. I haven't seen the French "Therese" from the 1980s. I'm told its a bit dark, but well done. There's also an old French film dubbed in English from the 1940s.I had it on VHS years ago and was not impressed at all,although its been so long that I can't tell you what I didn't like about it. But I must say that there are very few lives of any saints on film that I've been really happy with,and I've seen quite a few. I get annoyed when the film makers put in things that never happened in order to heighten tensions or appeal to modern sensibilities.

    2. I recommend the Spanish TV miniseries (1984) on St. Teresa of Avila: