Sunday, August 10, 2014

European Adventure 2012: Lisieux Day 1 (Part 2)

After visiting St. Therese's childhood home, we went to the convent where she spent the last 9 years of her life (before dying of tuberculosis at age 24).  It is here that she wrote her famous spiritual writings and spent countless hours in prayer and sacrifice.  This is also the site of her tomb.

Saint Therese's personal crucifix and the crown she wore at her profession of vows

"Holiness consists simply in doing God's will, and being just what God wants us to be."
-Saint Therese

Saint Therese's habit and shoes
"I know now that true charity consists in bearing all our neighbors' defects--not being surprised at their weakness, but edified at their smallest virtues."
-Saint Therese

Art supplies used by Saint Therese
"Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love."
-Saint Therese
Holy cards of Saint Therese

The tomb of Saint Therese of Lisieux
The most memorable part of our visit to Carmel was spending time in prayer before Saint Therese's tomb.  The light was dimmed in the quiet, serene little chapel.  At that intimate, silent moment, we were the only visitors at the tomb of this great Saint; our dear friend.  We prayed on our knees for her intercession for our little family and all of our loved ones.
We finished up our evening by paying a quick visit to the empty, cold, dark St. Peter's Church not far from our hotel.  Inside this ancient medieval church was the confessional St. Therese used before she entered the convent at Carmel.
After a quick visit to St. Peter's (we would return first thing in the morning to explore it completely), we tried to find some food.  To our surprise, many of the restaurants in town that we stopped at were serving as a bar that night and weren't serving food, so we ended up walking to a small supermarket not far from our hotel and purchasing some pre-made sandwiches, fruit, and yogurt.  We took our food back to our hotel room and had a picnic.  We looked down from our room at the town square below and watched ice skaters skating on the square's ice rink, enjoying the brisk evening.
It had been a day to treasure.
"Everything is a grace, everything is the direct effect of our father's love —
difficulties, contradictions, humiliations, all the soul's miseries, her burdens, her needs — everything, because through them, she learns humility, realizes her weakness — Everything is a grace because everything is God's gift.
Whatever be the character of life or its unexpected events —
 to the heart that loves, all is well." 
-Saint Therese

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