Prayers of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face

A Morning Offering

Boston-Carmel_023bO my God!  I offer You all my actions this day for the intentions and for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  I desire to sanctify every beat of my heart, my every thought, my simplest works, by uniting them to His infinite merits; and I wish to make reparation for my sins by casting them into the furnace of His merciful love. O my God! I ask You for myself and for those whom I hold dear, the grace to fulfill perfectly Your holy will, to accept for love of You the joys and sorrows of this passing life, so that we may one day be united together in heaven for all eternity.  Amen.

 

Act of Oblation to Merciful Love

O my God!  Most Blessed Trinity, I desire to Love You and make You Loved, to work for the glory of Holy Church by saving souls on earth and liberating those suffering in purgatory.  I desire to accomplish Your will perfectly and to reach the degree of glory You have prepared for me in Your Kingdom.  I desire, in a word, to be a saint, but I feel my helplessness and I beg You, O my God!  To be Yourself my Sanctity! Since You loved me so much as to give me Your only Son as my Savior and my Spouse, the infinite treasures of His merits are mine.  I offer them to You with gladness, begging You to look on me only in the Face of Jesus and in His Heart burning with Love.

I offer You, too, all the merits of the saints (in heaven and on earth), their acts of Love, and those of the holy angels.  Finally, I offer to You, O Blessed Trinity! the Love and merits of the Blessed Virgin, my dear Mother.  It is to her that I abandon my offering, begging her to present it to You.  Her Divine Son, my Beloved Spouse, told us in the days of His mortal life: “Whatsoever you ask the Father in My name He will give it to you!”  I am certain, then, that You will grant my desires; I know, O my God!  that the more You want to give, the more You make us desire.  I feel in my heart immense desires and it is with confidence I ask You to come and take possession of my soul.  Ah!  I cannot receive Holy Communion as often as I desire, but, Lord, are You not all-powerful?  Remain in me as in a tabernacle and never separate Yourself from Your little victim.

I want to console You for the ingratitude of the wicked, and I beg of You to take away my freedom to displease You.  If through weakness I sometimes fall, may Your Divine Glance cleanse my soul immediately, consuming all my imperfections like the fire that transforms everything into itself. I thank You, O my God!  For all the graces You have granted me, especially the grace of making me pass through the crucible of suffering.  It is with joy I shall contemplate You on the last day carrying the scepter of Your Cross.  Since You deigned to give me a share in this very precious Cross, I hope in heaven to resemble You and to see shining in my glorified body the sacred stigmata of Your Passion.

After earth’s Exile, I hope to go and enjoy You in the Fatherland, but I do not want to lay up merits for heaven.  I want to work for Your Love alone with the one purpose of pleasing You, consoling Your Sacred Heart, and saving souls who will love You eternally.  In the evening of this life, I shall appear before You with empty hands, for I do not ask You, Lord, to count my works.  All our justice is stained in Your eyes.  I wish, then, to be clothed in Your own Justice and to receive from Your Love the eternal possession of Yourself.  I want no other Throne, no other Crown but You, my Beloved!  Time is nothing in Your eyes, and a single day is like a thousand years.  You can, then, in one instant prepare me to appear before You.In order to live in one single act of perfect Love, I OFFER MYSELF AS A VICTIM OF HOLOCAUST TO YOUR MERCIFUL LOVE, asking You to consume me incessantly, allowing the waves of infinite tenderness shut up within You to overflow into my soul, and that thus I may become a martyr of Your Love, O my God!

May this martyrdom, after having prepared me to appear before You, finally cause me to die and may my soul take its flight without any delay into the eternal embrace of Your Merciful Love.I want, O my Beloved, at each beat of my heart to renew this offering to You and infinite number of times, until the shadows having disappeared I may be able to tell You of my Love in an Eternal Face to Face!  AMEN.

Prayer for Acquiring Humility

O Jesus!  When You were a Pilgrim on earth, You said: “Learn of Me for I am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls.”  O Mighty Monarch of Heaven, yes, my souls finds rest in seeing You, clothed in the form and nature of a slave, humbling Yourself to wash the feet of Your apostles.  I recall Your words that teach me how to practice humility: “I have given you an example so that you may do what I have done.  The disciple is not greater than the Master… If you understand this, happy are you if you put them into practice.”  Lord, I do understand these words that came from Your gentle and humble heart and I want to practice them with the help of Your grace. …I beg You, my Divine Jesus, to send me a humiliation whenever I try to set myself above others. I know, O my God, that You humble the proud soul but to the one who humbles one’s self You give an eternity of glory.  So I want to put myself in the last rank and to share Your humiliations so as “to have a share with You” in the kingdom of Heaven.But, You know my weakness, Lord.  Every morning I make a resolution to practice humility and in the evening I recognize that I have committed again many faults of pride.  At this I am tempted to become discouraged but I know that discouragement is also pride.  Therefore, O my God, I want to base my hope in You alone.  Since You can do everything, deign to bring to birth in my soul the virtue I desire.  To obtain this grace of Your infinite mercy I will very often repeat: “O Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, make my heart like Yours!”

Other Short Prayers

O Jesus, I know well that You do not look so much at the greatness of my actions, as to the love with which I do them.  It is true I am not always faithful, but I shall not lose courage.  I desire to make use of every opportunity to please You.

O my God! I ask You for myself and for those whom I hold dear the grace to fulfill perfectly Your holy will, to accept for love of You the joys and sorrows of this passing life, so that we may one day be united together in heaven for all eternity.

O my God, You see how easily I lose heart at the thought of my imperfections.  Nevertheless, I shall continue to strive after virtue.  Gladly will I forego all consolation in order to offer to You the “fruit” of all my efforts.  I wish to make profit out of the smallest actions and do them all for love.

Eternal Father, since You have given me for my inheritance the Adorable Face of Your Divine Son, I offer it to You and I ask You, in exchange for this infinitely precious Coin, to forget the ingratitude of souls who are consecrated to You and to pardon poor sinners.

O Jesus, my whole strength lies in prayer and sacrifice; these are my invincible weapons, and experience has taught me that the heart is won by them rather than by words.

Yes, O my God,  I am happy to feel little and weak in Your Presence, and my heart remains in peace…I am so glad to feel so impefect and to need Your mercy so much! When we calmly accept the humiliation of being imperfect, Your grace , O Lord , returns at once.

O Jesus, You offer me a cup so bitter that my feeble nature cannot bear it.  But I do not want to draw back my lips from the cup Your hand has prepared. …You teach me the secret of suffering in peace.  The word peace does not mean joy, at least felt joy; to suffer in peace, it is enough to will whatever You will.  To be Your spouse, Jesus, one must be like You, and You are all bloody, crowned with thorns!

How consoling it is to remember that You, the God of might, knew our weaknesses, that You shuddered at the sight of the bitter cup, the cup the earlier You had so ardently desired to drink.

O Lord, to me You have granted Your infinite mercy; and through it I contemplate and adore Your other divine perfections!  All of these perfections appear to be resplendent with love, even Your justice–and perhaps this even more so than the others–seems to me clothed in love.  What a sweet joy to think of You, O God, are just, that is, that You take into account our weakness, that You are perfectly aware of our fragile nature.  What should I fear then?  Must not You, the infinitely just God who deigned to pardon the faults of the prodigal son with so much kindness, be just also to me who am with You always?

I know one must be most pure to appear before You, God of all holiness, but I know too that You are infinitely just; and it is this justice, which frightens many souls, that is the basis of my joy and trust.  To be just means not only to exercise severity in punishing the guilty, but also to recognize right intentions and to reward virtue. I hope as much from Your justice, O God, as from Your mercy, because You are compassionate and merciful, long-suffering and plenteous in mercy.  For You know our weakness and You remember we are but dust.

“Draw me, Lord, we shall run.”  …O Jesus, I ask You to draw me into the flames of Your love, to unite me so closely to You that You live and act in me.  I feel that the more the fire of love burns within my heart, the more I shall say: “Draw me,” the more the souls who will approach me…will run swiftly in the odor of Your ointments.

O Jesus, what it costs to give You what You ask!..Far from complaining to You of the crosses You send me, I cannot fathom the infinite love which has moved Yo to treat me so. O Lord, do not let me waste the trial You send me, it is a gold mine I must exploit. I, a little grain of sand, want to set myself to the task, without joy, without courage, without strength, and all these conditions will make the enterprise easier; I want to work for love. …and even if by an impossibility, You should not be aware of my affliction, I should still be happy to bear it, in the hope that by my tears I might prevent or atone for one sin against the faith.

O Lord,…When I find no occasions,  at least I want to keep telling You That I love You; it is not difficult and it keeps the fire of love going; even if that fire were to seem wholly out, I should throw little bits of straw on the ashes, little acts of virtue and of charity; and I am sure that, with Your help the fire would be enkindled again.

On The Wonderful Effects of Divine Love—A Meditation

This chapter within Book Three from The Imitation of Christ, was a favorite of St. Therese.  She had memorized most, if not all, of this classic work of Thomas a Kempis.

The Disciple. O Heavenly Father, Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, blessed be your name forever…You are my glory and the joy of my heart; for you are my hope, and my refuge in time of trouble.

As yet my love is weak, and my virtue imperfect, and I have great need of Your strength and comfort. Therefore visit me often, I pray, and instruct me in Your holy laws. Set me free from evil and heal my heart; that healed and cleansed in spirit, I may be able to love, strong to endure, and steadfast to persevere.

Love is a mighty power, a great and complete good; Love alone lightens every burden, and makes the rough places smooth. It bears every hardship as though it were nothing, and renders all bitterness sweet and acceptable. The love of Jesus is noble, and inspires great deeds, It moves us always to desire perfection. Love aspires to high things…Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger, nothing higher, nothing wider, nothing more pleasant, nothing fuller or better in heaven or on earth; for love is born of God and can only rest in God, above all created things.

Love flies, runs, and leaps for joy; it is free and unrestrained. Loves gives all for all, resting in One who is highest above all things, from whom every good flows and proceeds. Love does not regard the gifts but turns to the Giver of all good gifts. Love know no limits, but ardently transcends all bounds. Love feels no burden, takes no account of toil, attempts things beyond its strength. Love sees nothing as impossible, for its feels able to achieve all things. Love therefore does great things; it is strange and effective; while those who lack love faint and fail.

Love is watchful, and while resting, never sleeps, weary, it is never exhausted; imprisoned, it is never in bonds; alarmed, it is never afraid. Like a living flame and a burning torch, it surges upward and surely surmounts every obstacle.

Whoever loves God knows well the sound of His voice. A loud cry in the ears of God is that burning love of the soul which exclaims, “My God and my love. You are all mine and I am all Yours.”

A Prayer

Deepen Your love in me, O Lord, that I may learn in my inmost heart how sweet it is to love, to be dissolved, and to plunge myself into Your love. Let Your love possess and raise me above myself, with a fervor and wonder beyond imagination. Let me sing the song of love. Let me follow you into the heights. Let my soul spend itself in Your praise, rejoicing for love. Let me love you more than myself, and myself only for Your sake. Let me love others, as Your law commands.