The Year of Faith
By Petroc Willey
St Thérèse of Lisieux, in her autobiography, recalls that, when she was a small child, her sister Léonie came towards her carrying a basketful of dresses, with bits of material and oddments on top, together with a doll. She offered the basket to her sisters, asking them to choose what they wanted. Thérèse’s sister, Céline, examined the basket carefully and then removed a small ball of silk. Thérèse, on the other hand, after thinking for a moment, said ‘I choose everything’ and carried off the whole basket.
Thérèse saw this incident as an indication of a character trait: she would not choose by degrees. She said, ‘I choose everything; My God, I do not want to be a saint by halves. I am not afraid to suffer for your sake; I only fear doing my own will, so I give it to You and choose everything You will.’
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