St. Therese of Lisieux, who died unknown in a Carmelite convent at the age of 24, became one of the most influential women in the world after her autobiography (The Story of a Soul
) was posthumously published in 1898. Mother Teresa of Calcutta took her name from Therese; Edith Piaf kept Therese's picture on her night table; in 1997, Pope John Paul II made her a Doctor of the Church-- only the third woman to receive this distinction. Her autobiography describes a spiritual life full of everyday revelations--she saw God in jam sandwiches, pretty hats, and beautiful flowers. Maurice and Therese: The Story of a Love
shows how her commonplace spirituality ministered to an aimless young priest unsure of his vocation and unstable in his devotion. Maurice Belliere wrote to Therese's Mother Prioress to ask that a nun pray for him, Therese was assigned to the task, and their 21 letters (edited and with commentary by Patrick Traherne) illustrate the young woman's extraordinary ability to love. She wasn't deeply familiar with Maurice, and she didn't agree with him on lots of things, but she was naturally inclined to have faith in him--a necessary aspect of love, and one that deserves attention. --Michael Joseph Gross
From Library Journal
Ahern, the auxiliary bishop of New York, explores the relationship between the Carmelite nun St. Therese of Lisieux and a struggling young priest, Maurice Belliere, by compiling the 21 letters exchanged between them and providing biographical details. St. Therese had a short life, dying at the age of 24 of tuberculosis, but she expressed in her prose meaning and inspiration that brought peace to troubled souls. Through this correspondence, the reader is able to "listen in" on the intimate conversation she shared with Maurice as she encouraged his self-acceptance. The two became soulmates through their letters from 1896 until St. Therese's death in 1897. Expressing the suffering and passion of two imperfect persons touched by God, their story captures what St. Therese did best: showing by example how to be holy in life. Recommended for large religious collections.?Leo Vincent Kriz, West Des Moines Lib., IA
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