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O Jesus, My Love!

October 1, Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church
Daily Readings: JB 42:1-3, 5-6, 12-17/ PS 119:66, 71, 75, 91, 125, 130 / LK 10:17-24

St. Therese of Lisieux, better known as St. Therese of the Child Jesus was born Marie Francoise Therese Martin on January 2, 1873, in Alençon, France. On Christmas Day 1886 St. Therese had a profound experience of intimate union with God, which she described as a “complete conversion.” In 1888, at the age of 15, she decided to become a nun and joined two of her elder sisters in the cloistered Carmelite Community of Lisieux, Normandy.  On entering, she devoted herself to living a life of holiness, doing all things with love and childlike trust in God. She struggled with life in the convent but decided to make an effort to be charitable to all, especially those she didn’t like. She performed little acts of charity always, and little sacrifices not caring how unimportant they seemed.  These acts helped her come to a deeper understanding of her vocation.

She wrote in her autobiography that she had always dreamed of being a missionary, an apostle, a martyr – yet she was a nun in a quiet cloister in France. How could she fulfil these longings? She writes, “Charity gives me the key to my vocation. I understand that the Church has a Heart and that this Heart is burning with love. I know that this love drives the members of the Church to action, that if this love were to be extinguished, the apostles would have proclaimed the Gospel no longer, and the martyrs would have shed their blood no more. I understand that Love comprises all vocations, that Love is everything, that it embraces all times and a word, that it is eternal!” She also writes how, when she realized this great love of Jesus, she cried out in the excess of her delirious joy, “O Jesus, my vocation, at last I have found it...My vocation is Love!”

Therese’s final years were marked by a steady decline in health that she bore resolutely, and without complaint.  Tuberculosis was her final suffering, but she saw it as part of her spiritual journey. On her deathbed, she is reported to have said, “I have reached the point of not being able to suffer anymore, because all suffering is sweet to me”.  Her last words were, “My God, I love you.”  After nine years as a Carmelite Nun, she died of tuberculosis, at the age of 24 on September 30, 1897.

There are so many practical takeaways her life offers:
(i) We can be great missionaries in the place wherein we live
(ii) We can have great love even for those who do not like us;
(iii) We can suffer a lot without complaining and convert people through our vicarious suffering, and
(iv) We can suffer a lot and love God deeply at the same time.


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.