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Synopsis

On Christmas Eve, 1886, a young girl, Thérèse Martin, received special grace. Although it was the littleness of the Christ Child that reached out to this girl and taught her to give up the defects of childhood, the grace was by no means small. Her long bout with scruples and empty fears was not completely over, yet in her own words, “since that night I have never been defeated in any combat, but rather walked from victory to victory.” Such was her experience of God's mercy that she decided then and there to give her life to the mission of converting sinners. This book by Cliff Ermatinger presents us with deep theological insights into the meaning of the seemingly simple life and journey of St. Thérèse of Lisieux.

This little book treats of a love story that began on January 4, 1873, the day of Therese's baptism. On that day God began to court the soul of this little girl who would remain just that a little girl. She would also learn to correspond with her baptismal grace, thus maturing into a strong-willed woman and ultimately into the faithful bride of her divine Spouse.

Her formal relationship with Christ and her new insertion into his life began fittingly on Christmas. Also fittingly, her relationship with him on earth ended on Calvary. Tracing St. Thérèse of Lisieux's life, we discover that she begins with the life of grace, going from child of God to child in the Son. She then advances to a theological existence; from theological existence to union; and from union to its culmination in espousals with Christ: the ordinary terminus of the spiritual life to which everyone is called. Having arrived at such union with the divine Spouse, Thérèse was next inducted into the victimhood of Christ. The author then examines the relation between the type of victimhood St. Thérèse experienced and the type of sin she was expiating: atheism.

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