Thérèse of Lisieux, known in English-speaking countries as “The Little Flower” is sometimes reduced to sugary language. When Pope John Paul II made her the third woman Doctor of the Church, he spoke only about her focus on love, on doing every little thing with love as her well-known Little Way. Thérèse's "Little Way" is at the core of her writings, but there is also much more to her. Thérèse suffered strong psychological distress that had its roots in multiple maternal losses. She wrote about her struggles with faith when she was dying from tuberculosis at 24. She also had a strong desire to be a priest that is mostly discounted by church authorities, but has been embraced by those supporting the ordination of women and some very well-known French writers. Many of her “less orthodox” teachings, her psychological distress, and her struggles with faith continue to be mostly unknown.
In this seminar we will present details Thérèse’s life, her writings, her contemplative teaching and practices and we will try to understand her as a young woman of a specific historical period and sociocultural context who has a lot to teach us about searching for God in the silence of contemplation. And, finally, we will learn from her unfiltered words about ways of life and contemplative prayer that bring us to God in simple and yet profound ways.
This program is being offered free of charge.
We invite you to contribute what you can so that we can continue to provide these opportunities.
Thérèse of Lisieux Seminar
February 27, 2021
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (pacific time) via zoom
Presenter: Oliva M. Espín