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St. Thérèse of Lisieux: Spouse and Victim

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St. Thérèse of Lisieux
Spouse and Victim

Cliff Ermatinger

The genius of St. Thérèse's spirituality is the originality of her approach to God in confidence and love. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in her Act of Oblation to Merciful Love.

  • ICS code: SV
  • Format: paper
  • Pages: 128
  • ISBN: 978-0-935216-78-3


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At a time when some were offering themselves as victims to God's justice in reparation, Thérèse chose instead to offer herself to God's mercy, to enable that infinite love welling up in God to overflow into her and extend that love, not justice, to others.


This little book treats of a love story that began on January 4, 1873, the day of Thérèse'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.