St.-ThereseYou are right – life is often burdensome and bitter.

It is painful to begin a day of toil, especially when Jesus hides Himself from our love.

What is this sweet Friend about?

Does He not see our anguish and the burden that weighs us down?

Why does He not come and comfort us?

Be not afraid…. He is here at hand. He is watching, and it is He who begs from us this pain, these tears….

He needs them for souls, for our souls, and He longs to give us a magnificent reward.

I assure you that it costs Him dear to fill us with bitterness, but He knows that it is the only means of preparing us to know Him as He knows Himself, and to become ourselves Divine!

Our soul is indeed great and our destiny glorious. Let us lift ourselves above all things that pass, and hold ourselves far from the earth!

Up above, the air is so pure … Jesus may hide Himself, but we know that He is there.

My dearest sister, do not let your weakness make you unhappy.

When, in the morning, we feel no courage or strength for the practice of virtue, it is really a grace: it is the time to “lay the axe to the root of the tree” (Matt. 3:10), relying upon Jesus alone.

If we fall, an act of love will set all right, and Jesus smiles.

He helps us without seeming to do so; and the tears which sinners cause Him to shed are wiped away by our poor weak love.

Love can do all things. The most impossible tasks seem to it easy and sweet.

You know well that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, as at the love with which we do them.

What, then, have we to fear? You wish to become a Saint, and you ask me if this is not attempting too much.

Céline, I will not tell you to aim at the seraphic holiness of the most privileged souls, but rather to be “perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect” (Apoc. 21:4).

You see that your dream – that our dreams and our desires – are not fancies, since Jesus Himself has laid their realisation upon us as a commandment.

Thérèse of the Child Jesus (1873-1897): Letters of Saint Thérèse to Her Sister Celine, 1 & 2.