In an Instant: The Conversion Story of St. Therese
“God would have to work a little miracle to make me grow up in an instant.” –St. Therese of Lisieux
In her school years, St. Therese had a sensitive personality. However, on Christmas in 1886 the Lord performed an unforgettable miracle that brought her to the third and most beautiful period of her life.
In her Story of a Soul St. Therese shared her conversion on that luminous night:
We had come back from Midnight Mass where I had the happiness of receiving the strong and powerful God. Upon arriving at Les Buissonets, I used to love to take my shoes from the chimney corner and examine the presents in them: this old custom had given us so much joy in our youth that Celine wanted to continue treating me as a baby since I was the youngest in the family. Papa had always loved to see my happiness and listen to my cries of delight as I drew each surprise from the magic shoes, and my dear King’s gaiety increased my own happiness very much.
However, Jesus desired to show me that I was to give up the defects of my childhood and do so after the Midnight Mass, to experience annoyance when seeing my shoes at the fireplace, and that he speak those words which pierced my ears: “Well, fortunately, this will be the last year!”
I was going upstairs, at the time, to remove my hat, and Celine, knowing how sensitive I was and seeing the tears already glistening in my grief. She said, “Oh Therese, don’t go downstairs; it would cause you too much grief to look at your slippers right now!”
But Therese was no longer the same; Jesus had changed her heart! Forcing back tears, I descended the stairs rapidly; controlling the poundings of my heart, I took my slippers and placed them in front of Papa, and withdrew all the objects joyfully. I had the happy appearance of a Queen. Having regained his own cheerfulness, Papa was laughing; Celine believed it was all a dream! Fortunately, it was sweet reality; Therese had discovered once again the strength of soul which she had lost at the age of four and a half, and she was to preserve it forever!
This story called St. Therese beyond her self-centered dreams and to empty herself for others. As we celebrate Christmas, let her story guide your heart to be more like hers!
Get involved with the Society of the Little Flower: