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.