Carmelite Conversations

The Act of Oblation to Merciful Love of St. Therese of Lisieux

August 20, 2019

If you are looking for a deeper understanding of the nature of the Lord's call to all baptized souls, and you want to discover the depth of commitment and devotion to which a soul can be carried, then you will want to listen to this series. Mark and Frances present here a Catechism on St. Therese of Lisieux's Act of Oblation to Merciful Love. It is the Saint's formal written expression and promise of abandonment to Jesus Christ. The conversation begins by laying the groundwork for the benefits St. Therese received by drafting and continually praying this Act of Oblation. It then presents the significant events, over the course of about five years, that led up to Therese's decision to put into words what she was experiencing in her heart. The Act itself is filled with the language and sentiments that St. Therese wanted to communicate in what is essentially her Love Letter to the Lord. Having read the entire Act, Mark and Frances then begin to analyze some of the more challenging terms for the modern ear. They explore and explain phrases like victim, oblation, holocaust and even martyrdom. These are striking terms to be found in a love letter, but what soon becomes clear, as one reads and prays St. Therese's document, is that her Act is less an offering and more an acceptance of what she understands the Lord wishes to offer her, which is nothing other than His complete self. It is her acceptance of the Lord's offer of merciful love that allows the Lord to complete His work in this well-known Saint. St. Therese's Act is also an invitation to each one of us, not to simply adopt her words, but rather, and more importantly, to open ourselves to the transforming work of sanctification that the Lord wishes to complete in all of us. If you want to truly understand the language of love, then this is a wonderful series for you.

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