THE TRIAL OF FAITH OF ST. THÉRÈSE OF LISIEUX
First Printed: 02-18-1998
For the final eighteen months of her life, as she was literally being suffocated to death by pulmonary tuberculosis, Thérèse of Lisieux experienced a harrowing “trial of faith.” Although never faltering in her profession of faith, she had to struggle to believe in the existence of life beyond the grave. Her struggle to assent to the existence of heaven caused her more agony, she said, than her physical disease. By her own admission, her trial was a veritable martyrdom. Her trial of faith was an intense manifestation of her profound union with Christ in his redemptive suffering for the salvation of the world and reveals a hitherto largely unappreciated facet of her very special mission here on earth, namely, to expiate sins against the faith and to impart and strengthen the gift of faith in members of the Church who find themselves subjected to similar doubts and difficulties by a world that no longer knows what it believes about life after death. This work highlights in particular the co-redemptive role all Christians are called upon to play by virtue of their baptism. In this context, Thérèse, the saint of the “little,” and might we not also add, “universal” way, illustrated by her life and teaching the centerpiece of the Second Vatican Council’s universal call to holiness of all the faithful. This book shows us how.
About the Author: For six years the Executive Director of the World Apostolate of Fatima, the Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the editor of Soul Magazine, Father Frederick L. Miller, S.T.D., a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, is presently an Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Overbrook, Wynnewood, Pennsylvania and Academic Dean of the Seminary’s Religious Studies Division. His 13-segment presentation on the Introduction to the Devout Life of St. Francis de Sales, Union with God, has been aired on EWTN and is available in video format from Ignatius Press.
Book: 240 pages
Prod. Code: 0799-1
"The Trial of Faith of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux is one of the clearest, most convincing and spirited books on Thérèse to appear in the last several years. This book is not only about the trial of faith which Thérèse underwent during the last eighteen months of her life, although that, of course, is thoroughly treated; but also includes a short, excellent summary of her life. In addition, Miller provides a fine and detailed study of her writings and an extensive probing into the sources of those writings... This is an excellent book for those who, not knowing Thérèse, would wish an introduction to her life and writings. It is also an outstanding study for those who would wish a deeper understanding and appreciation of this 'greatest saint of modern times'." --Joseph F. Schmidt, F.S.C. in Sisters Today, September 1999
"To commemorate the centennial of the Little Flower's death in 1897, Rev. Frederick Miller taught courses and gave lectures on Thérèse's "Little Way of Spiritual Childhood" at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary where he is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology. His book is not a popularization, but rather a scholarly work of spiritual theology, the result of his painstaking research into a controverted question about Thérèse's spiritual life.... The book is carefully structured... and sheds a quiet, clear light on the Christian mystery of salvific suffering." --Michael J. Miller inHomiletic and Pastoral Review, April 1999
"Attention only to the pain of Thérèse's passion might frighten the reader away from answering the universal call to holiness. The author, though, makes it clear that the suffering of this trial is not the whole story of Thérèse's spiritual life, or anybody else's. On the level of intellect and will, she was perfectly at peace, experiencing the joy of responding to her vocation. She understood that following Christ meant taking up the cross herself, not merely watching Jesus take it up. And even on that cross, Christ experienced the beatific vision, or so Thérèse believed." --Dom Julian Stead in New Oxford Review, March 1999