Saturday, 9 June 2012

Text 1: Act of Oblation of saint Thérèse

Introduction to the
ACT OF OBLATION TO MERCIFUL LOVE
From the Autobiography of saint Thérèse Ms A
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"This year June 9, [1895] the feast of the Most Holy Trinity, I received the grace to understand more than ever before how much Jesus desires to be loved.
I was thinking about the souls who offer themselves as victims of God's Justice in order to turn away the punishments reserved to sinners, drawing them upon themselves. This offering seemed great and very generous to me, but I was far from feeling attracted to making it.

From the depths of my heart, I cried out: 'O my God! will Your Justice alone find souls willing to immolate themselves as victims? Does not Your Merciful Love need them too?

On every side this love is unknown, rejected; those hearts upon whom You would lavish it turn to creatures, seeking happiness from them with their miserable affection; they do this instead of throwing themselves into Your arms and of accepting Your infinite Love. O my God! Is Your disdained Love going to remain closed up within Your Heart? It seems to me that if You were to find souls offering themselves as victims of holocaust to Your Love, You would consume them rapidly; it seems to me, too, that You would be happy not to hold back the waves of infinite tenderness within You. If Your Justice loves to release itself, this Justice which extends only over the earth, how much more does Your Merciful Love desire to set souls on fire, since Your Mercy reaches to the heavens. O my Jesus, let me be this happy victim; consume Your holocaust with the fire of Your Divine Love.'"

You permitted me, dear Mother, to offer myself in this way to God, and you know the rivers or rather the oceans of graces that flooded my soul. Ah! since the happy day, it seems to me that Love penetrates and surrounds me, that at each moment this Merciful Love renews me, purifying my soul and leaving no trace of sin within it, and [84v°] I need have no fear of purgatory. I know that of myself I would not merit even to enter that place of expiation since only holy souls can have entrance there, but I also know that the Fire of Love is more sanctifying than is the fire of purgatory. I know that Jesus cannot desire useless sufferings for us, and that He would not inspire the longings I feel unless He wanted to grant them.

Oh! how sweet is the way of Love! How I want to apply myself to doing the will of God always with the greatest self-surrender!

Here, dear Mother, is all I can tell you about the life of your little Thérèse; you know better than I do what she is and what Jesus has done for her. You will forgive me for having abridged my religious life so much.

How will this "story of a little white flower" come to an end? Perhaps the little flower will be plucked in her youthful freshness or else transplanted to other shores. I don 't know, but what I am certain about is that God's Mercy will accompany her always, that it will never cease blessing the dear Mother who offered her to Jesus; she will rejoice eternally at being one of the flowers of her crown. And with this dear Mother she will sing eternally the new canticle of Love.

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ACT OF OBLATION TO MERCIFUL LOVE
J.M.J.T.

Offering of myself as a Victim of Holocaust to God's Merciful Love

O My God! Most Blessed Trinity, I desire to Love You and make You Loved, to work for the glory of Holy Church by saving souls on earth and liberating those suffering in purgatory. I desire to accomplish Your will perfectly and to reach the degree of glory You have prepared for me in Your Kingdom. I desire, in a word, to be a saint, but I feel my helplessness and I beg You, O my God! to be Yourself my Sanctity!
Since You loved me so much as to give me Your only Son as my Savior and my Spouse, the infinite treasures of His merits are mine. I offer them to You with gladness, begging You to look upon me only in the Face of Jesus and in His heart burning with Love.
I offer You, too, all the merits of the saints (in heaven and on earth), their acts of Love, and those of the holy angels. Finally, I offer You, O Blessed Trinity! the Love and merits of the Blessed Virgin, my dear Mother. It is to her I abandon my offering, begging her to present it to You. Her Divine Son, my Beloved Spouse, told us in the days of His mortal life: "Whatsoever you ask the Father in my name he will give it to you!" I am certain, then, that You will grant my desires; I know, O my God! that the more You want to give, the more You make us desire. I feel in my heart immense desires and it is with confidence I ask You to come and take possession of my soul. Ah! I cannot receive Holy Communion as often as I desire, but, Lord, are You not all-powerful? Remain in me as in a tabernacle and never separate Yourself from Your little victim.
I want to console You for the ingratitude of the wicked, and I beg of You to take away my freedom to displease You. If through weakness I sometimes fall, may Your Divine Glance cleanse my soul immediately, consuming all my imperfections like the fire that transforms everything into itself.
I thank You, O my God! for all the graces You have granted me, especially the grace of making me pass through the crucible of suffering. It is with joy I shall contemplate You on the Last Day carrying the sceptre of Your Cross. Since You deigned to give me a share in this very precious Cross, I hope in heaven to resemble You and to see shining in my glorified body the sacred stigmata of Your Passion.
After earth's Exile, I hope to go and enjoy You in the Fatherland, but I do not want to lay up merits for heaven. I want to work for Your Love alone with the one purpose of pleasing You, consoling Your Sacred Heart, and saving souls who will love You eternally.
In the evening of this life, I shall appear before You with empty hands, for I do not ask You, Lord, to count my works. All our justice is stained in Your eyes. I wish, then, to be clothed in Your own Justice and to receive from Your Love the eternal possession of Yourself. I want no other Throne, no other Crown but You, my Beloved!
Time is nothing in Your eyes, and a single day is like a thousand years. You can, then, in one instant prepare me to appear before You.



In order to live in one single act of perfect Love, I OFFER MYSELF AS A VICTIM OF HOLOCAUST TO YOUR MERCIFUL LOVE, asking You to consume me incessantly, allowing the waves of infinite tenderness shut up within You to overflow into my soul, and that thus I may become a martyr of Your Love, O my God!
May this martyrdom, after having prepared me to appear before You, finally cause me to die and may my soul take its flight without any delay into the eternal embrace of Your Merciful Love.
I want, O my Beloved, at each beat of my heart to renew this offering to You an infinite number of times, until the shadows having disappeared I may be able to tell You of my Love in an Eternal Face to Face!
Marie, Francoise, Therese of the Child Jesus
and the Holy Face, unworthy Carmelite religious.

This 9th day of June, Feast of the Most Holy Trinity,
In the year of grace, 1895.

PS The part in red is indulgenced.

2 comments:

Lee said...

I think that this Act of Oblation to Merciful Love of St Therese is very beautiful! Thank you so much for including this as one of your posts. What great trust in God is shown in this prayer or “oblation”.

When reading this, I was quite struck by the term “oblation” (asking myself, what is the full significance of this word? What is it trying to capture? What is its full meaning?) and whilst looking into this term, I came across the description online which spoke of St Therese’s oblation as “offering up your heart”. I would love for you to expand on this!

Well, it made me think of two things:
1. In the Mass, when we are invited to “Lift up our hearts to the Lord” (you have mentioned this part of the Mass before). I understand that the Mass is an oblation, an offering, but would this part of the Mass be reminding us of/ and our opportunity to practice our oblation to God?

2. It made me think of “prayer of the heart”- could this be seen a kind of oblation/offering up our hearts?

My thoughts might have run wild here :) but I find this fascinating.

Also, St Therese refers to the oblation as “one single act of perfect love”:

"In order to live in one single act of perfect Love, I offer myself as a victim of holocaust to your merciful Love, asking you to consume me incessantly…"

I might not know how to phrase this question in the best way, but what do you think she means by “one single act” and this act being an act of “perfect love”? Do we too need to offer ourselves up as “victims of the holocaust of love” in order to enter into this single act of perfect love?

I hope the above makes sense!!

Jean Khoury BSc MA, said...

Thanks Lee for your questions:
Please see my answer here: in "act of oblation", 3 questions: http://amorvincit.blogspot.com/2012/06/act-of-oblation-3-questions.html