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Letters of Saint Therese Couderc

Brief quotations (2)

 These are excerpts taken from the letters of the Cenacle's Mother Therese.  Our hope is to have the complete letters online before long.


Speaking of her retreat:| I made them all [i.e., all the meditations] and followed the subjects in the order in which they were placed and in all of them, even those upon the great truths like sin and punishment I saw a God kind and merciful to me, to Whom I owed my whole love. So I allowed myself to follow that attraction of love which is always the dominant and most frequent of my moods .... So I allowed the good God and His grace to work, gratefully receiving each day what He deigned to give me, well knowing that I possessed nothing and that all things came to me from Him.

Letter to M de Larochnégly,
Montpellier, February 13, 1864


I see in myself nothing but poverty, powerlessness, uselessness in my life and a total destitution of every virtue which covers me with confusion. I no longer ask God that I may know myself better, since a day during this Lent He gave me so clear a view of my deep poverty and my nothingness that I even prayed He would show me no more of it, fearing lest discouragement should take possession of my soul. Yet He always gave me the grace not to be discouraged and not to lose peace, abandoning myself to Him and desiring nothing else than to love Him and to be united to Him more and more, and He gave me this grace by often drawing me to Himself in an almost irresistible manner.

Letter to M de Larochnégly,
Montpellier, April 23, 1865 (dated 1866)


But I find myself quite destitute of virtue, I may even say that I see none in myself and it seems to me that, if the Good God should call me to render to Himself an account of my works, I would find myself empty-handed with no other recourse than His great Mercy. With this I hope, I have confidence and I abandon myself to His good pleasure with a calmness, a peace that nothing can trouble and which seems to me that He alone can give.

Letter to M de Larochenégly,
Lyon, August 7, 1867


All my virtue is only in desires and in sterile desires: I do no more one day than another and when I have to appear before God, I shall have hands empty of good works, for I have never done anything that could promote His glory. I thought of this many times during this retreat, however I do not want to become discouraged and since the good God has made me realize so clearly that I can do nothing, I hope and want to hope that He will do all, and then rely n the divine mercy: the most wretched have more claim to it than others.

To Mother de Larochnégly,
Lyon, December 23, 1968


In the moments of despair I offer the merits of Our Lord which are more than sufficient to supply a poverty so extreme, an indigence so great and, in this way, the good God has given me the grace not to become discouraged.

To Mother de Larochenegly,
Lyon, October 19, 1873


... how can I not feel it, this extreme poverty, when the proofs are there to convince us? At night, when I want to cast my eyes over my day, I see nothing but uselessness; even more than that, I see nothing but failure, defects, imperfections. Prayer, labor, rest, everything is imperfect, there is nothing good. What shall I do then? Well, so that I may not get discouraged, for I fear discouragement, I cast all this into the heart of Jesus which is an abyss of mercy, and I beg Him to deign, in His bounty, kindly to repair all, to perfect all, to sanctify all, since of my own accord I am able only to do evil.

Here, my very Reverend Mother, is where I am, I resolve to do better the next day and I do no better; it seems to me that I no longer know how to pray or meditate. At these times, my cry of distress, "My God, have pity on us," serves me for meditation. These few words express many things for me.

To Mother Marie Aimee Lautier,
Lyon, October 17, 1882


Confidence in the Goodness
of God's Will

The Cross

Poverty of Spirit

Goodness of God



Apostolic Spirit

Union with God

Miscellaneous Quotes in French

Cenacle chapel in Lyon

Cenacle Chapel in Lyon
seen from tribune

Tribune in Lyon

Tribune where
Mother Therese prayed
in her later years

Bedroom of St Therese in Lyon

Mother Therese's
bedroom in Lyon
(Notice the
cane by the bed.)
Design copyright © Cenacle Sisters 2009-2015
Masthead photograph by Sister L Lang, rc

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