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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Storm of Glory...God's Calling...

I stumbled on this beautiful book entitled, "Storm of Glory" at a recent warehouse sale. This was John Beever’s first biography of St Therese of Lisieux, initially published in 1949. By the grace of God, I discovered a hardcover copy of the 1950 reprint with illustrations at a local used bookshop recently.

The names of Louis Martin and Zelie Marie Guerin would probably sound unfamiliar to most of us. Louis was turned away from the monastery of the Great St. Bernard, whereas Zelie was denied entrance to the Convent of the Sisters of St Vincent de Paul.

This family of a successful watchmaker and a lace maker stricken with breast cancer bore 9 children; 7 girls and 2 boys. However, within 3 years, the two boys, a five year old girl, and a six-and-a-half week old infant girl all died. The last child was weak and frail and the family already so used to death, was preparing for yet another death.
Today, people know this little girl as St. Therese, the "Little Flower" because her life is a testimony of her being like the simple wild flowers in the forests and fields, unnoticed by the greater population, yet growing and giving glory to God.

This 231-page book expresses beautifully how she, within her short life (died at the age of 24 years and 9 months of tuberculosis), understood herself before the Lord - simple and hidden, but blooming where God had planted her – keeping things simple in all ways, encountering God in the simple details of life. She never did like long prayers and even fell asleep during a community prayer session. “Heaven” was the very first word she could read.

For many of us today who feel that we do not have any talent for holiness, and tend to lose hope trying – contented to being just a mediocre attendee in church, you will truly be able to relate to Therese, being physically weak herself, stubborn and sometimes psychologically vulnerable. She humbles herself with the perception that great saints were giants and that she was merely an “obscure grain of sand”. This book provides inspiration of the fact that we all have many opportunities (some we perceive to be too small) of grace in our daily lives and that there is simply no excuse for “tidak apa”-ness” (indifference) in the practice of our Catholic faith in our daily lives.

This book echoes her belief that, “Our Lord does not call those who are worthy, but those whom He will.” She adds on, “I am a nobody. I did nothing great. Much of my life was spent in the laundry…looking after the linen…I was not learned. I read very few books…I was a little soul, an ordinary soul. But I loved God…”

As this captivating book is out-of-print, used copies can easily be found at these sites, amongst many others:,, or

Many, many other great books on this lovely saint can similarly be found.

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