St. Therese of the Child Jesus was never the same after the Christmas of 1886
Thérèse Martin was a stubborn and childish girl. Her mother was terribly worried about her future. In a letter, she went on to write: “As for Thérèse, you can not say how she will leave, she is so young and carefree … her stubbornness is almost invincible. When she says no, nothing makes her change. ”
Thérèse, who later became known as St. Therese of the Child Jesus, tells in her autobiography (“History of a Soul”), the episode of a change in her life, which happened on the eve of Christmas of 1886. She was 13 years old, stubborn, made sure that the parents followed the Christmas traditions for a child. She says:
When I got home from midnight Mass, I knew that I should find my shoes on the mantelpiece, full of gifts, as I had always done since I was little. So you can see that I was still treated as a baby.
My dad loved to see how happy I was and hear my cries of pleasure as he took every surprise package out of my magic shoes. His satisfaction made me even happier. But it is time for Jesus to get rid of my childishness; even the innocent joys of childhood were gone. He allowed my father to feel angry that year instead of pampering me. And when I was upstairs, I heard him say, “Thérèse should have got through all this sort of thing [to make a present at Christmas] and I hope this is the last time.” It hurt me, and Céline, who knew how sensitive I was, whispered to me: “Do not go down yet; if you open your gifts now in front of the father you’ll just cry. “
Teresinha would have done just that: crying like a little baby. However, this did not happen:
But I was no longer the same Thérèse; Jesus changed me completely. I held my tears, and trying to stop my heart from beating so fast, I ran into the dining room. I grabbed my shoes and unwrapped my presents with joy, looking as happy as a queen all the time. His father did not look nervous anymore and went into the fun, while Céline thought he must be dreaming. But this was not a dream. Thérèse had regained forever the strength of the mind she had lost.
Teresinha would later call it “Christmas Miracle,” a fact that marked a turning point in her life. This motivated her relationship with God, and, two years later, she joined a local Carmelite order of nuns.
She saw this “miracle” as an action of God’s grace flooding her soul, giving her strength and courage to do what was true, good and beautiful. It was your Christmas gift from God.
Teresinha finally understood what she should do to love God more intimately, and she left her childish ways to become a true daughter of God. She would still retain a small stubbornness, in a good way, united to the will of God and entrusting her life entirely to Him.