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The Way to Love: Therese of Lisieux [Paperback]

By Ann Laforest O.C.D. (Author) & Ann Laforest OCD (Author)
Our Price $ 15.26  
Retail Value $ 17.95  
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Item Number 115941  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   160
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.99" Width: 6.05" Height: 0.52"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 31, 2000
Publisher   Sheed & Ward
ISBN  1580510825  
EAN  9781580510820  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
"Uncovering the creatively brilliant thoughts hidden within Th-r+se?s humility and childlike style, this book presents an urgent message for the world today. An unparalleled look at the life, spirituality, and theology of Th-r+se, Doctor of the Universal Church."

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
The Little Way of Love  Apr 1, 2002
(Hope Ferguson wrote this review for Empire State College News. She gave permission to send it.)
In 1988 Ann Laforest was "trying to pay back student loans," while caring for a baby of two married surgeons. Because the baby slept a lot, Laforest found ample time for reading. She began rading all of the works of Therese de Lisieux, a 19th century saint and Doctor of the Catholic Church, who is credited with the religious philosophy known as "The Little Way."
"I was deciding whether I should go back to the monastery,," Laforest recalls in a telephone interview. "The Story of a Soul, Memoirs of St. Therese", was what initially prompted Laforest, at age 20 in 1954, to enter Carmel, where the lifestyle closely resembled the Carmel of her role model. After earning her degree in human development from the Plattsburgh Unit of Empire State College, Laforest took a leave of absence to earn two master's degrees (a master of divinity in 1986 and a master in sacred theology in 1992, both from Boston University).
Laforest eventually did re-enter the monastery, but her time of soul-searching and study convinced her that the Catholic saint--young (she died at 24), female, and consumed with love for the "little people," the poor and disenfranchised--"had an urgent message" for young people today.
She recently published a book on her role model, "Therese of Lisieux: The Way to Love". It took her eight years to write, and she sent it to only three publishers`before she found success with the Catholic publisher Sheed & Ward. Laforest contends in her book that The Little Way is "nothing more than the gospel lived according to the signs of the times today." Therefore, she sees a relevant connection between St. Therese's emphasis on the "littleness" (humility before God, and denial of human greatness) and the role of liberation theology (which posits a "preferential option" for the poor by God), and such things as the abolition of slavery and discrimination. As Laforest explains in her book, there is nothing more arrogant than another human being feeling he or she has the right to "own" another.
She also sees a connection between care for the environment and the saint's Little Way. There is a violation of The Little Way "when the owner of a paper mill knowingly pollutes a river and gives no regard to the suffering caused to human beings, wildlife and plant lif," she writes. The saint placed a great emphasis on what she saw as the preeminent Christian virtue, love. St. Therese felt that the gospel had to be lived out through acts of compassion for the helpless (slaves, children) and through acts of kindness toward ordinary people. She noted that Jesus "emptied himself and took on the form of a slave." Thus, The Little Way emphasizes doing little acts that can lighten the burden for others, Laforest writes.
Laforest's book skillfully weaves strands of psychology, human development and spirituality in what is a scholarly look at the life of the saint. Indeed, the book began its life as a thesis for Laforest's second master's degree. In her phone interview, Laforest ticked off the names of those who she feels lived in accordance with St. Therese's Little Way: Catholic Worker founder Dorothy Day, as well as Oscar Romero, archbishop of El Salvador, who paid with his life in 1980 when he shifted his concern to care for the poor. His theology radically changed after the murder of a Jesuit priest friend, who was also an advocate for the poor.
Laforest earned her degree in human development because of its connection with theology. "For me the two are very related. Humanism is a way of worshiping God. You accept people and love them regardless of religious belief, recognizing the basic human goodness that all religions affirm," she says.
Laforest spends her days at the convent in prayer and work. Although the chores the sisters do can be anything from cooking, to transcribing a cardinal's talk, to sewing vestments, to providing spiritual direction, Laforest's work centers around her writing. She conducts correspondence and cotributes to the community newsletter.
"We are each only little people so we can only do little things," she says. "We hope for success, but the success is not the point. We do what little we can to promote the Kingdom of God."
A radical fighter for peace and justice  Jan 9, 2001
Although I'm not a Catholic, I've always been an admirer of Thérèse of Lisieux and her "Little Way" (which, by the way, is not so little). So I was excited to read Sr Ann Laforest's book, which gives new insights into Thérèse's extraordinary life and message, from childhood on. Sr Ann's inclusion of people like Dorothy Day, Oscar Romero, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr is surprising at first, but right on. It puts Thérèse where she belongs - in the company of radical fighters for peace and justice. An excellent and important book.

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