#2: Seeking Jesus in Visits to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel with St. Thérèse of Lisieux

The second practical way St. Thérèse awakened her seeking heart for Jesus was in her devotion to visiting the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.

In her autobiography, St. Thérèse says that one of the most beautiful memories of her childhood was in her “little walk every afternoon [with her father] to pay a visit to the Blessed Sacrament” (18). 

What a gift for St. Thérèse to be taught at such a young age how to seek Jesus on a daily basis. At a time when daily reception of Holy Communion was rare, St. Thérèse loved these daily visits to the Blessed Sacrament, where she would pour out the desires and longings of her heart for intimacy and union with Jesus. 

As a religious sister, St. Thérèse continued to seek Jesus more and more through frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament chapel. For example, she writes: 

“When deserted by creatures and in the moments of sadness I would go up to the sanctuary of the chapel and find my only consolation in that silent visit. I remember that I often then repeated this line from a beautiful poem my father used to recite for us: Time is thy ship, and not thy dwelling place.”

In her Eucharistic poem, The Atom of Jesus-Host, for example, St. Thérèse expressed her desire to seek the “hidden God” in a beautiful way:

“I am just a speck of dust,

But I want to make my dwelling

In the shadow of the sanctuary

With the Prisoner of Love.

Ah! my soul longs for the host.

I love Him and want nothing more.

It is the hidden God who attracts me.”

For St. Thérèse, Jesus was hiding in the Eucharist, locked up as a “Prisoner of Love” in the tabernacle, awaiting His little Thérèse to seek Him with all the desires of her childlike heart.

As a result, St. Thérèse wanted to spend all the days of her life near Jesus in the Eucharist. She expressed this one desire of her seeking heart in a profound way in her poem, Canticle of a Soul Having Found the Place of Its Rest!:

“O Jesus! on this day, you have fulfilled all my desires.

From now on, near the Eucharist, I shall be able

To sacrifice myself in silence, to wait for Heaven in peace.

Keeping myself open to the rays of the Divine Host,

In this furnace of love, I shall be consumed,

And like a seraphim, Lord, I shall love You.”

In her visits to the Blessed Sacrament, St. Thérèse envisioned herself to be “like a seraphim”, being consumed in the furnace of divine love that poured forth like rays from the Divine Host of the Eucharist. With St. Thérèse as our little sister in faith, may we too have the courage to bring all the desires of our seeking hearts to the adoration chapel. 

To conclude: What is 1 thing you want to remember from this reflection?

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