Did St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face give us to Hope that All will be Saved?
St. Therese taught a spiritual path that she called “the little way”, in which one wholly and trustfully commits oneself like a child to the love and mercy of the good God. Pope Pius XI canonized her in 1925 and John Paul has made her a doctor of the Church.
She wrote a Christmas play for her sisters, in which the Child Jesus insists, in correction of the Angel of Vengeance, that, “every soul will find forgiveness”. On the last day, the Child Jesus will remain “the God of love” who suffered to recompense all of the sins of the entire human race. The following account is published in French.
“She has various angels assemble around the crib: the ‘Angel of the Child Jesus’ and the ‘Angel of the Holy Face’ (the Passion) sing of the infinite love of the Son of Man in anticipation of his coming suffering but also of his Resurrection and triumph.
“Then there appears the ‘Angel of the Last Judgment,’ armed with a sword and a pair of scales.
“The following excerpt from the ‘Angel of the Last Judgement’s’ lines may be cited here:
‘The day of reckoning is coming soon; this impure world will be forced to go through fire. We will see the radiance of his glory, no longer concealed beneath the features of a child; we will extol his triumph and acknowledge him as the Almighty. You will tremble; the inhabitants of the earth will not bear the wrath of this Child, who today is the God of love. He chooses suffering and demands in return only your frail heart. At the time of judgment, you will recognize his power and quake before the avenging God.’
“The ‘Angel of the Holy Face’ speaks, requesting of the Child the promised mercy for those sinners whose conversion gives God greater joy than do the ninety-nine righteous who have no need of repentance.
“After this comes the voice of the Child:
‘I will listen to your request: every soul will find forgiveness.’
“The Angel of Vengeance once again objects:
‘Do you forget, Jesus, that the sinner must be punished; do you forget, in your exceeding love, that the number of the godless is endless? At the time of judgment, I want to punish the crimes, to destroy all the ungrateful; my sword is ready, well will I know how to avenge you!’
“Then the Child Jesus:
‘Beautiful angel, lower your sword. It is not for you to judge the nature that I desired to set in being and to redeem. I myself am the Judge of the world, and my name is Jesus.’
“The Angel of Judgment kneels down and, ‘quite beside himself, wonders at your unutterable love.’
“At the end, all the angels together say:
‘How great is the bliss of the lowly creature. Despite their rapture, the seraphs would like to forsake their angelic nature and be changed to children with you.’
Therese taught in her autobiography, “Story of a Soul”, that pagans can be saved without Christian belief, saying that “vast numbers of poor savages [who] died before they had even heard the name of God” are “much lesser saints” and “wild flowers whose homeliness delights Him”.
“I had wondered for a long time why God had
preferences and is by all souls did not receive an equal amount of grace. I
was astonished to see how He showered extraordinary favours on saints who had
sinned against Him, saints such as
“Jesus saw fit to enlighten me about this mystery. He set the book of nature before me and I saw that all the flowers He has created are lovely. The splendour of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of its scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. I realised that if every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness and there would be no wild flowers to make the meadows gay.
“It is just the same in the world of souls—which
“I also understood that God’s love shows itself just as well in the simplest soul which puts up no resistance to His grace as it does in the loftiest soul. Indeed, as it is love’s nature to humble itself, if all souls were like those of the holy doctors who have illumined the Church with the light of their doctrine, it seems that God would not have stooped low enough by entering their hearts. But God has created the baby who knows nothing and can utter only feeble cries. He has created the poor savage with no guide but natural law, and it is to their hearts that He deigns to stoop. They are His wild flowers whose homeliness delights Him. By stooping down to them, He manifests His infinite grandeur. The sun shines equally both on cedars and on every tiny flower. In just the same way God looks after every soul as if it had no equal. All is planned for the good of every soul, exactly as the seasons are so arranged that the humblest daisy blossoms at the appointed time.”
Story of a Soul