Saint Therese of Lisieux outlet online sale (Penguin sale Lives) outlet online sale

Saint Therese of Lisieux outlet online sale (Penguin sale Lives) outlet online sale

Saint Therese of Lisieux outlet online sale (Penguin sale Lives) outlet online sale

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A portrait of the Carmelite convent saint, whose posthumously published autobiography raised her to one of the world''s most influential religious figures, traces her privileged childhood, entry into a convent at the age of fifteen, embrace of self-renunciation, and death at the age of twenty-four.

From Publishers Weekly

Harrison pens an impressionistic biography of "the little flower," the beloved French saint Therese of Lisieux, who died of tuberculosis at the age of 24. Harrison suggests that a more accurate term might be "the little nettle," since the 19th-century saint''s legacy is not just sentimental but also stinging. The much-petted youngest child in a close-knit, pious French family, Therese was just four and a half when she lost her mother to breast cancer, a void she filled with her four older sisters as well as visions of the Holy Mother. The precocious and sickly Therese received a special papal dispensation to enter the cloister at the tender age of 15. (Initially refused by both the Mother Superior and her local bishop, Therese overrode their authority and went straight to the pope.) This is no hagiography; Harrison can be quite critical of the cosseted and self-righteous young Therese, whom she finds to be "at once girlishly naive and infuriatingly self-important." It also sometimes veers too far in the direction of psychobiography, with Harrison dwelling on what she calls Therese''s repressed sexuality and the emotional nature of her early illnesses. Readers may disagree with Harrison''s interpretations, but few could quibble with her writing style, which is simply gorgeous. Her prose sings like the novels she is known for (Thicker Than Water; Poison; Seeking Rapture), and the biography reads like a particularly juicy novella.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The latest entry in the excellent Penguin Life series is a reexamination of the life of Saint Therese of Lisieux. Canonized in 1925, only 28 years after her death in 1897 at the age of 24, Therese is one of only three women recognized by the Vatican as a Doctor of the Church. Though her life was brief, her influence was far-reaching, owing to her best-selling autobiographical legacy, Story of a Soul . Published after her death, this popular account of her spiritual life established the "Little Flower" as a bona fide religious icon. Best-selling novelist and memoirist Harrison places Therese''s story firmly into historical, cultural, and psychological context. Although her portrayal of this complex and headstrong young woman is not always flattering, it never fails to be less than fascinating. Separating the flesh and blood Therese from the sentimentalized holy-card version, Harrison provides an intriguing, multifaceted portrait of a flawed human being destined for sainthood. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Kathryn Harrison is the bestselling author of The Kiss, a memoir, and of the novels Thicker Than Water, Exposure, Poison, The Binding Chair, and The Seal Wife. Her personal essays have appeared in The New Yorker and Harper''s magazine and are collected in Seeking Rapture.

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J. C Marrero
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Respectful but not Hagiographic
Reviewed in the United States on August 27, 2003
Ms. Harrison''s take on this much commented upon saint is insightful, sympathetic, but not worshipful. One gets the sense that it was hard being Therese Martin--too conscientious, overly protected, and beset with family expectations to be perfect, to be a saint. The wonder... See more
Ms. Harrison''s take on this much commented upon saint is insightful, sympathetic, but not worshipful. One gets the sense that it was hard being Therese Martin--too conscientious, overly protected, and beset with family expectations to be perfect, to be a saint. The wonder of Therese''s life is that she reached its end a balanced and loving personality whereas a weaker or less inspired soul could have slipped into depression, narcisism or over-scrupulosity. Ms. Harrison implies that the key to Therese''s spirituality was her struggle against abandonment due to the early death of her mother and the loss of her older sisters to the convent. Her response, curiously Buddhist in its approach, was to accept that life is suffering and that it can only be relieved by abandoning the self. Clearly, she pulled it off because she has become the most beloved and endearing of modern saints.
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Rey
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Fantastic service...great book!
Reviewed in the United States on March 7, 2013
The life of St. Therese of Liseux is one that everyone should read. It focuses on how we need to interact with God on the most basic levels....God is everywhere and as we go through our daily routines, we encounter Him...but do we acknowldge him? Highly recommend this... See more
The life of St. Therese of Liseux is one that everyone should read. It focuses on how we need to interact with God on the most basic levels....God is everywhere and as we go through our daily routines, we encounter Him...but do we acknowldge him?
Highly recommend this book.
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RCM
5.0 out of 5 stars
Scattered Petals
Reviewed in the United States on March 20, 2006
I have not read any of the poems or the autobiography that Saint Therese is known for; I was drawn to this book because I had heard of her and wanted to learn more about her. This shorter biography seemed the best route in that regard and Kathryn Harrison does a... See more
I have not read any of the poems or the autobiography that Saint Therese is known for; I was drawn to this book because I had heard of her and wanted to learn more about her. This shorter biography seemed the best route in that regard and Kathryn Harrison does a commendable job of introducting Therese to readers who may not be familiar with this saint.

Harrison begins her biography with a look at Therese''s parents and the role their failing and success played in Therese''s life. She would lose her mother at a young age, and constantly look for mother figures in her sisters, the Virgin Mary and any visions she experienced. Harrison weaves the saint''s poetry and writings throughout the piece, offering insight and expansion when needed. After her death, Therese Martin quickly became a very influential religious figure. Having received a special dispensation from Pope Leo XIII, Therese Martin was able to enter the convent at Carmel at the age of fifteen. She had always dedicated her life to the Lord and would not allow anyone to hold her back, even the Mother Superior. Her older sisters were nuns in the same order, springing from a religious family that predestined their daughters'' lives for this role. Therese recorded her life in the convent and wrote poems and plays that inspire readers to this day. She was misunderstood perhaps by her fellow sisters because she longed for a nothingness in her faith that only God could grant.

When her tuberculosis progressed, her sisters took to recording conversations with her for posterity, which were used in her beatification. She died at the age of twenty-four and she received the fastest canonization in the history of the Catholic church.

Other reviewers have mentioned that this book misses the point, but I disagree. In offering some of the so-called Freudian analysis of Therese and her writings, the author is not diminishing their content or ardor; she merely mentions that these comparisons can be made, and it is up to the reader to decide how they interpret these writings. There is throughout Therese''s life the knowledge that she wanted nothing more than to be a nun and to become a saint; so there are naturally instances when she almost seems to be posturing, knowing how she acted then would forever be remembered and critiqued if her desire was to be granted. And readers should not forget that when a woman takes a vow to become a nun, that their husband is Christ Jesus and the ceremony is a wedding of sorts; any language that the author has used to express this relationship paints it as a union of Saint Therese''s soul with the Holy Spirit.
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Scribblin' Possum
5.0 out of 5 stars
Insightful & Realistic Bio About Therese Martin, The Person
Reviewed in the United States on December 27, 2003
Although Therese Martin may be loved by millions and revered as a saint by many, the fact is she was a human being and subject to nature and nurture in her formative years as all human being are. In this exceptional biography, Harrison explores many facets of Therese''s... See more
Although Therese Martin may be loved by millions and revered as a saint by many, the fact is she was a human being and subject to nature and nurture in her formative years as all human being are. In this exceptional biography, Harrison explores many facets of Therese''s entire life and history and, in my opinion, gives a very compelling, fair and realistic presentation of who Therese was, what shaped her into the woman - and later saint - she became, and what motivated her personal sense of passion and purpose in life that is viewed by many as a model of religious piety, perfection and purity to this day. I emphasize though that the focus is on Therese Martin, not so much the "St. Therese" she would later become after death and upon canonization.
It is for this reason that I can see why some who wish to transcend Therese''s humanity and see her only as an untouchable and iconic saint would be disappointed in this book. Harrison makes Therese very real to the reader and focuses on her humanity and the possibilities of what may have made her tick based on insightful and grounded interpretations of the numerous family letters, documented testimony given at Therese''s beatification after her death by her sisters and surviving family members as well as others who knew her, and clues given as revelation to support Harrison''s biographical portrayal of the inner person with the use of Therese''s own words.
And yes, Harrison does view Therese''s life through the lens of modern day research, logic, fact and psychology rather than the more superstitious or supernatural perception that contemporaries in Therese''s day might have viewed similar - but I think that''s what makes this biography so wonderful. I came away feeling I "knew" Therese in a way that I highly doubt I ever could just viewing her as a archetypal image of "Saint" - and I think that''s the point. Therese didn''t start out as a Saint. It was who she was and what she did in her 24 incarnate years that gave rise to the desire and official act of canonizing her as such.
In addition, historic context is given so that the reader can get a better sense of what cultural factors went into shaping her into the person she was. I found this exceptionally fascinating because, nowadays, I''m of the opinion that many teenage girls who exhibit similar behavior and attitudes Therese demonstrated to be unrealistically perfectionistic and whom would be deemed likely candidates for such behaviors such as cutting, anorexia, bipolar disorder, intimacy issues, extreme acting out, etc. and who wish to stay little girls forever for fear of embracing their own maturity, sexuality and autonomy. But in Therese''s day and in Therese''s view via her own words - as well as those around her who served to both influence and support her mentally, emotionally and spiritually - martyrdom and masochistic suffering was seen as supremely beautiful and holy and her purposeful intent on remaining childlike in so many respects seems to lend itself to the perception that she was and remained innocent, pure and virtuous. I''m not implying that Therese was anorexic or that she cut herself - nor does Harrison even remotely suggest this - but Therese did view physical self-mortification and self-injury in a psychic sense as proof and example of holiness and beauty and a way to demonstrate willing self-sacrifice to her beloved, Christ: did despise her own flesh; did take supreme joy in her own suffering and the illness that would eventually take her life; did push herself to embrace what she reviled, recoiled from and initially resisted; did expect a lot from herself and was merciless in her own self-expectations and self-criticism when she fell short in her own eyes; and did exhibit attitudes that, for a young woman in her 20''s, were amazingly infantile, immature and the stuff of fluffy romance novels or fairy tales with an emphasis on courtly - but unrealistic - love with a religious flair. Also, I found Therese to be a bit of a paradox (but what person isn''t?) and found myself wondering how conscious she was about much of what she did. Supposedly her aim was to be "nothing" but her focus on becoming nothing is exactly what drew attention to her and made her "something." It makes one wonder if this might have been her unconscious desire that, based on her values, she could not allow herself to acknowledge even to herself.
Some could view these as examples as exemplary religious behavior while others may see them as extreme, strange a perhaps a bit on the twisted side - but I feel Harrison lets the judgment of beauty or lack thereof remain in the eye of the beholder - the reader - without unduly attempting to bias or influence with opinions of her own slanted one way or another.
And while some may view Harrison''s treatment of Therese to be too psychoanalytic and perhaps not reverent enough, it was this very reason that I gravitated to this book and found the biography thoroughly interesting. I do not think Harrison''s analysis went overboard though, nor do I feel the approach detracts at all from the notion that there was something unique about Therese to warrant many to feel she had qualities in accordance with what I gather Catholics view to be saintly. However, not being a Catholic myself, yet fascinated by notable people in general - especially those who demonstrate or are revered as spiritual exceptionals no matter the religious or spiritual path they follow - I was very pleased to learn more about Therese in a way that made her real, tangible and human rather than viewing her at a idealistic distance atop an unreachable shelf of a pedestal. As I said, I came away feeling I "knew" Therese in a way that I would best be able to relate to her - human to human. And I suspect this is why I found the biography to be exceptional. I have no idea how to relate to St. Therese, but I can say that the reality of Therese Martin as a human being, based on what I gained from reading this book, is fascinating and thought provoking.
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Craig Stephans
4.0 out of 5 stars
Well written biography of a powerful soul
Reviewed in the United States on May 1, 2006
Kathryn Harrison writes triumphantly about Therese Martin the Saint of Lisieux. Her biography captures the historical character from childhood to her death at age 24 years. Harrison portrays the life of Therese amidst the context of the late 19th Century. The focus of... See more
Kathryn Harrison writes triumphantly about Therese Martin the Saint of Lisieux. Her biography captures the historical character from childhood to her death at age 24 years. Harrison portrays the life of Therese amidst the context of the late 19th Century. The focus of the book is on the family life and the convent life of Therese and her seemingly constant struggle to rest in perfect devotion to God to whom she had sacrificed her life.

Harrison writes exquisitely of Therese, but she writes at times from a freudian, humanistic point of view, somehow missing or misunderstanding the mysticism of Therese''s life that is the one characteristic that makes her life remarkable. I think this comes from the writer discounting the reality of Therese''s constant communion with God.

I recommend this book because it illustrates the power of a quiet life lived in the love and service of God. Harrison successfully shows the effect of one life lived fully for God unselfishly and sacrificially. The final pages offer a brief glimpse of the enormous impact Therese has had on people since the time immediately following her death.

Craig Stephans, author of Shakespeare On Spirituality: Life-Changing Wisdom from Shakespeare''s Plays
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Jean E. Pouliot
5.0 out of 5 stars
A strange saint and the ground that bred her
Reviewed in the United States on August 31, 2004
While an excellent addition to the "Penguin Lives" series, those looking for a view of "The Little Flower" through a hagiographic haze will have to look elsewhere. Kathryn Harrison''s brutally frank (though not unsympathetic look) at Saint Therese of Lisieux might be... See more
While an excellent addition to the "Penguin Lives" series, those looking for a view of "The Little Flower" through a hagiographic haze will have to look elsewhere. Kathryn Harrison''s brutally frank (though not unsympathetic look) at Saint Therese of Lisieux might be historically accurate but is bound to be a letdown for her most ardent devotees.

Harrison uses family letters and the documents of Therese Martin''s canonization process to paint a portrait of the Martin family and the world they inhabited. Even by the conservative standards of late 19th century France, the Martins were unusual, even odd. Both parents, Louis and Zelie, were extremely devout Catholics, to the point that Louis insisted on a "Josephite" or celibate union for the first 10 months of their marriage. All five surviving children -- eventually and sometimes with difficulty -- fit themselves into religious communities. The Martins were extremely wary of secular society, keeping their daughters from "worldly" pleasures that others thought charming and innocent. The portrait shows the Martins as a close and loving family, though extremely insular and somewhat fixated on death. Therese was a strange little girl obsessed with the things of the Church -- creating little altars in the backyard and holding funerals for dead birds. Perhaps these were among the few amusements she was allowed. Early separations from her mother left her emotionally fragile, never quite capable of internalizing an image of "Mother" that was warm and nurturing. Harrison sees Therese''s embrace of convent life as a lifelong attempt to find a permanent presence that would never fail her, as her own mother did. Her bloody, tubercular death was difficult to watch, though inspiring (in its own way) for the way that Therese turned every pain and discomfort into a new sacrifice for God.

There is much strength in Harrison''s attempt to limn the psychology of this saint. Inasmuch as Therese fought her attachment to her body and sought to annihilate her personality, Harrison (ever the modern) works hard to reassemble a complete Therese -- emotional, social, psychological and even sexual. Sometimes, Harrison seems to overreach, attempting to discern sexual stirrings behind Theresa''s concerns for "purity" and expressions of desire for a violent and rapturous union with Jesus. But better to err on the side of seeing Therese enfleshed than to imagine her as serenely unconflicted and untroubled by the impulses that all humans must deal with.

I can''t say that I came away from this book desiring a devotion to St. Theresa. Her discomfort with the world was too extreme, and her family life too constricted and introverted. Her experience and achievement, evidently inspiring to those of her time and beyond, seem a bit out of place today, as we attempt to live religiously *through* our flesh, not by shucking the body as evil. In any event, Therese Martin will continue to be honored as a spiritual athlete who pushed the envelope of piety as understood in her time, and who retained her devotion to God through intense self-negation and a protracted and painful final illness.
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James Gallen
3.0 out of 5 stars
A Puzzling Saint
Reviewed in the United States on January 25, 2008
"Saint Therese of Lisieux" is a short story of a short life. Drawn largely from Therese''s own writings and the recollections and testimony of acquaintances, it provides an up close view of a holy life. Therese is a saint who pursued sanctity by seeking... See more
"Saint Therese of Lisieux" is a short story of a short life. Drawn largely from Therese''s own writings and the recollections and testimony of acquaintances, it provides an up close view of a holy life.

Therese is a saint who pursued sanctity by seeking "nothingness" within the Carmel of Lisieux and yet became the patroness of missionaries and one of the most popular saints of the past century.

This book provides an introduction to the spiritual life of late 19th Century France, in which religious life was at its greatest popularity, and the particular environment of her convent. It also gives an insight into the attraction of Therese to the world since her death. I find the popularity of Therese and St. Francis of Assisi to be puzzling. Our world generally esteems those who give their lives in service to others, not in those who seek self mortification as their road to salvation, but in their cases, this is the model which the world embraces. The book alludes to Therese''s writings, but really does not, in my estimation, make the case for her immense popularity. This book is a good introduction to her life, but I am left searching for her charism.
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Linda Bulger
5.0 out of 5 stars
A flowering of faith
Reviewed in the United States on April 20, 2010
Author Kathryn Harrison''s biography, Saint Therese of Lisieux (Penguin Lives) , explores the life and times of this young icon of the Catholic Church for the Penguin Lives series. "The Little Flower" is one of the most revered of the Church''s saints.... See more
Author Kathryn Harrison''s biography, Saint Therese of Lisieux (Penguin Lives) , explores the life and times of this young icon of the Catholic Church for the Penguin Lives series. "The Little Flower" is one of the most revered of the Church''s saints.

Therese Martin, born in 1873, was the youngest of five surviving daughters of Louis and Zelie Martin, successful lacemakers at Alencon. Zelie died when Therese was four years old; though the child was indulged by her father and sisters, she held herself from a very young age to the highest standards of piety and religious devotion. Religious fervor ran deeply in the Martin family, as it did in so many Catholic families in late 19th century France. All five Martin daughters eventually went to the convent, five as cloistered Carmelites. Therese was so sure of her vocation that she applied to enter the Carmelite monastery at Lisieux at the age of 15. When she was turned away because of her age, she petitioned the bishop (her uncle Isidore) and eventually the Pope for permission.

Therese distinguished herself by her self-denial, suffering and mortification, notable even in that cloistered world. In her writings she repeatedly referred to herself as the "Bride of Christ," the "toy of Jesus." Her letters, poems and plays from this period reflect her belief that deep spirituality can be found in an ordinary life, "the little way," and do not require great achievements. When she contracted tuberculosis, Therese glorified her illness as a "burning away of her corporeal being." She died in 1873 at age 24, after suffering horribly from her disease.

Her sister Pauline, a Carmelite nun, urged Therese to write her spiritual memoir before her death. The resulting manuscript, heavily edited by Pauline, was published posthumously as "Story of a Soul." This memoir and Therese''s letters, prayers, poems and plays found a rapt audience among Catholics. Therese''s sister Celeste, who was allowed to continue her photography in the convent, documented her life with pictures and also was her literary executor. Therese''s convent brought in huge revenues selling Therese''s writings, pictures, and relics, little squares of her bedsheets and splinters from her windowsills.

While Kathryn Harrison''s book is respectful of Therese and of the groundswell of devotion that grew in her memory, she does reference the convent''s role as the engine that brought Therese to the world''s attention and built the momentum for her sainthood. She was beatified very quickly, and became a saint in the Church''s canon just 24 years after her death. In 1997 she was named as a Doctor of the Catholic Church, the 33rd saint (and third woman) so honored.

Readers looking for a devotional treatise on St. Therese of Lisieux have plenty of material to choose from; this book takes a different and more distanced approach. Harrison, to the chagrin of some readers, threads a psychoanalytic thread through the text. For example, when Therese was an infant her mother could not feed her and sent her away to be wet-nursed; Harrison suggests that this early "abandonment," along with Zelie''s early death, fostered Therese''s desire to experience perfect, eternal love as a "Bride of Christ."

There is a fascinating story here--the story of a girl whose spiritual path took her beyond her sisters, beyond her contemporaries, to an articulation of faith that made her beloved by Catholics worldwide. Her own "Story of a Soul" may be all the explanation needed by many who love her for her spirituality, but she lived for a time in the world and was of the world too. Harrison provides a cultural context for behavior, attitudes and verbal expressions that can''t be adequately explained in 21st century terms; in doing so, she brings "the Little Flower" into focus in a way that''s complementary to the devotional writings honoring her.

Linda Bulger, 2010
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