Many people know that on Trinity Sunday, June 9, , St. Therese was suddenly inspired to offer herself "as a victim" to the Merciful Love of God, "asking this Love to consume me incessantly, allowing the waves of infinite tenderness shut up within You to overflow into my heart, that thus I may become a martyr of Your love, O my God! On the morning she received the inspiration and spontaneously offered herself, she was in choir. It seems that whether this happened in the hour of prayer before Mass or during the Mass is not definitively known. After Mass, she took me with her to Mother Prioress; she seemed beside herself and did not say a word. When we found Mother Agnes, for it was she who was then prioress, she asked her if both of us could offer ourselves as victims to Merciful Love, and gave her a short explanation of what that meant. Mother Agnes was at a loss; she did not seem to understand too well what was going on, but she had such confidence in Sister Therese's discretion that she gave her full permission. It was then that she composed the Act called "An Offering to Love," which she carried next to her heart ever afterwards. When they were alone again, Therese explained more fully to Celine the inspiration she had received. During her free time that Sunday, she gathered her thoughts and put them on paper, and, on Tuesday, June 11, the two sisters met in the anteroom to Therese's cell, where the statue of the Virgin from their childhood home, the one before which they had been praying when Mary suddenly appeared to Therese and smiled at her and she was cured, had been placed.
… growth in holiness… growth in well-being… growth in knowledge
This offering seemed great and very generous to me, but I was far from feeling attracted to making it. Does not Your Merciful Love need them too? On every side this love is unknown, rejected; those hearts upon whom You would lavish it turn to creatures, seeking happiness from them with their miserable affection; they do this instead of throwing themselves into Your arms and of accepting Your infinite Love. O my God! Is Your disdained Love going to remain closed up within Your Heart? It seems to me that if You were to find souls offering themselves as victims of holocaust to Your Love, You would consume them rapidly; it seems to me, too, that You would be happy not to hold back the waves of infinite tenderness within You. If Your Justice loves to release itself, this Justice which extends only over the earth, how much more does Your Merciful Love desire to set souls on fire, since Your Mercy reaches to the heavens. You permitted me, dear Mother, to offer myself in this way to God, and you know the rivers or rather the oceans of graces that flooded my soul. I know that of myself I would not merit even to enter that place of expiation since only holy souls can have entrance there, but I also know that the Fire of Love is more sanctifying than is the fire of purgatory. I know that Jesus cannot desire useless sufferings for us, and that He would not inspire the longings I feel unless He wanted to grant them.
Entries in Act of Oblation to Merciful Love (2)
Blessed Trinity, I desire to Love you and make you Loved, To work for the glory of the Holy Church By saving souls on earth and by liberating those suffering in purgatory. I desire to accomplish your will perfectly And to reach the degree of glory that you have prepared for me in Your Kingdom. You loved me so much that you gave me your only Son To be my Savior and my Spouse. The infinite treasures of his merits are mine. I offer them to you with gladness. Look on me through the Face of Jesus and in his Heart burning with Love.
Therese a most beautiful and astonishing revelation. Therese, flushed with joy on Trinity Sunday, , was inspired by her Beloved to offer herself as a victim to Merciful Love. But Therese knew that so great an invitation, springing from the depths of Infinite Tenderness, was not meant for her alone. She convinced several of the other nuns in her monastery to also make this Act of Oblation. And, she invites us too!