New Year's Eve with St. Therese of Lisieux (1889)

1889 was a tumultuous year for St. Therese of Lisieux, who was then the sixteen-year-old novice Sister Therese of the Child Jesus of the Holy Face at the Carmelite monastery of Lisieux in northern France.  On February 12, 1889, a day she later called "our great treasure," her adored father had to be taken to a psychiatric hospital, where he remained for more than three years.  At the end of the year, writing to her uncle and aunt on December 30, 1889, she wrote:

 “Your Benjamin comes in her turn to wish you a Happy New Year!  Just as each day has its last hour, so each year sees its last night coming also, and it is on the night of this year that I feel drawn to cast a look over the past and on the future.  When I consider the time that has just run out, I feel drawn to thank God, for, although His hand has offered us a bitter chalice, His divine Heart has been able to sustain us in the trial, and He has given us the strength necessary for drinking His chalice even to the dregs . . . .  What is He reserving for us for the year that is about to begin?”


(Letters of St,. Therese of Lisieux, Volume I, tr. John Clarke, O.C.D. Washington, D.C.: ICS Publications, 1982, p. 600)