September 26th is also the feast of Saint Thérèse Couderc (1805–1885), an old friend of mine. Immensely humble, the foundress of the Religious of Our Lady of Retreat in the Cenacle suffered calumny, rejection, betrayal, and endless humiliations without becoming hard and bitter. Just look at that face! She remained serene and confident in God. Mother Thérèse Couderc was, to use her own favourite word, utterly livrée, that is, handed over to God. In her honour, I decided to translate a page of her writings today. Here it is:
What does it mean to hand oneself over? I understand the full extent of the meaning of the expression, to hand oneself over, but I cannot explain it. I know only that it is very vast, that it encompasses the present and the future.
To hand oneself over is more than to devote oneself, it is more even than to abandon oneself to God. To hand oneself over is, in fine, to die to all things and to oneself, to have no more preoccupation with self apart from keeping oneself always turned toward God.
Again, To hand oneself over is