Thérèse Couderc

Co-founder of the Sisters of Cenacle

Thérèse Couderc (born Marie-Victoire Couderc; 1 February 1805 – 26 September 1885) was a French Roman Catholic nun and the co-founder of the Sisters of the Cenacle. Couderc underwent humiliations during her time as a nun for she was forced to resign from positions and was ridiculed and mocked due to false accusations made against her though this softened towards the end of her life. She was a spiritual writer having written on sacrifice and service to God. After her death, she left a series of spiritual writings. Pope Pius XII beatified her in Saint Peter's Basilica on 4 November 1951 and in 1970 she was canonized as a saint by Pope Paul VI.

Thérèse Couderc

QuotesEdit

  • I understand the full extent of the expression to surrender oneself, but I cannot explain it. I only know that it is very vast, that it embraces both the present and the future.
To surrender oneself is more than to devote oneself, more than to give oneself, it is even something more than to abandon oneself to God. In a word, to surrender oneself is to die to everything and to self, to be no longer concerned with self except to keep it continually turned toward God.
To surrender oneself is, moreover, no longer to seek oneself in anything, either for the spiritual or the physical, that is to say, no longer to seek one's own satisfaction, but solely the divine good pleasure.
It should be added that to surrender oneself is also to follow that spirit of detachment which clings to nothing, neither to persons nor to things, neither to time nor to place. It means to adhere to everything, to accept everything, to submit to everything.
But perhaps you will think that this is very difficult to do. Do not let yourself be deceived. There is nothing so easy to do, nothing so sweet to put into practice. The whole thing consists in making a generous act once and for all, saying with all the sincerity of your soul: "My God, I wish to be entirely thine; deign to accept my offering." And all is said. But from then on, you must take care to keep yourself in this disposition of soul and not to shrink from any of the little sacrifices which can help you advance in virtue. You must always remember that you have surrendered yourself.
I pray to our Lord to give an understanding of this word to all souls desirous of pleasing him and to inspire them to take advantage of so easy a means of sanctification. Oh! If people could just understand ahead of time the sweetness and peace that are savored when nothing is held back from the good God! How he communicates himself to the one who seeks him sincerely and has known how to surrender herself. Let them experience it and they will see that here is found the true happiness they are vainly seeking elsewhere.
  • 1864
  • A few days ago, I saw something that consoled me very much. It was during my thanksgiving, when I was making a few reflections on the goodness of God — and how would it be possible not to think of this in such moments: of this infinite goodness, uncreated goodness, source of all goodness! And without which there would be no goodness, neither in people nor in other creatures.
I was extremely touched by these reflections, when I saw written as in letters of gold this word Goodness, which I repeated for a long while with an indescribable sweetness. I saw it, I say, written on all creatures, animate and inanimate, rational or not — all bore this name of goodness. I saw it even on the chair which I was using for a kneeler. I understood then that all that these creatures have of good and all the services and help that we receive from each of them are a blessing that we owe to the goodness of our God, who has communicated to them something of his infinite goodness, so that we may meet it in everything and everywhere.
  • Letter to Mother de Larochenégly, 1866

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