The Trial of Faith

At Easter time 1896, Thérèse sank into a darkness which lasted the eighteen months leading up to her death. She accepted this darkness so that unbelievers might see the light.

" .... then suddenly the fog which surrounds me becomes more dense; it penetrates my soul and envelops it in such a way that it is impossible to discover within it the sweet image of my Fatherland, everything has disappeared! When I want to rest my heart, fatigued by the darkness which surrounds it, by remembering the luminous country to which I aspire, my torment redoubles; it seems that the darkness, borrowing the voice of sinners, says mockingly to me, you are dreaming about the light, about a fatherland embalmed in the sweetest perfumes; you are dreaming about the eternal possession of the Creator of all these marvels; you believe that one day you will walk out of this fog which surrounds you! Advance, advance; rejoice in death which will give you not what you hope for but a night still more profound, the night of nothingness".

"Dear Mother, the image I tried to give you of the darkness that obscures my soul is as imperfect as a sketch is to the model; however, I don't want to write any longer about it; I fear I might blaspheme... I fear that I have already said too much... Ah! May Jesus pardon me if I have caused Him any pain, but He knows very well that while I do not have the joy of faith, I am trying to carry out its work at least. I believe I have made more acts of faith in this past year than through my whole life".