Acrostic for Therese of Lisieux – a poem by Maryanne Hannan

Acrostic for Therese of Lisieux

Doctor of the Church

Trust in Jesus. Give
Him your heart. This simple truth I struggled to
Express. The “little way” I called it. From the inner
Recesses of my soul, I prayed my earthly
Exile would be brief (God’s will), begged for
Strength to bear peacefully and joyfully
Every suffering, desiring not my own consolation, but the

Opportunity to give pleasure to Jesus, to keep the
Flame of love burning. I abandoned myself to

Love, even when I felt nothing, abysmal
Indifference, so dense it threatened to
Suffocate my very being. Your yoke
Is sweet, Your burden light, I prayed, trusted that
Entering heaven, I’d be granted my fervent wish to be
Used for good on earth. Only one surprise: such
Xstasy, as is His, now is also mine.

Note: A Carmelite nun, Therese of Lisieux’ memoir, Story of a Soul, is a spiritual classic. She was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1997.


Maryanne Hannan has published poetry in Magma, Stand, Oxford Review and elsewhere. Her first book, Rocking Like It’s All Intermezzo: 21st Century Psalm Responsorials, will be published by Wipf and Stock (2019). She lives in upstate New York, USA. Her website is

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