In the years following her death Pius X recommended frequent Communion, which points us toward positive holiness. The holiness and asceticism of the 19th century were negative: people sought above all to purify themselves and make reparation to God. The characteristic note of spirituality in our times is the positive aspect of love which has become a part of our way of life. This is why it succeeds. in each era we follow the grace and light God gives us. Formerly the stress was more on sacrifice; today it is on presence and contact. There was a grandeur about former times, but people did not have the same understanding of Love and Mercy. Their spirituality did not appeal to the majority, since few were strong enough to live by it. Now, on the other hand, as the concept of divine Mercy has been brought to the fore, it has been a powerful influence in opening up the mystical life to the many. Two periods can be distinguished here. I believe St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus is the herald of the new one. She has exemplified and modernized, in a certain sense, the spirituality of St. Paul, who said, "Through the grace of God I am what I am, and the grace he gave me has not been without result" Thérèse's greatness lay in her discovery of Mercy. On one occasion she said to her infirmarian, "You know well that you are taking care of a little saint." They cut her finger nails. 'Keep them,' she said, "some day someone will treasure them." She also remarked: 'They say I have virtue but that isn't true; they are mistaken. I do not have virtue. God gives me what I need at each instant. I have only what I need for the present moment. These paradoxes are extraordinary and disconcerting. There is a certain quality of greatness in St. Thérèse. I assure you that I have studied her in depth for forty years and her greatness has often overwhelmed me. She has renewed our understanding of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, as we see them operating in her contemplation. It harmonizes with the teaching of St. Thomas. It is not a matter of sentimentality or of novelties. It is a rediscovery, an illustration of the traditional doctrine. I believe this is one of the great graces granted to our times. In her surroundings, Thérèse was unique. I have known Mother Agnes since 1927. I loved and revered her deeply. She was a very holy soul, and the same was true of Sister Genevieve. But St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus was a giant in comparison and far surpassed them. She is the only one, we could say, to have read and perfectly understood St. John of the Cross. In spite of her superior intelligence and spiritual knowledge, however, she showed perfect submission - a sure proof that her understanding was indeed supernatural. To be practical, we should exploit this theological knowledge of God, of Mercy. St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus has left her mark on our times. She has, so to say, popularized contemplation and sanctity itself."
God is Love by Fr Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus, ocd