Jansenism Justice and Mercy

Pope John Paul II on St Thérèse of Lisieux, from his Apostolic Letter proclaiming her as a Doctor of the Church, 19th October 1997.  

She has made the Gospel shine appealingly in our time; she had the mission of making the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, known and loved; she helped to heal souls of the rigours and fears of Jansenism, which tended to stress God’s justice rather than his divine mercy. In God’s mercy she contemplated and adored all the divine perfections, because “even his justice (and perhaps even more so than the other perfections) seems to me clothed in love” (Story of a Soul, Ms A, 83). Thus she became a living icon of that God who, according to the Church’s prayer, “shows his almighty power in his mercy and forgiveness” (cf. Roman Missal, Opening prayer, 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time).

Faith Magazine

May - June 2007