God gave me the grace of knowing the world just enough to despise it and separate myself from it... I must admit this type of life had its charms for me... The friends we had there [at Alencon] were too worldly; they knew too well how to ally the joys of this earth to the joys of this earth to the service of God. They didn't think about death enough, and yet death had paid its visit to a great number of those whom I know, the young, the rich, the happy!... And I see that all is vanity and vexation of spirit under the sun, that the only good is to love God with all one's heart and to be poor in spirit here on earth. Perhaps Jesus wanted to show me the world before His first visit [her upcoming first Communion] to me in order that I may choose freely the way I was to follow.

St. Thérèse of Lisieux

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