“Dear Mother, I have still to tell you what I understand by ‘the sweet odour of the Beloved.’ Since Jesus has gone to heaven, I can follow Him only by the traces He has left. But how radiant and how fragrant these traces are! I have only to glance at the Holy Gospels and at once I breathe the fragrance of His life and know which way to run. I rush to the lowest place, not the highest. I leave the Pharisee to go ahead, and repeat, with the greatest confidence, the humble prayer of the publican. Above all I imitate Mary Magdalene, for her amazing–or rather her loving–audacity which won the Heart of Jesus captivates mine.
“It is not because I have been preserved from mortal sin that I fly to God with loving confidence. I know I should still have this confidence even if my conscience were burdened with every possible crime. I should fling myself into the arms of my Saviour, heartbroken with sorrow. I know how He loved the prodigal son, I have heard His words to St. Mary Magdalene, to the woman taken in adultery, and to the woman of Samaria. No, no one could frighten me, for I know what to think about His love and His mercy. I know that a host of sins would vanish in the twinkling of an eye like a drop of water flung into a furnace.”
–St. Therese of Lisieux