Introduction to the
ACT OF OBLATION TO MERCIFUL LOVE
From the Autobiography of saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus Ms A
“This year June 9,  the feast of the Most Holy Trinity, I received the grace to understand more than ever before how much Jesus desires to be loved.
I was thinking about the souls who offer themselves as victims of God’s Justice in order to turn away the punishments reserved to sinners, drawing them upon themselves. This offering seemed great and very generous to me, but I was far from feeling attracted to making it.
From the depths of my heart, I cried out: ‘O my God! will Your Justice alone find souls willing to immolate themselves as victims? Does not Your Merciful Love need them too?
On every side this love is unknown, rejected; those hearts upon whom You would lavish it turn to creatures, seeking happiness from them with their miserable affection; they do this instead of throwing themselves into Your arms and of accepting Your infinite Love. O my God! Is Your disdained Love going to remain closed up within Your Heart? It seems to me that if You were to find souls offering themselves as victims of holocaust to Your Love, You would consume them rapidly; it seems to me, too, that You would be happy not to hold back the waves of infinite tenderness within You. If Your Justice loves to release itself, this Justice which extends only over the earth, how much more does Your Merciful Love desire to set souls on fire, since Your Mercy reaches to the heavens. O my Jesus, let me be this happy victim; consume Your holocaust with the fire of Your Divine Love.'”
You permitted me, dear Mother, to offer myself in this way to God, and you know the rivers or rather the oceans of graces that flooded my soul. Ah! since the happy day, it seems to me that Love penetrates and surrounds me, that at each moment this Merciful Love renews me, purifying my soul and leaving no trace of sin within it, and [84v°] I need have no fear of purgatory. I know that of myself I would not merit even to enter that place of expiation since only holy souls can have entrance there, but I also know that the Fire of Love is more sanctifying than is the fire of purgatory. I know that Jesus cannot desire useless sufferings for us, and that He would not inspire the longings I feel unless He wanted to grant them.
Oh! how sweet is the way of Love! How I want to apply myself to doing the will of God always with the greatest self-surrender!
Here, dear Mother, is all I can tell you about the life of your little Thérèse; you know better than I do what she is and what Jesus has done for her. You will forgive me for having abridged my religious life so much.
How will this “story of a little white flower” come to an end? Perhaps the little flower will be plucked in her youthful freshness or else transplanted to other shores. I don ‘t know, but what I am certain about is that God’s Mercy will accompany her always, that it will never cease blessing the dear Mother who offered her to Jesus; she will rejoice eternally at being one of the flowers of her crown. And with this dear Mother she will sing eternally the new canticle of Love.
ACT OF OBLATION TO MERCIFUL LOVE
Offering of myself as a Victim of Holocaust to God’s Merciful Love
O My God! Most Blessed Trinity, I desire to Love You and make You Loved, to work for the glory of Holy Church by saving souls on earth and liberating those suffering in purgatory. I desire to accomplish Your will perfectly and to reach the degree of glory You have prepared for me in Your Kingdom. I desire, in a word, to be a saint, but I feel my helplessness and I beg You, O my God! to be Yourself my Sanctity!
Since You loved me so much as to give me Your only Son as my Savior and my Spouse, the infinite treasures of His merits are mine. I offer them to You with gladness, begging You to look upon me only in the Face of Jesus and in His heart burning with Love.
I offer You, too, all the merits of the saints (in heaven and on earth), their acts of Love, and those of the holy angels. Finally, I offer You, O Blessed Trinity! the Love and merits of the Blessed Virgin, my dear Mother. It is to her I abandon my offering, begging her to present it to You. Her Divine Son, my Beloved Spouse, told us in the days of His mortal life: “Whatsoever you ask the Father in my name he will give it to you!” I am certain, then, that You will grant my desires; I know, O my God! that the more You want to give, the more You make us desire. I feel in my heart immense desires and it is with confidence I ask You to come and take possession of my soul. Ah! I cannot receive Holy Communion as often as I desire, but, Lord, are You not all-powerful? Remain in me as in a tabernacle and never separate Yourself from Your little victim.
I want to console You for the ingratitude of the wicked, and I beg of You to take away my freedom to displease You. If through weakness I sometimes fall, may Your Divine Glance cleanse my soul immediately, consuming all my imperfections like the fire that transforms everything into itself.
I thank You, O my God! for all the graces You have granted me, especially the grace of making me pass through the crucible of suffering. It is with joy I shall contemplate You on the Last Day carrying the sceptre of Your Cross. Since You deigned to give me a share in this very precious Cross, I hope in heaven to resemble You and to see shining in my glorified body the sacred stigmata of Your Passion.
After earth’s Exile, I hope to go and enjoy You in the Fatherland, but I do not want to lay up merits for heaven. I want to work for Your Love alone with the one purpose of pleasing You, consoling Your Sacred Heart, and saving souls who will love You eternally.
In the evening of this life, I shall appear before You with empty hands, for I do not ask You, Lord, to count my works. All our justice is stained in Your eyes. I wish, then, to be clothed in Your own Justice and to receive from Your Love the eternal possession of Yourself. I want no other Throne, no other Crown but You, my Beloved!
Time is nothing in Your eyes, and a single day is like a thousand years. You can, then, in one instant prepare me to appear before You.
In order to live in one single act of perfect Love, I OFFER MYSELF AS A VICTIM OF HOLOCAUST TO YOUR MERCIFUL LOVE, asking You to consume me incessantly, allowing the waves of infinite tenderness shut up within You to overflow into my soul, and that thus I may become a martyr of Your Love, O my God!
May this martyrdom, after having prepared me to appear before You, finally cause me to die and may my soul take its flight without any delay into the eternal embrace of Your Merciful Love. I want, O my Beloved, at each beat of my heart to renew this offering to You an infinite number of times, until the shadows having disappeared I may be able to tell You of my Love in an Eternal Face to Face!
Marie, Francoise, Therese of the Child Jesus
and the Holy Face, unworthy Carmelite religious.
This 9th day of June, Feast of the Most Holy Trinity,
In the year of grace, 1895.
PS The part in red is indulgenced.
Question 1: What is the full significance of the word ‘oblation’? What is it trying to capture? What is its full meaning? Is it “offering up your heart”? I would love for you to expand on this!
Reply: ‘oblation’ here is the translation of the French ‘offrande’. Thérèse could have used the french word ‘oblation’. She preferred ‘offrande’. ‘Offrande’ is ‘to offer’, ‘offering’, which is: giving. She’ll rightly define the act of love this way: ‘to love is to give everything and to give oneself to God’. You see, she very easily switched from ‘offering’ to ‘giving’.
Since God created us and created us free, this means that:
1- We are free
2- We possess ourselves
God chooses not to possess us. This is why and how we can love: we have something we can give…
Remember, the definition of the Sacrament of Marriage: the mutual gift of each of the parties (the Groom and the Bride). ‘Mutual git of’: this is love: each one gives himself (as a gift) to the other one.
God possesses everything, except us, human beings, created ‘at His Image and Likeness’. He doesn’t need us to offer Him what He already possesses. The dearest being on earth for God is the Human being, but He doesn’t possess him. He left him free, free to love or not, to give himself or not. He can’t force the human being to love Him.
We do own the dearest thing in the eyes of God, the thing that pleases Him the most: ourselves. Offering Him the only ‘thing’ He doesn’t have pleases Him enormously!
The very act of offering ourselves is an act of Love.
Now, another question might rise: what is to ‘offer ourselves’?
Reply: Let me give you a first example to open the way: sometimes we can worry a lot about an issue, ok? We feel, and know that we are ‘carrying that problem in us’. It can be very heavy indeed, even though it is in the soul. And then, while we are praying, God comes and asks us to ‘entrust’ Him that problem. We feel that it requires from us an act of detachment. It might cost us a lot to do this inner act, because we do possess a lot our problems. Then, we reach the point where we end up by offering, entrusting, putting in His Hands the Problem.
Well in this case it was a problem that we were offering. Now imagine all ourselves, our past, present, future, our body, soul, spirit, all what we possess, all what we are, all our richness, talents, the graces received. They are not ‘problems’ but they are elements to which we could be attached to. And God knows how it might cost sometimes to offer ourselves to Him. Sure, one can very easily admit that in order to do so, we need to things:
1- to know Him a little bit more than just a superficial knowledge of God, it requires a bit of experience of Him.
2- a big trust in Him, and trust comes from experiencing His overwhelming love.
Question 2: Well, it made me think of two things:
- In the Mass, when we are invited to “Lift up our hearts to the Lord” (you have mentioned this part of the Mass before). I understand that the Mass is an oblation, an offering, but would this part of the Mass be reminding us of/ and our opportunity to practice our oblation to God?
- It made me think of “prayer of the heart” – could this be seen a kind of oblation/offering up our hearts?
Reply: Definitely the Mass in an oblation/offering. During the Mass, we offer ourselves to God, as God offers/gives Himself to us. Definitely ‘lift up your heart’ is a reminder for us to offer ourselves. Without hesitation, I would consider all these acts being exactly the same: to love – to offer ourselves – to lift our heart to Jesus (seated at the right Hand of the Father) – the Prayer of the heart.
The base of all is in fact the ‘power’ we receive in Baptism to offer ourselves to God: the priesthood of the faithful. We are united to Him, this is why He gives us a share in His Priesthood. We can then, as priests in Christ, offer ourselves to God, and offer Christ to the Father. We can offer our brothers and sisters, the entire world to God.
All the faithful are invited to participate [spiritually] to the Mass. In order to do so, they have to exercise their priesthood (not to be mixed with the Priesthood of Ordained Ministers).
An offering presupposes:
1- A Priest (that offers, elevates),
2- An Altar (the leaning point),
3- A Victim (to offer)
4- A Fire (to burn, elevate, transform).
In Christ-Priest we are priests. The Altar is Christ himself as well. His capacity, in the Trinity (He is at the Right hand of the Father), to offer, direct the offering to the Father. He is the rock, the fulcrum. The Victim here to offer is ourselves. The Fire is the Holy Spirit, the Merciful Love of God.
You find here all our way to enter in the Mass, especially its second part (‘lift up your heart’), the Offertory where, with the bread and wine, we offer all our life to God, and later as well, in Jesus, the Host, we offer ourselves to the Father in the Fire of the Holy Spirit. Remember in the Third Eucharistic prayer we have: ‘May He [the Holy Spirit] make of us an eternal offering to you”.
The prayer of the heart, is that same exercise of lifting up our heart (as saint Paul invites us to do, or Jesus by saying: ‘dwell in me’), but repeated gently, extended in a period of time. But it should become our final destination. This is when we are united to Jesus in ‘spiritual marriage’.
Question 3: Also, St Therese refers to the oblation as “one single act of perfect love”: “In order to live in one single act of perfect Love, I offer myself as a victim of holocaust to your merciful Love, asking you to consume me incessantly…”
What do you think she means by “one single act” and this act being an act of “perfect love”? Do we too need to offer ourselves up as “victims of the holocaust of love” in order to enter into this single act of perfect love?
Reply: This is an obvious double question that one asks when he/she reads Thérèse’s Act: what is “one single act” and what is “perfect love”.
I was just saying, above, that we should extend the time of dwelling in Christ. Remember the offering means that He comes and takes us and immerses us in Him. So as a result, we dwell in Him. And dwelling in Him (one, two, three minutes, or sometimes, an hour or more, it depends on Him and on our degree of transformation in Him)…. means that He outpours the Holy Spirit in us. This is why it is of the utmost importance to practice the prayer of the heart: we allow God to give himself to us, transforming us in Him.
“one single act”, one single active act… she wants to remain in Him, active, as much as possible. Yes, ‘Love attracts our love’. I would rather say: a heart beating style of “single act”. In the sense that it is not a simple passive position, it is a burning position, and, even if it is long lasting, it has a form of a heart beating. Remember saint Paul speaks about the “movements” of the Holy Spirit deep in us saying: “the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groaning” (Romans 8:26). The “groaning” is repetitive. So it is not static but dynamic.
I would then say that we start by not having it ‘one continuous active immersion in Jesus’ (one single act). We come out of the immersion, so we do repeat the act of offering. Day after day, we grow spiritually, we are transformed in Him, then we are invited to reach that hight of a “continuous act” or “one act”.
The act of ‘pure love’: I would be here more prudent. I would consider the “pure act of love” as the act that fulfils the conditions mentioned above (Priest, Victim, Fire, Altar..), and the most important one is to lean on Jesus himself only, on His merits as Thérèse takes time to explain in the long long introduction to the Act of Oblation (all what precedes the last paragraph of the specific act of offering). This means that we need to have the “Altar” (and not to lean on ourselves), and the Power of the Holy Spirit (not our capacity of lifting in the air (not in the water)).
Let me here show you another passage where she explains it:
“A scholar has said: “Give me a lever and a, fulcrum and I will lift the world.”. What Archimedes was not able to obtain, for his request was not directed by God and was only made from a material viewpoint, the saints have obtained [36 v] in all its fullness. The Almighty has given them as fulcrum: HIMSELF ALONE; as lever: PRAYER which bums with a fire of love. And it is in this way that they have lifted the world; it is in this way that the saints still militant lift it, and that, until the end of time, the saints to come will lift it.” (End of Manuscript C)
Of course you might argue: – she is not speaking of the Prayer of the Heart, but the prayer of intercession. – Well, no, it is absolutely the same. And they are both about lifting. “a soul that is burning with love cannot remain inactive” reminds us Thérèse. Therefore, the more Charity grows in us, the more God entrusts us automatically more brothers and sisters. Therefore, the Prayer of the heart becomes a power apostolic weapon of conquest. (we might come back to this apostolic aspect of the Prayer of the heart)
Now your last question: “Do we too need to offer ourselves up as “victims of the holocaust of love” in order to enter into this single act of perfect love?”
Reply: It is like asking me: is it necessary to practice the “Prayer of the heart” in order to reach that “single act of perfect love”? Well yes, it helps, because of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that happens during that time of immersion in God. But it is not the only means. It is one leg, the other is Lectio divina, the proof of love: ‘if one loves Me, he will put into practices my commandments’ (John 14:23).
From Thérèse to Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart
September 17, 1896
Dear Sister, I am not embarrassed in answering you… How can you ask me if it is possible for you to love God as I love Him?…If you had understood the story of my little bird, you would not have asked me this question. My desires of martyrdom are nothing; they are not what give me the unlimited confidence that I feel in my heart. They are, to tell the truth, the spiritual riches that render one unjust, when one rests in them with complacence and when one believes they are something great. … These desires are a consolation that Jesus grants at times to weak souls like mine (and these souls are numerous), but when He does not give this consolation, it is a grace of privilege. Recall those words of Father: “The martyrs suffered with joy, and the King of Martyrs suffered with sadness.” Yes, Jesus said: “Father, let this chalice pass away from me.” Dear Sister, how can you say after this that my desires are the sign of my love?… Ah! I really feel that it is not this at all that pleases God in my little soul; what pleases Him is that He sees me loving my littleness and my poverty, the blind hope that I have in His mercy…. That is my only treasure, dear Godmother, why would this treasure not be yours?…Are you not ready to suffer all that God will desire? I really know that you are ready; therefore, if you want to feel joy, to have an attraction for suffering, it is your consolation that you are seeking, since when we love a thing the pain disappears. I assure you, if we were to go to martyrdom together in the dispositions we are in now, you would have great merit, and I would have none at all, unless Jesus was pleased to change my dispositions.Oh, dear Sister, I beg you, understand your little girl, understand that to love Jesus, to be His victim of love, the weaker one is, without desires or virtues, the more suited one is for the workings of this consuming and transforming Love. … The desire alone to be a victim suffices, but we must consent to remain always poor and without strength, and this is the difficulty, for: “The truly poor in spirit, where do we find him? You must look for him from afar,” said the psalmist. … He does not say that you must look for him among great souls, but “from afar,” that is to say in lowliness, in nothingness…. Ah! let us remain then very far from all that sparkles, let us love our littleness, let us love to feel nothing, then we shall be poor in spirit, and Jesus will come to look for us, and however far we may be, He will transform us in flames of love….Oh! how I would like to be able to make you understand what I feel!… It is confidence and nothing but confidence that must lead us to Love…. Does not fear lead to Justice (1)?… Since we see the way, let us run together. Yes, I feel it, Jesus wills to give us the same graces, He wills to give us His heaven gratuitously. “Oh, dear little Sister, if you do not understand me, it is because you are too great a soul.. .or rather it is because I am explaining myself poorly, for I am sure that God would not give you the desire to be POSSESSED by Him, by His Merciful Love if He were not reserving this favor for you.. .or rather He has already given it to you, since you have given yourself to Him, since you desire to be consumed by Him, and since God never gives desires that He cannot realize. …Nine o’clock is ringing, and I am obliged to leave you.’ Ah, how I would like to tell you things, but Jesus is going to make you feel all that I cannot write….I love you with all the tenderness of my GRATEFUL little childlike heart.Thérèse of the Child Jesus rel. carm. ind.(1) To strict justice such as it is portrayed for sinners, but no this Justice that Jesus will have toward those who love Him.
Question: If we are not to petition during the Prayer of the Heart (PH) and Lectio Divina (LD), when and how should intercessory prayer happen/take place?
Answer: As an allocated moment (time and space), intercessory prayer should happen at a special time, as a specific type of prayer. During Mass we have a time for it, as we do during the Divine Office (I am sure that in our personal prayer as well we do pray for others).
Your may ask the same question for other types of prayer as well: Prayer of Praise and Prayer of Thanksgiving, “when shall we say them?”.
Here I would like to explain more clearly the deep relationship between LD & PH on the one hand and Intercessory Prayer on the other.
It is important to remember that LD is a key unavoidable type of prayer today. It is by far the most transformative type of prayer. Why? Because it allows a part of Christ (today’s part of Christ-Word Bread) to become incarnated in us and transform us in Him. The more we are transformed in Christ the more powerful our intercession becomes (acts on God). Jesus explains the relationship between Lectio Divina and the efficiency of our prayer (which has been answered) in the Gospel of St John where He says: if you do my Will (keep my commandments) ask me all what you want (because you’ll BE in my Name) and you will receive it, i.e. the Father will grant it to you (see John 15:7).
If LD is done properly, all its transformative power will be enacted. Then PH becomes much more fruitful and even more transformative. Otherwise, if you practise PH without LD, its transformative power is dramatically decreased.
Now let us consider what happens during the PH. While we are practising the PH, the Power of the Holy Spirit is working in our depths and through us will help Lift the entire World to God the Father in the Son, through the Holy Spirit. This is done automatically. The more we are transformed in Jesus, the better it works – automatically. St Therese explains that wonderfully at the end of her Manuscript C, in the Story of the Soul.
“All the saints have understood this, and more especially those who filled the world with the light of the Gospel teachings. Was it not in prayer that St. Paul, St. Augustine, St. John of the Cross, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Francis, St. Dominic, and so many other famous Friends of God have drawn out this divine science which delights the greatest geniuses? A scholar has said: “Give me a lever and a fulcrum and I will lift the world.” What Archimedes was not able to obtain, for his request was not directed by God and was only made from a material viewpoint, the saints have obtained in all its fullness. The Almighty has given them as fulcrum: HIMSELF ALONE; as lever: PRAYER which burns with a fire of love. And it is in this way that they have lifted the world; it is in this way that the saints still militant lift it, and that, until the end of time, the saints to come will lift it.”
Intercessory prayer has different levels of power and action. What is more powerful than to pray for somebody or – if it was given to you by the grace of God – to take this person and lift him/her to God and introduce him/her into God’s Fire of Love? Here St Therese presents to us the most powerful version of Intercessory Prayer.
It is a duty of love for us to pray for everybody. St Paul says that we have to pray for one another all the time, without excluding any other person. St James in the end of his Letter, mentioning the Prophet Elijah speaks about the power of a prayer that is heard/answered by God. This should grab our attention and invite us to deepen our understanding of Intercessory Prayer.
In addition, one has to remember the relationship between Intercessory Prayer and the Priesthood of the Faithful. A Priest “prays for” others, like St Paul invites us to do all the time. (This is why we have the Divine Office. But it is something that becomes second nature to us, it is part of the “fabric” of the New Creature that we become in Christ. Being “in Christ” makes the Fire of the Holy Spirit that dwells in Him, pray in us and through us. The Holy Spirit knows how to pray and knows what we should ask for, and the way God wants it. What depends on us is not to pay attention to all that multiplicity of things to pray for. Our duty is just to get closer and closer to Jesus and to the Fire of His Love and be transformed by IT.
St Therese developed those important questions in two different places in that same Manuscript C, in the Story of the Soul:
“Since I have two brothers and my little Sisters, the novices, if I wanted to ask for each soul what each one needed and go into detail about it, the days would not be long enough and I fear I would forget something important. For simple souls there must be no complicated ways; as I am of their number, one morning during my thanksgiving, Jesus gave me a simple means of accomplishing my mission.
He made me [34r°] understand these words of the Canticle of Canticles: “DRAW ME, WE SHALL RUN after you in the odour of your ointments.” O Jesus, it is not even necessary to say: “When drawing me, draw the souls whom I love!” This simple statement: “Draw me” suffices; I understand, Lord, that when a soul allows herself to be captivated by the odour of your ointments, she cannot run alone, all the souls whom she loves follow in her train; this is done without constraint, without effort, it is a natural consequence of her attraction for You. Just as a torrent, throwing itself with impetuosity into the ocean, drags after it everything it encounters in its passage, in the same way, O Jesus, the soul who plunges into the shoreless ocean of Your Love, draws with her all the treasures she possesses. Lord, You know it, I have no other treasures than the souls it has pleased You to unite to mine; it is You who entrusted these treasures to me, and so I dare to borrow the words You addressed to the heavenly Father, the last night which saw You on our earth as a traveler and a mortal. Jesus, I do not know when my exile will be ended; more than one night will still see me singing Your Mercies in this exile, but for me will finally come the last night, and then I want to be able to say to You, O my God:“I have glorified you on earth; I have finished the work you gave me to do. And now do you, Father, glorify me with yourself, with the glory I had with you before the world existed.“I have manifested your name to those whom you have given me out of the world. They were yours, and you have given them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they have learned that whatever you have given me is from you; because the words you have given me, I have given to them. And they have received them, and have known of a truth that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me.“I pray for them, not for the world do I pray, but for those whom you have given me, because they are yours; and all things that are mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep in your name those whom you have given to me.
“But now I am coming to you; and these things I speak in the world, in order that they may have joy made full in themselves. I have given them your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not pray that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
“Yet not for these only do I pray, but for those who through their word are to believe in me.
“Father, I will that where I am, these also whom you have given me may be with me, that they may see my glory which you have given me, because you loved me from the foundation of the world. And I have made known your name to them, and will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I in them.”” (Manuscript C)
In fact Thérèse is explaining the Common Priesthood of the Faithful, received in Baptism, in Jesus-Priest. And a few pages afterwards she gives a further explanation of her new way of praying, her new way of practising the Prayer of the Heart:
“Mother, I think it is necessary to give a few more explanations on the passage in the Canticle of Canticles: “Draw me, we shall run,” for what I wanted to say appears to me little understood. “No man can come after me, unless the FATHER who sent me draw him,” Jesus has said. Again, through beautiful parables, and often even without using this means so well known to the people, He teaches us that it is enough to knock and it will be opened, to seek in order to find, and to hold out one’s hand humbly to receive what is asked for. He also says that everything we ask the Father in His name, He will grant it. No doubt, it is because of this teaching that the Holy Spirit, before Jesus’ birth, dictated this prophetic prayer: “Draw me, we shall run.”
What is it then to ask to be “Drawn” if not to be united in an intimate way to the object which captivates our heart? If fire and iron had the use of reason, and if the latter said to the other: “Draw me,” would it not prove that it desires to be identified with the fire in such a way that the fire penetrate [36r°] and drink it up with its burning substance and seem to become one with it? Dear Mother, this is my prayer. I ask Jesus to draw me into the flames of His love, to unite me so closely to Him that He live and act in me. I feel that the more the fire of love burns within my heart, the more I shall say: “Draw me,” the more also the souls who will approach me (poor little piece of iron, useless if I withdraw from the divine furnace), the more these souls will run swiftly in the odor of the ointments of their Beloved, for a soul that is burning with love cannot remain inactive. No doubt, she will remain at Jesus’ feet as did Mary Magdalene, and she will listen to His sweet and burning words. Appearing to do nothing, she will give much more than Martha who torments herself with many things and wants her sister to imitate her. ” (Manuscript C)
All that Thérèse is describing happens in the same movement of the Prayer of the Heart. Jesus attaches people to us (without us doing it or knowing it), so when we do the PH we perform, as well, our Priestly duty of intercession. In the Prayer of the Heart we offer our being to Jesus and are immersed in Him. The more we are transformed in Jesus the more we are like a sponge, unknowingly absorbing all the persons Jesus wants us to carry. They are like our mystical body (“Union with Jesus” is union with a portion of his Body). So whenever we do the Prayer of the Heart (The more we are transformed in Jesus, the more PH becomes more and more constant in us), and we are then immersed (with them) in His Fire. The Power of the Holy Spirit in us is lifting not only us but all our mystical body.
[Many more things occur during the PH, and this is just to reply to your question and show the deeper levels of Intercession and their relationship with our level/degree of transformation in Jesus and with the practice of the PH.]
In conclusion we can say that it is not really possible to separate deep powerful intercession from our being, from our PH.
When somebody asks us to pray for him/her, or we just remember to pray for a certain person/intention, let us not forget that (in my eyes) the most powerful, perfect and pure way to do it is to entrust this intention to Our Lady, by saying one “Hail Mary” and that’s it. If your remember again this person/intention, you may just redo that again: say the “Hail Mary”, entrusting this person to Mary. St Therese used to say that Our Lady knows better the will of God (what to say to God and how to say it), we don’t. In this sense she is called “Throne of Wisdom”, because the Wisdom of God, Jesus, is dwelling in her in His absolute perfection while it is not the case for us. We either carry too much the person, or worry too much, or are busy too much in dealing and arranging the life of others, forgetting our utter ignorance. And all this is not intercessory prayer, but impurity added to our way of dealing with God.