Abstract

In order to make Thérèse of Lisieux's "little way" a resource for contemporary spirituality that often mistakes it for a "way of spiritual childhood," this essay situates it within the context of structural developmental psychology, and examines Thérèse's original texts in that light. After indicating structural-developmental criteria of maturity it points out the early signs evident in Thérèse's process of claiming her "little way." Then, because her language—"remaining little" and having God's motherly action save her from strenuous activity—could be interpreted developmentally as immature, it presents evidence of Thérèse's maturity in the years she claimed this "little way," 1894-1897. Finally, it shows how her "little way" is far from spiritual childhood and valuable for adult spiritual formation.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-3117
Print ISSN
1533-1709
Pages
pp. 68-89
Launched on MUSE
2006-04-27
Open Access
No
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