God gave me the grace of knowing the world just enough to despise it and separate myself from it . . . I must admit this life had its charms for me . . . I consider it a great grace not to have remained in Alencon. The friends we had there were too worldly . . . They didn’t think about death enough, and yet death had paid its visit to a great number of those whom I knew, the young, the rich, the happy! I love to return in spirit to the enchanting places where they lived, wondering where these people are, what became of their houses and gardens where I saw them enjoy life’s luxuries. 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.
St. Therese of Lisieux