Daddy, I’m not perfect, I do lots of silly things, but you know how much I love you! And when I do something silly, I ask you to punish me with a kiss!”— how could any father resist?
Humility, because Scripture says: “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” And trust, because God has the heart of a father. A father cannot resist his children’s trust—he finds it impossible to hold out against it. Once someone has a father’s heart, he’s lost, unable to resist being conquered by the trust of a little child. If a small child says, “Daddy, I’m not perfect, I do lots of silly things, but you know how much I love you! And when I do something silly, I ask you to punish me with a kiss!”— how could any father resist?
These are Thérèse’s own words, and this is the heart of her message, which is simply that of the Gospel. She invites us to rediscover and put into practice, the right attitudes which will enable grace to reach us. Admittedly, putting them into practice demands patience and perseverance, effort and courage; but I would call it well-placed courage. Efforts to change ourselves are bound to fail; the courage we need is that of persevering in the kind of fruitful dispositions that open us up effectively to God’s action.
Source: Philippe, Jacques. The Way of Trust and Love – A Retreat Guided by St. Therese of Lisieux