This chapter addresses the following questions: what was the nature and what the course of the diseases which afflicted Thérèse? What did French medical practitioners in her time know about these diseases? How did Thérèse respond to these diseases and make them integral to her spirituality? What distinguishes Thérèse as a tubercular patient from almost everyone else who has left a record of facing this illness is that she welcomed it. In the seeking of Christ, her attentiveness to suffering had suddenly been pointed to its apogee, its final sense. She had for years sensed that she would not live long and now that tacit awareness had found dramatic confirmation. Far more important, however, is the fact that this pulmonary affliction came concurrently with her maturing spirituality and perhaps informed it in recondite ways.
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