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From sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to her three sisters in the Carmel - August 4, 1900

From sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to her three sisters in the Carmel - August 4, 1900

Beloved little sisters,

What do you make of this overly long delay? I’m counting on your indulgence, which fortunately never lets me down. I’ve had many urgent letters to write, it’s true, including one to Mrs Maudelonde who sent me a superb bouquet for my profession. If only you had seen the altar that day! All you could see were lilies.    

As for your delightful letters, dearest sisters, how can I describe my emotions as I read them? . . . They were against my heart for the precious and too brief time that I spent under the funeral pall. I had so much to say to Jesus . . . However I don’t think I forgot anything! What a wonderful day it was! Nothing could disturb my perfect calm or the heavenly peace with which my soul was flooded. Never, no never have I been so happy . . . . Like our beloved little Thérèse, it was without regret that, in the evening of this heavenly day, I watched as my pretty crown was removed and placed at the feet of the Sacred Heart and the Blessed Virgin, because time won’t take away my happiness for I am the Spouse of a God, and will remain so for eternity.

When I awoke the following day, I was so happy to be able to press my Profession Cross against my heart. This blessed cross has cost me so much! I said to myself, “I have it this time . . . Nothing can take it from me now!” The cross of which I speak is the silver cross containing relics that we conspicuously wear day and night on our chests.

As for our angelic Thérèse’s crucifix, I really thought it wouldn’t be given to me, because our Mother thought it too small and indeed it was, because on the day of my profession, it fell from the belt at the slightest movement. In short, our beloved Mother gently told me that I had to sacrifice it. But how unwillingly I made the sacrifice! With tears running down my cheeks, I said to our Mother, “In that case, Mother, since I can’t wear the crucifix that is so dear to me on the day of my profession, permit me to send it back to the Carmel!” “No, my child, keep it,” she replied. My sadness was such that I asked our Mistress whether I would at least be allowed to wear it under the habit. “What? My child, are you only willing to half sacrifice it, then? Is this crucifix dearer to you than our Lord? No matter how precious an object is, does it deserve to be compared to Him?”  

I finally understood. My sacrifice was perfectly made and this was what my devoted Mothers wanted before giving me my dear treasure. You can imagine my great joy when the celebrant presented it to me at the grille!!

You can see from this example how far I still have to go before reaching that complete dispossession which Jesus asks of me.

I send you my love, little sisters, and all the affection that my heart is capable of giving. It’s such bliss to fully belong to Jesus!