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LT 130 - To Céline

LT 130                From Thérèse to Céline.

July 23, 1891

J.M.J.T.

Jesus                                                         Carmel, July 23, '91

Dear Céline,

I am again entrusted with answering you.... Mother Geneviève was much touched by your letter, and she has really prayed for her little Céline; what a grace to have the prayers of such a saint and to be loved by her!... Yesterday's feast was delightful, and it was truly a foretaste of heaven… All the gifts pleased us very much, he fish, the cherries, the cakes; thank Aunt and tell her all you like that is nicest

Dear Céline, your two letters spoke volumes to my soul, they made my tears flow....

The solicitor really made me laugh. We must admit that he is not shy to come seeking the King of heaven's fiancee, but the poor man has undoubtedly not seen "the seal which the Spouse placed on your forehead,” the mysterious seal that Jesus alone contemplates and the angels, too, who make up His royal court.... Céline, why this extraordinary privilege, why?... Ah, what a grace to be a virgin, to be a spouse of Jesus. It must be very beautiful, very sublime, since the purest, the most intelligent of all other creatures preferred to remain a virgin rather than to become the Mother of God... And this is the grace Jesus grants us. He wants us to be His spouses, and then He promises that we shall be His mother and His sisters, for He says this in the gospel: "He who does the will of my Father, he is my Mother, my brother, and my sister." Yes, the one who loves Jesus is His whole family. He finds in this unique heart, which does not have its LIKE, all that He desires; He finds His heaven there!..

Dear Céline, let us always remain the lilies of Jesus; the favor I ask from Him is that He withdraw them from this world before the pernicious wind of the earth has detached a single particle of the pollen from their stamens, pollen that could yellow a little the brilliance and the whiteness of the lily. Jesus must be able to find in His lilies all that He desires to find in them, purity which seeks Him alone, which rests only in Him....

Alas, there is nothing so easy to tarnish as the lily.... Well, if Jesus said of Magdalene that "one loves more to whom more has been forgiven," we can say it with more reason when Jesus has forgiven sins in advance! ... Céline, do you understand?... And when the tears of Jesus are the smile of a soul, what has the soul to fear? I think that these mysterious pearls have the power to whiten lilies, to preserve their brilliance.... Dear Céline, the image of this world is passing, the shadows are lengthening," soon we shall be in our native land, soon the joys of our childhood, the Sunday eve­nings, the intimate chats.. .all this will be restored to us forever and with interest. Jesus will return to us the joys which He has deprived us of for one moment!... Then from our dear Father's radiant head, we shall see waves of light coming forth, and each one of his white hairs will be like a sun that will give us joy and happiness! ... Life is then a dream?... and to think that with this dream we can save souls!... Ah! Céline, let us not forget souls, but let us forget ourselves for them, and one day Jesus will say, when looking at us: "How beautiful is the chaste generation of virgin souls.”

I hug tightly little Marie, Léonie, and all, and as for you, Céline, you know where your place is in my heart!..

Thérèse of the Child Jesus of the Holy Face rel. carm. ind.

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc