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LT 176 - To Sister Thérèse-Dosithée (Léonie).


LT 176 From Thérèse to Sister Thérèse-Dosithée (Léonie).

 

April 28, 1895

J.M.J.T.

Jesus

Sunday, April 28, 1895

Dear little Sister,

I would have liked to thank you sooner for your letter which pleased me, but our Mother answered you immediately, and I was unable to write you the same time as she.

Dear little Sister, I am interiorly convinced you are in your voca­tion, not only as a Visitandine but as a Caen Visitandine. God has given us so many proofs of this that we are not permitted to doubt it.... I consider this thought of your going to Le Mans as a tempta­tion, and I am begging Jesus to deliver you from it. Oh! how much I understand the delay of your Profession must be a trial for you, but this is such a great grace that the more time we have to prepare for it, the more we rejoice too. I recall with pleasure what took place within my own soul a few months before my own Profession. I saw my year of novitiate pass by, and no one was busied about me because of our Father Superior, who considered me too young. I assure you, I was very sad, but, one day, God gave me to unders­tand that there was a great self-seeking in this desire to pronounce my holy vows. Then I said to myself: For my reception of the Habit, I was robed in a beautiful white dress adorned with lace and flowers, and who was thinking, now, of giving me any dress for my wed­ding? ... This dress I must prepare all alone, Jesus wills that no one help me except Himself, so with His aid I was going to set myself to the task, to work with fervor.... Creatures will not see my ef­forts which will be hidden in my heart. Taking care to forget myself, I shall want no other look but that of Jesus.... What does it matter if I appear poor and destitute of mind and talents?... I want to put into practice this counsel from the Imitation: "Let this one take glory in one thing, another in something else, but as for you, set your joy only in contempt of self, in My will and My glory.'" Or: "Do you want to learn something that will help you: Love to be unknown and counted as nothing!... " When thinking this over, I felt a great peace in my soul, I felt that here was truth and peace! I was no longer disturbed about the date of my Profession, think­ing that on the day when my wedding dress was finished, Jesus would come seeking His poor little spouse....

Dear little Sister, I was not mistaken and even Jesus was content with my desires, my total abandonment. He saw fit to unite me to Himself much earlier than I dared hope.... Now God continues to direct me by the same road, I have only one desire, that of doing His will. Perhaps you remember how in the past I used to love call­ing myself "Jesus' little plaything." Even now I am happy to be this; however, I have thought that the divine Child had many other souls filled with sublime virtues who call themselves "His toys." I thought, then, they were His beautiful toys and my poor soul was only a little toy without any value.. .to console myself, I said: Often little children are more pleased with little toys that they can leave aside or take up, break or kiss at their whim than with others of a greater value which they almost dare not touch. ... Then I re­joiced at being poor, I wanted to become this more and more each day, in order that Jesus may take more delight in playing with me.

Dear little Sister, now that I have given you my spiritual direc­tion, pray that I may put into practice the lights Jesus is giving me.

Remember me respectfully to your kind Mothers.

Your very little Sister who loves you, Thérèse of the Child Jesus rel. carm. ind.

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc