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[1v°] and love. Ah! if all weak and imperfect souls felt what the least of souls feels, that is, the soul of your little Thérèse, not one would despair of reaching the summit of the mount of love. Jesus does not demand [5] great actions from us but simply surrender and gratitude. Has He not said: “I will not take the he-goats from out your flocks, for all the beasts of the forest are mine, the cattle on the hills and the oxen. I know all the fowls of the air. If I were hungry, I would not [10] tell you, for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof. Shall I eat the flesh of bulls or shall I drink the blood of goats? OFFER TO GOD THE SACRIFICES OF PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING.”

See, then, all that Jesus lays claim to from us; He has no need of our works but only of our love, for the same God who [15] declares He has no need to tell us when He is hungry did not fear to beg for a little water from the Samaritan woman. He was thirsty. But when He said: “Give me to drink,” it was the love of His poor creature the Creator of the universe was seeking. He was thirsty for love. Ah! I feel it more than ever before, Jesus is parched, for [20] He meets only the ungrateful and indifferent among His disciples in the world, and among His own disciples, alas, He finds few hearts who surrender to Him without reservations, who understand the real tenderness of His infinite Love.

How fortunate we are, dear Sister, to understand the [25] intimate secrets of our Spouse. Ah! if you wished to write all you know about these secrets, we would have beautiful pages to read, but I know you prefer to keep “the King’s secrets” in the bottom of your heart. And yet you say to me, “it is honorable to publish the works of the Most High.” I find you are very right [30] to maintain silence, and it is only to please you that I write these lines. I feel how powerless I am to express in human language the secrets of heaven, and after writing page upon page I find that I have not yet begun. There are so many different horizons, so many nuances of [35] infinite variety that only the palette of the Celestial Painter will be able to furnish me after the night of this life with the colors capable of depicting the marvels He reveals to the eye of my soul.

You asked me, dear Sister, to write to you my dream and “my little doctrine” as you call it. I did this in [40] these following pages, but so poorly it seems to me you will not understand it. Perhaps you will find my expressions exaggerated. Ah! pardon me, this will have to be put down to my poor style, for I assure you there is no exaggeration in my little soul. Within it all is calm and at rest.

[45] When writing these words, I shall address them to Jesus since this makes it easier for me to express my thoughts, but it does not prevent them from being very poorly expressed!


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