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From Céline to Thérèse - July 17, 1894

From Céline to Thérèse - July 17, 1894

Dear Thérèse,

I am going to write you in haste, for these days I do not have time to turn around. Joseph de Cornière is here, and we are busy doing photography. We dress up and are making a whole story of travellers in living pictures; it will be very amusing. In the meanwhile, however, I am beginning to get enough of it. My days seem insipid to me, no more reading, no time to write, hardly any time to make meditation; we are always on the go.

Dear Thérèse, oh! I would be unable to tell you how this life weighs on me.... When I received your letter, I was again recollected, I enjoyed and relished your letter.. .but at present I am like a piece of wood, there is no longer anything to draw on from within me. When I received your letter, dear Thérèse, my soul was not sad but filled with fervor to be good and practice virtue, and it is again to you that I owed this feeling. Your book by P. Surin is extraordinary, and certainly I shall buy a copy of it. It is really this type of language that I need to sustain myself.... I say the same thing for each book that you lend me, but I believe I have never found any that may do me as much good as the evangelical counsels. Thérèse!... Oh!

I have made meditations on yourself from this book, on our affec­tion for one another!... And it seemed to me—I would be unable to tell you this very well—it seemed to me that you were too much for me. . .that you were a support for me that was allowing me too much support... that I was relying on you too much and was bas­ing myself too much on you.. .in a word, guess at the rest!. . . And it seemed to me that to be totally for God, I would have to leave you.... I took a glimpse into the future, and I believed that I had to separate myself from you in order that I might see you again on­ly in heaven. ... Finally, oh, dear Thérèse, I was afraid, and I had a kind of presentiment of a sacrifice surpassing all other sacrifices... Each day my heart is trembling, but my soul is inundated with graces that I must have to accustom myself to this thought. Since I saw you last, I have had deep thoughts on a multitude of subjects.... The cross appeared to me all bare and with it many realities.. .cer­tainly, God is making strange appeals to my soul, in its innermost depths, and this is in the midst of an incredible peace and tranquili­ty of soul. Oh, Thérèse! what can I not tell you!... And yet I would be able to say nothing to you, I have nothing to say to you....

Thérèse! oh! understand your Céline, without her talking to you, without her telling you a single word!... Oh, life, life! And I find life is so short, and that we shall be so happy when meeting one another up above!... All appears to me like a dream. I stop... .

Thérèse! your letter was a heavenly song for me, a sweet melody.. .oh! understand all I have understood! But I love you too much, you see?... Oh, Thérèse, my heart tortures me, and it is for this reason that I have a kind of inner certitude that God will have to break it in order to reign over me; I need the cross and the most bitter tribulation.. .Thérèse!

Lately, I have been going out of myself, and I am suffering much from this, a continual malaise. Furthermore, we spend our days in uncontrollable laughter, enough to split our sides, and I am thirsting for solitude. I can no longer breathe. Then I am unhappy... not be­ing accustomed to living with boys, it seems strange to me to be spending my days in their company. As holy and pure and candid as they are, I cannot get used to it. Oh, Thérèse, understand what I mean.... These past days, I have scruples, and everything all mixed up, with the privation of my spiritual exercises, makes me dry and sad....

I hug tightly my dear little sisters and our Mother. Oh! how I love my dear little sisters!.. . Above all, take care of yourself, this is a duty of conscience.... The stalks of daisies are on loan, Pauline is not to keep them any longer than a month. Marie of the Sacred Heart has not sent me: "the only thing for today.'" And your girl, the little C., I am worried about the news!...

Papa is coming along.

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc

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