From Céline to Thérèse - July 17, 1890

From Céline to Thérèse.

July 17, 1890

Céline was on vacation at La Musse with the Guérin family since July 10.

La Musse, July 17, 1890

My dear little Thérèse,

Here I am, then, for a moment with you, my dear confidante. I am leading a life of the exiled here. It's true that I have Marie, who is very loving and devoted to me, but I feel that her soul has not been matured through suffering. At times, I find her a little too childish and not sufficiently submissive to sacrifice; this is what makes her less looked up to than Jeanne, less respected, less listened to by Uncle and Aunt. However, I believe she is called to a high perfection. A director would really be necessary for her , but her parents would be opposed to this, fearing he would influence her to choose the religious life.

Therese, it would be impossible for me to tell you what I am suffering when I think of our dear little Father, I miss him so much! Oh! if you only knew what my heart feels when seeing itself deprived of Father, Mother, even home .... Y - deprived of all this, for I have nothing of all this. And when I see others at my side who are enjoying the paternal home, lavishing their filial af­fection, and I who cannot serve close by the father whom I love so much! by the father who challenges any comparison with other earthly fathers, so incomparable is he Nobody approaches him, he was so good!. .. Papa !     

Oh, Thérèse, let us be saints. I feel that Our Lord has placed everything at our disposal so that we may attain this unique goal. I have noticed that, in our soul, He knew how to touch the most sensitive chords; He presses all of them under His divine fingers, and there is not one of them that remains without producing some sounds. And what sounds! Our soul is the harp of Jesus, and this harp alone knows for what concerts it is employed ....

Have you noticed how Jesus does not will that there remain anything human in our heart? He explores it and He explores it again, right down to its very depths. He is looking to see if, there where one would suspect nothing, He will not discover a gold mine. Oh, Thérèse, I want to make my heart all gold, even in its most intimate hiding-places; Jesus will be so pleased. He alone delights me. Each evening, when contemplating immensity, I repeat my little poem to Him: "Le Divin Charme," and I never grow tired of it. Every day, when walking through the woods, gathering flowers, I catch myself meditating on "the tears of Je­sus," a divine charm that fascinates me.

The other day, we went by chance into a poor little church. I believed that my tears were going to betray my heart, I had all the trouble in the world holding them back. Just think: a Tabernacle without a veil, a real black hole, perhaps the refuge of spiders, a Ciborium so poor that I think it was copper, and what did it have for a cover?... A dirty rag, no longer retaining the form of a Ciborium veil . . . . In the Ciborium, a single Host. Alas! there is no need of others in this parish, for there is not a single Commu­nion throughout the year, outside of Easter. Then, in these coun­try places, there are unrefined priests who close their churches all day long. Besides, they are old and without financial support.

Oh, Thérèse! I remained deep in thought before this spectacle, my soul was torn into shreds. Now I hate La Musse, for I am in a château with gilded paneling, while Jesus dwells in the most frightful poverty in the valley opposite us. Now I detest stylish clothes, for I have silk dresses and wear diamonds and gold, while Jesus has nothing for Himself but rags. Now I desire only one thing: since Jesus is poor, I want to be poor with Him; I long for the moment when I shall no longer have a single soul! I must possess nothing. Oh! were I free with my fortune, I would rid myself of it in order to give all to Jesus.

Kiss our Mother for me in order to make amends for my mistake in having written her such a scribbled little letter and on such poor paper. I think of Marie and Pauline, whom I love so much. For you, your Celine's heart.

P.S. Did you receive the tarts? 1 think Aunt would be flattered to receive a "thank-you" for the ones she gave.

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc

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