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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - May 26, 1935

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - May 26, 1935

J. + M.

P.C.                                                                                 Carmel of Lisieux 26th May 1935

Dearest little sister,

It has been a long time since we last had news of you. I hope you have fully recovered and that like us you are living in surrender and blind trust. I am convinced that dear little Thérèse wants us to practice these virtues and that she is giving us opportunities to do so. Alternating between hoping for heaven and then being disappointment over and over in life proves this.

Yesterday we did some planting in “Marie’s yard”, which is in front of Sr Marie of the Sacred Heart’s infirmary and which is in actual fact also a garden. We planted some geraniums and Sr Marie of the Sacred Heart said sadly to me, “Ah, last year I really thought that I’d never see this yard be planted with geraniums again.” She hoped to be with God by now. But it was not to be. All four of us are still here like immovable posts. And do you think that this is not through God’s design, to encourage us to produce the exquisite flower that is self-surrender?  

Apparently what strikes the Holy Father the most about little Thérèse’s holiness is precisely her self-surrender and trust. It is to these virtues that he attributes her extraordinary power over God’s heart and her great holiness. And it’s what he wants to imitate. And I am like the Holy Father, which is why “I joyfully embrace what Jesus gives me.”

Here, it is believed that all of us will live to celebrate our fiftieth anniversaries, and we’re well on the way to doing so. Next year, on 15th October, it will have been 50 years since our dear eldest sister joined the Carmel. The Sisters are talking about organising her Jubilee. Apparently, in several monasteries, it is the Jubilee of one’s entrance that is celebrated, not that of one’s Profession.

Sr Marie of the S.H. is not best pleased about it. She has always been “the gypsy”, as our darling father used to call her. She has a wild nature and has begged us not to mention it to her! I wonder whether, like us, you had snow during the night of 17th to 18th May in Caen. There must have been a small hurricane because the gardens were wrecked. Trees were broken in two and twisted like bits of rope, and uprooted etc. 20 cm of snow couldn’t have done that. At the library, a half-full shelf of books emptied itself. The books lay on the floor, wide open, or under the table, while another was half off the shelf. It suggests a small earthquake. Anyway, let’s stop talking about all the problems and say our goodbyes. I do so with a great big kiss for my Léonie.

Your little sister

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face

u. c. n.