From Fr. Bellière to Thérèse - July 17, 1897.

July 17, 1897

Oh! my poor little Sister, what a blow to my poor heart. It was so little prepared, do not ask it this joy you feel at the approach of bliss. It remains attached to its heavy chain, it is tied more tightly to its cross. You are about to leave, dear little Sister, and my heart remains alone once again, no mother, no family. It was concentrating on its Sister's love, making a sweet habit of her holy intimacy. It was happy (oh! how happy) to feel near it this friendly hand that was consoling, strengthening, or uplifting it. My heart was advanc­ing with a smile on the way of the cross because it no longer felt alone, it was happy and waiting with impatience to cast itself into the desert because it had confidence in being sustained. It was about to break with its one earthly affection, depending on her—whom Jesus had lent it as an angel on earth—to compensate for this. And now Jesus withdraws this good at the moment when it appears the most desirable. Oh! how difficult it is, how painful for a soul poor­ly strengthened in God! However, fiat! fiat! since you will be hap­py, little Sister, forever. Yes, it is right... I am a selfish person. Leave little Sister, do not make Jesus wait any longer, He is impatient to gather you up. Let me battle on, carry the cross, fall beneath it, and die from the pain. You will be here just the same; you promised it and I am counting on it. This is my last hope for now and the future. You will be with me, near me. Your soul will lead mine, will speak to it, will console it, unless Jesus, irritated by my complaints, does not will it. But you, little Sister, His spoiled child, now become His spouse, queen with Him, you will win my case and draw me to Him, on the last day; you know by which way, the most speedy, martyr­dom, if He wills it. I am thanking the Master just the same. He is teaching me, by means of a new lesson, to detach myself from everything that is passing and to look only at Him.

Leave, then, dear little Sister of God, my own little Sister too. Tell Jesus I would like to love Him very much with my entire being. Teach me to do this as you do. Tell Mary I love her with my whole soul, and my saints, whom you know, tell them of my love, and you who are going to become my Saint of predilection, you my own Sister, bless me, save me. Leave me, too, I beg you, something belonging to you, your crucifix, if you will.

A Dieu, dear Sister, a Dieu, and I will see you soon. As long as the exile may be, it will be short compared with eternity.

Au revoir! au Ciel!

Your brother forever,

Maurice Barthélemy-Bellière

A Dieu !

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc

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