LT 144 - To Céline

LT 144                From Thérèse to Céline.

July 23, 1893


Jesus                                                       Carmel, July 23, 1893

Dear little Céline,

I am not surprised that you understand nothing that is taking place in your soul. A LITTLE child all alone on the sea, in a boat lost in the midst of the stormy waves, could she know whether she is close or far from port? While her eyes still contemplate the shore which she left, she knows how far she has gone, and, seeing the land getting farther away, she cannot contain her childish joy. Oh! she says, here I am soon at the end of my journey. But the more the snore recedes, the vaster the ocean also appears. Then the little child's KNOWLEDGE reduced to nothing, she no longer knows where her boat is going. She does not know how to control the rudder, and the only thing she can do is abandon herself and allow her sail to flutter in the wind…My Céline, the little child of Jesus, is all alone in a little boat; the land has disappeared from her eyes, she does not know where she is going, whether she is advancing or if she is going backward.... Little Thérèse knows, and she is sure her Céline is on the open sea; the boat carrying her is advancing with full sails toward the port, and the rudder which Céline cannot even see is not without a pilot. Jesus is there, sleeping as in days gone by, in the boat of the fishermen of Galilee. He is sleeping...and Céline does not see Him, for night has fallen on the boat.... Céline does not hear the voice of Jesus. The wind is blowing… she hears it; she sees the darkness.. .and Jesus is always sleeping. However, if He were to awaken only for an instant, He would have only to command the wind and the sea, and there would be a great calm. The night would become brighter than the day, Céline would see the divine glance of Jesus, and her soul would be consoled.... But Jesus, too, would no longer be sleeping, and He is so FATIGUED! .. . His divine feet are tired from going after sinners, and in Céline's boat Jesus is sleeping so peacefully. The apostles had given Him a pillow. The Gospel gives us this detail. But in His dear spouse's little boat Our Lord finds another pillow much softer, Céline's heart. There He forgets all, He is at home.... It is not a stone which supports His divine head (that stone for which He longed during His mortal life), it is the heart of a child, the heart of a spouse. Oh, how happy Jesus is! But how can He be happy while His spouse is suffering, while she watches during the time He is sleep­ing so peacefully? Does He not know that Céline sees only the night, that His divine face remains hidden from her, and even at times the weight she feels on her heart seems heavy to her?... What a mystery! Jesus, the little child of Bethlehem whom Mary used to carry as a light burden, becomes heavy, so heavy that St. Christopher is astonished by it.... The spouse of the Canticles also says her Beloved is a bundle of myrrh and that He rests on her heart. Myrrh is suf­fering, and it is in this way that Jesus rests on Céline's heart… And nevertheless Jesus is happy to see her in suffering. He is happy to receive all from her during the night. ... He is awaiting the dawn and then, oh, then, what an awakening will be the awakening of Jesus!!!...

Be sure, dear Céline, that your boat is on the open sea, already perhaps very close to port. The wind of sorrow that pushes it is the wind of love, and this wind is swifter than lightning....

How touched I was when seeing that Jesus had inspired you with the idea of little sacrifices; I had asked it of Him, not counting on writing you so soon. Never yet has Our Lord refused to inspire you with what I begged Him to tell you. He is always giving us together the same graces. I am even obliged to have a chaplet of practices; I did it out of love for one of my companions. 1 will tell you this in detail, it is very amusing.... I am trapped in the nets that do not appeal to me but are very useful to me in my present state of soul.


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