LT 151 - To Léonie

Au Carmel le 5 Novembre 93


LT 151                From Thérèse to Léonie

November 5, 1893


Jesus                                                 Carmel, November 5, '93

Dear Léonie,

I am overjoyed at your happiness; your nice little letters are a real joy to me. I see, without any doubt, that you are where God wills you to be.

How good Our Lord is to our family! He has not permitted any mortal being to become the spouse of a single one of us.

We just listened to a beautiful retreat to prepare us for the feast of our Holy Mother [St. Teresa of Avila], The good Father spoke especially about union with Jesus and the beauty of our vocation. He pointed out to us all the advantages of the religious life, especially the contemplative life. He gave us a comparison that charmed me. He said: "Look at the oaks in our countryside, how deformed they all are; they spread out their branches to the right and left, nothing hinders them, so they never reach a great height. On the contrary, look at the oaks of the forest, hemmed in on all sides; they do not see the light except from on high so their trunks are without all these deformed branches that draw away the sap necessary to go upward. The oaks see nothing but the sky above, and all their strength is turned in that direction, so soon they attain a prodigious height. In the religious life, the soul like the young oak is hemmed in on all sides by the Rule, all its movements are hampered and thwarted by the trees of the forest.... But the soul has light when it looks upon HEAVEN, there alone it can rest its gaze, never must it fear climbing too much in this direction."

Dear little Sister, I think I am pleasing you by talking about these things; our joy is to speak of spiritual matters, to plunge our hearts into infinity!...

I beg pardon for sending you letters so poorly written, but, you see, dear little Sister, I prefer allowing my pen to run under the in­fluence of my heart to turning out beautiful sentences and sending you a page of real penmanship.

I beg you to remember me respectfully to Mother Superior.

Do not forget me in your prayers; think of me in the presence of Jesus as much as I think of you.

1 leave you, dear Léonie, remaining truly united with you in our divine Spouse's Heart.

Your unworthy little Sister,

Thérése of the Child Jesus of the Holy Face rel. carm. ind.

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc