LT 169 - To Céline

LT 169                 From Thérèse to Céline.

August 19, 1894


Jesus                                                                August 19, 1894

Dear little Sister,

This is the last time, then, that I am obliged to write you while you are in the world!... I did not know I spoke so truly in the letter I sent you at La Musse, promising you that you would soon be in Carmel.

I am not surprised at the storm raging at Caen. Francis and Jeanne have chosen a road so different from ours that they cannot under­stand the sublimity of our vocation!... But they laugh best who laugh last.... After this life of one day, they will understand who will have been the most privileged, we or they....

How sweetly the miraculous catch of the fish touched us.... How much these little delicacies make us feel that our dear Father is close to us! After a death of five years, what a joy to find him once more always the same, seeking out ways to please us as he did in days gone by. Oh! how he is going to return to his Céline the cares she lavished on him!... He is the one who carried off your vocation in so little time; now that he is a pure spirit, it is an easy thing for him to go find priests and bishops, so he has not had as much trouble over his dear Céline as over his poor little queen!...

I am very happy, dear little Céline, that you are not experiencing any perceptible attraction in coming to Carmel. This is a favor from Jesus, who wills to receive a gift from you. He knows it is much sweeter to give than to receive. We have only the short moment of this life to give to God... and He is already preparing to say: "Now, my turn... What a joy to suffer for Him who loves us unto folly and to pass as fools in the eyes of the world. We judge others as we judge ourselves, and since the world is senseless, it naturally thinks we are the ones who are senseless!... But, after all, we are not the first; the only crime with which Jesus was reproached by Herod was that of being foolish, and I think like him!... Yes, it was folly to seek out the poor little hearts of mortals to make them His thrones, He, the King of Glory, who is seated above the Cherubim'... He, whom the heavens cannot contain. ... He was foolish, our Beloved, to come to earth in search of sinners in order to make them His friends, His intimates, His equals, He, who was perfectly happy with the two adorable Persons of the Trinity!... We shall never be able to carry out the follies He carried out for us, and our actions will never merit this name, for they are only very rational acts and much below what our love would like to accomplish. It is the world, then, that is senseless since it does not know what Jesus has done to save it, it is the world which is a monopolizer, which seduces souls, and which leads them to springs without water. ...

We are not idlers, squanderers, either. Jesus has defended us in the person of the Magdalene. He was at table, Martha was serv­ing, Lazarus was eating with Him and His disciples. As for Mary, she was not thinking of taking any food but of pleasing Him whom she loved, so she took a jar filled with an ointment of great price and poured it on the head of Jesus, after breaking the jar, and the whole house was scented with the ointment, but the APOSTLES complained against Magdalene.... It is really the same for us, the most fervent Christians, priests, find that we are exaggerated, that we should serve with Martha instead of consecrating to Jesus the vessels of our lives, with the ointments enclosed within them."... And nevertheless what does it matter if our vessels be broken since Jesus is consoled and since, in spite of itself, the world is obliged to smell the perfumes that are exhaled and serve to purify the em­poisoned air the world never ceases to breathe in.

The infirmarian would be pleased if you found at Caen one half bottle of antihemorrhagic Tisserant Water, two francs, fifty. If there are only the large bottles, do not take them, there are some here at Lisieux.

Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart would like to have seven or eight nut-crackers.


© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, In