LT 193 - To P. Roulland

LT 193                From Thérèse to Père Roulland.

July 30, 1896


Carmel of Lisieux                                               July 30, 1896



You allow me, do you not, to give you no longer any other name, since Jesus has seen fit to unite us by the bonds of the apostolate?

It is very sweet for me to think that from all eternity Our Lord has formed this union which must save souls for Him and that He created me to be your sister....

Yesterday, we received your letters; our good Mother brought you joyfully into the cloister. She is allowing me to keep my brother's photograph; this is a very special privilege. A Carmelite does not even have the portraits of her closest relatives, but our Mother knows that your picture, far from reminding me of the world and earthly affections, will raise my soul to higher realms, and will make it forget itself for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Thus, Brother, while I shall cross the ocean in your company, you will remain close to me, well hidden in our poor cell....

All that is around me reminds me of you. I have attached the map of Su-Tchuen on the wall where I work, and the picture you gave me is resting always on my heart in the book of the Gospels which never leaves me. When I placed it there at random, here is the passage on which it fell: "He who has left all to follow me will receive a hundredfold in this world and eternal life in the world to come.'" These words of Jesus are already realized in you, for you tell me: I leave happily." I understand that this joy must be totally spiritual; it is impossible to leave one's father, mother, and country, without experiencing all the rendings of separation.. .. Oh, Brother! I am suffering with you, I am offering with you your great sacrifice, and I beg Jesus to pour out His abundant consolations on your dear relatives, while awaiting the heavenly union where we shall see them rejoicing in your glory which, drying their tears forever, will fill them with joy throughout a blessed eternity.

This evening, during my prayer, I meditated on some passages from Isaias which appeared to me so appropriate for you that I can­not refrain from copying them for you.

"Enlarge the place of your tent.. .. For you shall pass on to the right hand, and to the left, and your seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and shall inhabit the desolate cities. ... Lift up your eyes and look around you; all those whom you see assembled are coming to you; your sons will come from afar and your daughters will come from all sides to find you. Then you will see this extraordinary multiplica­tion; your astonished heart will be enlarged when the multitude of the shores of the sea and all that is great among the nations will have come to you."

Is not this the hundredfold promised? And can you not cry out in your turn: "The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me. He has sent me to preach his word, to heal those who are broken-hearted, to give freedom to those who are in chains and to console those who weep... I shall rejoice in the Lord, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation and with the robe of justice he has covered me. For as the earth brings forth her bud, so shall the Lord God make justice to spring forth and praise before all the nations. ... My people will be a people of the just, they will be the shoots that I have planted.... I shall go into the most remote isles, to those who have never heard anyone speak of the Lord. I shall announce his glory to the nations, and I shall offer them as a gift to my God.'"

If I wanted to copy out all the passages that touched me the most, I would have to have much time. I end, but beforehand I still have a request to make to you. When you will have a free moment, I would like you to write me the principal dates of your life. I would be able in this way to unite myself specially to you to thank God for the graces He has given you.

A Dieu, Brother.. .distance will never be able to separate our souls, death itself will make our union more intimate. If I go to heaven soon, I will ask Jesus' permission to go to visit you at Su- Tchuen, and we shall continue our apostolate together. In the meanwhile, I shall always be united to you by prayer, and I ask Our Lord never to allow me to rejoice when you are suffering. I would even wish that my brother always have consolation, and I trials; perhaps this is selfish?... But, no, since my only weapon is love and suf­fering and since your sword is that of the word and apostolic works.

Once again, a Dieu, Brother; please bless her whom Jesus has given you as a sister.

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


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