Print

LT 57 - To Celine

LT 57     From Thérèse to Celine

July 23, 1888

J.M.J.T.

Monday , July 23, ‘88

Jesus alone +

Darling Sister,

Your Thérèse understood your whole soul; she read still more deeply into it than you wrote about it. I understood the sadness of Sunday; I experienced it all... It seemed to me when I was reading it that the same soul animates us. There is something so sensitive between our souls that makes them so much alike. We have always been together, our joys, our pains, everything has been in common. Ah! I feel that this is continuing in Carmel; never, no, never shall we be separated. You know that it is only the yellow lily that could separate us a little. I tell you this because I am sure that the white lily will always be your lot since you have chosen Him and He has chosen you first.... Do you understand the lilies....

I was sometimes wondering why Jesus had taken me first; now I have understood.... You know that your soul is a lily immor­telle. Jesus can do all He wills with it. It matters little whether it be in one place or another; it will always be immortelle. The tem­pest cannot make the yellow of its stamen fall on its white scented calyx; it is Jesus who made it that way. He is free, and no one is to ask Him why He gives His graces to one soul rather than another. At the side of this Lily, Jesus has placed another, its faithful com­panion. They grew up together but one was immortelle, and the other was not. It was necessary that Jesus take His lily before its flower opened so that the two lilies be for Him.... One was weak, the other was strong; Jesus took the weak one, and He left the other so as to embellish it with a new splendor.... Jesus asks ALL from His two lilies; He wills to leave them nothing but their white dress. ALL! Has immortelle understood her little sister?. . .

Life is burdensome. What bitterness. . .but what sweetness. Yes, life is painful for us. It is hard to begin a day of work. The feeble bud has seen it just as the beautiful lily has. If we feel Jesus present, oh! then we would really do all for Him, but no, He seems a thousand leagues away. We are all alone with ourselves. Oh! what annoying company when Jesus is not there. But what is this sweet Friend doing then? Doesn't He see our anguish, the weight that is oppressing us? Where is He? Why doesn't He come to console us since we have Him alone for a friend? Alas, He is not

far; He is there, very close. He is looking at us, and He is begging this sorrow, this agony from us. He needs it for souls and for our soul. He wants to give us such a beautiful recompense, and His am­bitions for us are very great. But how can He say: "My turn," if ours hasn't come, if we have given Him nothing? Alas, it does pain Him to give us sorrows to drink, but He knows this is the only means of preparing us to "know Him as He knows Himself and to become Gods ourselves." Oh! what a destiny. How great is our soul....

Let us raise ourselves above what is passing away. Let us keep ourselves a distance from the earth. Higher up the air is pure. Jesus is hiding Himself, but we can see Him. When shedding tears, we are drying His, and the Blessed Virgin smiles. Poor Mother, she had so many sorrows because of us, and it is only right that we con­sole her a little when we weep and suffer with her....

I read this morning a passage of the Gospel where it says: "I have not come to bring peace but the sword." There remains nothing else for us to do but to fight, and when we don't have the strength, it is then that Jesus fights for us... . Together let us lay the axe to the root of the tree. . . .

Poor muddle-headed Thérèse. What a letter, what tur­moil .... Oh! if I could only have said what 1 am thinking, Céline would have very much to read....

Jesus is good to have allowed us to meet a mother like the one we have. What a treasure. Little sister, if you had seen her this morn­ing at six o'clock, bringing me your letter. I was really moved....

Jesus is asking all, ALL, ALL." As much as He can ask from the greatest Saints.

Your poor little sister,

Thérèse of the Child Jesus

p.c.ind.

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc