Ms A 84v

[84v°] I need have no fear of purgatory. I know that of myself I would not merit even to enter that place of expiation since only holy souls can have entrance there, but I also know that the Fire of Love is more sanctifying than is the fire of purgatory. I know that Jesus cannot desire [5] useless sufferings for us, and that He would not inspire the longings I feel unless He wanted to grant them.

Oh! how sweet is the way of Love! How I want to apply myself to doing the will of God always with the greatest self-surrender!

Here, dear Mother, is all I can tell you about the life of [10] your little Thérèse; you know better than I do what she is and what Jesus has done for her. You will forgive me for having abridged my religious life so much.

How will this “story of a little white flower” come to an end? Perhaps the little flower will be plucked in her youthful freshness or else transplanted to other shores. [15] I don’t know, but what I am certain about is that God’s Mercy will accompany her always, that it will never cease blessing the dear Mother who offered her to Jesus; she will rejoice eternally at being one of the flowers of her crown. And with this dear Mother she will sing eternally the new canticle of Love.

 © Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc


Ms A 84r

[84r°] to pardon the faults of the prodigal son with so much kindness, be just also toward me who “am with Him always”?

This year, June 9, the feast of the Holy Trinity, I received the grace to understand more than ever before how much Jesus desires to be loved.

[5] I was thinking about the souls who offer themselves as victims of God’s Justice in order to turn away the punishments reserved to sinners, drawing them upon themselves. This offering seemed great and very generous to me, but I was far from feeling attracted to making it. From the depths of my heart, I cried out:

O my God! Will Your Justice alone find souls willing to immolate themselves as victims? Does not Your [10] Merciful Love need them too? On every side this love is unknown, rejected; those hearts upon whom You would lavish it turn to creatures, seeking happiness from them with their miserable affection; they do this instead of throwing themselves into Your arms and of accepting Your infinite Love. O my God! Is Your disdained Love going to remain closed up within Your Heart? It seems to me that if You were [15] to find souls offering themselves as victims of holocaust to Your Love, You would consume them rapidly; it seems to me, too, that You would be happy not to hold back the waves of infinite tenderness within You. If Your Justice loves to release itself, this Justice which extends only over the earth, how much more does Your Merciful Love desire to set souls on fire since Your Mercy reaches [20] to the heavens. O my Jesus, let me be this happy victim; consume Your holocaust with the fire of Your Divine Love!”

You permitted me, dear Mother, to offer myself in this way to God, and you know the rivers or rather the oceans of graces that flooded my soul. Ah! since the happy day, it seems to me that Love penetrates and surrounds me, that at each moment this Merciful Love renews me, purifying my soul and leaving no trace of sin within it, and

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc



Ms A 83v

[83v°] Imitation come to my aid; in them I discover a solid and very pure nourishment. But it is especially the Gospels that sustain me during my hours of prayer, for in them I find what is necessary for my poor little soul. I am constantly discovering in them new lights, hidden and mysterious meanings.

[5] I understand and I know from experience that: “The kingdom of God is within you.” Jesus has no need of books or teachers to instruct souls; He teaches without the noise of words. Never have I heard Him speak, but I feel that He is within me at each moment; He is guiding and inspiring me with what I must say and do. I find just [10] when I need them certain lights that I had not seen until then, and it isn’t most frequently during my hours of prayer that these are most abundant but rather in the midst of my daily occupations.

O my dear Mother! after so many graces can I not sing with the Psalmist: “How GOOD is the Lord, his MERCY endures forever!” [15] It seems to me that if all creatures had received the same graces I received, God would be feared by none but would be loved to the point of folly; and through love, not through fear, no one would ever consent to cause Him any pain. I understand, however, that all souls cannot be the same, that it is necessary there be different types in order to honor [20] each of God’s perfections in a particular way. To me He has granted His infinite Mercy, and through it I contemplate and adore the other divine perfections! All of these perfections appear to be resplendent with love; even His Justice (and perhaps this even more so than the others) seems to me clothed in love. What a sweet joy it is to think that God is Just, i.e., that He takes into account our weakness, that He is perfectly aware of our fragile nature. What should I fear then? Ah! must not the infinitely just God, who deigns

 © Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc


Ms A 83r

[83r°] offer Him as my most delightful bouquet.

Neither do I desire any longer suffering or death, and still I love them both; it is love alone that attracts me, however. I desired them for a long time; I possessed suffering and believed I had touched the shores of heaven, [5] that the little flower would be gathered in the springtime of her life. Now, abandonment alone guides me. I have no other compass! I can no longer ask for anything with fervor except the accomplishment of God’s will in my soul without any creature being able to set obstacles in the way. I can speak these words of the Spiritual Canticle of St. John of the Cross:

[10] In the inner wine cellar
I drank of my Beloved, and, when I went abroad
through all this valley
I no longer knew anything,
and lost the herd that I was following.
Now I occupy my soul
and all my energy in his service;
I no longer tend the herd,
nor have I any other work
now that my every act is LOVE.
Or rather:
After [15] I have known it
LOVE works so in me
that whether things go well or badly
love turns them to one sweetness
transforming the soul in ITSELF.

How sweet is the way of love, dear Mother. True, one can fall or commit infidelities, but, knowing how to draw profit from everything, love quickly consumes everything that can be displeasing to [20] Jesus; it leaves nothing but a humble and profound peace in the depths of the heart.

Ah! how many lights have I not drawn from the works of our holy Father, St. John of the Cross! At the ages of seventeen and eighteen I had no other spiritual nourishment; later on, however, all books left me in aridity and I’m still in that state. If I open a book composed by a spiritual author (even the most beautiful, the most touching book), I feel my heart contract immediately and I read without understanding, so to speak. Or if I do understand, my mind comes to a standstill without the capacity of meditating. In this helplessness, Holy Scripture and the

 © Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc


Ms A 82v

[82v°] on earth once they’ve fulfilled God’s will, for they return immediately to Him, and this is why they’re represented with wings. Our angel also spread her white wings; she was ready to fly far away to find Jesus, but He made her fly close by. He was content with simply accepting the great sacrifice [5] which was very painful for little Thérèse. Her Céline had kept a secret hidden from her for two full years. Ah, how Céline herself had suffered because of this! Finally, from heaven my dear King, who never liked stragglers when he was still with us on earth, hastened to arrange Céline’s muddled affairs, and she joined us on September 14!

[10] When the difficulties seemed insurmountable one day, I said to Jesus during my act of thanksgiving: “You know, my God, how much I want to know whether Papa went straight to heaven; I am not asking You to speak to me, but give me a sign. If Sister A. of J. consents to Céline’s entrance or places no obstacle to it, this will be an answer that Papa went straight to You.” This Sister, [15] as you are aware, dear Mother, found we were already too many with three, and she didn’t want another of our family to be admitted. But God who holds the hearts of His creatures in His hand, inclining them to do His will, changed this Sister’s dispositions. The first one to meet me after my thanksgiving was Sister Aimée, and she called me over to her with a friendly smile and told me to come up with her to [20] your cell. She spoke to me about Céline and there were tears in her eyes. Ah! how many things I have to thank Jesus for; He answers all my requests!

And now I have no other desire except to love Jesus unto folly. My childish desires have all flown away. I still love to adorn the Infant Jesus’ altar with flowers, but ever since He has given me the Flower I desired, my dear Céline, I desire no other; she is the one I

 © Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc


More Articles...