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Ms A 77r

[77r°] This beautiful day passed by just as do the saddest since the most radiant day has a tomorrow; it was without sadness, however, that I placed my crown at the Blessed Virgin’s feet. I felt that time could not take away my happiness. Mary’s nativity! What a beautiful feast on which [5] to become the spouse of Jesus! It was the little Blessed Virgin, one day old, who was presenting her little flower to the little Jesus. Everything was little that day except the graces and the peace I received, and the peaceful joy I experienced in the evening when gazing at the stars shining in the firmament and thinking that soon this beautiful heaven would open up to my ravished eyes, and I would be able to unite myself [10] to my Spouse in the bosom of eternal happiness.

The ceremony of my reception of the Veil took place on the 24th of September and the day was veiled in tears. Papa was not there to bless his Queen; Father Pichon was in Canada; the Bishop, who was supposed to come and dine with Uncle, did not come at all since he was sick. In a word, everything [15] was sadness and bitterness. And still peace, always peace, reigned at the bottom of the chalice. That day, too, Jesus permitted that I was unable to hold back my tears and these were misunderstood. In fact, I had been able to bear up under much greater crosses without crying; however, this was because I was helped by powerful graces. Jesus left me to my own [20] resources on the 24th and I soon showed how little these resources really were.

Jeanne’s wedding took place eight days after I received the Veil. It would be impossible, dear Mother, for me to tell you how much I learned from her example concerning the delicate attentions a bride can bestow upon her bridegroom. I listened eagerly to what she was saying so that I would learn all I could since I didn’t want to do less for my beloved Jesus than Jeanne did for her Francis; true, he was a perfect creature, but he was still only a creature!


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Ms A 76v

[76v°] understand one thing only: I didn’t have a vocation. Ah! how can I possibly describe the anguish in my soul? It appeared to me (and this is an absurdity which shows it was a temptation from the devil) that if I were to tell my Novice Mistress about these fears, she would prevent me from pronouncing my Vows. [5] And still I wanted to do God’s will and return to the world rather than remain in Carmel and do my own will. I made the Mistress come out of the choir and, filled with confusion, I told her the state of my soul. Fortunately, she saw things much clearer than I did, and she completely reassured me. The act of humility I had just performed put the devil to flight since he had [10] perhaps thought that I would not dare admit my temptation. My doubts left me completely as soon as I finished speaking; nevertheless, to make my act of humility even more perfect, I still wished to confide my strange temptation to our Mother Prioress, who simply laughed at me.

In the morning of September 8, I felt as though I were flooded with a river of peace, [15] and it was in this peace “which surpasses all understanding” that I pronounced my Holy Vows. My union with Jesus was effected not in the midst of thunder and lightning, that is, in extraordinary graces, but in the bosom of a light breeze similar to the one our Father St. Elijah heard on the Mount. What graces I begged for on that day! [20] I really felt I was the Queen and so I profited from my title by delivering captives, by obtaining favors from the King for His ungrateful subjects, finally, I wanted to deliver all the souls from purgatory and convert all sinners. I prayed very much for my Mother, my dear Sisters, my whole family, but especially for my poor Father, who was so tried and so saintly. I offered myself to Jesus in order to accomplish His will perfectly in me without creatures ever being able to place any obstacle in the way.


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Ms A 76r

[76r°] put their patients to sleep. Finally, I remember that: “The Lord knows our weakness, that he is mindful that we are but dust and ashes.”

Just as all those that followed it, my Profession retreat was one of great aridity. God [5] showed me clearly, however, without my perceiving it, the way to please Him and to practice the most sublime virtues. I have frequently noticed that Jesus doesn’t want me to lay up provisions; He nourishes me at each moment with a totally new food; I find it within me without my knowing how it is there. I believe [10] it is Jesus Himself hidden in the depths of my poor little heart: He is giving me the grace of acting within me, making me think of all He desires me to do at the present moment.

A few days before my profession, I had the happiness of receiving the Sovereign Pontiff’s blessing. I had requested it through [15] good Brother Simeon for both Papa and myself, and it was a great consolation to be able to return to my dear little Father the grace he obtained for me when taking me with him to Rome.

The beautiful day of my wedding finally arrived. It was without a single cloud; however, the preceding evening a storm arose within my soul the like of which I’d [20] never seen before. Not a single doubt concerning my vocation had ever entered my mind until then, and it evidently was necessary that I experience this trial. In the evening, while making the Way of the Cross after Matins, my vocation appeared to me as a dream, a chimera. I found life in Carmel to be very beautiful, but the devil inspired me with the assurance that it wasn’t for me and that I was misleading my Superiors by advancing on this way to which I wasn’t called. The darkness was so great that I could see and

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Ms A 75v

[75v°] assist at the whole ceremony. I will bring him in at the end and lead him quietly to the grille where Thérèse will receive his blessing.”

Ah! I recognized here the thoughtfulness of my dear Céline, and it’s really true that “love never sees anything as [5] impossible, for it believes everything is possible and everything is permitted.” Human prudence, on the other hand, trembles at each step and doesn’t dare to set down its foot, so to speak, and so God willed to try me and He made use of it as a docile instrument. On the day of my wedding I was really an orphan, no longer having a Father on this earth and being able to look [10] to heaven with confidence, saying in all truth: “Our Father who art in Heaven…”

I should have spoken to you about the retreat preceding my Profession, dear Mother, before speaking about the trial I have mentioned; it was far from bringing me any consolations since the most absolute aridity and almost total abandonment were my lot. Jesus was sleeping as usual in my little [15] boat; ah! I see very well how rarely souls allow Him to sleep peacefully within them. Jesus is so fatigued with always having to take the initiative and to attend to others that He hastens to take advantage of the repose I offer to Him. He will undoubtedly awaken before my great eternal retreat, but instead of being troubled about it this only gives me extreme pleasure.

[20] Really, I am far from being a saint, and what I have just said is proof of this; instead of rejoicing, for example, at my aridity, I should attribute it to my little fervor and lack of fidelity; I should be desolate for having slept (for seven years) during my hours of prayer and my thanksgivings after Holy Communion; well, I am not desolate. I remember that little children are as pleasing to their parents when they are asleep as well as when they are wide awake; I remember, too, that when they perform operations, doctors


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Ms A 75r

[75r°] The refectory, which I was given charge of immediately after I received the Habit, furnished me, on more than one occasion, with the chance of putting my self-love in its proper place, i.e., under my feet. It’s true, I had the great consolation of having the same task as you, dear Mother, and of being able to study [5] your virtues at close range, but this closeness was the source of great suffering. I did not feel, as formerly, free to say everything to you, for there was the Rule to observe. I was unable to confide in you; after all, I was in Carmel and no longer at Les Buissonnets under the paternal roof!

The Blessed Virgin, nevertheless, was helping me prepare the dress of my soul; [10] as soon as this dress was completed all the obstacles went away by themselves. The Bishop sent me the permission I had sought, the community voted to receive me, and my Profession was fixed for September 8, 1890.

Everything I have just written in so few words would require many detailed pages, but these pages will never be read on this earth. Very soon, [15] dear Mother, I shall speak to you about everything in our paternal home, in that beautiful heaven toward which the sighs of our hearts rise!

My wedding dress was finally ready. It had been enriched by some old jewels given me by my Bridegroom, but this didn’t satisfy His liberality. He wanted to give me a new diamond containing numberless rays. [20] Papa’s trial, with all its sad circumstances, made up the old jewels, and the new one was a trial, small in appearance, but one that caused me to suffer intensely.

For some time now, our poor little Father was somewhat better. He was allowed to go out in a carriage, and there was question of his taking a trip by train to see us. Céline naturally thought that the best day to choose would be the day of my receiving the Veil. She wrote: “In order not to fatigue him too much, I will not have him


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