From sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to her three sisters in the Carmel - December 27, 1919

From Sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to her three Carmelite sisters - December 27th 1919

V + J From our monastery in Caen 27th December 1919

Beloved little sisters,

For 1920, what can we mutually wish each other if not the love which was incarnated with the Son of God to set all hearts on fire? Earth is therefore already heaven, because Jesus is here with us. Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given(sings Holy Church). Are our hearts not chalices which, in darts of fire every morning, collect the grain of wheat that nourishes our souls for immortality? In truth, we have nothing to envy anyone, not even the Virgin Mary our divine Mother, because her son Jesus, our brother, is born and conceived within us. So, dearest little Mamma, your delightful poem is the faithful expression of all that I feel in the depths of my soul, and which I’m powerless to express. What’s more, in this humble rose that is now so glorious and beautiful, I see our darling saint, whose beatification celebrations will happen in 1921, you’ll see, darling little sisters.

A big warm thank you to little Sr Marie of the Trinity for having spoilt me so by sending us most of your chapter homelies, little Mamma. What delicious manna for my soul! I have been well rewarded in my understanding of the things of God, and in gratitude, I cry out, “Because I’m little and weak, Jesus lowers Himself to me, and He instructs me secretly in the things of His love.” So our little sister can rest assured that we share our treasures with her little Visitandine, and that she, too, will become familiar with the pretty Christmas poem. I thank her for her ever so kind wishes and may she please accept my religious and fraternal wishes in return.

As for the books on The Little Way, they are ever so exquisite. The carpet of violets on the cover and everything else is absolutely delightful. Only it’s so fragile that it gets damaged being passed from hand to hand, so I would like three copies of the cheaper edition. I’m a greedy little thing who dares ask her Mamma for everything, for I know she can’t refuse her bold little child anything and I fully trust in her affection. Could it be any other way? It’s impossible! Impossible!

Dear little Céline, yes I received your long and very interesting letter. Your missives always bring me immense pleasure, darling little sisters. They’re full of affection and encouragement because I have no lack of struggles, I assure you. Sometimes, when this poor little creature is on the point of surrendering all weapons, I throw myself into Jesus’ arms, and I ask Him to grant that His own love might burn constantly within my heart, consuming my entire being. Then I usually feel calm again and I think that often there is nothing to get worked up about.

Excuse this muddled letter; I’ve been disrupted frequently for various reasons, as the last days of the year are very busy for us. What you told me about Jeanne brought me great comfort. Deo gratias!!!

Happy, holy and blessed New Year to everyone in my beloved Carmel. I shared in your grief on the loss of Sr M.-Emmanuel and her sister. Like us, they shall return to the paternal home in heaven.

Farewell and thank you. I send you all my love, darling trio.

Sr Françoise-Thérèse Martin