From sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to her three sisters in the Carmel - May 25, 1924

From Sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to her three Carmelite sisters - May 25th 1924

V + J! From our monastery in Caen this 25th May 1924

Beloved little sisters,

Yesterday our revered Mother gave us a final farewell chapter homily. She was very moved. She had tears in her tender and motherly voice, which was more than enough to break our hearts and we had difficulty choking back our sobs. Our painful sacrifice will be complete on Saturday 31st May and Thursday 5th June, when we shall have a new Mother Superior. You will immediately receive the election result, as will all the other Visitation monasteries. But we shall keep our Treasure among us, and all of us will have the right to speak to her and consult her as we see fit. As for me, I assure you, I will have no qualms about doing so, because we have complete freedom in this respect. However there must be no seeking to satisfy human nature. Jesus would be jealous and would not bless it. Besides, our dear former Mother Superior wouldn’t stand for it either, of course. Thank you so much for your lovely letter, darling little Mamma. It’s such a comfort! But to hear you were so anxious that you couldn’t eat anything for a whole day is more than I can bear and breaks my heart. Nevertheless I would rather know about it, because my suffering would be much greater otherwise. You didn’t mention the little booklet about the Holy Wounds. No doubt you hadn’t yet read it. We would very much like to know what you all think about it. As for us, these two aspirations are familiar to us. We live by them, and they do us a huge amount of good. Your pretty little picture of Jesus the Good Shepherd does me a great deal of good. I so love this title for Jesus because it says everything about who He is. Yes, my place is definitely in His arms and I want Him to squeeze me tight, for fear of losing me because I am so poor, so little, and so weak. But I rejoice in this weakness because it means I am more deserving of His consuming and transforming love. Concerning the small photographs showing our Thérèse with the Child Jesus enveloped in her arms, might we have some? We would be very pleased to have them . . . It’s a shame that this delightful portrait hasn’t been published. I’m sure it would find admirers.

The trip to Paris you mentioned must have taken place in June or July. As for the crucifix, I had to buy it to content our little saint. I have absolutely no idea what happened to it.

I send you all my love and I thank you for this little letter fragment, which has brought me immense pleasure, and for the Agnus Dei, Gospels, etc. . . .

Your spoilt little child who loves you so, so much that she doesn’t know how to express it.

Sr Françoise-Thérèse