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From sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to Mother Agnes of Jesus – November 5, 1916

From Sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to Mother Agnes of Jesus – November 5th 1916

5th November 1916

Dearest little Mamma

Your little daughter has come from her retreat wholly transformed by Jesus, who deigned instruct her Himself without the noise of words. Apart from our Constitutions and Directory, the Holy Gospel and our heavenly little sister’s Thoughts were the only books that divinely nourished my soul. I did my four hours of silent prayer each day, close by the Tabernacle - you know that the Most Blessed Sacrament is exposed every evening in the Choir and is only withdrawn in the morning for Holy Mass; it’s the persecution that allows us this matchless favour. On 18thMarch, our adored Master will have been coming to rest amongst His Brides each evening in His new little Bethany for fifteen years. You understand, darling little Mother, the sweet and happy heart-to-hearts had between Jesus and His tiny child. “Just one glance from You makes my beatitude, I live on love!” or, “I say nothing to Him, I love Him!!” or even, “Because I was little and weak Jesus lowered Himself to me, and He instructed me secretly in the things of His love.” Here is a summary of the thoughts that obsessed me the most often at the feet of our Lord.

Our retreat group was in the care of Thérèse of the Child Jesus. There were nine of us, and I was the leader of the group on account of my age and profession. What marked us out particularly was our candour and simplicity. Our dearest Mother expressed great satisfaction, and at the end of the retreat, gave us the motto, “The Lord loves the joyful giver.”

So here are my resolutions: through love I want to experience joy in suffering and strive to welcome it, in whatever guise it make take.

To help me, I have my little Thérèse. This exercise, which is very difficult for my undisciplined human nature, is what she excelled in. Again, through love and for love, I no longer want to let any annoyance I may feel show. When I fail to do so as a result of my stubborn character, instead of losing hope, which would be a reaction of pure pride, I will humble myself and say Mea Culpa. And I’ll do this without moping round and going round in circles as I have done until now, unfortunately. Following the words of our holy foundress, I will say, “Given the treasures to which I aspire, duties are merely pastimes to me.”

Are you pleased with your little daughter, darling Mother? No doubt you are. But you know how cowardly and inconstant I am. This tiny child is therefore gutless and afraid of her weakness so she asks you to pray hard for her.