From sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to her three sisters in the Carmel - April 6, 1931

From sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to her three sisters in the Carmel - April 6, 1931

 V + J! From our monastery in Caen this 6th April 1931 

Dearest little sisters,

Darling Mother, it was 48 years ago today that you took the Carmelite Habit. So many joyous and sorrowful events have taken place since then. Yes, life here below is but a dream, inviting us to lift our eyes above this sad exile. We long to be in possession of our Risen Beloved, don’t we, and share His glory after suffering for Him and with Him.

To our great joy, our beloved Mother has come back to us. She is spending more and more time among us. She has been coming down to the refectory for meals since Easter, which in our view is extremely good news. I’m very pleased to tell you that I definitively left the infirmary on 26th March. I’m back in a cell that faces due south. As you can see, I’m still being pampered despite having recovered. However, I still have something in my left lung, which was the worst damaged. Will this ailment disappear eventually? I don’t know . . . . God willing it will. I want what He wants; it’s what He does that I love. However, I do say to the divine thief, “Here I am, here I am.” I’m not at all afraid of Him, I’m too little.

At the beginning of Lent, I sent you a letter with a note from the publishing firm Mame concerning the Liturgical Year. We would like to have the three volumes I mentioned to you to complete the set. We’ve been waiting since Christmas and don’t understand the reason for the delay, especially since the publisher himself, when he sent us the twelve books, said he would send us the other three later on. It’s dragging on so long! We’re afraid of receiving three books that don’t match the others. I beg of you, darling sisters, sort it out with him as it was you who ordered them for us. Complete the gift as soon as possible.

Your very affectionate letters did me ever so much good. They encourage me to bravely and lovingly continue my journey through exile. The sweet girl at the confessional amused us very much. It’s nice, but it looks rather like she is in front of a counter at the station or post office.

Our three novices took their temporary profession on Holy Wednesday. They sang the Lamentations that day and on the two following days. The taking of holy vows in the Chapter is an extremely moving ceremony; the vows are pronounced in the hands of the Mother Superior just like at the Carmel. Our Lay novice will pronounce hers on 16th May. Here, Lay Sisters are only crowned once they have made their perpetual vows. The pictures you sent us are ever so beautiful, darling little Mamma. Many, many thanks for sharing all your family joys with us! I’m very touched to see that you didn’t forget 11th April, going so far as to give me the manifest gift of a Communion. I don’t forget your anniversaries either; they are all engraved on my heart, not by the hand of men, but by God Himself. The 28th and 29th April will therefore not go by unnoticed. I can’t help but worry about my darling eldest sister becoming immobile prematurely, because after all, she is not very old. Even so, don’t hide anything from me because I would worry much more otherwise. What glory awaits her in heaven! This thought alone comforts me. I won’t tell you about the dear little patient in the hospital Hotel Dieu because you saw her mother. Little Céline, nothing less than a true miracle will save her. Let’s not lose faith, but storm heaven with our prayers.

I beg of you, little sisters, at the next opportunity, tell us whether we can hope to receive the last 3 volumes of the Liturgical Year soon. Hurry the publisher, please.

E. Bessey died a very edifying death on 20th January. Like me, she was administered the last sacrament on 8th December.

With lots of kisses from my loving heart

Sr Françoise-Thérèse