From sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to her three sisters in the Carmel - November 22, 1931

From Sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to her three Carmelite sisters - November 22nd 1931

V + J from our monastery in Caen this 22nd November 1931 

Darling little sisters,

Together we have renewed our vows to Jesus. What a heavenly day yesterday was! It was filled with such peace and delight! I don’t remember ever having felt so joyful after performing this solemn act. I had a feeling I was doing so for the last time. Only time will tell. I continually say to Jesus, “I'm willing to live much longer still, if that is Your desire. I'd like to follow You to Heaven if that would make You happy,” together with the rest of the stanza.

I couldn’t be more surrendered to God. I believe I have reached the point where God wants me to be before He takes me away, because I love what He does above all things and I have absolutely no desire to make any choices . . .

What do think of the Bishop, darling sisters? We, too, have received his kind invitation but he looks so frail that one would easily think he was over sixty and yet he’s only fifty-three. His Excellency is of a charming simplicity. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have such a treasure and I’m pleased to see that you share in our happiness. He really does have all the qualities of a Good Shepherd. But his health is so fragile and requires such careful attention! We, like him, are counting on the help of our Thérèse, or “his angel” as he calls her. It’s so touching! If we want to keep him for a long time, he’ll need her powerful aid. Is he your Father Superior as well?

Beloved little sisters, you do spoil us! The calendars, almanacs and pictures are all very, very beautiful; more beautiful than the last ones even, especially the two for the office and living room. They are so artistic! What people won’t think of next . . . in order to glorify our matchless saint. Thank you! Thank you!

In the novitiate, we have a kind little lay postulant who is 15 and a half years old. She was miraculously cured by Thérèse when she had a relapse of typhoid fever at the age of twelve. Her sister is postulating to be a turn sister. Our tall Sister Marie, who is over five foot 7, has a little sister, Charlotte, who is also on the way to becoming tall. I’m sorry to hear you are in so much pain. I’m not suffering at all next to you. God is treating me as a coward and a spoilt child.* You can’t get to heaven that way, and yet he chose me as His little “repairer” this year, I can’t understand it . . . . Every year, on the eve of the feast of the Sacred Heart, we draw bits of paper out of a hat, only two of which have writing on them. One reads “Repairer”, and the other, “Mediator”. Therefore I’m in sore need of God’s help. I feel as though I’m a tiny child who can’t even walk. Far from saddening me, this thought encourages me because when He sees my powerlessness, Jesus is obliged to carry me. Will all four of us still be here at Christmas? That’s God’s secret. In Him, we are one heart and one soul, redolent of the true heavenly Homeland

Sr Françoise-Thérèse


*But I’m mistaken; His favoured ones are those who suffer the most for His love and glory. They are the spoilt ones; He cherishes them above all others and you are among that number. The little dove from the Oblate Sister was a very kind thought.