From sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to sr Genevieve (Celine) - August 6, 1932

From Sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to Sr Genevieve (Celine) - August 6th 1932

V + J! From our monastery in Caen this 6th August 1932

Darling little Céline,

You know how affectionately I come back for your feast day each year and sing you the same old tune, “I love you!” Perhaps it’s the last time I’ll do so, I don’t know; I feel a sense of urgency. I’m now in my 70th year, and very surprised to still be on earth. I can’t grow accustomed to it. I never thought I would live for so long. Don’t be upset, darling little sister, it’s a relief to be able to pour my heart out onto you like this, because I feel I’m understood. All four of us can’t die at the same time, so I believe that, in His mercy, God will take me first. I’m careful not to ask Him to do so, but I feel it will happen, and it encourages me to continue running towards the blessed eternity I so ardently desire.

My sore knee doesn’t stop me from doing my duties, although I have very few. Our loving Mother is sparing me a lot of work. I work for several hours a day sitting on my chaise-longue, although now I’ve abandoned it, battle weary, because the pain remains stationary. I’ll need to be patient because the pain is going to last a long time yet. Around the scar there is a pool of blood just waiting to seep out. If it doesn’t seep out of its own accord, the wound will have to be reopened. But this is nothing next to what our dearest eldest sister is enduring. She is suffering a true and long martyrdom. I’m in hardly any pain at all and it’s not continual. You see, I’m so little that God is treating me like a wimp.

On the third of July, for the closure of the Theresian Congress, the community held a feast in my honour. Our revered Mother sat me down beside her in the refectory, where the tables were covered in roses and petals of all different colours. It looked stunning as we went in. We are all preparing for our beloved Mother’s feast day on 22nd and 23rd August. On the 8th, we are having a perpetual profession ceremony. You were professed thirty-six years ago, darling little sister, and I thirty-two on the second of July.

According to Rev. Fr Desbuquois, it’s not impossible that Thérèse is proclaimed a Doctor on account of her “little way”, and he added that this would be one more marvel to add to the others. What does he mean by that? A woman cannot be proclaimed a Doctor of the Church. It would be most extraordinary! In any case, the Holy Father is free to do as he pleases and what’s more, his decisions are infallible.

I took Communion for you, darling Céline. Are you getting a little more rest? Ah, we won’t have true calm and rest until we’re in heaven. In the meantime, what a comfort it is for you to be able to work solely for God’s glory. I can only help you by giving you my poor prayers, and I do so wholeheartedly, just as I wholeheartedly love you, our two little sisters and Mother

Sr Françoise-Thérèse