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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to Mother Agnes of Jesus – November 1906

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to Mother Agnes of Jesus – November 1906

Jesus +

   Darling little Mother, you asked me to write down what I once told you during the silence in “the spiral courtyard”. It’s not going to be difficult for me, as my little soul is in the same disposition as it was then.

   It was my feast day, 6th August this year. During thanksgiving, I thought I should not only offer God all the merits I had acquired from painting His Holy Face, but also strip myself of the title of author for the sake of poor sinners. I had hitherto done so for all my other artworks, but it cost me dearly to give up this one.

   I asked God what He would think of such an offering, and whether it would be pleasing to Him, but I received no answer. I therefore took it upon myself to make the offering, completely and unreservedly. I said, “God, I give the merits I earned from my Holy Face to sinners, so that when someone presents himself before Your heavenly court, he will have the right to say, ‘Lord, I was the one who painted Your divine Face and inspired love for You in many hearts.’ Upon hearing this supreme appeal to Your mercy, You will grant him special graces in his last moments, graces that will give him eternal salvation.”

   No sooner had I finished my offering than I was terribly tempted to let terror consume me in the face of the act I had just committed. It felt as though someone was accusing and mocking me. The scene of my judgment was being played out before my eyes, as it were. I saw I was poor, so poor that my hands were completely empty, since I had spent all the riches that God had given me Himself along the way. I was a second prodigal child, and I could expect a scolding. But far from being frightened by my extreme destitution, I pushed myself to be bolder until I rejoiced at not having earned the place in heaven that God had set aside for me, because I thought it sweeter to be indebted to Him than to have earned merits.

   At that moment, my soul was flooded with peace. It felt as though I was going to faint, so immense was my joy and gratitude.

   It’s true, I want no other reward than the feeling of owing everything to God. If I had earned heaven, then by rewarding me, Jesus would merely be paying me. I wouldn’t benefit, and neither would He. By giving me what He owes me, He would have nothing in His heart and neither would I, whereas if I offer Him everything, God will be so delighted to be able to surprise me that our exchange will be one of indescribable joy. I will weep, and God will give me a tender kiss and press me against His heart.

There now, little Mother, are you pleased? From your little Céline who loves you with her whole heart and would like to become a saint. Geneviève of St Teresa, u.c.n.