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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - November 30, 1906

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - November 30, 1906

+Jesus J.M.J.T.                                           30th November 1906

Darling little sister,

Sr Marie of the Sacred Heart has apparently bid you farewell until Christmas, but I want to send you my love and give you our news.

It appears you are worried about my health. I’m not at all sick, and that’s the pure truth. I have been a bit tired after eating, but it’s passing now. I’m like snakes; they are drowsy after meals and I’m the same. I only work well when I’m fasting. You see, I’m a true Carmelite! If I could live without eating, I’d be as fit as a fiddle, and my life would be completely spiritual, which would be even better.

Mesdemoisellesde la Tour-d'Auvergne went to see you and came back enchanted with their visit. They like you very much. These young ladies are charming in every respect. They make friends wherever they go because they’re ever so courteous, well brought up, and simple. The sister we have here, Edmée, is no different. She’s a gem: loving, sweet, and on top of that, delightfully gracious.

We’re expecting another two postulants, one from Switzerland, the other from the Basses-Pyrenees. We sorely need more; we have Sisters who are sick, or rather, out of sorts, and duties are being neglected, as is the psalmody. At the moment, we’re so busy nursing one or other of our Sisters that at the evening Office or Matins, it’s quite common for there to be only three or four of us on each side.

Your three little sisters are still mainstays of the Rule. If there are sometimes little setbacks, they are neither long nor recurrent. However, in general, what are causing us difficulties at the moment are health problems, and good health is what we’re particularly looking for in the arriving postulants.

Darling little sister, pray for me, that I might finish the piece I’m working on at the moment. The quicker I finish it, the quicker I can begin the Sacred Heart painting. Although I’m not working on it, I’m still preparing it. I’m currently making a great big robe, which will be used to dress a dummy. A very distinguished artist whom I sometimes consult is going to give me a sketch of the posture I’m after. With their help, I hope I’ll succeed.

Little Léonie, if only you knew how much I love you and how happy it would have made me to give you a picture of the Sacred Heart this summer! But it was not God’s plan.

We’ve just had our annual retreat. It was preached by our holy Chaplain. It was a magnificent retreat. What’s more, he knows us all so well that before each instruction, he made relevant remarks addressing all our spiritual needs. I assure you, he knocked our flaws on the head, and if we don’t become saints, it won’t be his fault. The whole community is burning with incredible fervour, and I imagine God is very comforted by the work being done in his little garden.

The Holy Face image is still the talk everywhere. People have even attested to receiving graces on touching it. It’s marvelous.

With love from all three of us, darling little sister, but especially from your very loving little Céline

Geneviève of St Teresa

u.c.n. 

Remember us to your Rev. Mothers. It was the Carmel of Lisieux that published this pretty leaflet. Our dear little Mother wrote this adorable poem during her retreat this summer, in response to a vile poem that was printed and circulated everywhere, including girls’ schools, and which did considerable harm. That poem was written by a skilled hand, and the author blamed God for all the curses and evils that exist on earth.