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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - November 21, 1908

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - November 21, 1908

+ Jesus       J.M .J.T.                  21st November 1908

Beloved little sister,

We have just had our great retreat and it ended yesterday evening. It was preached by Rev. Fr Auriault of the Company of Jesus. I can’t tell you how pleased we were with him. For my part, never have I heard anything like it. This priest must really be a Saint to speak such penetrating words. Oh, what an intense inner life he has! I recommend this priest to you if you can get hold of him, because there are certainly few of his quality. He will come back here in two years. (Don’t mention him to Fr Pichon if you write to him, because the poor priest wasn’t very popular last year and we won’t invite him again. We’re not telling him that another Jesuit came this year to avoid hurting him. We find that Fr Pichon has aged considerably, which is probably the cause of the problem. What’s more, he has perhaps adopted an approach that corresponds better to the Canadian character than to ours. Anyway, be that as it may, that’s it for him!

O Léonie, I think that I’m finally going to direct all my energy into becoming a Saint. It really is time we devoted ourselves to that one necessary thing, otherwise, we never will.

But I must tell you about the visit we received. If only you knew how happy I was to see a real Visitandine. I couldn’t remember what the habit looked like, and she showed it to us in great detail. She is such a simple and kind little Sister. We liked her very much. It was as if her one concern was to forget herself so as to please us. But I got even with her for that, because I went to fetch one of our cloaks so that she could see the whole Carmelite Habit. She gave us your news. Apparently you weep sometimes, darling little sister, and over mere trifles! Surely, there is no reason to shed tears when we have something as joyful as seeing God to look forward to. To think that, at any moment, there is the possibility of us opening our eyes to this wonder, and that we let the same eyes weep over earth’s little miseries. O little sister, you must stop weeping for good.

You said I would see Mr and Mrs Besnard but I did not, no doubt due to the retreat. When they come, I’ll happily meet them, but for our sake and for Thérèse’s glory, it would be better if accounts were written down because when we are recounted graces verbally, either they are forgotten or they lose their force when we repeat them. You would do well to tell Miss Besnard this (I don’t know her name). Concerning our writings, His Lordship gave us the same instruction as he gave you regarding the testimony, but he always says this to leave some leeway and so that the Sister testifying doesn’t feel obliged to show it to her Prioress. For example, she can inform the Prioress that she shouldn’t interfere by trying to read it. Instead we are free to show it to her or not. That’s how we understood things here. Each Sister has a copy of her testimony, which she keeps in her writing desk. Whatever you do, don’t tell anyone this so that we keep our freedom.

You know well that if Thérèse is beatified, apparently, even in the most cloistered of Orders, the Saint’s fortunate sisters go to Rome with their Prioress for the Beatification ceremony. So you’ll go if you’re still alive, but I’d prefer it if we saw each other again in heaven. Don’t worry about your manuscript; it’s just a bit of a chore. Marie will no doubt give you news regarding the devil. But we’re having no more success than you are with the novenas that are being said here. She [Thérèse] wants to test our faith.

With a heartfelt kiss. Your little sister who loves you.

Geneviève of St Teresa u.c.n. 

My best wishes to your dear Mothers. I’m very sorry that your Mother Superior is still sick. Give her my love.