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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - January 26, 1910

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - January 26, 1910

+ Jesus                       26th January 1910

Darling little sister,

You letter went straight to my heart! It was so full of tender affection! Oh, if only you knew how much I’m looking forward to seeing you in heaven! I wouldn’t give you up for all the saints in paradise. You are my Léonie, my darling little sister, and no one could take your place in my heart. And now I must wish you a happy feast day. You know I do so wholeheartedly. My Communion will be for you and I’ll ask Jesus to make you pleasing in His eyes. Do you understand? I said in His divine eyes and not in yours. It’s delightful to be pleasing unto oneself, but o woe! As soon as we begin to be so, we immediately become less pleasing to God, which is no laughing matter. Ask Him to do the same for me, and to give me gentleness and patience through sweet St Francis de Sales’ intercession. I recently entrusted myself to his special protection with the view to obtaining these virtues. I’ve taken him as my master, father, and protector. I begged him to help me correct my natural impetuousness, which makes me like St Paul and pushes me to do wrong, which I don’t want to do, and to fail to do good, which I want to do. Apparently I’m making progress on this point, but victory is never assured; far from it. It is commonly said that “A leopard cannot change his spots,” and, alas, I won’t be able to change mine! However I’d like to change this ruddy old skin for the silvery curls of the amiable lamb. When people want to shear me and I’m happy to let them do so, I’ll let you know, for it will be the sign that not only my fleece is so warm and white that it’s desirable, but also that I’ve finally obtained the gentleness I dream of. I should say patience; it would be more accurate.  

But this long essay won’t interest you, so I’ll quickly give you the news from our nest. We celebrated our Mother’s feast day. There were pretty gifts, including a magnificent ciborium that a priest and friend of Thérèse gave us. The ciborium is worth 2000 fr., and has diamonds and statuettes set in it. Its cup is hexagon shaped and mounted with a small gothic bell tower that contains a statuette of the Sacred Heart. The ciborium is 46 cm tall, and looks like the antique sacred vessels. St Clair is sometimes represented with this kind of object in her hands. It’s a work of art but not very practical. The priest who offered it to us gave us a lovely sculpted wooden altar to replace the one that was sent into exile, because the one we have that Auguste made looks disgraceful. Unfortunately the ciborium doesn’t fit in the tabernacle as it’s a centimetre too tall. We haven’t told him so. Besides, our Mother thinks it’s risky to use such a beautiful object often, and when we use it we won’t put it in the tabernacle. The hosts that it will contain will be put in one of our small ciboria. Also, for Easter, he’s giving us a chalice decorated with 36 precious stones. It will be much more beautiful than the others. It is his, but he doesn’t want to wait until he is dead before giving it to us. He’s taking precautions so that the tax authorities won’t touch these objects. I’m very pleased that we’re treating Jesus in the Eucharist with the dignity He deserves, or at least with as much dignity as is possible for insignificant little worms like us. Now darling sister, I’m going to say goodbye. We no doubt won’t speak for a long time unless we write each other a note before Lent. As for the 14-page-long letter that you demand of me, I only have this 4-page-long one to send you. I asked you, “Are you pleased with the 14-page-long letter I sent you?” because I did actually write 14 pages to you a while ago and as it is most unusual for me to do so, I wanted you to notice. Now little sister, I send you a heartfelt kiss, and my love, which is so great that I can’t express it.  

Your little sister

Geneviève of St Teresa

u.c.n. 

Give your dear Mothers a kiss from me. We were sorry that your New Year’s letter was lost, but my Léonie, that’s typical of earth, you see, and you mustn’t be surprised. However, offer this sacrifice to God; that’s what we all did.

This blessing from the Pope is for you from a friar in Rome. The photo is awful. I removed the very ugly picture of Marie from the envelope because of the weight.

I gave our Mother the portrait of Thérèse taking her 1st Communion. It will illustrate the book that Boumard is publishing for children who are preparing their 1st Communion (book on Thérèse).