From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - November 29, 1911

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - November 29, 1911

Jesus + 29th November 1911

Darling little sister,

I want to say a little goodbye before we enter Advent, the season that will us the sweet little baby Jesus. Then, once we’ve welcomed Him, we’ll write to each other once more. We’ve been performing this little dance for a long time now, but the day will come when there’ll be no Advent and no Lent, because our days in exile will be over.

Exile! Ah! It weighs heavier and heavier upon me. I’m sometimes forced to forget that I live here below to avoid losing heart. I distract myself, as it were, judging it a good thing when a month has gone by without me realising. I mean to say that I strive to forget my great desires to go to heaven, and when they grow stronger, I say to myself, “Well, progress has been made since last time!” Step by step, I’ll no doubt ultimately see my desires fulfilled. O, Léonie, I’m so happy to see myself growing old! Nothing can bring me greater pleasure than seeing time go by.

Pray for me, because my desires for death have become a real source of temptation for me. I chase them away like bad thoughts. Yet I’m fully surrendered, or rather, I force myself to be so. Yesterday, I came across this reflection by Mgr Gay. It did me good and I’m offering it to you as a spiritual bouquet:

“There are the three ‘heavens’, as it were, of Love. There is the pure and simple love that loves God above all things and one’s neighbour for God’s sake. That’s the first heaven. Above that, there’s the love that suffers and loves to suffer. That’s the ‘second degree’. Higher still is the love that loves and seeks absolutely nothing but the Beloved’s good pleasure, accepting to suffer or rejoice, to live or die, to be important or insignificant. That is the highest of all the heavens.”

Darling little sister, do you not recognise Thérèse’s “little way” in this? Yes, to be completely surrendered to God’s good pleasure is the true and only path to perfection. This is the virtue I want. Obtain it for me, Léonie, and I’ll ask God to grant you the same grace, because if truth be told, this is the only desirable virtue.

I’m resuming my letter to give you some messages because I’m afraid I’ll forget them. I told you that you could show the Crucifix that I painted, but Our Mother, who doesn’t want to publish it yet, would prefer us not to show it to anyone. My darling, know that this is part of God’s design. As for the portraits of Thérèse and Céline, our Mother sent them to Fr Dobosq, who’s delighted with them. He says that as the 17 year old Céline no longer exists, he “would allow the two inseparable sisters through.” Yet we don’t dare show this photo to Jeanne. You don’t know how much misery she causes us over such matters. I do believe that she was the one who used to turn Uncle against us. The other day, there was an article in the Lisieux newspaper about pilgrimages to Thérèse’s grave. The article was very well written. She thought it was “advertising”, like for the Géraudel lozenges. In short, nothing is good. You would think they were ashamed of Thérèse (I know that deep down this isn’t true, of course). God has allowed this to happen to temper our joy.

Goodbye, Léonie. I send you all my love and kisses. Best regards to your dear Mothers.

Your Céline,

Geneviève of St Teresa


by Mother Agnes of Jesus:

Have a holy Advent, and a holy Christmas, darling little sister.

We’ll spend this time at one with you, until eternity comes when time will be no more. We saw Mgr de Teil this morning. He was enchanted with your testimony. All the trial papers have been read through. The solemn closing of the trial will take place in Bayeux on 12th December.

It appears that in his testimony, Mgr de Nardo said that Thérèse is one of the Church’s greatest Saints.

Your little sister and Mamma, who is very poor but whose heart overflows with gratitude towards God.

Sr Agnes of Jesus u.c.n.

I received 139 letters today.