From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - April 4, 1920

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - April 4, 1920

+ Jesus                                                                      Carmel of Lisieux

                                                                               Easter. 4th April 1920

Darling little sister,

I’ve come to sing Alleluia with you. It is lovely to be reunited after 6 grace-filled weeks of silence. I took my retreat during Lent, and so did Sr Marie of the Sacred Heart. Now I am back and have resumed my life’s work.

If you could see our Carmel right now, you’d be very surprised. The chapel façade has been demolished. As you enter on the right, a large bay has been built to form an entrance to the reliquary chapel (which we call the Virgin Mary chapel so as not to peempt the Church’s decisions. On the left, five bays (one for each window) lead to 5 small chapels where Masses will be said. Lastly, at the back of the chancel, another large bay will form an immense niche, which will contain the group statue shown in your photo (the apotheosis).  

Our poor chapel looks lamentable with all these breaches in it. This is the most difficult and thankless stage, but we must very well suffer before rejoicing.

The High Altar is in our inner choir. The priest goes there every morning to say Mass. It brings us great joy to see Jesus without a curtain and grate in the way. And yet, it is very true that “the Kingdom of God is found inside us.” Outward comforts do not last long. We look forward to them and enjoy them, but we must quickly resign ourselves to a life of sacrifice if we want to be happy and stay fervent.

And what are you up to, darling little sister? I’m pleased to see that we are aging. I enjoy repeating this passage from one of the psalms: “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow.” Sr Marie of the Sacred Heart has reached 60, and I will soon be 51. We don’t have many years left, especially if we remember that our little Thérèse promised she wouldn’t let us grow old. I fear my happiness to see Jesus will be such that the shock will bring me back to life, together with little Thérèse and all my loved ones! But for the moment we must struggle on and suffer, so let us courageously set back to work!!

Are you pleased with the little stereo slides that we send you when we have some? Goodbye, little Léonie. I send you all my love,

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face u.c.n.