From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - April 12, 1925

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - April 12, 1925

+ Jesus                                                               Carmel of Lisieux

                                                                          12th April 1925


Darling little sister,

How are you? Did you have a good Lent? As the Canonisation is so close now, we mustn’t dream of dying before we have seen it. Instead, we must be like the elderly Simeon who ardently wanted to see the day of the Lord before singing his Nunc Dimitis. Afterwards, I have a feeling that we’ll be like Mother Thérèse of the Eucharist and her three sisters who, although young, all died within the space of two years!

But let’s not talk about death; today is a celebration of life. I assure you that we need life right now! If only you knew all that we have to organise in a few weeks; it’s nothing short of frightening. As always, despite us keeping a close watch on things and going to a great deal of trouble, we’re very behind in publishing our new editions and in preparing all the celebrations. Dear Cardinal Vico is right to say that we need God’s support.

And how is your pedestal coming along? I’m still chasing up your statue. I don’t know when it will arrive. Concerning the pedestal, I advise you to press Mr Ménage a bit because he dawdles along without ever hurrying. (Don’t tell him I said that, but act accordingly.)

Little Léonie, today is Easter Day. I think I understand all its mysteries because it’s so clear and beautiful in my eyes. There’s only one thing I don’t understand, which to me is the greatest mystery of all: the devil. How can it be that, seeing God so powerful and so good, he descended into hatred, and that, not content with staying there, he constantly strives to do harm to God and wage war with Jesus? It’s so easy to surrender to infinite goodness! Then there’s Judas, who repented and, through false humility, believed himself worthy of power to the point of taking his own life! It’s unbelievable. And yet many people do the same, on a smaller scale. If they have committed a sin, or been imperfect, they go and hang themselves, by which I mean lose heart, or give in to excessive self-loathing, instead of throwing themselves into Jesus’ arms and doing as Thérèse did. She said, “Recount all one’s infidelities to Jesus to acquire His Love in even greater fullness and touch His Heart.” Ah, her own shame would turn almost into pride. She would list her faults to the Lord, and would describe them to Him in detail to inspire Him with compassion and love for His little creature who, although weak, trusted in Him. Yes, that’s how I understand it, Léonie, and I’m certain that you think the same.  

On that note, I send you all my love. Your loving little sister

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face


P.S.- I’ve been given your letter. Thank you for your wishes and for your Communion on 28th April. I knew you wouldn’t forget me! As you can see, I’m very concerned about the statue and pedestal, but my meagre efforts can’t conquer the apathy and laid-back attitude of those working for us.