From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - December 25, 1925

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - December 25, 1925

+ Jesus                                                       Carmel of Lisieux

                                                               25th December 1925


Dear little sister,

Christmas is upon us once again. It’s the 56th time that I’ve celebrated the birth of Jesus here below. I consider it a lot, but in reality it’s nothing compared with the eternal years that await us. If we could still count in years in heaven, the day would come when we would say, “That’s the thousandth year, or ten thousandth year that I’ve witnessed Christmas.” Oh, how brief, and how far way our time in exile will seem to us then!

Little Léonie, come now, we won’t always be apart. We won’t be parted for much longer, that’s certain, so let’s make the most of the little time that we have left and complete the work that God has given us to do.

He takes your effort and suffering and puts them in His treasury, which is vital, indispensable even, for worship to our little saint to grow. This worship is extremely important because it is heaven calling souls to God’s Divine Love. As you well know, those who fund great undertakings often give more than those who organise them, so you are helping us significantly from afar. Yes, you’ll be surprised when you appear before God and He praises you for everything we are doing here. You’ll exclaim, “But Lord, I didn’t work with my sisters!” And Jesus will reply, “When you suffered in silence, and made little sacrifices in secret, I associated you with Thérèse’s work.”

Darling little sister, there’s currently a retreat taking place in the chapel for people living out in the world. It is being led by Rev. Fr Auriault. I recommend it to your prayers. It’s the first that the pilgrimage centre has organised. What better way to inaugurate all those to follow than by beginning at Christmas!

We’re still working on our Way of the Cross. At every station there’ll be a very large stone bas-relief depicting the theme, and above, as though crowning it, an angel will hold the instruments of the passion or other attributions. For example, at the 13th station, the angel will be holding a shroud and a vial of perfume. At another station, he will be leaning against the whipping column. At the 12th, he’ll be weeping. At the 14th, he’ll be sitting near the tomb, etc., etc., etc. His Lordship approves and has given us the go ahead, but the architect from Paris is influenced by the current school of thought. He wanted a thickset cross with indecipherable hieroglyphs on it, and a sort of chair and pulpit next to it!! Besides it being very ugly, the ensemble would look like a cemetery. However, he managed to bring the chaplain around to his way of seeing things. Fortunately we have Fr Dubosq and his Lordship on our side, but we were upset. Earth is so sad when we call beautiful that which is ugly, right that which is wrong, and true that which is false! Oh, in the words of the prophet: “I lived among the inhabitants of Lebanon and my soul was a stranger amongst them.”

Happy New Year, Léonie. With lots of love and kisses from your little sister

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face u.c.n.

P.S. - I’ve forgotten which photo I needed to request and for whom. Was it for Marie Domin? I don’t have her address. You see, I have so much to do that I can’t manage everything and I forget things. Refresh my poor memory!