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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - January 24, 1926

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - January 24, 1926

+ Jesus                                                          Carmel of Lisieux

                                                                    24th January 1926

                                                                                                      

Darling little sister,

It is our turn to write and wish you a happy feast day, and to give you heavenly gifts in return for what you so affectionately offer us on each of our feast days and birthdays.

As you know, Céline will offer you Jesus in her Communion with immense joy and fervour on 29th January!

During our licence to speak on our Mother’s feast day, we talked a great deal about you, saying how dear our darling Léonie is to our hearts and how overjoyed we’ll be to see her again in heaven, where we’ll never again be parted from her. That was the subject of your three little sisters’ conversations! And those of Thérèse in heaven cannot differ when she talks about us to Papa, Mamma and our four darling angels. She must be so looking forward to having us by her side one day, there in the real family home, which will never be broken up again.

I don’t think that God will have to try very hard in order to detach His fruit from the tree when He chooses one of us. And if He leaves us here, it is by a miracle of His All-Powerfulness, because the sap has nothing left to give Him.

To take another comparison, my soul feels like nature in winter on a lovely sunny day. There’s nothing left on the trees; they have been stripped of everything, because there are no more illusions. Everything is empty, calm, serene, awaiting the eternal spring in order to germinate again and forever.

Oh, Léonie! Feeling these things makes growing old in exile worthwhile. When one is young, one constantly produce little twigs that fall and reappear again, but that’s over now. Of course, nature bursts into life on occasion, but these offshoots have no strength because we can see the truth. And being completely in the way of the truth is apparently akin to being dead wood; it is being unfeeling to both wintry frosts and the sun’s caresses, and being incapable of producing even the smallest shoot on the ground.

Dear little sister, I’m delighted that you’re pleased with your recent obedience and that it is bringing you closer to the altar. It is a virtue that our little Thérèse performed so perfectly. I myself am still in a whirlpool of activity what with the building work and organising everything, but it’s like what we were reading recently in St Paul’s Epistles; one person is tasked to do one thing, another something completely different. Everything goes well when we follow God’s will and make the most of the gift that He has imparted to us.

I send my love, darling sister. Your little Céline

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face u.c.n.

On a separate sheet:

Martin:        "little Mars" (Mars, God of war) brave, valiant, who hammers, who grinds

Céline:        "Celestial": who comes from heaven.

Thérèse:     from a Greek word "I hunt": the huntress

Geneviève: German name "Gen", day; "zivaf" white; pure

Marie:         Illuminator, mirror, sovereign, sea of bitterness

Pauline:      little, unobtrusive

Léonie:       Lion

Françoise:   Free, loyal, sincere: from France.

Agnès:        pure, chaste, holy (like a lamb)

Hélène:       ray of light from the sun or moon, reflection of the sun: bright

Joseph:      increase, ever increasing greatness,

Mélanie:     ivory, dark

Louis:       (the same as Clovis): illustrious combat, illustrious warrior, valiant

Zélie:       (clearly means "zeal". I couldn’t find it, no doubt, because otherwise I would have noted it down.)