From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - August 10, 1930

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - August 10, 1930

+ Jesus                                                               Carmel of Lisieux 10th August 1930       

Darling little sister,

I’m writing to thank you for your feast day letter. It brought me great pleasure, as did its predecessors and the little jasmine blossom.

Little Léonie, I’d like to be able to comfort you following Fr Ruel’s departure. It represents a mine of merits that I could never possess, because I’ve come to the point of desiring no confidant. In fact, having one would be burdensome to me and, in the words of St John of the Cross, I say, “As of today, please send me no more messengers who cannot tell me what I want. All those who wander here inform me of your thousand graces, yet each word is a blow, and they keep babbling bits of mystery – leaving me near death.”

Dear little sister, I’m saying this not because I don’t understand you, but to encourage you to do without your spiritual directors, even if they’re the best. You see, all I need is little Thérèse, with her sound little doctrine that comes through in every piece of her writing. The best and holiest of directors believe at times that they are following it, but as they are not living it, like we are, they can’t possibly be imbued with it like us. And I say this time and time again; it is rare that a teaching penetrates all the soil in my soul. The water stays on top and runs where it will along the surface. Perhaps my soil is too hard. May God fashion it to His liking! Yes, there’s always something in what I hear that shocks me. I’m a little snail with two very sensitive antennae, so I retract them and often shrink right back into my shell.

Now that’s quite enough about that. Ah, what a lot things I’d say if I could see you! Growing old is so meritorious. The eyes of one’s soul become so clear and bright while the others, those of one’s body, grow dim. And yet your eyes are still good, Léonie. It really is remarkable. I now need 2 levels of correction for everyday tasks and reading, and 3 for meticulous work. That is why painting has become very difficult for me. As one hand is occupied with the palette and brushes, I have to use my free hand to keep changing spectacles at the risk of poking my eyes out.

I will see to the photograph you requested. Unfortunately, those we have are on postcard card and I need to print the negative onto paper so that the print can be stuck onto a card that is suitable for photo albums, but it will come in time.

Dear little sister, I will stop there but not without smothering you with kisses

Your Little sister    

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face


Fr Ruel wrote a very kind reply to our Mother’s letter. Mr Paul Romet came to see us. He was most charming, gave us news of his whole family, but offered nothing for the basilica. However, he made no criticism. Can you remember in which year we went to St Denis and had lunch there? It might have been in 1886, because I remember a tall young man of about 20 being there, and he’s only 4 years older than me.