From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - July 30, 1931

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - July 30, 1931

+ Jesus                                                                Carmel of Lisieux 30th July 1931

Dear little sister,

Your letter arrived sweetly scented as always. Oh, the little jasmine blossom speaks volumes to my heart. I could easily weep at the thought of my little Léonie going to carefully and lovingly pick and choose it for her Céline.

Little sister, I can understand that you feel nostalgic for heaven. I have felt that way all my life. I know that doing so is no proof of holiness because Little Mother and Sr Marie of the S.H. are strangers to it, and we see from her biography that St Gertrude never felt it and lived well into old age. Perhaps, on the contrary, it is cowardly to desire to be freed from our mortal bodies, because they are so heavy! But that is not what concerns me. I content myself with offering up my suffering to God in an act of love, begging Him to remove the alloy so that it might be pleasing to Him. I also offer up the suffering that comes of living far away from you, and in a lost land, so that I might atone for the attachment that certain souls feel towards living here. They never dream of leaving, which is insulting to God because it is pleasing to be desired.

Anyway, little Léonie, I offer you my little methods for making this hardship meritorious and pleasing to God.

I’m sorry that my letter is leaving so soon, otherwise I would have sent you some photographs of the Pavilion and its outbuildings. I won’t have them before the end of the week. I will annotate them and give them to someone to give to you.

The little Sisters see a great many people and everyone is delighted with the arrangement. Unfortunately, as the garden was planted less than a year ago, the shrubs are not pretty and provide little cover. The climbing roses are still small. It will look much better in a few years.

We are currently seeing to annexing Mr and Mrs Fleuriot’s house to the monastery, or rather the garden, because we’re going to leave the house and a section of lawn for the needs of the pilgrimage centre. The house is far too beautiful for us, with its magnificent panelling and large lounges. It is good for a bishop but dreadfully gloomy. The garden too is rather dull because it is too heavily wooded. After lying abandoned for 20 years, the trees have become thicker and grown wild. In just a few months, order will be restored and we can call it home. We are building sacristy and infirmary annexes all along the monastery. It is very tiring, especially as I grow tired quickly from standing. It’s clear that I’m not young in strength any more, and my weakness soon betrays my spirit, which is still young. So I might forget my age for a moment, set off enthusiastically and then find myself on the floor. I feel like I’m a little child’s toy that speeds along when wound up, but falls over as quickly as it set off! And now I’ll say goodbye darling sister. Ask God to give me the strength to accomplish my task. I send all my love. Your little sister

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face and St Teresa