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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - August 9, 1933

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - August 9, 1933

+ Jesus                                                                Carmel of Lisieux 9th August 1933

Dear little sister,

I’m writing to thank you for the wishes you sent me for my feast day and for taking Communion for me on that day. You asked me whether my mouth is still painful. Oh yes, and on the 6th it was particularly bad. It began in May, when the left side throbbed with an almost constant nagging pain, followed by about three weeks of sharp pain night and day. Now the other side is hurting and from the 29th onwards I kept suffering from sharp pains. I would spend part of the night in an armchair to keep my head straighter. These past two nights, the pain has subsided a bit. I only have twinges from time to time, and my jaw bones have little bumps on them. Yesterday evening, I held a little marble votive offering against my cheek to numb the pain a bit, and it smelt of roses; it was such a sweet scent! It was a sign that little Thérèse is watching over me and that these sufferings of mine are necessary. I realised that perhaps it meant I wouldn’t be sick for long before dying, and that I was suffering my Passion early. I would be very pleased if this was the case, for I care little for dying a beautiful death. There’s no other way; I have to resemble Jesus on the Cross. I’ve been patient until now; that is enough. I’m being careful not to complain to Jesus. He has His views on the subject and doesn’t need to know how much I’m suffering. Knowing would perhaps prevent Him from following His work through; that’s how good He is! I just mention the pain to little Thérèse and the Bl. Virgin, so that they will watch over and help me. Aside from that, I find relief in the sedatives that I’m given. What is hard for me is to hardly ever attend the Office because of the draughts that the Sisters need to cool them in this great heat. I can’t go into the garden any more. The slightest breath of wind gives me a raging toothache. I’m bothered by the breeze someone makes when walking passed me, and by the opening or closing of a door. In short, I am irritable with others and myself. And to think that I was looking forward to working in the garden this summer! Instead of that, I’m shutting myself inside. That’s how I’m spending my summer. Yet God is still very good to me and has ensured that the two sides don’t hurt at the same time. I don’t have any pain in my heels any more, or very rarely, and it doesn’t last for long.

But that’s enough about me. Whatever you do, don’t worry; these little problems aren’t preventing me from working or helping the Provisor, poor Godmother, who’s the oldest of us all. She is the one to pity because she’s growing more and more infirm, and is in a great deal of pain, but she is bearing it with such patience! Her soul grows younger as her body grows heavier.

As for poor Jeanne, the news isn’t great either. There’s a risk that she’ll be put in plaster to straighten her spine, because it has become crooked with rheumatism. However, she is moving to Nogent with Solange, who has hopes for motherhood. So she is on the go nevertheless!

Who is this Father Leroy you mentioned? Is he not his Lordship’s secretary from the family we knew? Again, thank you for your lovely little letter, beloved sister. How God loves you! Thank you for the little flowers; I can still smell them as I write to you. I’m treasuring them. From your little Céline, who loves you with all her heart.

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face u.c.n

No, the building work at the Basilica hasn’t stopped. Everything is progressing as normal, thanks to the fundraising campaign still being open.

10th August. I’m sleeping well; the worst is over. Whatever you do, don’t worry about me. Offer my respectful wishes to your dear Mother.