From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - December 24, 1935

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - December 24, 1935

J. + M.

                                                                                 Carmel of Lisieux 24th December 1935

Dear little sister,

I begun writing to you on the 24th, but I’m picking up the pen again on the 26th. It’s because we hardly have any time to ourselves these days what with the religious exercises and fatigue, because even the loveliest of feast days are tiring.

Your heard our news during Advent through our dear little Turn Sisters. One said she knew me, but I don’t know whether she recognised me!

We in turn heard about you through Canon Germain, the manager of the Pilgrimage Centre. And so we were mutually updated.

Have we told you that next year, 1936, we’ll be celebrating the golden jubilee of our eldest sister’s entrance to the Carmel? It will be in October (the date she joined). Apparently the indulgence is gained when you join the convent, which means that she will have spent a full 50 years in God’s service. Communities delay the celebration until your profession anniversary only when there are no fears for your health. With this jubilee in perspective, we really hope to keep our dear “Godmother” for another year yet. God will allow her to stay with us despite her sorrowful state.

Léonie, concerning Christmas, at Midnight Mass yesterday, I thought of the Bl. Virgin, and I was deeply touched by the simplicity of her life. She must have known the Holy Scriptures well (at least, that’s what is believed), but she would not have gone to Bethlehem if it hadn’t been for Cesar Augustus’ edict. She and St Joseph must have felt upset at being obliged to travel at such an awkward time, for they were expecting and preparing for the child’s birth in Nazareth.

Afterwards, once in Bethlehem, they looked for shelter at the inns. They weren’t thinking of the prophecy stating that the child would be born in a stable, otherwise they would have gone to one straight away. Everything about their life was simple, as it is with us, and God fulfilled His purpose through natural means, as events unfolded.

O Léonie, with this thought in my mind and heart, I surrendered myself to God even more completely, if that’s possible. Oh, how wonderful are His ways! They are so great and simple at the same time. It’s enough to make you want to die of trust and happiness!

Speaking of death, poor Marcelline is in the last throes of agony. She is very edifying and is still very fond of us. Let us pray for her.

And now, darling little sister, I’m going to wish you a happy and holy New Year and I beg you to present my respectful wishes to your dear Mothers.

With lots of love and kisses, your little Céline,

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face