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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - January 25, 1937

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - January 25, 1937

J. + M.

P.C.                                                                            Carmel of Lisieux 25th January 1937

Dear little Léonie,
or rather, dear Françoise-Thérèse,

It’s with great affection in my heart that I wish you a happy feast day. On the 29th, my Communion will be for you alone, but you are not forgotten on other days, because I think of you every morning. I pray for you and ask Jesus to give you what I ask for myself. My little sisters are a part of me and there’s nothing I desire for myself that I don’t desire for them.

To tell you the truth, all of us receive the same graces in one form or another. It’s so comforting to think that Jesus called all five of us to the honour of being His spouses! There is a verse from Tuesday’s Third Hour that the cantor begins thus: “He gazed upon me.” Oh, my heart stirs every time I hear it, and I want to be the voice that proclaims, “He gazed upon me!” I ask Jesus to gaze upon me, because His gaze can only leave us “clothed in His beauty.” His gaze is an entity in itself. It’s like a judgment or contribution to the life of the one receiving His gaze, like the Verb of God being a Divine Person. Oh, I ardently ask Jesus to gaze upon me! The Gospel says, “As Jesus gazed upon the young rich man, He felt love for Him.” He couldn’t do otherwise, because His gaze alone made him worth loving. Therefore, the great punishment for the ungodly will consist in God “turning His face away from them.” If He gazed upon them, they would be saved. Again, when Jesus looks at the Pharisees in anger, it is a call; a show of mercy. They were still redeemable. When He turns His face away, it’s the end. All hope is gone! As for us, He gazed upon us and continues to gaze upon us with love. Who, oh who can measure our beauty!

                                                                               26th January.

I interrupted my letter here yesterday evening, fortunately for you, darling little sister, because what I’m saying will hardly interest you. You see I have nothing interesting to say. At the end of last year, I put aside the little Imitation of Christ that you bought for me in Caen in 1890. I wasn’t going to read it again, but I keep it as a reminder of my Léonie. The copy I received for my First Communion was stolen at the church of St Pierre when I went to take Communion. When I came back, I could no longer find it on the pew. I missed it because it contained a picture that Thérèse had painted and recently given me in memory of her Profession on 8th September 1890. She had written one of St Agnes’ antiphon’s on it:“I am betrothed to Him whom the angels serve, whose beauty the sun and moon admire.” I was sorry to lose that picture. Still, I’m on my 3rd copy of the Imitation now. After having studied the Imitation of Jesus, I pray that I might soon possess Him in heaven. Once again, happy feast day, darling little Léonie! With love from your little Céline

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face             u.c.n.