From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - September 26, 1937

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - September 26, 1937

J. + M

+ Jesus                                                                 Carmel of Lisieux 26th September 1937

Dear little sister,

The 30th is almost upon us, bringing with it the 40th commemoration of our darling saint’s death. And we, her four sisters, are still on earth. What does it mean?

This morning, thinking of her, as the diocese celebrates her anniversary today, I could see her spreading her beneficial influence on earth before she went to heaven. I could see little Marie of the Eucharist at her side, and us in our short-lived youth. Then I saw us as old women, extremely old women in fact, drinking the bitter cup of old age.

I then realised that little Thérèse has had great compassion on us, and that if she hasn’t yet called us to help her up above, it’s because it is for the best; it is because she has saved the best destiny for us. We cannot think that, given how much she loved us, she would forget us now, or give us the worst destiny.

I feel, deep in my heart, that I prefer my fate over another; over the others that I mentioned above. No doubt, if I had had the choice, I would by nature have chosen the other destinies, but through the grace and virtue of the trust that I have in God, I prefer what I have.

And yet, old age brings with it so many impairments, and such a long line of inadequacies! But they must be very meritorious since God lets them exert their power over us, despite His dislike of seeing us suffer. I admit that I’m hiding my desire for heaven from him. I’m pretending to be happy on earth and not feel the weight of exile upon me, for otherwise I fear that He wouldn’t dare let me stay here. I trust Him whatever happens to me.

Darling Léonie, I know that you are doing the same, because all four of us are walking the same path and have reached the same point thanks to Thérèse.

Dear “Godmother”1 is stable, but since falling ill, she has been eating her meals in the infirmary. She comes to the recreations in her wheelchair and also to the choir for Vespers. And in the mornings, she comes to the oratory for Mass and Communion.

I hope she’ll still be here next year for the centenary celebration of the Carmel’s foundation.

You’ll have heard that Henry Maudelonde died in the peace of the Lord. We haven’t had any news from Jeanne. No doubt everything is going quite well.

I send you all my love, darling little sister

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

1. Sr Marie of the Sacred Heart; Thérèse’s godmother.