From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - November 20, 1938

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - November 20, 1938

J. + M.

P.C.                                                                                Carmel of Lisieux 20th November 1938

Here comes one more link in the chain of life that, every year, witnesses us say roughly the same things to each other at the same time. But that chain is becoming shorter and fewer are the links that we have left to break here below.

A friar from Chartres wrote to us recently saying he wasn’t surprised that Thérèse is leaving her sisters to live a long life and enjoy relative youth on earth, and this despite her promise not to leave us here for a long time. He said that it was necessary for us to stay in order to prevent her doctrine from being misinterpreted. This friar understands the Little Way surprisingly well, and he finds the books produced by the Carmel (which he describes as “pure-blood”) the only decent ones. All the others shock him to a certain extent, even those by Father Martin. It’s true that the reference remains Story of a Soul and the books that come from here.

Darling little sister, you have helped us by praying for us, through your suffering and through practicing the Little Way in the shadow of your cloisters. You are certainly following the Little Way of love and humility. Thérèse is instilling it into you without the noise of words. How could she bear that her Léonie not follow it? It’s impossible, and so you are doing so, and are being sanctified by it, and sanctifying many others at the same time. One day, you’ll see the fruit of your long life and be astonished at the many merits with which Jesus will crown you, and at the compliments that He will pay you. The Judgment is an prize-giving ceremony and He will ensure that we receive many awards, although we will have deserved them only through being willing and making little efforts daily. And we’ll all have the same number of them, you’ll see!

And now, darling little sister, I’m going to wish you a holy and peaceful Christmas and a happy New Year in advance, but I’ll write again. When you next write, would you tell me on which side Thérèse was sitting on the day of her First Communion? If I remember correctly, she was on the pulpit side and the family, who were on the other side of the grate in the chancel, were sitting opposite, that is to say on the side of the sacristy, so that they could see better. Louise Delarue, who was also taking her 1st Communion, must have been on the Mother Prioress’ side (the place of honour) that’s to say on the sacristy side. You’ll let me know.

Goodbye, beloved little Léonie. I send you all my love

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face and St Teresa


1 [Unworthy Discalced Carmelite]