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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - April 9, 1939

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - April 9, 1939

J. + M.

P.C.                                                                              Carmel of Lisieux 9th April 1939

Easter Alleluia!

Darling Léonie,

It was 51 years ago today that Thérèse left us to join the Carmel. You were with me as my companion in misfortune, because our Calvary was to begin shortly afterwards. Yet we scaled it, and God helped us to carry our heavy cross. Without His help, we wouldn’t have been able to surmount so much sorrow.

Since then, we’ve had nothing but graces and blessings rain down upon our family! Earlier, our Mother and I were looking at the Basilica in the distance, and our hearts melted in gratitude at seeing God’s response with our own eyes. The story of Job has repeated itself, both in terms of his sorrows and his prosperity, because the Scriptures say that his last days were infinitely more blessed than his first. It is the same for us, and will be until the end, I’m sure.

And yet hardship is still very much a part of our lives. Our dear eldest sister is growing no stronger, quite the opposite. Now she has a neck pain that prevents her from lifting her head. Our Mother has a sore neck, too, which is causing her a great deal of pain, especially at the Office when she has to hold her book up in the air, without support. She is being remarkably brave. Every evening she goes to Matins and she’s the first at Prayers in the morning.

As for me, I’m going to turn 70 on the 28th of this month. My poor legs are feeling it. Staying standing represents a martyrdom for me and yet I do so for a fair part of the day. I have gout in my knees, which is quite painful at times.

And how are you, darling little sister? Tell us about your health and your frailties. All this baggage suggests that we’re not far from the port, because old age is a “sickness” leading to death; that is certain.

Oh, how happy we’ll be when all four of us are in heaven with our darling parents, little brothers and sisters, and Thérèse!

DearLéonie, Sr M. of the S.H. and I are going on retreat on the evening of the Feast of the Good Shepherd, the 23rd, until 4th May. On that day our Mother will hold a celebration for us both, to mark Sr Marie of the S.H. entering her 80th year, and my 70th birthday. Then she will take her own retreat, which will end on the eve of Ascension Day.

Now you know all our plans, and until they are fulfilled, I send you lots and lots of love!

Your little Céline

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face u.c.n.