From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - February 4, 1940

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - February 4, 1940

J. + M.

P.C.                                                                              Carmel of Lisieux 4th February 1940

Dearest little Sister,

The letters from the Visitation arrived yesterday. There was one from your Mother, yours, and the one from Sr Marguerite-Agnes. I’m very pleased that you received all our letters because I was mindful to keep you up to date, not leaving out a single detail relating to the painful ordeal that we went through and which we felt so keenly.

Now I have nothing else to tell you except that we must try and carry our cross bravely to please Jesus and save souls. It represents a good opportunity. It has been a long time since we last had the like, so we must make sure we don’t waste an iota of it. I can’t say that my soul is soaring in the heights, there where our Marie has gone. It isn’t; it is in the wringer, and my poor heart is badly bruised.

Yet there is something in me that rejoices at the thought of her having been delivered from this world. While I’m glad to see her armchair empty instead of her sitting there paralysed with pain, I didn’t think I would be as upset as this. If I’m left feeling bitter, then so much the better. May I feel the full force of the loss. Since I have to bear it, it may as well bear all its fruit.

Our Mother is being very strong. She is still busy replying to the condolence letters and preparing the obituary circular, which won’t be printed until Easter.

Speaking of the circular, it cannot make any reference to the role that dear Marie played in your youth. Such matters are private and shouldn’t leave the family circle. I shouldn’t say this, Léonie, but I envy you! That chapter in your life is sublime, and as a consequence, I don’t want to point fingers. Martyrs held no resentment towards their persecutors. They knew that the torture they endured was a product of Satan’s fury against Christians. You, Léonie, were also a victim of the fury that the devil felt against our family. He no doubt saw a flock of angels around Thérèse and our holy parents, indicating special heavenly protection. And so he asked God, as he once did for the saintly man Job, for permission to test our family by persecuting one of its members.

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Yet take comfort. You are most fortunate. You suffered for Thérèse in advance, as the devil knew what was to come. Besides, did he not also torment her when she suffered her strange illness at the age of 10? Yes, Léonie, you have worked hard for God’s Cause, harder than us even, who have lived a life of toil, because you have suffered in your very being, and so you will shine all the brighter in heaven. And now, goodbye until Easter.

I send you all my love.

Your little sister Geneviève of the Holy Face u.c.n. 

Give my affectionate and respectful regards to your Mother.