From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - May 15, 1941

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - May 15, 1941  

J. + M.

P.C.                                                                        Carmel of Lisieux 15th May 1941  

Darling Léonie,

I was going to wait until about 3rd June before writing to you with my very best wishes and fond kisses for your birthday. But an opportunity has presented itself, so I’m sending you all these things in advance; you won’t be annoyed, I hope.

I’ve just taken my retreat, because the month of February, when I was professed, seems gloomy now that I’m old. I so love the garden and spring when everything comes back to life. Alas, that’s not enough to bring sunshine to my heart and ease the weight of exile. Only a ray of light from Up-Above can do that.

I can’t tell you that I had many consolations, because that would be untrue, but God did inspire me with one positive thought, and it’s like a soothing cordial that gives me strength to better bear this world’s dispiriting atmosphere.

I realised that nothing pleases Jesus more than us joyfully accepting what He does or sees fit to allow. So I took the resolution to often tell myself, “You fill me with joy, Lord, in all that You do,” even when my human nature is thinking the exact opposite. Yes, I want to give Him nothing but thanks and praise, and to bless Him for everything, no matter what happens.

Now that I’ve shared this intimate insight with you, I’m going to tell you that we are very upset at the moment. Our Mother is relying on me to tell you that our dear Chaplain is very sick, and I don’t think we’ll ever see him again. He had to undergo a 2nd eye operation, which revealed an already advanced cancer. They had to make an incision down to his cheek, which is still secreting puss. He’s a real saint and is accepting his hardship like one, but we are very upset. We don’t even have a confessor anymore, because Fr Bisson is 83 years old and can no longer make the journey from the Providence Institute to the Carmel. He was our extraordinary confessor. Our Mother has written to his Lordship asking him what we should do.    

For your birthday, darling sister, I’m sending you a poem by our Mother, which I’ve copied out for you on the typewriter. For years and in all circumstances in life, our Mother would always tell me that everything on earth was “approximate”, and that she would write a poem on the subject. This was several years ago and I’ve pestered her so often that she eventually wrote it for my birthday on 28th April.

I’m also sending you two flowers from our garden, on behalf of your two little sisters. It goes without saying that 78 is a ripe old age and implies many merits! Be glad, Léonie. If you could see what awaits you, you would die of happiness!

And now, tell your "Mamma Lamb" how fond I am of her. Give her a big kiss from me and ask her to return it to you for me!

Your little Céline,

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face