the Carmel
Therese's correspondence LT 178 – To Mme Guérin – 20-21 July 1895

MARTIN Thérèse, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus


20-21 July 1895



July 20, 1895

                My dear little Aunt,

                I was very touched to see that you were thinking of your little Thérèse, she also thinks a lot of you and if she has not yet written to her dear Aunt it is not out of indifference but because her heart is so full of tenderness and veneration that she does not know how to translate her thoughts...
                However, I have to try, at the risk of saying things to my little aunt that will displease her. Doesn't the truth come from the mouths of children? Well ! you must forgive me if I tell the truth, I who am and always want to remain a child...
                I am going to give you my little direction and show you how good God is for me. I admit that sometimes I happened to envy the happy fate of their parents who had the happiness of living in their company, of enjoying their holy conversations. Now I have nothing to envy because I am able to closely contemplate the actions of the Saints, to see their struggles and the generosity with which they submit to the will of God.
                My dear little Aunt, I know very well that you would not like it if I told you that you are a saint, however I really want to... but if I don't tell you, I can tell you one thing must not tell my Uncle because he would no longer love me, this thing you know better than I, is that he is a Saint like there are few on earth and that his faith can be compared to that of Abraham... Ah! if you knew what sweet emotion my soul was filled with yesterday on seeing my Uncle with his angelic little Marie... We were plunged into great pain because of our poor Léonie; it was like a real agony, the Good Lord who wanted to test our faith, sent us no consolation and for me I could not make any other prayer than that of Our Lord on the cross: "My God, my God, why do we have you given up!” or as in the garden of agony: "My God, your will be done and not ours." Finally, to console us Our Divine Savior did not send us the angel who supported him in Gethsemane but one of his Saints still traveling on earth and filled with his Divine Force; seeing his calm, his resignation, our anxieties dissipated, we felt the support of a paternal hand... O my darling little Aunt! how great are the mercies of the Good Lord for his poor children!... If you only knew the sweet tears I shed while listening to the Celestial conversation of my holy Uncle... He seemed to me already transfigured; his language was not that of faith which hopes but of love which possesses. At the time when trial and humiliation came to visit him, he seemed to forget everything to think only of blessing the Divine hand which robbed him of his Treasure and as a reward felt him like a saint. St Thérèse was quite right to say to Our Lord who overwhelmed her with the cross when she undertook great works for him: “Ah! Lord, I'm not surprised that you have so few friends, you treat them so badly!...” She said another time that to souls whom the Good Lord loves with an ordinary love he gives some trials, but to those whom he loves with a love of predilection he lavishes his crosses as the surest mark of his tenderness. 

(July 21st)

                I had left my letter yesterday without finishing it, for Marie arrived with Léonie; our emotion was very great when we saw her, we couldn't make her say a word she was crying so much, finally she ended up looking at us and everything went well. I won't give you any other details, dear Aunt, because you will know them all from Marie who was a real strong woman in the painful circumstances that have just taken place. We told her, but I saw that this compliment did not please her, so I called her "Little Angel", she told me laughing that she liked it better than "Strong Woman". She is so cheerful that the stones laugh and that distracts her poor companion. We served them in the earthenware dishes like the Carmelites, which amused them.
                Ah! what virtue your little Marie has... The empire she has over herself is astonishing, she still has plenty of energy to become a saint and it is the most necessary, with energy one can easily reach the peak of perfection. If she could give a little to Léonie, your little angel would still have enough and it wouldn't hurt her... My dear little Aunt, I realize that my sentences are not clear, I hurry to give my letter to Marie, who didn't want me to write to you saying that she was going to do all my shopping or else give me three sous for a stamp, but I didn't want to wait any longer to send to my Aunt darling something other than "a look", however expressive it might be, she couldn't see it from so far away.
                I wanted to talk to you about Jeanne and Francis but I don't have time, all I can say is that I count them among the number of Saints that I am allowed to contemplate closely on earth. and whom I rejoice to see soon in Heaven in the company of their children whose brilliant crowns will increase their own glory...
                My darling little Aunt, if you can't read me, it's Marie's fault, kiss her for me to scold her and tell her to kiss you very hard for me.
 Your little daughter Thérèse of the Child Jesus rel.carm.ind. 

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