the Carmel
Therese's correspondence LT 196 – To Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart – 13 (?) September 1896

MARTIN Thérèse, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus
MARTIN Marie, Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart


13 (?) September 1896



                O my dear Sister! you are asking me to give you a souvenir of my retreat, a retreat that will perhaps be the last... Since our Mother allows it, it is a joy for me to come and talk to you, who are twice my Sister , with you who lent me your voice, promising in my name that I only wanted to serve Jesus, when it was not possible for me to speak... Dear little Godmother, this is the child you you have offered to the Lord who speaks to you this evening, it is she who loves you as a child knows how to love her Mother... Only in Heaven will you know all the gratitude that overflows from my heart.. O my dear Sister! you would like to hear the secrets that Jesus entrusts to your little girl, these secrets He entrusts to you, I know it, because it is you who taught me to collect the Divine teachings, however I will try to stammer a few words, well that I feel that it is impossible for human speech to repeat things that the human heart can hardly sense...
                Don't think I'm swimming in consolations, oh no! my consolation is to have none on earth. Without showing himself, without making his voice heard, Jesus instructs me in secret, it is not by means of books, for I do not understand what I am reading, but sometimes a word like this that I I pulled at the end of the prayer (after having remained in silence and dryness) comes to console me: "Here is the Master whom I am giving you, he will teach you everything you must do. I want you to read in the book of life, where the science of Love is contained.” The science of Love, oh yes! this word resounds softly in the ear of my soul, I only desire this science, for it, having given all my riches, I consider as the wife of the sacred canticles to have given nothing... I understand so much so that only love can make us agreeable to the Good Lord that this love is the only good that I aspire to. Jesus likes to show me the only path that leads to this Divine furnace, this path is the abandonment of the little child who falls asleep without fear in the arms of his Father... "If someone is little one, let him come to me» said the Holy Spirit through the mouth of Solomon, and this same Spirit of Love said again that «Mercy is granted to the little ones». In his name the prophet Isaiah reveals to us that on the last day "the Lord will lead his flock into the pasture, that he will gather the little lambs and press them to his bosom", and as if all these promises were not enough, the same prophet whose inspired gaze already plunged into the eternal depths cries out in the name of the Lord: "As a mother caresses her child, so I will comfort you, I will carry you on my bosom and I will caress you on my knees." O darling Godmother! after such language, there is nothing left but to be silent, to weep with gratitude and love. Ah! if all weak and imperfect souls felt what the smallest of all souls feels, the soul of your little Thérèse, not a single one would despair of reaching the top of the mountain of love, since Jesus does not ask great deeds, but only abandonment and gratitude, since he said in Ps. XLIX: animals that graze on the hills, I know all the birds of the mountains... If I were hungry, I would not say it to you: for the earth and all that it contains is mine . Should I eat the flesh of bulls and drink the blood of goats?...
                “Immolate to God sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving.” This, then, is all that Jesus asks of us, he does not need our works, but only our love, because this same God who declares that he does not need to tell us if he is hungry, does not have afraid to beg a little water from La Samaritaine. He was thirsty... But when he said, "Give me a drink", it was love for his poor creature that the Creator of the universe was claiming. He thirsted for love... Ah! I feel it more than ever Jesus is altered, he meets only ungrateful and indifferent among the disciples of the world, and among his own disciples, he finds, alas! few hearts which give themselves up to him without reserve, which understand all the tenderness of his infinite Love.
                Dear sister, how happy we are to understand the intimate secrets of our Spouse, ah! if you wanted to write everything you know about it, we would have beautiful pages to read but I know it, you prefer to keep "The King's secrets" in your heart, to me you say "it is honorable to publish the works of the Most High". I find that you are right to keep silent and it is only to please you that I write these lines, because I feel my powerlessness to repeat with earthly words the secrets of Heaven, and then, after having drawn pages and pages, I would find that I have not yet begun... There are so many diverse horizons, so many infinitely varied shades, that the palette of the Celestial Painter will be able alone, after the night of this life, to furnish me with the colors capable of painting the marvels that it reveals to the eye of my soul.
                My Dear Sr, you asked me to write you my dream and “my little doctrine” as you call it... I did it in the following pages but so badly that it seems impossible for you to understand. Perhaps you will find my expressions exaggerated... Ah! forgive me, it must be due to my unpleasant style, I assure you that there is no exaggeration in my little soul, that everything there is calm and rested...
                (While writing, I am talking to Jesus, it is easier for me to express my thoughts... Which, alas! does not prevent them from being very badly expressed!)

back to the list