the Carmel
Therese's correspondence LT 197 – To Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart – September 17, 1896

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




17 September 1896.

                My darling Sister, I am not embarrassed to answer you... How can you ask me if it is possible for you to love the Good Lord as I love Him?...
                If you had understood the story of my little bird, you would not ask me this question. My desires for martyrdom are nothing, they are not what gives me the unlimited confidence that I feel in my heart. It is, to tell the truth, spiritual riches that make one unjust, when one rests in them with complacency and believes that they are something great... These desires are a consolation, which Jesus sometimes grants to weak souls like mine (and these souls are many) but when he does not give this consolation it is a grace of privilege, remember these words of the Father: "The martyrs suffered with joy and the King of Martyrs suffered with sadness.” Yes Jesus said, "Father, take this chalice away from me." Sr darling, how can you say after that that my desires are the mark of my love?... Ah! I feel that it is not that at all that pleases the Good Lord in my little soul, what pleases him is to see me love my littleness and my poverty, it is the blind hope that I have in his mercy... This is my only treasure. GODMOTHER darling, why shouldn't this treasure be yours?...
                Aren't you ready to suffer whatever God wants? I know very well that yes, then, if you wish to feel joy, to have an attraction for suffering, it is your consolation that you seek, since when one loves a thing, the pain disappears. I assure you that if we went together to martyrdom in the dispositions in which we are, you would have great merit and I would have none, unless it pleased Jesus to change my dispositions.
                O my darling Sister, please understand your little girl, understand that to love Jesus, to be his victim of love, the weaker one is, without desires or virtues, the more fit one is for the operations of this consuming and transforming... The mere desire to be a victim is enough, but you have to agree to remain poor and without strength and that is the difficult thing because “The truly poor in spirit, where to find him? you have to look for it far away” said the psalmist... He does not say that you have to look for it among great souls, but “far away”, that is to say in baseness, in nothingness. .. Oh! so let's stay far away from everything that shines, love our littleness, love to feel nothing, then we will be poor in spirit and Jesus will come to get us, however far we are he will transform us into flames of love... Oh ! how I wish I could make you understand what I feel!... It is trust and nothing but trust that should lead us to Love... Doesn't fear lead to Justice?... Since we see the way, let's run together. Yes, I feel it, Jesus wants to give us the same graces, he wants to give us his Heaven for free.
                O my darling little Sister, if you don't understand me it's because you have too great a soul... or rather it's because I'm having trouble explaining myself, because I'm sure the Good Lord wouldn't give you the desire to be POSSESSED by Him, by his Merciful Love if he did not reserve this favor for you... or rather he has already done it for you, since you have given yourself up to Him, since you desire to be consumed by Him and the Good Lord never gives desires that he cannot fulfill...
                9 o'clock strikes, I am obliged to leave you, ah! I would like to tell you many things, but Jesus is going to make you feel all that I cannot write...
                I love you with all the tenderness of my little GRATEFUL child's heart

Thérèse of the Child Jesus rel.carm.ind.

(1) To severe justice as it is represented to sinners, but not to this Justice that Jesus will have for those who love him.

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