the Carmel
Therese's correspondence LT 224 – To Abbé Bellière – April 25, 1897

MARTIN Thérèse, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus
BELLIERE Maurice-Marie-Louis Father


April 25th
My dear little brother,

My pen, or rather my heart, refuses to call you "Monsieur l'Abbé" from now on, and our good Mother told me that I could help myself by writing to you the name that I always use when I speak of you to Jesus. It seems to me that this Divine Savior has deigned to unite our souls to work for the salvation of sinners, as He once united those of the Vble P. de la Colombière and the Breuse Marguerite Marie. I recently read in the life of this saint: “One day when I approached Our Lord to receive him with Holy Communion, he showed me his Sacred Heart like a fiery furnace and two other hearts (his own and that of Father . de la Cbière) who went there to unite and damage by saying to me: This is how my pure love unites these three hearts forever. He made me understand again that this union was all for his glory and that for that, he wanted us to be like brother and sister, equally shared in spiritual goods. Thereupon, representing to Our Lord my poverty and the inequality there was between a priest of such great virtue and a poor sinner like me, he said to me: The infinite riches of my Heart will make up for everything and will equal everything. »
Perhaps, my brother, the comparison does not seem fair to you? It is true that you are not yet a Father de la Colombière, but I have no doubt that one day you will be like him a true apostle of Christ. For me it never occurs to me to compare myself to Bse Marg. Married ; I simply note that Jesus chose me to be the sister of one of his apostles and the words that the holy Lover of his Heart addressed to him out of humility, I repeat them to him, me, in all truth; also I hope that his infinite riches will make up for all that I lack to accomplish the work that He entrusts to me.
I am really happy that the good Lord used my poor verses to do you a little good, I would have been confused to send them to you if I had not remembered that a sister must have nothing hidden for his brother. It was indeed with a fraternal heart that you welcomed and judged them... You were no doubt surprised to find: "Living on Love", my intention was not to send it to you twice; I had started copying it when I thought you already had it, it was too late to stop.
My dear little Brother, I must confess to you that in your letter there is one thing which caused me pain, it is that you do not know me as I really am. It is true that to find great souls it is necessary to come to Carmel; as in the virgin forests, there germinate flowers of a perfume and a brilliance unknown to the world. Jesus in his mercy wanted that among these flowers, smaller ones grow, I will never be able to thank him enough, because it is thanks to this condescension that I, poor flower without brilliance, find myself in the same on the floor than the roses, my sisters. O my brother! please believe me, the good Lord did not give you a great soul for a sister, but a very small and very imperfect one.
Do not believe that it is humility that prevents me from recognizing the gifts of the good God, I know that He has done great things in me and I sing it every day with happiness. I remember that he must love more to whom we have given more, so I try to make my life an act of love and I no longer worry about being a little soul, on the contrary I I rejoice. That's why I dare to hope that "my exile will be short" but it's not because I'm ready; I feel that I will never be if the Lord does not deign to transform me Himself; He can do it in an instant; after all the graces with which He has showered me, I still await this one of His infinite mercy.
You tell me, my brother, to ask for the grace of martyrdom for you; this grace, I have often requested it for myself, but I am not worthy of it and truly one can say with St Paul: It is not the work of the one who wants nor of the one who runs, but of God who shows mercy. Since the Lord seems to want to grant me only the martyrdom of love, I hope that He will allow me through you to pick the other palm that we aspire to. I see with pleasure that the good Lord has given us the same attractions, the same desires. I made you smile, my dear little Brother, by singing "my Arms", well! I'm going to make you smile again by telling you that, in my childhood, I dreamed of fighting on the battlefield... When I began to learn the history of France, the story of the exploits of Joan of Arc delighted, I felt in my heart the desire and the courage to imitate him, it seemed to me that the Lord also destined me for great things. I was not mistaken, but instead of voices from Heaven inviting me to fight, I heard in the depths of my soul a softer voice, even stronger, that of the Bridegroom of virgins who called me to other exploits, to more glorious conquests, and in the solitude of Carmel I understood that my mission was not to crown a mortal king but to make the King of Heaven loved, to submit to him the kingdom of hearts.
It's time for me to stop, and yet I still have to thank you for the dates you send me, I would like you to add the years too, because I don't know your age. In order for you to excuse my simplicity, I send you the memorable dates of my life and it is also with the intention that we be particularly united by prayer and gratitude on these blessed days.
If the good Lord gives me a little goddaughter, I will be very happy to respond to your desire by giving her as protectors the Blessed Virgin, St Joseph and my Patroness.
Finally, my dear little Brother, I will end by asking you to excuse my long scribbling and the disjointedness of my letter.
In the Sacred Heart of Jesus I am for eternity

Your unworthy little sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus of the Holy Face rel.carm.ind.

(It is understood, is it not, that our relationship will remain secret? No one except your Director should know of the union which Jesus has formed between our souls).

back to the list