the Carmel
Therese's correspondence LT 247 – To Abbé Bellière – June 21, 1897

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


Carmel of Lisieux June 21, 1897 Jesus   

My dear little brother,
With you I thanked Our Lord for the great grace He deigned to grant you on the day of Pentecost, it is also the day of this beautiful feast (10 years ago) that I obtained, not from my director, but from my father the permission to make me an apostle in Carmel. It is yet another rapprochement between our souls.
O my dear little brother, please don't ever think that you are "boring me or distracting me" by talking to me a lot about yourself. Could it be that a sister takes no interest in everything that concerns her brother? As for distracting me, you have nothing to fear, your letters on the contrary unite me more to the good God, by making me contemplate closely the marvels of his mercy and his love.
Sometimes Jesus likes "to reveal his secrets to the little ones", the proof is that after having read your first letter of October 15, 95, I thought the same thing as your Director: You cannot be a half holy, you will have to be completely or not at all. I felt that you must have an energetic soul and that's why I was happy to become your sister.
Don't think you're scaring me by talking to me about "your beautiful wasted years". I thank Jesus who looked at you with a gaze of love like the young man in the Gospel once did. Happier than him, you responded faithfully to the call of the Master, you left everything to follow Him, and that at the most beautiful age of life, at 18 years old. Ah! my brother, like me you can sing the mercies of the Lord, they shine in you in all their splendor... You love St Augustine, St Madeleine, those souls to whom “Many sins have been forgiven because they loved very much” . I too love them, I love their repentance, and above all... their loving audacity! When I see Madeleine advancing in front of the many guests, watering with her tears the feet of her adored Master, whom she touches for the first time; I feel that her heart has understood the depths of love and mercy of the Heart of Jesus, and that sinner though she is, this Heart of love is not only disposed to forgive her, but also to lavish on her the benefits of her divine intimacy, to raise it to the highest heights of contemplation.
Ah! my dear little Brother, since it was given to me to also understand the love of the Heart of Jesus, I confess to you that it has banished all fear from my heart. The memory of my faults humbles me, leads me never to lean on my strength which is only weakness, but even more this memory speaks to me of mercy and love.
How when one throws one's faults with completely filial confidence into the devouring brazier of Love, how could they not be consumed irrevocably?
I know that there are saints who passed their lives practicing astonishing mortifications to expiate their sins; but what do you want, “There are many dwellings in the house of the Heavenly Father”, Jesus said it and that is why I am following the path He traces for me. I try not to worry about myself in anything anymore, and what Jesus deigns to do in my soul I leave it to him, because I did not choose an austere life to expiate my faults, but those of others.
I have just reread my little note and I wonder if you will understand me, because I explained myself very badly. Do not believe that I blame your repentance of your faults and your desire to expiate them. Oh no ! I am very far from it, but you know: now there are two of us, the work will be done more quickly (and I with my way will do more work than you), so I hope that one day Jesus will make you walk the same way as me.
Excuse me, dear little brother, I don't know what's wrong with me today, because I'm really saying what I wouldn't want to say. I have no more room to answer your letter, I will do it another time. Thank you for your dates, I have already celebrated your 23rd birthday. I pray for your dear parents whom God took from this world and I don't forget the mother you love.

Your unworthy little Sister Th. of the Child Jesus of the Holy Face rel.carm.ind.

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