LT 120 - To Céline.- September 23, 1890

LT 120                 From Thérèse to Céline.

September 23, 1890

Indications of a slight improvement in M. Martin's health (see LD, July 22,)gave rise in Céline and Thérèse to a somewhat foolish hope : that of a visit of their Father to Lisieux. “Naturally , Céline thought immediately that she choose the day of my reception of the Veil. It seems judging by a letter of Sister Agnes was to go to Caen on Monday, the 22nd , to offer Thérèse’s black veils to M. Martin blessing just as she had done for the Profession crown. On Tuesday morn­ing, in the speak room, Céline and Thérèse made their plans concerning the visit of their father to Lisieux. “Naturally, Céline thought immediately that she should choose the day of my reception of the Veil” (Ms. A). It seems, judging by a letter from Sister Agnes that Céline was to go to Caen on Monday, the 22nd, to offer Thérèse’s black veil for M. Martin ‘s blessing just as she had done for the Profession crown. On Tuesday morning, in the speak room, Céline and Thérèse made their plans concerning the visit of their patient on the next day : “In order not to tire him”[said Céline], “I will not have him to assist at the whole ceremony. I will go and get him quietly up to the grille so that Thérèse may receive the blessing”. The plan defied all “human prudence!” Uncle Guérin came to the speak room, no doubt in the afternoon of the same day, to express his formal refusal to share in these plans.

Jesus +

Oh! Céline, how can I tell you what is taking place in my soul? ... It is torn apart, but I feel that this wound is made by a friendly hand, by a divinely jealous hand! . . .

All was ready for my wedding, but don't you find that there was one thing lacking for the celebration? It is true that Jesus had already placed many jewels in my basket, but there was one of in­comparable beauty missing, no doubt, and this precious dia­mond Jesus gave me today .... Céline ., . when receiving it, my tears flowed . . . they are still flowing, and I would almost reproach myself for them if I did not know "That there is a love the only proof of which is tears." It is Jesus alone who is conduc­ting this affair, it is He, and I recognized His touch of love ....

You know the extent to which I wanted to see our dear Father again this morning; and now I see very clearly that it's God's will that he not be here. God has permitted this simply to test my love.... Jesus wants me as an orphan, He wants me to be alone with Him alone in order to unite Himself more intimately with me, and He wills to give me in the homeland the very legitimate joys that He has refused me in the exile!. . . Céline, be consoled, for our Spouse is a spouse of tears and not smiles. Let us give Him our tears in order to console Him, and one day these tears will be changed into smiles of an ineffable sweetness!. . .

Céline, I don't know if you are going to understand my letter, for I can hardly hold my pen . . . and so another should give you many explanations concerning Uncle's visit. But your Thérèse can speak only the language of heaven. Céline, understand your Thérèse!. . .

Today's trial is a difficult sorrow to understand. We see a joy which is offered to us; it's possible, natural. We extend our hand . . . and we cannot grasp this consolation so much de­sired .... But, Céline, how mysterious all this is!. . . We no long­er have a home here below, or, at least, you can say just as the Blessed Virgin did: "What a home." Yes, what a home . . . but it's not a human hand that has done this, it's Jesus. It is His veiled look that has fallen upon us!... I received a letter from our exiled Father, and here is one passage from it: "Oh! my alleluia is filled with tears. Neither one of your Fathers will be there to offer you to Jesus. Must you complain very much here below when the an­gels up above congratulate you and the saints envy you. It's your crown of thorns that makes them jealous. Love, then, its stings as so many proofs of love from the divine Spouse."

Céline, let us accept with a good heart the thorn that Jesus is of­fering us. Tomorrow's celebration will be a celebration of tears for us, but I feel that Jesus will be consoled!... I would like to say

more to you, but words fail me!... I was put in charge of writing you in order to console you, but no doubt I have carried out this duty very poorly.... Ah! if I were able to convey to you the peace Jesus placed in my soul at the height of my tears, this is what I am asking Him for you who are myself! ...

Céline! . . . The shadows are falling and the image of this world is passing away; soon, yes, soon, we shall see the unknown and beloved Face which ravishes us through its tears.

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus of the Holy Face



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