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LT 182 - To sister Geneviève - February 23, 1896

 

LT 182                From Thérèse to Sister Geneviève.

February 23, 1896     

J.M.J.T.

Jesus    February 23, 1896

Dear little Sister, you have asked me to tell you how things will go in heaven on your wedding day. I will try to do this, but I feel in advance that I shall not even outline the celebrations which can­not be described, since "the eye of man has not seen, his ear has not heard, and his heart has not conceived what God is reserving for those whom He loves!'"

On February 24, at midnight, St. Peter will open the portals of heaven, and immediately the angels and saints will go forth with in­comparable joy to form the court of the King and His fiancée.

The Virgin Mary, immediately preceding the Adorable Trinity, will advance, carrying the royal adornment of the spouse, her dear daughter. With an all-motherly care, she will open the abyss of purgatory before descending to earth. Instantly, innumerable multitudes of souls will fly toward their liberatrix, desiring to thank her and to learn the reason for their unexpected deliverance. The gentle Queen will answer: "Today is my Son's wedding. On the earth of exile, He has chosen from all eternity a soul that charms and delights Him, among the millions of others whom He has nonetheless created according to His image. This chosen soul offered this prayer to me: 'On the day of my wedding, I would like all suffering to be banished from my Bridegroom's kingdom.' Answering her appeal, I am coming to deliver you.. .take your place in our cortege, sing

with the blessed the favors of Jesus and Céline."

Then all heaven will descend to earth, and it will find the happy fiancée prostrate before the Tabernacle. Rising at the approach of the cortege, she will graciously greet the angelic hosts and the multitude of saints; then, approaching Mary, she will present her forehead so that Mary's motherly kiss may prepare her to receive soon the seal and kiss of her Bridegroom.... Jesus will take His dear Céline's hand and lead her into the poor little cell in the cor­ridor of St. Elias so that she may rest for a few hours. The whole heavenly court will crowd into this narrow enclosure, and the angels will want to begin their concerts immediately, but Jesus will whisper to them: "Do not awaken my beloved, leave Me alone with her, for I cannot be separated from her for one instant."

The gentle Queen of heaven will understand her divine Son's wish, and she will have the bright cortege leave and will lead it to the wed­ding hall.

Immediately beginning the preparation for the celebration, myriads of angels will weave such crowns as are not found on earth. The cherubim will prepare coats of arms more brilliant than diamonds, and their delicate brushes will trace out in indelible strokes the ar­morial bearings of Jesus and Céline. They will set these up everywhere: on the walls, on the arches of the cloister, in the refec­tory, the choir, etc.... There will be so many artists that their master­pieces will find no room, and the innocent group of little children will come and offer to hold them up all day long before the Bridegroom and the bride. Smiling, the angels will refuse to give up their shields, for they will need them to embellish all the saints and to embellish themselves in order to show they are the humble ser­vants of Jesus and Céline. To console the little children they will give each a charming little coat of arms so that they may be part of the celebrations, and, sending them off to remove petals from roses and lilies, they will continue with their splendid preparations....

The pontiffs and doctors will have a great mission to carry out. At their request, the Lamb will open the Book of Life, and they will take from this book precious documents concerning Céline's life, and to honor her Bridegroom they will write down all the choice graces, all the hidden sacrifices, they find traced out in golden letters by the hand of angels. A great number of standards will be made up in this way by the doctors, and they will reserve to themselves the honor of carrying these before the royal cortege....

The apostles will gather together all the souls Céline has already brought forth to eternal life, and they will even gather the spiritual children she will bring forth in the future for her divine Bridegroom.

The holy martyrs will be careful not to be idle. Incomparable palms and fiery arrows will be arranged with touching care along the en­tire route of the royal procession. They want to render homage to the martyrdom of love which is to consume the life of the joyful bride in a short time.

I would need too much time to describe the many occupations of the holy confessors, hermits, etc., and all the holy women. Let it suffice to say that each will use his whole genius, all his care, to celebrate worthily such a beautiful day.... However, I cannot leave in oblivion the canticle of the virgins, the palms and Lilies they will offer with inexpressible joy to their dear sister Céline. I already see Cecilia, Geneviève, Agnes with her companion Joan, the shepherdess, dressed in her warrior costume. I see Céline, our bride's patroness, offering her a bouquet of flowers which has her name on it.

1 see especially the whole Order of Carmel sparkling with a new glory. At its head, St. Teresa, St. John of the Cross, and Mother Geneviève. This splendid wedding is really their celebration because Céline is their beloved daughter....

And the delightful crowd of little Innocents, will it be a stranger to the glory of this beautiful day?.. . No, I see them playing with the crowns they did not win, they are getting ready to place one on the head of her who wants to resemble them and not to win a crown. They are proud as kings and toss their blond heads gracefully, for they glory at seeing their big sister taking them as models.... Sud­denly, a Mother of incomparable beauty comes among them, she stops, and taking four charming cherubs by the hand she dresses them in clothes whiter than lilies and in diamonds glistening like dew in the sunlight.... A venerable Old Man with silvery hair is there, too, who bestows caresses on them, and all the other children are surprised at such preference. One of them timidly comes to little Thérèse, asking her why this beautiful Lady is dressing them so richly. Little Thérèse answers in her silver-toned voice: "It is because we are the sisters and brothers of the happy fiancée of Jesus, the King. Hélène and I will be bridesmaids, and our two little Josephs will hold us by the hand." Papa and Mamma, whom you see near us, will lead us, along with our little sisters still exiled on earth, and, the entire family reunited, we shall rejoice with unequalled joy." In the excess of her joy, little Thérèse will begin clapping her pretty little hands whiter than the wings of swans, and she will cry out, jumping on the necks of Papa and Mamma: "Oh! how beautiful, how beautiful! our dear sister's wedding.... We have come already three times to celebrations like this for Marie, Pauline, and Thérèse (the little thief, who took my name), but never did I see such great preparations, I can see that Céline is the last!"

Little Hélène and the little Josephs will make some delightful remarks on their joy at belonging to the family of the Queen of so beautiful a celebration. Then some little children who have been listening, gravely supporting their chins in their hands, will stand up and will say that they, too, are Celine's brothers, and to prove it they will explain why and from what line this illustrious relation­ship comes to them. Then will be heard more than just cries of joy, and the Blessed Virgin will be forced to come and restore calm to the childlike group. All the saints will come running, too, and learn­ing the cause of this extraordinary jubilation, they will find the idea so charming that each will hasten to set up a genealogy showing his close kinship to Céline. Thus all the pontiffs, the glorious martyrs, the warriors (at their head, St. Sebastian), in a word, the whole heavenly nobility will take glory in giving the spouse of Jesus the name of sister, and the wedding will be composed of one great and identical family.

However, let us return to the handsome Old Man, the beautiful Lady, and the four cherubs. All dressed up, they will come into the Chapter room. The angels will bow when seeing them pass by and will show them the magnificent thrones prepared for them on each side of the lowly chair destined for dear little Mother. It is into her hands that, in a few hours, the indissoluble bonds uniting Jesus and Céline will be made, and so this Mother, little in the eyes of creatures but great in the eyes of Him whose place she takes, will receive most abundant blessings from her dear parents to place on the head of her sister and beloved child....

Each saint, each angel will come to congratulate the venerable Patriarch and his happy spouse. They will shine with a new glory, and their children will cry out in admiration: "Oh, Papa! oh, Mam­ma! how beautiful you are! how unfortunate Céline does not see you!. . . Let her see you just for today."

"Leave me alone, children," Papa will answer. "You do not realize that though 1 am hiding myself today it is because I know how great a reward my brave one will draw from remaining without any consolation. In days gone by, I suffered much, and Céline was then my only support, so now I want to be here, but do not imagine 1 want to take the merit of suffering from her. Oh! no, I realize its value only too well.... God will not allow Himself to be outdone in generosity." He is already my great reward, and soon He will be my faithful Céline's." "It is very true," Mamma will say. "It is better not to show ourselves to her in the foreign land since Céline is exiled there only for one instant in order to combat and to die.''' The day will come soon when Jesus will be truly the Master and my little daughter the Mistress. She said this to me when she was very little, and I see she was right!..." The family conversation will be interrupted by the angels, who will come to announce with great pomp that the fiancée is ready to attend the Nuptial Mass. The pro­cession will line up in perfect order and precede Jesus and Céline surrounded by her family from heaven and earth. I cannot describe Jesus' transports of love for Céline, her radiant beauty (for she will be clothed in the adornment which Mary herself has brought). I do not know if the inhabitants of heaven have ever seen a celebration so beautiful, but I do not believe so, and as for myself, I say to my dear sister that I have never seen one so sweet to my heart!...

I shall not speak of the moment itself of the union, for words can­not express this incomprehensible mystery to be revealed to us only in heaven.... I know only that at this moment the Trinity will des­cend into the soul of my dear Céline and will possess it entirely, giv­ing it a splendor and and innocence superior to that of Baptism. ... I know the Blessed Virgin will become the Mamma of her privileged child in a more intimate and motherly way than in the past....

I know that poor little Thérèse already feels in her heart a joy so great at the thought of the beautiful day soon to begin that she is wondering what she will feel when it actually arrives!.. .

Dear little Sister, my soul has very poorly expressed its feelings.... I was thinking of so many things concerning the heavenly celebra­tion that it was impossible for me to give only an outline on the subject. . ..

I have no wedding present to give my Céline, but tomorrow I will take up into my arms the charming cherubs I have spoken about, and it is they themselves whom I will offer to her. Since we want to remain as children, we must unite ourselves to them, and in this way I shall be demoiselle's bridesmaid, carrying a beautiful bou­quet of lilies. All is ours, all is for us, for in Jesus we have all! ...

Céline's little sister, Thérèse of the Child Jesus of the Holy Face

I forgot to say that when she wakes up, Céline will find by her side Jesus, Mary, and good Saint Joseph, whom she loves so much, along with Papa, Mamma, and the little angels. They will get her ready. I forgot, too, to express the joy of Jesus when He hears Céline pronounce for the first time the words of the Office, which will be her task, the spouse of His Heart being entrusted with charming Him in the midst of the camps! ...

 

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc

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