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From Léonie to Céline - November 13, 1890. Fragment.

From Léonie to Céline - November 13, 1890. Fragment.

Lisieux, 13th November 1890


Dearest little sister,

If only you knew how much I’m thinking of you during my days of exile; they are as sweet as can be, because Aunt is so good to me. As for me, I’m doing all I can to make the absence of her two little daughters less hard. With that in view, I never leave her an instant, I try to be cheerful, and all in all I think everything is fine. It is God’s will that this week I be deprived of the solitude of my bedroom, something I miss extremely. I’m offering this sacrifice to him and content myself by saying I love him many times a day, which fortunately goes by quite quickly.

Only two more days and then I’ll see you again, beloved little sister. I miss you very much; I can’t hold back my tears as I write to you. If only you knew how much pleasure your letter brought me. I am happy to see we will soon have darling Papa with us; I am of your opinion, it will be difficult, but the difficulty will be sweet and I’m as ready as you are to spend all my energy and even my life if necessary. Little sister, you will give me strength and I will do anything to make his last days happy ones. We have been so deprived of his presence that it will seem very sweet to lavish our care upon him. But I don’t dare rejoice too much, how many times have we had this hope and then God’s hour has not come. Who knows? He perhaps wants to prolong our trial, I am inclined to believe this, and yet I hope, because, after all, this iron cross won’t last forever. The best we can do, you see, darling sister, is to entrust ourselves, and everything relating to us, to the Heart of Jesus; only there will we find the strength to bear life’s sorrows, which we certainly haven’t lacked. But let’s not complain, we are more than Jesus’ friends, we are his spouses; that is why he is treating us this way. In heaven we shall see darling Father who is so humiliated, crowned with glory for eternity! Let’s be his crown, let’s become worthy of such a holy father…

I sent your short note and portrait to the Carmel on Monday (the painting of Mgr. Robin). I went to see Marie the following day, and I told her about dear Papa. She was very happy and the talk did me good. I needed that to build my strength back up in my solitary life. There are times when I suffer sorely, but you will soon be back. You know we have always been together, and that’s why your absence seems so long and yet I haven’t been bored at all, I’ve been too busy for that.

Darling little sister, you know how much I love you, I’m speaking with my whole heart. I’m delighted to know you’re happy and I’m ready to give you this happiness as many times as you like, despite being deprived of your presence.

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