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From sister Agnès de Jésus to Thérèse - November 10 , 1887

From Agnes of Jesus to Thérèse.

November 10, 1887

J.M.J.T.

(Confidential letter)

Jesus' little Toy,

I had told you to ask nothing from the Holy Father; today, Our Mother and Mother Geneviève advise you to speak, in case you really want to do so. I can't explain why; it would take too long.

If the Holy Father blesses each pilgrim in particular, what will be easier? I would fear that in preventing you from speaking, little Jesus will be vexed with me. The opportunity is so beautiful, since He has made His little ball roll all the way to Rome! It is not right to demand anything further from poor dear little Father, he has done enough for you, more than any other father would want to do. Pray to the Child Jesus, your dear Fiancé, and He will aid you.

Don't let your little heart be troubled; pay no attention to the crowd which will be around you. What does it matter if they hear you? Not the least bit....

Ask Jesus how you should go about it. It's up to Him to instruct you since it's for His love that you will speak. I believe it would be good to say first: Most Holy Father, I have a great favor to ask you.... If he doesn't hear you and passes on to another pilgrim without paying any attention, repeat, don't get tired: Most Holy Father, I have a great favor to ask you. Finally, the good Holy Father will end up by understanding. When he seems to be listen­ing to you or if he asks you a question, you will explain then in a few words the object of your request: Most Holy Father, in honor of your jubilee, permit me to enter Carmel at age fifteen. They find me very young, but since I have the vocation and since Papa is really willing!

………………………………………………………………………………………………. You will then see what he answers. . . think that it is to Jesus Himself that you are speaking, and this will help you. Formerly, in His mortal life, the Jews had no shame revealing their needs to Him in the midst of crowds; don't you blush either. Speak and fear nothing.

Above all, let M. Révérony know nothing about this letter. If you only knew the trouble this would cause.... I have written you my thought only after reflection. Mother Geneviève was say­ing to me yesterday: Above all, don't hinder her from speaking to the Holy Father; and Our Mother is of the same opinion. This is therefore, an obligation for me to lift the prohibition. However, it is up to yow, do only what Jesus will inspire you to do. . . . It's true that the opportunity is beautiful!

Our beloved Mother, Mother Geneviève, the whole Carmel is in prayer for Thérésita. Courage!..

Above all, don't allow yourself to be rebuffed by a first refusal; think of the perseverance of the Canaanite woman. If the Holy Father seems to say "no," then you answer: Oh, most Holy Father, you can't refuse me; you know that Jesus said: Let the lit tie children come to me.

Our Father has said: If the Holy Father were to say "yes," we would open the doors to you without any difficulty.

You may show your letter to Céline before tearing it up.

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc