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LT 258 - to Fr. Bellière - July 18, 1897.

J.M.J.T.

Jesus                                                              July 18, 1897

My poor and dear little Brother,

Your sorrow touches me deeply, but see how good Jesus is. He is allowing me to be able to write you again in order to try to con­sole you, and no doubt this will not be the last time. The gentle Saviour is hearing your complaints and your prayers, and this is why He leaves me still on earth. Do not believe I am disturbed by this; oh! no, dear little Brother, on the contrary, for I see in this conduct of Jesus how much He loves you!...

I undoubtedly explained myself poorly in my last note, since you tell me, very dear little Brother, "not to ask from you this joy I feel at the approach of bliss." Ah, if for a few moments you could read into my soul, how surprised you would be! The thought of heaven­ly bliss not only causes me not a single bit of joy, but I even ask myself at times how it will be possible to be happy without any suf­fering. Jesus no doubt will change my nature, otherwise I would miss suffering and [in] the valley of tears. Never have I asked God to die young, this would have appeared to me as cowardliness; but He, from my childhood, saw fit to give me the intimate conviction that my course here below would be short. It is, then, the thought alone of accomplishing the Lord's will that makes up all my joy.

Oh, little Brother, how I would like to be able to pour into your heart the balm of consolation! I can only borrow the words of Jesus at the Last Supper. He cannot take offense at this since I am His little spouse and, consequently, His goods are mine. I say to you, then, as He said to His intimate friends: "I am going to my Father but because I have spoken to you these things, sorrow has filled your heart. But I speak the truth to you: it is expedient for you that I depart. And you, therefore, have sorrow now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you."

Yes, I am certain of it, after my entrance into life, my dear little Brother's sadness will be changed into a peaceful joy that no creature will be able to take from him. I feel it, we must go to heaven by the same way, that of suffering united to love. When I shall be in port, I shall teach you, dear little Brother of my soul, how you must sail the stormy sea of the world with the abandonment and the love of a child who knows his Father loves him and would be unable to leave him in the hour of danger. Ah! how I would like to make you understand the tenderness of the Heart of Jesus, what He expects from you. In your letter of the 14th, you made my heart thrill sweet­ly; I understood more than ever the degree to which your soul is sister to my own, since it is called to raise itself to God by the ELEVATOR of love and not to climb the rough stairway of fear.... I am not surprised in any way that the practice of familiarity with Jesus seems to you a little difficult to realize; we cannot reach it in

one day, but I am sure that I shall help you much more to walk by this delightful way when I shall have been delivered from my mor­tal envelope, and soon, like St. Augustine, you will say: "Love is the weight that draws me."

I would like to try to make you understand by means of a very simple comparison how much Jesus loves even imperfect souls who confide in Him:

I picture a father who has two children, mischievous and disobe­dient, and when he comes to punish them, he sees one of them who trembles and gets away from him in terror, having, however, in the bottom of his heart the feeling that he deserves to be punished; and his brother, on the contrary, throws himself into his father's arms, saying that he is sorry for having caused him any trouble, that he loves him, and to prove it he will be good from now on, and if this child asks his father to punish him with a kiss, I do not believe that the heart of the happy father could resist the filial confidence of his child, whose sincerity and love he knows. He realizes, however, that more than once his son will fall into the same faults, but he is prepared to pardon him always, if his son always takes him by his heart. ... I say nothing to you about the first child, dear little Brother, you must know whether his father can love him as much and treat him with the same indulgence as the other....

But why speak to you of the life of confidence and love? I ex­plain myself so poorly that I must wait for heaven in order to con­verse with you about this happy life. What I wanted to do today was to console you. Ah! how happy I would be if you were to welcome my death as Mother Agnes of Jesus welcomes it. Un­doubtedly, you do not know that she is my sister twice over and that she has served me as mother in my childhood. Our good Mother feared very much that her sensitive nature and her very great affec­tion for me would make my departure very bitter for her; the con­trary has happened. She speaks of my death as of a celebration, and this is a great consolation for me. I beg you, dear little Brother, try like her to convince yourself that instead of losing me you will find me, and that I will no longer leave you. Ask the same favor for the Mother whom you love and whom I love still more than you love her, since she is my visible Jesus. I would give you with joy what you are asking if I had not made the vow of poverty, but because of it I cannot even dispose of a picture. Our Mother alone can satisfy you, and I know she will grant your desires. Precisely in view of my approaching death, a Sister took my photograph for our Mother's feast day. The novices cried out when seeing me that I had taken on my grand look; it seems that usually I am smiling more, but believe, little Brother, that if my photograph is not smiling at you, my soul will not cease to smile at you when it is near you. A Dieu, dear and much loved Brother, believe that I shall be for all eternity your true little sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, r.c.i.

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