Sr. Genevieve (Celine) in Carmel.
Letter from Celine at LaMusse before she entered Carmel to St. Therese who was in Carmel:
From Céline1 to Thérèse*
La Musse, 27 July 1893
Dear little Thérèse,
I kept the best till last for you, and I do not know if I am going to have the time to write you all I would like. However, I would really like to tell you a lot of things.
You will perhaps think that your letter, written to console me, did not attain its purpose since I wrote Pauline2 that Jesus was consoling me. Oh! nothing of the kind. Your letter consoled me over again, and it did me so great a good that I thanked Our Lord for it. I do not understand this, but you always tell me exactly what you should tell me . . .
The comparison of the child on the open sea gives me very much to think about; and this: “Jesus is happy to receive all during the night . . . He is awaiting the dawn, oh! then what an awakening will be the awakening of Jesus!!! . . .” This, Thérèse, enraptures me.
I was touched, very much touched, by the coincidence of your little sacrifices. Yes, Jesus is asking these from me, and I am not rebelling. I feel drawn to: “Since Jesus is not giving to me,” give without counting and take advantage of opportunities.
Dear Thérèse, I said Jesus has consoled me because I am no longer discouraged, but as for having any consolations, I do not have any, in spite of drinking in with delight what my dear little sisters write me.
Pauline told me: “Whether our soul be sad or joyful, disturbed or calm, is not important if we turn our eyes to heaven, if we always have confidence, if all things of the earth appear to us as contemptible.” (However, what to do if everything is the contrary?)
These words of Marie3 comforted me: “You are really blessed to be sought out by such a friend, to be the object of His divine whims.”
Oh! yes, Jesus is good for having made Himself our Friend! Who, then, would have been able to be the friend of our souls, our very souls?
I shall make you smile by a detail which is neither mystical nor elevated but which will sound the note of my isolation: the other night, I was considering the moon in the immensity of space; it was veiled by a light cloud. The earth was in shadow. I was walking and suddenly saw at my side faithful Tom.4 He had heard me and he came, I had only him! Thérèse, oh, understand your Céline.
1. Céline Martin (1869-1959), St. Thérèse’s sister closest in age. Céline took care of their father, Louis Martin, during his long illness, while her sisters Thérèse, Pauline (Mother Agnes of Jesus), and Marie (Sr. Marie of the Sacred Heart) were already in Carmel. Céline joined the Carmel of Lisieux after Louis Martin’s death in 1894.
2. Pauline Martin (1861-1951), St. Thérèse’s second eldest sister, who acted as the saint’s “little Mother” upon the death of their mother, Zélie Martin, in 1877. Pauline entered the Carmel of Lisieux in 1882.
3. Marie Martin (1860-1940), St. Thérèse’s eldest sister and godmother. She entered the Carmel of Lisieux in 1886.
4. Tom was the family’s dog.