Carmel of Lisieux, 14 July 1897




You tell me in your last letter (which pleased me very much): "I am a baby who is learning to talk."1 Well, I for the last five or six weeks, am a baby too, for I am living only on milk; but soon I shall sit down at the heavenly banquet, I shall quench my thirst at the waters of eternal life! When you receive this letter, no doubt I shall have left this earth. The Lord in His infinite mercy will have opened His kingdom to me, and I shall be able to draw from His treasures in order to grant them liberally to the souls who are dear to me. Believe, Brother, that your little sister will hold to her promises, and, her soul, freed from the weight of the mortal envelope, will joyfully fly toward the distant regions that you are evangelizing. Ah! Brother, I feel it, I shall be more useful to you in heaven than on earth, and it is with joy that I come to announce to you my coming entrance into that blessed city, sure that you will share my joy and will thank the Lord for giving me the means of helping you more effectively in your apostolic works.

I really count on not remaining inactive in heaven. My desire is to work still for the Church and for souls. I am asking God for this and I am certain He will answer me. Are not the angels continually occupied with us without their ever ceasing to see the divine Face and to lose themselves in the Ocean of Love without shores? Why would Jesus not allow me to imitate them?

Brother, you see that if I am leaving the field of battle already, it is not with the selfish desire of taking my rest. The thought of eternal beatitude hardly thrills my heart. For a long time, suffering has become my heaven here below, and I really have trouble in conceiving how I shall be able to acclimatize myself in a country where joy reigns without any admixture of sadness. Jesus will have to transform my soul and give it the capacity to rejoice, otherwise I shall not be able to put up with eternal delights.

What attracts me to the homeland of heaven is the Lord's call, the hope of loving Him finally as I have so much desired to love Him, and the thought that I shall be able to make Him loved by a multitude of souls who will bless Him eternally.

Brother, you will not have time to send me your messages for heaven, But I am guessing at them, and then you will only have to tell me them in a whisper, and I shall hear you, and I shall carry your messages faithfully to the Lord, to our Immaculate Mother, to the Angels, and to the Saints whom you love. I will ask the palm of martyrdom for you, and I shall be near you, holding your hand so that you may gather up this glorious palm without effort, and then with joy we shall fly together into the heavenly homeland, surrounded by all the souls who will be your conquest!

Au revoir, Brother; pray very much for your sister, pray for our Mother, whose sensitive and maternal heart has much difficulty in consenting to my departure. I count on you to console her.

I am your little sister for eternity,
Therese of the Child Jesus and
of the Holy Face
rel. carm. inc.

1. Fr. Adolphe Roulland was a newly ordained missionary in China. As a seminarian, he asked the superior of the Carmel of Lisieux, Mother Marie de Gonzague, that one of her nuns be associated with him in his mission, supporting his evangelizing work with prayer and penance. It was St. Therese who was assigned to this task, and thus she carried on correspondence with Fr. Rouland toward the end of her life. This is the last letter she wrote to him.

It gives us pause to realize that in a short 19 years Saint Joan of Arc lived such an extraordinary life that scholars have been absorbed in study of this marvelous Saint in the centuries since. Unless one approches the study considering first her spiritual prodigy then all other study is done on a brief secular flash in history. They study what is known and unfortunatly not believing the spiritual and rejecting that prodigy end up in an impasse.

The same is true with Saint Therese. One cannot see the true Therese from a strictly emperical study. What is true about both of these fine Saints is the parallel of the intellect that we find in both. In Jehanne we see an intellect that was on par with the assesors from the university of Paris. In Therese we find an intellect that after her "little way" was published Theologians were startled to find that every phrase was a theological discussion.

In Jehanne we find a young woman a shepardess from Domremy illiterate but yet an intellectual giant whose life and accomplishments, have won the hearts of all, the admiration of scholars, shook and changed the very foundations of the church, whose life is so important as to be listed as a major event in the church history. Declared as second celestial owner of France next to the Blessed Virgin who is the first.

In Therese we find again another virgin who mostly was home schooled and we cannot say exceptionaly educated who in a brief flash of time like Jehanne showed an intellectual giant capable of being declared "Doctor of the Church".

What common denominator do we find in both that would bring about such marvelous intellects in not only the Saints we are discussing but in all the Saints? The one denominator is LOVE! Love and commitment to Godby which the gifts each
had been given could come to full fruition!

"For a long time I had been asking myself why souls did not all receive the same amount of grace. Jesus deigned to instruct me about this mystery. Before my eyes He placed the book of nature and I understood that all the flowers created by Him are beautiful... that, if all the little flowers wanted to be roses, nature would lose her springtime garb. The same is true of the world of souls, the Lord's living garden; Saint Therese!

"But for God's grace, I could do nothing." "I think that it is not possible to cleanse your conscience too often." These are only two of the many words of wisdom that Saint Joan uttered.  Each with a completely different mission in life given by God but both in their complete commitment to God and their love of him each in their way winning their place in the crown of Christ!

Her Teaching on Purgatory and The Litany includes also a humorous article about her.
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Saint Therese joined the Apostleship of prayer long before her entry into the convent. You can go here for the apostleship.
Apostleship of Prayer
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Story of a Soul the complete text including all known letters:
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Saint Therese of Lisieux her poems a complete library
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Saint Therese of Lisieux, Therese of the child Jesus pray for us:

Pax Christi: Therese:

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Saint Therese of the Holy Face of the Child Jesus
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