Monday, December 30, 2013

St. Therese Promises Her Young Priest Prayers Even in Heaven

The letters St. Therese wrote to Maurice are among the longest she wrote to anyone, and they are especially rich because they were written at the high point of her life. For a long time they belonged to him alone. When he died in 1907, the executor of his will gave them back to the Carmel. During his lifetime, we know that he read them over and over. We may be sure that he especially loved the third letter, and often went back to dwell on the great promise which she made him and which she repeated a number of times in later letters: 

“Monsieur l’AbbĂ©, you must find me very strange. Maybe you regret having a sister who seems to want to go to enjoy eternal rest and leave you to labor on alone. But let me assure you, the only thing I desire is God’s Will. … I don’t know the future, but if Jesus makes my premonition come true, I promise to remain your little sister in heaven. Far from being broken, our union will become a closer one, for then there will be no more cloister and no more cloister and no more grills, and my soul will be free to fly with you to the missions far away. Our roles will still be the same. Yours will be apostolic labor, and mine will be prayer and love.”

How many nights he must have read those words by the light of his kerosene lamp, and as he drifted into slumber how they must have brought peace at the close of a day.