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. Thérèse 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.
March 19, 1897
I am not at all worried about the future; I am sure God will do His will, it is the only grace I desire. One must not be more kingly than the king. . . . Jesus has no need of anyone to do His work, and if He were to accept me, this would be out of pure kindness; but to tell you the truth, Brother, I rather believe Jesus will treat me like a little lazy thing. I do not want this, for I would be happy to work and suffer a long time for Him. So I am asking Him to be content with me, that is, to pay no attention to my desires of loving Him in suffering or of going to enjoy Him in heaven . . .