Your letter of July disturbed me very much; attributing to my lack of fervor the combats you had to suffer, I did not cease imploring for you the maternal help of the sweet Queen of Apostles. So my consolation was very great when I received as a feast day bouquet the assurance that my poor prayers had been answered….
Now that the storm has passed, I thank God for having made you pass through it, for we read in our holy books these beautiful words: “Blessed is the man who has suffered temptation,” [Ja 1:12] and again: “What does he know who has not been tempted?” [cf. He 5:7]
In fact, when Jesus calls a soul to direct and to save multitudes of other souls, it is necessary that He have him experience the temptations and trials of life. Since He has granted you the grace to come out victorious from the fight, I trust, Monsieur l’Abbé, that our gentle Jesus will realize your great desires.
I am asking Him that you may be not only a good missionary but a saint all on fire with the love of God and souls; I beg you to obtain also for me this love so that I may help you in your apostolic work. You know that a Carmelite who would not be an apostle would separate herself from the goal of her vocation and would cease to be a daughter of the Seraphic Saint Teresa, who desired to give a thousand lives to save a single soul.
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
Letter 198 to Abbé Maurice Bellière (excerpts)
21 October 1896