[D]on’t say that you are in darkness; it seems this way to you, but eternal light is shining on you… Without it, would you have these sentiments? No…
You fill my heart with joy; I would really cry with joy when seeing that my little daughter, the dearest, holds nothing back in her holocaust… She is saying just like the Spouse in the Canticles: “Come, my Beloved, let us go down into our garden; it is time to taste my fruits. I have reserved the best and the most beautiful for you… ” (Cf. Songs 5:1).
And the Beloved runs over the hills; He is coming; He is here; only two days more!
“Dear garden of my little fiancée,” He says from a distance, “always be the garden enclosed, open only to me; I am the sun of your flowers. My divine eyes will cast such a ray of flame upon your budding fruits that they will ripen in one instant; my mouth will open to sing melodious words to you… all of nature’s concerts will not be even a faint echo of my song.
“Come, my friend, my sister, my dove, open to me, for my head is covered with dew, the moisture of the night, that is, the sins of men, has flooded my beautiful face.
“Come, open to me. You will henceforth be the little Veronica of my choice. I am cold, I weep, but when I look at you, oh, my garden enclosed, there are no more tears for me, for I see in your hands the white veil of virginity… Bring it close to my divine Face, and I will imprint my Face on it forever.”
Agnès of Jesus, OCD (Pauline Martin)
Letter to St. Thérèse of Lisieux
7 January 1889
Note: “Only two days more” refers to the approaching clothing ceremony, where Thérèse the postulant would receive the holy habit of Carmel on 10 January 1889.
We always refer to the website of the Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux for the vast majority of our quotes concerning Saint Thérèse, Saint Zélie, and Saint Louis Martin, but if you would like to purchase any of the English translations that appear on the Archives website, please visit the website of our Discalced Carmelite friars at ICS Publications.
Featured image: We are grateful to artist Natalie Ewert for permission to use her copyrighted artwork in our featured image. You can explore more of her work at her Etsy shop, hallowedspace.
Boy, do I understand this!!!
It’s profound, that much is for sure!