A Short Translation of Marie Martin, Sister of St. Therese of Lisieux

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Happy Reblog Wednesday! The following letter was translated by Carmelite Quotes. Please check out their website for more original translations.

28 April 1939

My Dearest Daughter,

Is today a day of thanksgiving for so much love that the good Lord has showered on you throughout your life? Who could have foreseen it lasting so long?…

But now you are almost at the end, rich beyond anything you could have hoped for, because I cannot help believing that these words of Our Lord were spoken for you and for our little Thérèse when he answered the mother of the sons of Zebedee, claiming for them the first places in his kingdom: this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father [Mt 20:23]. Yes, my little Céline, this place is for you, and I love you so much that I am much happier for you than for me. I know that in Heaven you will share all your secrets with me as I would share mine with you if I discovered marvels in the good Lord that you would not see. The first word I picked up on your baby lips was ‘more, more, more’ and I was amazed that you understood the meaning of those words. Today I repeat these same words to the good Lord for you: even more love, even more graces for my beloved little girl. And the Lord, who is infinitely rich and powerful, will pour out more and more of His gifts into your soul, which is privileged and infinitely loved by Him!

The one you once chose for your mother who was so poor and unworthy of this title,

Marie of the Sacred Heart, c.d.i.

This letter from Marie to Céline on the occasion of her 70th birthday is a testimony not only to the enduring family ties that linked these two members of the Martin family over the decades, but also to the Teresian character of their relationship as Discalced Carmelite religious. Marie signed her name with the initials “c.d.i.”, which stands for “unworthy Discalced Carmelite”; this was a quaint custom among French Carmels, still in use even in the 1930s. Marie says to Céline, “now you are almost at the end” of your life, but in fact it was Marie whose demise was near; she died 19 January 1940. As for Céline, she lived until the ripe old age of 90.

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