Letter of Teresa to her brother Lucho (2)

June 11, 1919

My dear Lucho:

I don't think you'll blame me for not answering your two little letters immediately, since my time is not my own. I gave away everything I had. Even my own will! I must do everything Our Lord asks of me moment by moment, so that it's only now that I've read your last letter. What a joy! How happy I find myself in sacrificing everything for God! It's all nothing in comparison with the way Our Savior sacrificed Himself from the cradle to the Cross and from the Cross to the point of annihilating Himself under the form of bread till the end of time. Oh, how great is this infinite love. A love unknown, a love not returned by most of humanity.

Lucho dear, throughout these days I have kept you here with me in this retreat... How I'd like to share with you what I feel, little brother of my soul. How I'd love to show you the lovely infinite horizon beyond creation that I experience and contemplate. I love God now a thousand times more than I did before, because I hadn't known Him. He reveals and makes Himself known to souls that really seek to know and love Him. Everything on earth, dear Lucho, seems to shrink, to lose value before the Divinity which, like an infinite Sun, continues to shine upon my miserable soul with its rays. Oh, if you could go to the depths of my soul even for an instant, you'd see me captivated by that Beauty, by that incomprehensible Goodness. How I'd love to bind the hearts of creatures and surrender them to divine Love! You've never known the heaven that I, through God's mercy, possess in my heart.
Yes. I have a heaven in my soul, because God is there, and God is heaven.

You say that you'll be good for my sake. This I cannot allow. Let's never do good for a miserable creature. Love and do good in order to possess unchanging Goodness eternally, the infinite Good, the Only One who can fill and satisfy your will. I, what can I do? Nothing, absolutely nothing. Join me in striving that there be no other motive in our deeds but God. We'll grow apart, Lucho, if you don't work for Him. For what greater abyss can there be that the one between God and works done for a creature's sake! Lucho, join me in working for God…

You ask me to assure you in my letters that I will always love you as a sister. Can you doubt it for even a moment? Can it be that you don't realize that my heart is being perfected by divine love and that, the more perfect it becomes, the more and greater love becomes? So never doubt that at every moment I'm praying for you, and my prayer is a song of love…

I preach at you so much in my letters. Aren't you getting tired of it? But forgive me. When people love, they can't help but speaking of their loved one. What happens then if the one loved has within Himself every possible perfection? I don't know how I can do a thing but contemplate and love Him. What can you expect, if Jesus Christ that Mad Lover has made me fall madly in love with Himself? It's martyrdom for me, Lucho, to see noble and well bred hearts, hearts capable of loving good, not loving the Good that never changes; when I see that hearts grateful to creatures are not grateful to the One who keeps them alive, to the One who gives them life and sustains them, and who gives and who has given them everything, even unto giving them Himself.

Lucho, pray! Reflect calmly on who God is and on who you are and all that you owe Him. After classes go by the church where Jesus is alone, and he will speak to your heart in mystical silence. Join me in spirit. At five o'clock I'm praying. Let's accompany the God who is abandoned, and let's ask Him to give us His holy love.

Bye for now, brother that I love so much. You'll always have a place in my poor Carmelite and sisterly heart.

Teresa of Jesus


(Letter No. 107, trans. Michael D. Griffin, Teresian Charism Press, 1994).

Photo : Teresa as a Carmélite.



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