Letter to her cousin HERMINIA VALDÉS OSSA

Teresa had a burning love for the Eucharist. In this letter she suggests daily communion to her cousin Herminia whom she used to call "Chubby" ("Gordita" in Spanish).

July 22, 1919

May the Holy Spirit be in the soul of my dear Chubby:

Since you're a favorite with our Rev. Mother [the prioress of the monastery] just as you are with me, I've been given special permission to answer your letter right away, especially to thank you for the things you sent us. May God abundantly reward your charity toward these poor Carmelites who live on alms alone. Believe me, if we eat it's because God miraculously keeps our pantry filled, for in this Convent we have no resources. We have only what God gives us. Why would we want more? Count on the prayers of our Rev. Mother and of all our Sisters who have - by their sanctity - opened the gates of heaven and the Heart of our God. As for my poor prayers, you know that they're yours, and that I can never forget you, because I love you greatly.

I've enjoyed your letter, as did our Rev. Mother who's beginning to have great affection for you. Our Rev. Mother told me she finds you to be like my Aunt Elisa whom she loves very much, for she was a real favorite of your Ita. We're always talking about her and of your mother and uncles. On the anniversary of my aunt's death, she had a Mass said and we're all offering our Mass and Communion for her.

It's wonderful that God frees you from social outings. You should be really grateful to Him; and, now that He's freeing you from the world, you should give Him more and go to Mass every day. When will I have this great pleasure and know that my dear Chubby, even before she begins her classroom studies, goes to receive Our Lord who's been awaiting from her from all eternity, since He knew the sacred hosts that she would consume? Oh, that my words might not fall on dry ground, and that in your next letter you'd tell that you do join me every day in Communion. To me, it's inconceivable that, yearning for happiness, you don't search for Jesus. After Communion we have everything. We have Him whole and entire, because we have God who is our heaven in this exile. You will tell me that you feel nothing of this happiness. But I ask you: how have you prepared for it? Have you delved into God's grandeur, into the infinite love He demonstrates by reducing Himself to a host? When you go to Communion, reflect on what you are about to do: receive a completely eternal Being who doesn't need you, since He is all powerful, an immense Being before whom the angels with their purity tremble. He comes, filled with infinite love for you, a poor creature full of sin and misery. Among the many people in the world, you are honored with a visit by that great King. Still more, that you may draw near to receive Him, He casts aside His splendor, and, under the form of bread, the simplest form of nourishment, He unites Himself to His poor creature and makes Himself one with her. And while He's afire with infinite love, she remains cold and indifferent and shows no gratitude for so signal a favor.

Forgive my sermon, but I love you so much and desire that you become really good, and for this we must go to Communion. Some day, when we meet in heaven, which we'll win by God's mercy, you'll thank me for having begged you to go to daily communion every day, since you'll understand that it contains the seed of eternal life...

How are you progressing with your piano lessons? What year are you in now? Are you still having your classes with Mr. Donoso? Tell me all about it, because I'm interested. Tell me anything you want in your letters. Our Rev. Mother can keep a secret, and it's just as if no one knew it. I have complete confidence in her. I have no secrets in my soul as far as Rev. Mother is concerned; she's a saint who is upset at nothing; and she loves you very much.

Tell Eli to forgive me for not answering her letter, but that instead I'll pray for her. I really liked the part about your father. That's another step forward. I hope we can manage to get him to confession. Loving greetings for my very dear aunt and for your father and the children. A hug for Eli and another for my dear Chubby.

Your unworthy sister in J.M.J.T.

Teresa of Jesus

If you see Carmen give her my regards and tell her that on the 16th I won't forget her in my poor prayers. I'm so glad you like each other. Hello to Juana and Elvira.


(Letter No. 117, trans. Michael D. Griffin, Teresian Charism Press, 1994).


Photo : Herminia as a child with her brother Jaime.



Haut de page