from issue no. 09 - 2008


Céline Martin, sister of Saint Theresa, entered the Carmel of Lisieux in 1894 under the name Sister Genevieve of the Holy Countenance. In 1951 Céline personally edited her own notes from the personal diary – compiled in part while Theresa was still alive – and from her own testimony prepared for the beatification and canonization processes of her sister. Those writings were collected in the book (Counsels and Reminiscences), of which we publish in full here the chapter entitled ‘Gratitude’ (Città Nuova, Roma 1973, pp. 84-85)

a chapter taken from Counsels and Reminiscences by Céline Martin, Saint Theresa’s sister

Saint Theresa of the child Jesus

Saint Theresa of the child Jesus

My dear little sister said to me: “What most attracts the graces of the good God is gratitude, because if we thank him for a favor He remains touched and concerns Himself with granting ten more for us; and if we thank him again with the same outpouring, what an incalculable proliferation of graces there will be! I have experienced it, you try and you’ll see. My gratitude is boundless for all that He gives me, and I show Him in a thousand ways”.
She was also grateful for the smallest service received, but particularly for the good that was done her by the ministers of the Lord in whom she had been able to trust.

Do not doubt God
I complained that God seemed to ignore me... Sister Theresa took me to task animatedly: “Do not say that! Look, even when I do not understand anything of events, I smile, give thanks, I always show myself to be happy before the good God. He must never be doubted, it is a lack of sensitivity. Never ‘swear’ against Providence, but always be grateful”.

I entered Carmel with the impression that I had given much to Jesus. I therefore requested my little Theresa to compose for me, to the tune of “Remember”, a poem that would indeed “remind” Jesus of all that I believed I had sacrificed to Him and all that our family had suffered. She accepted with pleasure the proposal, as an opportunity whereby to give me a small lesson.
In many verses, she evoked not what I had done for Jesus, but what He had done for me. I thought then of the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican: perhaps I had imitated the first one who had boasted that he paid the tenth of all his goods?... Theresa had wanted to teach me to forget myself completely so as to live in Love and gratitude.

Italiano Español Français Deutsch Português