Therese's feast day during her lifetime

Therese celebrated her feast every year on October 15, the feast of St. Teresa of Avila ("Therese" being merely the French version of "Teresa").  On October 15, 1889 she wrote to her sister Celine to thank her for feast day gifts.  Therese was then a 16-year-old novice, already in Carmel for eighteen months.  Eight months before their father had been taken to the Bon Sauveur aslyum at Caen, where he would remain for two and a half years more.  An excerpt from Therese's letter:

"Celine . . . . Your letter pleased me very much; I felt how much our souls were made to understand each other, and to walk by the same way! . . . . Life, ah, it's true, for us it has no more attraction . . . but I am mistaken.  It's true that the attractions of this world have vanished for us, but this is only a smoke, and the reality remains for us.  Yes, life is a treasure . . . each moment is an eternity, an eternity of joy in heaven, an eternity of seeing God face to face, of being one with Him!  . . . There is only Jesus who is; all the rest is not . . . . Let us love Him, then, unto folly; let us save souls for Him."1

"Only Jesus is; all the rest is not . . . ."  How these words echo Therese's courageous dedication to reality, she who would say at the end of her life,  "O my God . . . . Make me see things as they really are.  Let nothing cause me to be deceived."2

1"Letters of Saint Therese: General Correspondence," Volume One, translated by John Clarke, O.C.D.  Copyright 1982 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc., ICS Publications.

2"St. Therese of Lisieux: Her Last Conversations,"  translated by John Clarke, O.C.D.  Copyright 1977 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc., ICS Publications., p. 105, July 21, 1897