The Carmel of Lisieux, at its Web site, http://www.carmeldelisieux.fr., is posting each week the story of the vocation of one of the nuns who lives there now. I thank the Carmel for permission to translate this story into English and to post it. It is the story of an extern sister:
A life at the service of the pilgrims of Therese
I come from a Catholic family; my father had three sisters who were nuns, so, when his daughter also wanted to enter an order, it did not make him cry! Since I was very little I wanted to be a nun. It is on account of little Thérèse that I entered here, and then I had an aunt who was an extern sister here, that is to say a Cramelite who does not live within the enclosure and who is responsible for the monastery’s relations with the world outside. When I was very little I heard my aunt speaking of Thérèse . That is how I received the vocation of being an extern sister.
I have had this vocation since I was eighteen months old! In 1927 my parents took me to the speakroom to see Mother Agnès, the older sister of Thérèse. When I saw the grilles, I was so afraid of them that I rolled on the floor! Mother Agnès said to my parents: “Don’t worry, she will come back to us; she will come back to us!” And 22 years later, I came as an extern sister, for I want to be at the service of the pilgrims of little Thérèse. To welcome them at the door, to accompany them at the big ceremonies, to pray in the chapel with them, it is my joy to receive whole pilgrimages. I entered the Carmel of Lisieux for little Thérèse, but, before all else, it is to love Jesus and to make him loved.
For me Thérèse is a big sister who has always accompanied me. Since I was born: my delivery was very difficult and they feared losing me; my father entrusted me to Thérèse and made a vow to her to give me her name if I survived. She has always been everything for me.
My favorite saint:
Saint Joseph! I would like all the little boys to be called Joseph as I have a great devotion for him.
Sentence of the Bible:
"As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you . Remain in my love" (Jn 15: 9). To remain in his love, to feel oneself loved by Jesus, to have the desire to love him also, that’s what brought me here. To remain in his love, this is my vocation as a Carmelite.
My great desire, it is to die for love. I often repeat the last verse of Thérèse’s poem “Vivre d’Amour” (“To Live by Love”):
Dying of Love is what I hope for.
When I shall see my bonds broken,
My God will be my Great Reward.
I don’t desire to possess any other goods.
I want to be set on fire with his Love.
I want to see Him, to unite myself to Him forever.
That is my Heaven . . . . that is my destiny:
Living on Love!!! . . . . . .