Todo - Nada

Chapter 5

Letter to a Nun


To accept – To offer – To thank.

Crémières, November 22nd, 1989.


Receive the gifts of my first handwritten letter since January 1989. How many I have received! From the whole world. The Fraternity is not a vain illusion but an absolute supernatural reality. That is why you have done well to write to me with confidence.

I have taken advantage myself of the Communion of Saints, I therefore could not deprive you of its benefits too. Yes, I have prayed and suffered for the Sisters of the Fraternity and I continue, conscious of the weakness of my means.

Here then is some advice:

1. Temptations are not sins, every soul has temptations and fights against them with more or less cowardice. It is the Sacraments which will strengthen us because they pour forth grace, the life of God Himself. Every supernatural act is an act of eternity. You see yourself your weakness of will and the misery of your soul before God. Courage! It is the beginning of wisdom. This makes you suffer, well then, offer up these sufferings, offer your helplessness as spiritual flowers. Many a time these are faded or wilted but our Heavenly Mother in Her maternal goodness refuses not the gifts of the heart. Offer Her everything, your sorrow, your voluntary or involuntary temptations, your faults and even your falls. Our Lady of Compassion will purify all. She will know how to present your offering to Her Divine Son.

2. You think that you are separating yourself always more from God. I do not believe this. You are in a phase of spiritual life where you begin to understand that sentiment and impressions are radically different from union with God. It is not because you no longer feel the fervour that you have necessarily left the path of sanctity. It is even in aridity and in fog that we achieve the most progress. How? By remaining faithful to the small things of the religious life, because regularity and precision are the tangible proofs of our fidelity in the same way that silence is its thermometer. Again courage! Every day it is necessary to start again and to give back to God, because every, every day at every moment, we have a tendency to take back that which we have given. It is therefore necessary always to give back again.

3. As for sanctity, it can appear to be a dream. In fact, one is not born a saint but one can die in a state of sanctity, that is to say, purified, liberated from ourselves. Very few succeed, some even think that certain saints have passed through Purgatory! For goodness sake, do not be afraid of the gap between the ideal and the reality, accept yourself – that is the beginning of humility. The Good God will take on Himself that task of sculpting your soul to His likeness and that will not be done without pain. I am also going to pray more especially for you on December 8th that Our Lady will give you her peace and that your devotion will become more true, less sensitive but more firm, constant, nearly military.

Finally, self-denial is an apprenticeship, it has a beginning, modest, small, humble. Self-denial on pride, on believing oneself to be something when one is nothing. We are useless, incapable, powerless servants. To accept, to offer that. Also thank the Good God for giving you the grace to see clearly your misery. You are beginning to be a true sister. Your entry into religion was a condemnation of the world and the first station of your way of the Cross, way of perfection, way towards sanctity. Courage!

I will unite you therefore to Our Lord in His Precious Body and I will mingle you with His Precious Blood in the Sacrifice of the Altar.

On December 8th, for your consecration to Our Lady especially, you must also pray for me because I will renew for three years my commitment to the Fraternity.

As to my health, there is a clear progress. I am starting again to say Mass every day and I am beginning to do a bit of work here at the Carmel. I have now passed more than 500 days in hospital, 107 general anaesthetics and 76 surgical operations, Radio-therapy (1975- 6), operations ('82-'86) and chemotherapy (1989) have reduced me to what I am. A priest firstly; the doctors were not able to affect my priestly state, so it was on the body that they were practising. Sufferings and humiliations, nothing was spared me. The five senses have been affected, all my organs have made me suffer.

Grace alone remains and with it, peace. It is through your prayers and your sacrifices united to those of the faithful, the nuns and priests of the whole world, that I owe all my spiritual benefit! Therefore thank you, or rather, Deo Gratias.

The Communion of Saints is perhaps the thing that I have tried the most. I beg the Lord and Master to make you share and profit from this magnificent Catholic treasure which is not depleted but is enriched by use.

With my priestly blessing +

Henry La Praz


P.S. As for my ordination cards, actually I cannot give you any because all my belongings are in boxes. I have nothing with me. I try to live poverty.


Chapter 4

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