I choose all One day, Léonie, thinking she was too big to be playing any longer with dolls, came to us with a basket filled with dresses and pretty pieces for making others; her doll was resting on top. “Here, my little sisters, choose; I’m giving you all this.” Céline stretched out her hand and took a little ball of wool that pleased her. After a moment’s reflection, I stretched out mine saying: “I choose all!” and I took the basket without further ceremony. Those who witnessed the scene saw nothing wrong and even Céline herself didn’t dream of complaining (besides, she had all sorts of toys, her godfather gave her lots of presents, and Louise found ways of getting her everything she desired). This little incident of my childhood is a summary of my whole life; later on, when perfection was set before me, I understood that to become a saint one had to suffer much, seek out always the most perfect thing to do, and forget self. I understood, too, there were many degrees of perfection and each soul was free to respond to the advances of our Lord, to do little or much for him, in a word, to choose among the sacrifices he was asking. Then, as in the days of my childhood, I cried out: “My God, ‘I choose all!’ I don’t want to be a saint by halves, I’m not afraid to suffer for you, I fear only one thing: to keep my own will; so take it, for ‘I choose all’ that you will!” Manuscript A Thérèse talks about two of her sisters, when she herself is four years old. Léonie is 9 years older than Thérèse. Céline is 4 years older. Darling Thérèse 21