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Ms A 65r

[65r°] a hill dominating the whole city, was made magnificent by the great number of carriages drawn by two horses. Unfortunately, the horses took the bit into their own mouths and more than once I was convinced I had seen my last hour. The driver vainly repeated the magic word of Italian drivers: [5] “Appipau! Appipau!”; the horses wanted to turn the carriage upside down. Finally, thanks to our guardian angels we arrived at our magnificent hotel in one piece.

During the course of the whole trip, we were lodged in princely hotels; never had I been surrounded with so much luxury. There’s no mistake about it: riches don’t bring happiness, for I would have [10] been much happier under a thatched roof with the hope of Carmel in the offing, than in the midst of these sumptuous dwellings, these marble staircases, and silk tapestries, and all the while bitterness in my heart! Ah! I really felt it: joy isn’t found in the material objects surrounding us but in the inner recesses of the soul. One can possess joy in a prison cell as well as in a palace. [15] The proof of this: I am happier in Carmel even in the midst of interior and exterior trials than in the world surrounded by the comforts of life, and even the sweetness of the paternal hearth!

My soul was plunged into sadness and still exteriorly I was the same, for I believed the request I made of the Holy Father was hidden; soon I was to be [20] convinced of the opposite. Having remained alone in the car with Céline (the other pilgrims got off to eat during a short stop), I saw Monsignor Legoux, Vicar General of Coutances, open the door and looking at me with a smile, he said: “Well, how is our little Carmelite?” I understood then that the whole pilgrimage knew my secret; happily no one spoke to me about it, but I saw by their sympathetic way of looking at me that my request had produced no ill


 

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc