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Last conversations with Celine - July 1897


July 12.

1.    In the middle of the conversation, little Thérèse stopped suddenly and looked at me with sympathy and tenderness, saying:

"Ah! my little Sister Geneviève will feel my departure the most; cer­tainly, she's the one I pity the most because as soon as she is in trouble she comes looking for me, and she will no longer find me. . . . Yes, God will give her strength . . . and besides, I'll come back!" Speaking to me directly:

"I will come back to get you as soon as possible, and I'll have Papa join me; you know how he was always in a great hurry."*

2.    Later on, while I was carrying out my duties as infirmarian, talking constantly about our coming separation, she hummed the following verse that she composed according to the tune of: "Il est à moi":

"She is mine, she whom heaven itself, The entire heaven has come to delight me. She is mine, I love her, oh! yes, I love her

And nothing can ever separate us."

3.    I said: "God will not be able to take me immediately after your death because I won't be good enough. " She replied:

"It makes no difference; you remember St. Joseph Cupertino, his intelligence was mediocre, and he was uninstructed, knowing perfectly only this verse of the Gospel: Beatus venter qui te portavit.' Questioned precisely on this subject, he answered so well that all were in admiration, and he was received with great honors for the priesthood, along with his three companions, without any further examination. For they judged after hearing his sublime answers that his companions knew as perfectly as he did.

"Thus I will answer for you, and God will give you gratis all He will have already given to me."

4. That same day, while I was coming and going in the infirmary, she said:

   "My little Valerian."

She sometimes compared our union to that of St. Cecilia and Valerian.

 

July (no date)

1. Reflections like the following came spontaneously to her when she looked at me:

"We will be like two little ducks; you know how closely they follow each other!"

"How sad I would be if I were to see anyone but you on God's other knee; I would cry all day long!"

My little Thérèse was struck by the passage in the Gospel where Jesus refused to the two sons of Zebedee the privilege of standing at His right and left hand in the kingdom of heaven. She said: "I think that this place has been reserved to little children." She hoped that these two privileged children would be herself and I. This explains my repeated fears of being unworthy of this favor.

The grace of "Haec facta est mihi. . . . " came about three weeks after her death in answer to a question I had interiorly formulated during the recitation of Tierce: My little Thérèse hasn't told me whether she received the place she wanted, sitting on God's knees? At that precise moment, the choir was reciting: "Haec facta est mihi... ." I did not understand what these words meant, and 1went in search of a translation immediately after the Divine Office was completed. "Haec facta est mihi" means: "This has been done to me."

2.   I told her I would go crazy after I lost her. She answered:

"If you're crazy, Bobonne, the "Bon-Sauveur' will come to get you!"

Bobonne was a nickname she had given me with the Prioress' per­mission because I used it, and since she had to call upon me con­stantly, this was easier to pronounce than my own name.

3.   Seeing Mother Agnes writing down all the beautiful words of our Angel, while I was hastily writing down only those pertaining to me personally, I expressed my regret at not writing everything: "I don't act like the others; I don't take any notes of what you 're saying. " She answered:

"You won't need any; I'll come and get you."

During the month of June, before she had been taken down to the infirmary, one day when she saw how sad I was over her approaching death, she addressed the Child Jesus, holding up her finger as though teaching Him a lesson, and she said:

"Little Jesus, if You take me away, You must also take Mademoiselle Lili. This is my condition, so You must think over well what You are about to do. There's no middle course. Take it or leave it!"

 

4.   On July 22, I wrote to Aunt, Mme. Guérin: "The other day I was reading a passage on the happiness of heaven to my little patient, and she interrupted me, saying:

"That's not what attracts me. . . ." " What then?" I asked:

"Oh! it's Love! To love, to be loved, and to return to the earth to make love loved. . . ."

5.   She had coughed up blood during the night. Very joyful, with her childish gestures, she was showing me the saucer'' from time to time. Often she pointed to its rim with a sad little look that meant 'I would have liked it to be up to there!" I answered:

"Oh! it makes no difference whether it was little or much, the in­cident itself is a sign of your death, "and I added: "You are more for­tunate then I, I haven't any sign of my own!" She said:

"Oh! yes, you have a sign! My death is a sign of yours!"

July 21.

While I was carrying out my duties in the infirmary, tidying up the room, she was following me with her eyes, and she broke the silence suddenly by making this unexpected statement: "In heaven, you will take your place at my side!" Later on, quoting from a beautiful poem on Louis X VII:You will come very soon with me ... to rock the child who is weeping And in their flaming abode To rejuvenate the stars with a luminous breath.


"And then I'll place on you the sky-blue wings of a rosy cherub. I'll attach them myself, for you will not know how; you would put them too low or too high!"

July 24.

1.    She knew a lot of little stories and remembered many little details which she made use of upon occasion, making her conversations both lively and imaginative:

"You're a soul of good will, have no fear of anything, for you have a little 'dog' who will save you from all dangers."

She was making reference here to something the devil had said to Father Surin during an exorcism: "I've reached the end of my rope, and there's only this dog of good will against whom I can do nothing. "

2.    I was telling her: "You are my ideal, and this ideal I cannot at­tain. Oh! it's so cruel! It seems to me I don't have what it takes; I'm like a little child who has no idea of distance: in its mother's arms, it reaches out its hand to grab the curtain, some object... it doesn 't realize these things are too far away!"

"Yes, but on the last day, Jesus will approach His little Céline with all she has desired, and then she'll seize everything."

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc

 

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