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From sr Marie of the Eucharist to Isidore and Mme Guérin, her parents - March 13, 1897.

  

  

From sr Marie of the Eucharist to Isidore and Mme Guérin, her parents - March 13, 1897.

 

+ Jesus

     J.MJ.T.

13th March 1897

Dear Father

and dear Mother,

       How good and generous you are to make your sacrifice like this, and allowing your little daughter to wholly give herself to Jesus on the fine day of the Annunciation!... Oh! Be sure that your sacrifice is accepted, and that no, of course you won’t be deprived of hugging your dear child (Profession did not provide the possibility of leaving the enclosure, or embracing the novice. However, close family could discretely take advantage of the novice leaving for her canonical examination, which would take place on 24th March. We remember that Céline took this opportunity to embrace Thérèse on 2nd September 1890), God is too good for that, and I have no fear on that front. Be as sure of this as I am and you’ll see that God won’t fail you. We obtain from God as much as we hope for. May our hope therefore be limitless and freely given.

At ½ past 7 tomorrow evening I’m going to enter into deep solitude (at the time, entering into retreat had its required customs. Towards the end of the evening recreation, before Compline (7:40 pm), the retreatant would roll down her sleeves, and come to kneel before the prioress, who would recommend her to the community’s prayers. The prioress would then lower the veil over the Sister’s face, as a sign of solitude. For the time of the retreat (10 full days), the retreatant would not speak to anyone except the prioress – or the novice mistress (who was one and the same person in 1897). She would attend all choral offices and meals, and would assume her ordinary duties in part. She was dispensed of recreation. In theory, she would practice two additional hours of meditation, that is to say four hours a day, and have a little more free time than usual), I will be with Jesus all alone until the fine day of my Profession. Oh! Pray hard for me during these days of retreat, so that I might be attentive to the voice of the One who will soon become my Divine Spouse. Ask Him for his graces [lv°] and understanding, and may the fine day of my Profession be the starting point for a thorough conversion, a very deep generosity and humility, and above all, a love for God that recoils before no sacrifice. You know how hard your poor little daughter will pray for you, and her requests are great and immense, as is the love she has for you.

       Before entering into solitude, my beloved Parents, I’ve come to very humbly ask for your forgiveness for all the pain I have caused you since my earliest childhood. Oh! The word “forgiveness” is no trivial word for my heart; it is deeply felt, and it’s in all sincerity that I ask you to grant it to me. Yes, I’ve caused you many little difficulties, through my character and through my ingratitude. Oh! If I was to begin my life with you again, how happy I would make you both, how your little daughter would cosset you. When you are separated from your family, you see the extent to which you love them, and you see how ungrateful you were when you lived with them. Since I’ve been here, I have reproached myself for many a little moody moment, and many a little quip, and I certainly wouldn’t repeat them and I have a [2r°] more than perfect contrition for them. Often, when I think about the pain I’ve caused you, I feel tears roll down my cheeks. I can’t do any better now, the time for that is gone, but I am compensating myself by asking God to shower you with graces and blessings and to take my place at your side, especially when you are sick. I know that you’re going to forgive me, and forget all the little difficulties I’ve caused you, because both of you are too good to your little daughter. As for God, He’s going to forgive me for all the faults I’ve committed in my life, too, and when you see me again, you’ll be able to contemplate the same innocence in my soul as when, as a tiny child, I was washed in the Baptismal water. Yes, on that day you will have another little angel. The one who has preceded us into Heaven (Paul Guérin, still born on 16th October 1871) and who has already obtained so many graces for me, and in whom I’ve so much trust and who is protecting his dear little sister, will praise and thank God for us, and better than we can on earth. And I will pray my Divine Spouse on that day to increase his glory and happiness in Heaven21. If, however, incertitude were to make itself felt in your heart with regard to him, don’t let it [2v°] enter in. Jesus wanted to test your faith and trust in this way, and even give you the greatest of all merits; like valliant warriors, He is letting you carry off the finest of victories, because he is testing your faith. God, for whom all things are present, can see the prayers we will make in the future, and even our desires, and with that in view, He answers our prayers, because for Him all things are present. Well then! On the day of my Profession I won’t forget the dear little Angel who has already given me so much proof of his happiness.

       Forgive me, both of you, for speaking so openly to you like this. A Carmelite needs to be expansive like this with those she loves, and as I’ve sometimes seen a cloud of sadness furrow your brow regarding this subject, your little Angel in the Carmel, on the point of giving herself entirely to God, wants to comfort you.

         I’m not at all like I was last year (for her taking of the habit), and I want my celebration to be as simple as possible. I will only accept earthly consolations as proof of my Parents’ affection, so from this point of view, they will be dear and precious to me, but otherwise, Jesus will I hope give me a celestial Feast and will impart his consolations to my soul. If he [3r°] refuses me this Divine Feast, I hope to measure up to my new worthiness as God’s Spouse and I’ll even be capable of being happy on that fine day, being deprived of Jesus. I, too, want to give Jesus a Feast to celebrate his deep and divine union with my soul… What can I give Him?... My heart, my mind, my whole being. Oh, yes! I will offer Him all those I love as well, but I remember that on the Cross He said these words: “I thirst!!”… He thirsts for poor sinners’ souls and so I’d like to give Him souls. Since he was willing, in his infinite love and great mercy, to save a poor little slave, and raise her up to the worthy state of Spouse, I would like to mark this fine day by saving poor little slaves for Him… There’s an Association for that purpose: The Association in Aid of Slaves, and it’s Mgr. de la Passardière, who’s well known at the Carmel, who takes care of it. The tiny children cost 10 f. and the grown-up slaves 100 f. – I’d very much like to have two poor little slaves, a little boy and a little girl, who would be called Joseph-Marie-Isidore and Marie-Céline. Don’t you think my idea is good? I will use my own money, unless you would prefer purchasing them yourselves. [3v°] These two poor little beings will be spared from slavery forever; they will be Christian, baptised and will bring God glory. They will be consecrated to God, for I shall ask for this on the day of my Profession, unless they must lose their way, in which case I will ask my Divine Spouse to take them into his beautiful Heaven while they still have their baptismal innocence. I hope you won’t refuse me this little spiritual consolation, for I know that you, too, will be very happy to be able to offer Jesus two little souls and quench his divine thirst.

       Mother Agnès of Jesus, who was there when I spoke to our Mother about this, looked annoyed on seeing that I didn’t want anything for my celebration and she reproachfully said to me: “Won’t you ask for oysters?” (Note that Mother Agnès did not like oysters herself. In any case, the Guérins would not have been able to fail to improve the Carmelites’ menu on 25th March). So, dear Father and dear Mother, I am conveying her wish, do with it what you will. I would also like to know whether Jeanne has found an organist. If she doesn’t sing, we’ll still need one because it’s a Mass with music like on Sundays.

       I will leave you both after this long scribble, by again asking you for your “Forgiveness” and sending you a thousand kisses, until we can kiss each other for real. Take care, both of you, so you can come soon.

Your little daughter who devours you with kisses.

Marie of the Eucharist

[3v°tv] Our Mother has asked me to send you all her religious regards.

Would you mind sending us 2 flasks [of] Peptone for Father Youf? Send them to the Carmel.

Thank you for the aprons, it was a pleasant surprise seeing Sr. Geneviève’s one done. Thank you to my dear Mother. If she knew how much pleasure this brought me, she would be very happy.

                               

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