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From Isidore Guérin to his daughter Marie - April 3, 1897.

From Isidore Guérin to his daughter Marie - April 3, 1897.

Lisieux 3rd April 1897

         Beloved little daughter,

           It is with a heart still wholly enchanted by your lovely letter that I’m picking up the pen to reply to your wishes. But I’m not like you in terms of God’s graces and favours. He wouldn’t be able to inspire a hardened old fisherman with such pure and impassioned words as yours. How clearly we can see and feel the transformation he has worked in you! Your language is no longer that of the earth, it is that of the Cherubim, and of God himself. Like him and with him you aspire to sacrifice and to the conversion [lv°]of souls, and, Isaiah’s coal having touched your lips, you exclaim with him: “Sitio!” – “I thirst”.

       I thank God for having given me enough faith to understand the beautiful devotions. But how few people understand them, even among religious people, who think the Carmelites’ Order is nonsense, madness. And yet, it is with them that Satan is the angriest. He said so in his palladian manifestations and a few minutes ago I was reading about a report from the Lodge calling on the government to close cloistered convents (before the end of April 1897, Léo Taxil would have unveiled the hoax that was still fooling Mr. Guérin).

       No, dear child, I’ve never wanted to put a “wisp” of an obstacle in your way. However difficult your determination was for us to bear, I asked God to strengthen it in you and give me the manifest honour of taking you to be his spouse.

       [2r°] The flesh protested very often, and the other day your little cheeks looked so good52! But it’s all over now, the sun shines after the storm, and lights up and warms our old hearts, which are overflowing with love and gratitude.

   Yes, you are rich, my darling, very rich indeed, since you can draw freely from the divine treasures. We, too, are not as poor as we were because we have you as our mediator. Old Mordecai and his dear wife now have their Esther at the King’s court and no longer fear Haman’s fury. When we received your candle, your mother and I were overjoyed and this is what we decided. The first to be called before the court of the sovereign judge will have your lit candle at their bedside. Do you think that Haman is the strongest? He really will be “annoyed” because he knows [2v°] that God will not be able to send him a soul who’s heart on earth was always lit up with an incandescent love for sinners – Jeanne or Léonie will do this kindness to the last one of us to die – Immediately, the candle was placed upright in your bedroom behind Our Lady of Lourdes on the dresser. It is securely fastened with string and nails.

       Thank you for your kind wishes my darling, and also for those from my other little daughters for whom I make no distinction in the love that fills my heart. Thank you to the worthy, good and excellent Mother Prioress who was kind enough to surprise me with a letter that I wasn’t expecting due to it being Lent… Thank you to all the Carmel, which I love and revere, and for which I pray morning and night. God bless you all, and to his Holy Blessing, I add mine for you and for my four dear children. May he preserve my little Thérèse, the precious pearl of my whole family. I am very sad knowing she is ill – Thousands and thousands of kisses!

Your father I. Guérin

Our health is much the same, not rich! – Your Uncle Maudelonde came down with diphtheria the day before yesterday. He is feeling better now. We hope to halt the illness – Pray for him. Paul M. has been sent home to his father.

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