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From Isidore Guérin to sr Marie of the Eucharist - August 2, 1897.

From Isidore Guérin to sr Marie of the Eucharist - August 2, 1897.

La Musse 2nd August 1897

Dear little Benjamin

We wanted to take advantage of Jeanne and Francis’ departure tomorrow, Tuesday, at 9:37 to write to you, after having received Céline’s letter. You’ll receive it almost as soon as if we had written to you in the morning. Francis did indeed decide to stay a day longer on account of your Mama’s worries, otherwise she would have been ever so far from her saviour. We’re not complaining, but the patients in Caen who had appointments on Monday can’t have been pleased. Your mother isn’t poorly, things are taking their normal course, but she is keeping to her bed as always. When shall we be able to come back? On Saturday or Monday. – We have no idea. We ardently desire to be home. As for the trip to Vichy, we are very much undecided. If anything were to happen to our little queen, we would have to come back in great haste and yet wouldn’t arrive in Lisieux until a day and a half later. I do believe God doesn’t want me to take this trip because it’s proving hard for me in all respects. In any case I will wait a while longer.

I never stop thinking about the dear patient. I can see her with her angelic little face joyfully awaiting death. I deeply admire her wisdom, which is so deep, her profound knowledge of the secrets that are communicated by divine love, and her courage. No, it’s not courage, because when you have penetrated so far into heaven’s mysteries, as St. Paul did, it isn’t surprising that, despite your sufferings, you aspire to break the bonds still keeping you on earth. This little girl teaches us so much, and I’m going to engrave all that she says and does in my memory to try and imitate her the day I die. That day is fast approaching; I’m sliding down the slippery slope of time. What is 10 years, or even 20? And yet, once this long life is over, I won’t have the baggage that this child has when I appear before God. – Fortunately all my saintly relatives and my little Queen will give me a leg-up, while my other little daughters will push me from behind. – St. Peter will perhaps let me enter as a donkey loaded with relics. The merchandise will save the carrier. As much as I admire my little Thérèse, I pity her poor sisters. I know very well that their virtue will help them bear the trial courageously, but their hearts will bleed copiously. It is petit Paulin1 who is to be pitied the most because her extreme sensitivity will mean she’ll feel the blow more keenly. Give her my affection, dear child, and do everything you can to soften the blow… Convey all our gratitude to your dear Mother (Marie de Gonzague), too, as her thoughtfulness in all things touches me deeply.  

I will close my letter now, my darling, because I can no longer see and I must leave a bit of space for tomorrow morning, before 8 o’clock, in case there’s anything else to add.

Give lots of love to our dearest little Thérèse and her sisters for your mother and I, and I send you the tenderest kisses that a father can give his beloved daughter.

I. Guérin

We send our affectionate respects to the Dear Mother Prioress.

This morning 3rd August. Your Mother is continuing to improve – Therefore, there won’t be any complications.

1 Nickname for Pauline.