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Retreat Notes for Therese's 1st Communions

and the following year  (1884-1885)

 

decouragerai lt

 

Therese left us a notebook of 18 pages (14.7 x 9.5 cm) ; blue cover with a floral design. Only eight pages and the beginning of the ninth are filled in, in pencil. They contain the notes of the retreat preceding her first communion and its solemn renewal one year later (with other communions allowed between the two). Each was a retreat of three full days, May 5-8, 1884, and May 17-21, 1885. Retreats were at the Benedictine Abbey, preached by the chaplain, Father Domin (cf. Ms A, 33 v°). The notebook contains the famous resolution of Therese visible above: I will not become discouraged!

1st Retreat

Retrat of my First Communion

 

(1 r°/2 v°)

May 5

Morning meditation

Monsieur l’abbé told us that we were like the servants of the gospel and that at the end of our lives the good God would ask us for an accounting of the graces he had given us and that we would have to present them to him in proportion to the graces he had given us. I thought that I would have to give


 

carnet resolutions 01

[1 v°] an account to God, who was so good to me and who has given me so many graces, and I promised myself to try to be good and to have many good works to present to the good God.

Second instruction

Monsieur l’Abbé spoke to us of death and he [missing word] that there was no way to deceive us, that it was certain that we would die, and that perhaps one of us would not [2 r°] finish the retreat.

He told us that during his youth a missionary priest preached a retreat and said to them that perhaps the next day one would be missing, and, in fact, the next day there was a death. I want to be very good in order not to be surprised at my death.

Third Instruction

This evening the instruction was about hell. Monsieur l’Abbé showed us the tortures


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[2 v°] one suffers in hell and he told us that [illegible] our First Communion would determine whether we would go to heaven or to hell. I will prepare myself well; I hope to go to heaven.

May 7

First instruction

M. l’Abbé talked to us about a sacrilegious First Communion. He said things to us that frightened me very much.

During our retreat he abbreviated the instructions he gave us very much because Mother Prioress [Mother Saint-Exupère] had just died, and Monsieur l’Abbé could not give much time to us.

(3 r°/5 r°)

2nd Retreat

Sunday evening

This evening Monsieur l’Abbé told us that when he wanted to convert a soul he led her into solitude and asked her to make a retreat.

Monday morning meditation

There is only one thing that is important: that is salvation. All the rest is useless.

Second Instruction

What M. l’abbe told us was frightening; he spoke to us of mortal sin. He depicted the state of a soul that was dying

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[3 v°] and of how God hated the soul in sin. He compared it to a little dove that is dipped in mud and can no longer fly because of that. He told us that we are in the same condition when we are in a state of mortal sin and that we can no longer raise our souls to God.

Third instruction

Death

Tuesday Meditation

The particular judgment

Second instruction

About confession and the necessity of making a good confession [4 r°]

Third Instruction

M. l’Abbé said that we should prepare a beautiful home for the good Jesus and make for him a fine resting place in our hearts, that first we had to sweep it, that is, to remove anything that displeases the little Jesus, and then to collect all the flowers we could, that is, the good actions to adorn our hearts and to make our beautiful resting place full of flowers, and that the more flowers we have, the better.  
 carnet resolutions 04

[4 v°]  

Wednesday morning meditation

The agony of Jesus in the Garden of Olives

 

Second instruction

The Blessed Virgin is our mother, and she will never abandon us, in whatever state we are. We would be insulting her if we became discouraged, for if one does not forget her, one can be sure of being saved. M. l’Abbé made us make resolutions. I have kept those from my First Communion, which are : 1. I will not become discouraged. 2. I will say a

[5 r°]

« Memorare » to the Blessed Virgin every day. 3. I will try to humble my pride.

 

carnet resolutions 05

 

Notes on loose pages (two double pages, 15.5 x 10 cm) from another retreat in 1885, perhaps the retreat for the opening of the school year in 1885. According to a report from Celine’s notes, the reopening of school was fixed for Monday, October 5th in 1885. The retreat could therefore have taken place from Tueday evening, October 6th through Saturday morning, October 10th. We do not know the name of the priest who preached the retreat, apart from the first instruction.

3rd Retreat

Retreat of 1885

It was M. l’abbé Domin who gave the first instruction. I will put down for this retreat only the main things, for I remember very well the impressions they made on me.

It was M. l’abbé Domin who gave the first instruction. I will put down for this retreat only the main things, for I remember very well the impressions they made on me.

Tuesday morning.

About the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives his life for the sheep. When he loses one, he goes to seek it, and he does not come back until he has found it.

    11:00 am

    On the Sacred Heart of Jesus: the desire of a child of the Sacred Heart should be to make the heart of her Jesus beat.

    2: p.m.

    The principal defects of a young girl are frivolity and impressionability.


     

     feuille1 resolution

    [1 v°]  

    6 :00 p.m.

    On sin.  Sin makes us ugly in the eyes of God, but he is willing to forgive us. 

    Wednesday morning

    How we should meditate

    11:00 a.m.

    On souls in Purgatory.  We can deliver souls from Purgatory,  and we do not do it.  On a tomb: yesterday it was up to me, tomorrow to you, to determine how this message makes us think 

    2 :00 p.m.

    On the judgment.  Immediately after our death we will appear before God, who will (send?) us to Heaven or to hell or even to Purgatory.

    6 :00 in the evening

    On death.  We can die in a minute, in a second. 

    [2 r°]   

    Thursday morning

    On hell.

    11 :00 a.m.

    We will be an undertaking for the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

    2 :00 p.m.

    We are the apostles of the heart of Jesus.  We will offer all our actions every morning.  It’s the First Degree to say every day one or two decades of the rosary with the mysteries.  It is the Second Degree to receive Communion once a month.

    6 :00 p.m.

    Our Lord Jesus Christ wanted to receive a baptism of Blood to ransom our sins.

    Saturday

    Contrition for our sins.  Our Lord wanted to take on all our sins for us. 

     

     feuille2-3 resolution

    Back to the other texts of Therese

    [1 v°]  

    6 :00 p.m.

    On sin.  Sin makes us ugly in the eyes of God, but he is willing to forgive us. 

    Wednesday morning

    How we should meditate

    11:00 a.m.

    On souls in Purgatory.  We can deliver souls from Purgatory,  and we do not do it.  On a tomb: yesterday it was up to me, tomorrow to you, to determine how this message makes us think 

    2 :00 p.m.

    On the judgment.  Immediately after our death we will appear before God, who will (send?) us to Heaven or to hell or even to Purgatory.

    6 :00 in the evening

    On death.  We can die in a minute, in a second. 

    [2 r°]   

    Thursday morning

    On hell.

    11 :00 a.m.

    We will be an undertaking for the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

    2 :00 p.m.

    We are the apostles of the heart of Jesus.  We will offer all our actions every morning.  It’s the First Degree to say every day one or two decades of the rosary with the mysteries.  It is the Second Degree to receive Communion once a month.

    6 :00 p.m.

    Our Lord Jesus Christ wanted to receive a baptism of Blood to ransom our sins.

    Saturday

    Contrition for our sins.  Our Lord wanted to take on all our sins for us. 

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