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Ms A 40r

[40r°] at the visits of all types of persons; priests, ladies, young girls, etc. Mme. Cochain took on the burden of the conversation as well as she could in order to allow her daughter to conduct my lesson, but on those days I didn’t learn very much. With my nose in the book, I heard everything that was said around me and even [5] those things it would have been better for me not to hear because vanity slips so easily into the heart. One lady said I had pretty hair; another, when she was leaving, believing she was not overheard, asked who the very beautiful young girl was. These words, all the more flattering since they were not spoken in my presence, left in my soul a [10] pleasurable impression that showed me clearly how much I was filled with self-love. Oh! how I pity souls that are lost! It is so easy to go astray on the flowery paths of the world. Undoubtedly, for a soul a little advanced spiritually, the sweetness which the world offers is mixed with bitterness, and the immense void of the desires cannot be filled by the praises of an instant. [15] However, if my heart had not been raised to God from the dawn of reason, if the world had smiled on me from my entrance into life, what would have become of me? O my dear Mother, with what gratitude I sing the Mercies of the Lord! Did He not, according to the words of Wisdom: “... draw me from the world before my spirit was corrupted by its malice and before its [20] deceitful appearances had seduced my soul?”79 The Blessed Virgin, too, watched over her little flower and, not wanting her to be tarnished by contact with worldly things, drew her to her mountain before she blossomed. While awaiting this moment, little Thérèse grew in love for her heavenly Mother, and to prove this love she performed an action which cost her very much and which I will recount in a few words in spite of its length.



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