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Ms A 47r

[47r°] bad to do it. I don’t believe I offended God (although I recognize the fact that I spent useless time in it), for I confined myself to a certain number of hours, unwilling to go beyond in order to mortify my intense desire to know things.

I was at the most dangerous age for young girls, [5] but God did for me what Ezechiel reports in his prophecies:

“Passing by me, Jesus saw that the time had come for me to be loved, He entered into a covenant with me and I became His own. He spread his mantle over me, he washed me with precious perfumes, He reclothed me in embroidered robes, He gave me priceless necklaces and ornaments. He nourished me with purest flour, with honey and oil in abundance. Then I became beautiful in His eyes and He made me a mighty queen.”

Yes, Jesus did all this for me. I could take each word and prove it was realized in me, but the graces I already mentioned are sufficient proof. I’m going to speak, therefore, only of the [15] food He provided “in abundance.” I was nourished for a long time on the “pure flour” contained in the Imitation of Christ, this being the only book which did me any good, for as yet I had not discovered the treasures hidden in the Gospels.

I knew almost all the chapters of my beloved Imitation by heart. This little book never parted company with me, for in summer I carried it in my pocket, in winter, in my muff. [20] At Aunt’s they used to amuse themselves by opening the book at random and telling me to recite the chapter before them. With my new desire for knowledge at the age of fourteen, God found it necessary to join to the “pure flour” some “honey and oil in abundance.”  This honey and oil He showed me in Abbé Arminjon’s conferences on the end of the present world and the mysteries of the future life. This book had been lent to Papa by my dear Carmelites, and, contrary to my


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