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Ms A 49v

[49v°] If I hadn’t had a vocation, I would have been stopped from the beginning, so many obstacles did I receive when trying to answer Jesus’ call. I didn’t want to speak to Céline about my desire to enter so young and this caused me much suffering, for it was difficult for me to hide anything from her.

[5] This suffering, however, didn’t last long; soon my dear little sister learned of my determination and, far from turning me away from it, she courageously accepted the sacrifice God was asking of her. To understand how great it was, one would have to know how very close we were. It was, so to speak, the same soul giving us life. For some months we’d [10] enjoyed together the most beautiful life young girls could dream about. Everything around us corresponded with our tastes; we were given the greatest liberty; I would say our life on earth was the ideal of happiness.

Hardly had we the time to taste this ideal of happiness when it was necessary to turn away from it freely, and my dear Céline did not rebel for one instant. And still it wasn’t she [15] whom Jesus was calling first, and she could have complained, for having the same vocation as I, it was her right to leave first! But as in the time of the martyrs, those who remained in prison joyfully gave the kiss of peace to their brothers who were leaving first for combat in the arena, consoling themselves with the thought that perhaps they were reserved for even greater combats, thus Céline [20] allowed her Thérèse to leave and she stayed for the glorious and bloody struggle to which Jesus had destined her as the privileged one of His love!

Céline became, then, the confidante of my struggles and sufferings, taking the same part as though it were a question of her own vocation. From her I had no fear of opposition. I didn’t know what steps to take to announce it to Papa. How should I speak to him about parting from his Queen, he who’d just sacrificed his three eldest? Ah! what interior struggles I went through before



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