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Ms A 67r

[67r°] the scenery was magnificent. We travelled at times along the side of the sea and the railroad was so close to it that it seemed the waves were going to come right up to us. This impression was created by a tempest which was in progress. It was evening and the scene became all the more imposing. We passed through fields full of orange trees laden with ripe fruit, [5] green olive trees with their light foliage, and graceful palm trees. It was getting dark and we could see many small seaports lighted up by many lights, while in the skies the first stars were beginning to sparkle.

Ah! what poetry flooded my soul at the sight of all these things I was seeing for the first and last time in my life! It was without regret I saw them disappear, for [10] my heart longed for other marvels. It had contemplated earthly beauties long enough; those of heaven were the object of its desires and to win them for souls I was willing to become a prisoner! But before this prison’s doors were to open for me, I was still to suffer and fight. I had a presentiment of this when returning to France, and yet my confidence [15] was so great I didn’t stop hoping I’d be allowed to enter on December 25. We had hardly arrived at Lisieux when our first visit was to the Carmel. What an interview that was! We had so many things to talk over after the separation of a month which seemed very long to me and in which I learned more than in several years.

[20] O dear Mother, how wonderful it was to see you once again, to open up to you my poor, little, wounded soul. To you who understood it so well, and to whom a word, a look was sufficient to explain everything! I surrendered myself completely. I had done everything I could, even to speaking to the Holy Father, and I didn’t know what I was still supposed to do. You told me to write to the Bishop, reminding him of his promise; I did this immediately in the best way possible, but Uncle found the words too


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