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Ms A 69v

[69v°] to express it. For seven years and a half that inner peace has remained my lot, and has not abandoned me in the midst of the greatest trials.

I was led, as are all postulants, to the choir immediately after my entrance into the cloister. The choir was in darkness because the Blessed Sacrament was exposed and what struck me [5] first were the eyes of our holy Mother Geneviève which were fixed on me. I remained kneeling for a moment at her feet, thanking God for the grace He gave me of knowing a saint, and then I followed Mother Marie de Gonzague into the different places of the community. Everything thrilled me; I felt as though I was transported into a desert; our little [10] cell, above all, filled me with joy. But the joy I was experiencing was calm, the lightest breeze did not undulate the quiet waters upon which my little boat was floating and no cloud darkened my blue heaven. Ah! I was fully recompensed for all my trials. With what deep joy I repeated those words: “I am here forever and ever!”

[15] This happiness was not passing. It didn’t take its flight with “the illusions of the first days.” Illusions, God gave me the grace not to have A SINGLE ONE when entering Carmel. I found the religious life to be exactly as I had imagined it, no sacrifice astonished me and yet, as you know, dear Mother, my first steps met with more thorns than roses! Yes, [20] suffering opened wide its arms to me and I threw myself into them with love. I had declared at the feet of Jesus–Victim, in the examination preceding my Profession, what I had come to Carmel for: “I came to save souls and especially to pray for priests.” When one wishes to attain a goal, one must use the means; Jesus made me understand that it was through suffering that He wanted to give me souls, and my attraction for suffering grew in proportion to its increase. This was my way for five years; exteriorly


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