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Ms A 73v

[73v°] heart. Spiritual aridity was my daily bread and, deprived of all consolation, I was still the happiest of creatures since all my desires had been satisfied.

O dear Mother! how sweet our great trial was since [5] from our hearts came only sighs of love and gratitude! We were no longer walking in the way of perfection, we were flying, all five of us. The two poor little exiles of Caen, while still in the world, were no longer of it. Ah! what marvels the trial worked in my dear Céline’s soul! All the letters she wrote at this epoch are filled with resignation and [10] love. And who could express the visits we had together? Ah! far from separating us, Carmel’s grilles united our souls more strongly; we had the same thoughts, the same desires, the same love for Jesus and for souls. When Céline and Thérèse were speaking together, never did a word concerning the things of the earth mingle in their conversations which were already [15] in the heavens. As formerly in the belvédère, they dreamed about things of eternity. To enjoy this endless happiness as soon as possible, they chose as their lot here on earth both suffering and contempt.

Thus flowed by the time of my espousals. It was a very long time indeed for poor little Thérèse! Our Mother Prioress told me, at the end of my year, [20] not to even think of making Profession, that the Father Superior would reject my request. I was to wait for another eight months. I found it difficult, at first, to accept this great sacrifice, but soon light shone in my soul. I was meditating on the Foundations of the Spiritual Life by Father Surin at the time. One day, during my prayer, I understood that my intense desire to make Profession was mixed with a great self-love. Since I had given myself to Jesus to please and console Him,

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