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Ms A 81v

[81v°] that I write poems and compose little pieces that were considered beautiful. And just as Solomon, when he considered all the works of his hands in which he had placed so much useless toil, saw that all is vanity and affliction of spirit, in the same way I recognized from EXPERIENCE that happiness consists in [5] hiding oneself, in remaining ignorant of created things. I understood that without love all works are nothing, even the most dazzling, such as raising the dead to life and converting peoples.

Instead of doing me any harm, of making me vain, the gifts which God showered upon me (without my having asked for them) drew me to Him; and [10] I saw that He alone was unchangeable, that He alone could fulfill my immense desires.

There are other desires of another kind that Jesus was pleased to grant me, childish desires similar to the snow at my reception of the Habit.

You know, dear Mother, how much I love flowers; when making myself a [15] prisoner at the age of fifteen, I gave up forever the pleasure of running through fields decked out in their springtime treasures. Well, never in my life did I possess so many flowers as after my entrance into Carmel. It is the custom for fiancés to often give their fiancées bouquets and Jesus didn’t forget it. He sent me in great abundance sheaves of cornflowers, huge daisies, poppies, etc., all the flowers that [20] delighted me the most. There was even a little flower called corncockle that I had never found since our stay at Lisieux; I wanted very much to see it again, that flower of my childhood which I had picked in the fields of Alençon. And at Carmel it came to smile at me again and show me that in the smallest things as well as the greatest, God gives the hundredfold in this life to those souls who leave everything for love of Him.

But the most intimate of my desires, the greatest of them all, which I thought would never

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