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Ms C 17r

[17r°] it is not enough to give to everyone who asks;306 I must even anticipate their desires, appear to be very much obliged and honored to render service, and if anyone takes something which is for my use, I must not appear to be sorry about this but happy at being relieved of it. [5] Dear Mother, I am very far from practicing what I understand, and still the desire alone I have of doing it gives me peace.

I feel that I have explained myself poorly, even more so than on the other days. I made a kind of discourse on charity which must have tired you when you were reading it. Pardon me, dear Mother, and [10] remember that at this very moment the infirmarians practice in my regard what I have just written; they don’t hesitate to take two thousand paces when twenty would suffice. So I have been able to contemplate charity in action! Undoubtedly my soul is embalmed with it; as far as my mind is concerned I admit it is paralyzed in the presence of such devotedness, and my pen has [15] lost its lightness. In order for me to translate my thoughts, I have to be like the solitary sparrow, and this is rarely my lot. When I begin to take up my pen, behold a Sister who passes by, a pitchfork on her shoulder. She believes she will distract me with a little idle chatter: hay, ducks, [20] hens, visits of the doctor, everything is discussed; to tell the truth, this doesn’t last a long time, but there is more than one good charitable Sister, and all of a sudden another hay worker throws flowers on my lap, perhaps believing these will inspire me with poetic thoughts. I am not looking


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