Ms C 18r

[18r°] purely spiritual charity. I am very sure that I won’t be long in mixing the one with the other, but, since I am speaking to you, it will not be difficult for you to grasp my thought and to unravel your child’s skein.

[5] It is not always possible in Carmel to practice the words of the Gospel according to the letter. One is obliged at times to refuse a service because of one’s duties; but when charity has buried its roots deeply within the soul, it shows itself externally. There is such a delightful way of refusing what cannot be given that the refusal gives as much [10] pleasure as the gift itself. It is true that one hesitates less to claim a service from a Sister who is always disposed to oblige but Jesus has said: “...and from him who would borrow of you, do not turn away.” Thus under the pretext that one would be forced to refuse, one must not stay away from the Sisters who are always in the habit of asking for help. Neither should one [15] be obliging in order to appear so or in the hope that another time the Sister whom one obliges will return the service in her turn, for Our Lord says again: “And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive in return, what merit have you? For even sinners lend to sinners that they may get back as much in return. But do good, and lend, NOT HOPING FOR [20] ANYTHING IN RETURN, and your reward shall be great.”

Oh, yes! the reward is great, even on this earth; in this way it is only the first step that costs anything. To lend without hoping for anything appears difficult to nature; one would prefer to give, for a thing given



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