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The yellow notebook - April 1897

April 6, 1897

1.   "When we're misunderstood and judged unfavorably, what good does it do to defend or explain ourselves? Let the matter drop and say nothing. It's so much better to say nothing and allow others to judge us as they please! We don't see in the Gospel where Mary explained herself when her sister accused her of remaining at Jesus' feet, doing nothing! She didn't say: 'Oh, Martha, if you only knew the joy I am experiencing, if you only heard the words I hear! And besides, it's Jesus who told me to remain here.' No, she preferred to remain silent.

O blessed silence that gives so much peace to souls!"

2.   " 'Let the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God remain in our mouth and heart.' If we come in conflict with a disagreeable per­son, let us never grow discouraged or abandon her. Let us always have 'the sword of the Spirit' in our mouths in order to correct her faults. Don't allow the matter to pass over just for the sake of peace, but fight on even when there is no hope of gaining victory. What does it matter whether we're successful or not ? What God asks of us is not to give up the struggle because of our weariness, not to become discouraged saying: 'That's that! There's nothing to be gained here and she's to be left to herself!' Oh, this is only laziness, and we have to do our duty to the bitter end."

3.   "Ah! how we should never pass judgments on this earth. Here is something that happened to me during recreation a few months ago. It's an insignificant thing, but it taught me very much.

"The bell was rung twice, and since Procuratrix was absent, a third party was required to accompany Sister Thérèse of St. Augustine. It's usually tedious to serve as third party, but this time I was tempted because the large gate had to be opened to bring in some trees for the crib.

"Sister Marie of St. Joseph was at my side and I guessed she shared my childish desire. 'Who is coming as my companion?' asked Sister Thérèse of St. Augustine. I immediately began untying our apron, but I did this slowly so that Sister Marie of St. Joseph would be ready ahead of me and take the place, which is what happened. Then Sister Thérèse of St. Augustine said with a smile, looking at me: 'Well, it's Sister M. of St. J. who will have this pearl for her crown. You were going too slowly.' I answered simply with a smile and began my work again, saying to myself : Oh, my God, how different are Your judg­ments from those of men ! It's in this way we are so often mistaken in this life, taking for an imperfection in our sisters what is meritorious in Your sight!"

April 7

Allowing her to see my fears, I asked her what sort of death I would die. She answered with a very tender smile:

"God will sip you up like a little drop of dew."

April 18

1. She had just confided to me some painful humiliations some Sisters had given her :

"It is in this way that God gives me the means of remaining very lit­tle; however, this is exactly what is needed. I'm always happy, for I always manage in the midst of the tempest to preserve interior peace. If one tells me about her fights with the Sisters, I am careful not to work myself up against this or that Sister. I must, for example, while listening to her, be able to look out the window and enjoy interiorly the sight of the sky, the trees, etc. Understand ? Just now, during my struggle with regard to Sister X, I was watching with pleasure two beautiful magpies playing in the field, and I was as much at peace as if I were at prayer. I really fought with Sister, and I am very tired, but I don't fear the struggle. It is God's will that I fight right up until death. Oh! little Mother, pray for me!"

2. "When I pray for you, I don't say a 'Pater' or an 'Ave' for you, I say simply, lifting up my heart to God: 'O my God, grant my little Mother all kinds of good things; and if You can, love her even more.' "

3.   "I was still very little when Aunt gave me a story to read that sur­prised me very much. I saw where they were praising a boarding school teacher because she was able to extricate herself cleverly from certain situations without offending anyone. I took note above all of this statement: 'She said to this one: You're not wrong; to that one: You are right.' And I thought to myself: This is not good! This teacher should have had no fear and should have told her little girls that they were wrong when this was the truth.

"And even now I haven't changed my opinion. I've had a lot of trouble over it, I admit, for it's always so easy to place the blame on the absent, and this immediately calms the one who is complaining. Yes, but... it is just the contrary with me. If I'm not loved, that's just too bad! I tell the whole truth, and if anyone doesn't wish to know the

truth, let her not come looking for me."

4.   "We should never allow kindness to degenerate into weakness. When we have scolded someone with just reason, we must leave the matter there, without allowing ourselves to be touched to the point of tormenting ourselves for having caused pain or at seeing one suffer and cry. To run after the afflicted one to console her does more harm than good. Leaving her to herself forces her to have recourse to God

in order to see her faults and humble herself. Otherwise, accustomed to receiving consolation after a merited reprimand, she will always act, in the same circumstances, like a spoiled child, stamping her feet and crying until her mother comes to dry her tears."

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