From Céline to Canon Delatroëtte - August 7, 1894.



From Céline to Canon Delatroëtte - August 7, 1894.

+ J.MJ.T.P.G.

Dear Father,

    Oh! Allow me at this ever so sorrowful time in my life to come and confide in you, and tell you how grateful my poor heart is for all you have done for me. My soul is broken, I am devastated and it seems I will never be able to say what is in my heart… Dear Father! Oh! You will forgive me just as you forgave me the other day when you came to see me and when you found me so downhearted and so silent. Oh! And yet I said thank you to you loud and clear in the depths of my heart for the wholly paternal sympathy that you showed me.

   Dear Father, I have a grace to ask of you now that I am an orphan, which is to accept me as your daughter. Oh, please don’t refuse me this grace for I am so unhappy and in so much need of seeking refuge and help from a friend’s heart. I know you, dear Father, Papa knew you, and loved you and it seems to me that now he is entrusting me to you; he is putting his poor little Céline’s future in your hands. Dear Father, [v°] you already know this, I have said this to you before, when God did not refuse me the consolation of addressing you (Canon Delatroëtte had been Céline’s confessor from late 1888 to 1892, at which time he took leave of all his penitents). Since my early childhood, I have wanted to be a nun. At my first Communion God’s call made itself heard, and since then I have promised him faithfulness. The Carmel has always been the goal of my desires, and the kind of life I choose. O excellent Father, do not refuse to be my father, I beg you. I promise I will do everything in my power to become a perfect nun, so that you can be proud of me. I ask only for a tiny place in your house; the last place. If you cannot accept me in any other capacity, I am willing to be a white-veiled sister (Céline would join in the capacity of “benefactress” but at Pentecost 1895, Mother Agnès would envisage her sister becoming a converse nun; cf. Théâtre au Carmel, p. 167.)

    Dear Father, oh, tell me whether you accept me as your daughter! I ask you for this unique grace. I will join when you like. I am still too heavy-hearted to set a date. What I want at present is to find a Father who is willing to call me his daughter, and the promise of being part of the Carmel of Mother Geneviève, whom I loved so much and to whom Papa gave us all.

       Dear Father, forgive me for the liberty I have taken, which is wholly filial… and allow me to beg for your blessing and call myself your respectful and obedient daughter.

C. Martin soon Marie of the Holy Face

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