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From Céline to Jeanne La Néele - February 23, 1893.

From Céline to Jeanne La Néele - February 23, 1893.

23rd February 1893.

Darling little Jeanne,

I’ve come to wish you a happy birthday, too, and Léonie requested my hospitality so that she in turn could come and offer you her best wishes. Anyway, you’ll see what she says; I’m only taking care of what concerns me! Let’s quickly proceed to our little chat so that it can be a long one.

Can you remember our childhood, little sister, when we were both at boarding school and I would ask you such naïve questions because you knew everything?...

Ah! It was because I considered you my elder, you seemed to be a fountain [1 v°] of knowledge to me, and since then you have only grown in my eyes. At present, there is still the same difference between us; it is a difference that is as big as our lives as children and young girls were closely linked. So the difference grows as our destinies unfold; we no longer eat at the same table, we no longer sleep under the same roof. It is while attaining heaven with your incomparable Francis that you reach your twenty-fifth birthday. I myself hope to see my twenty-fifth birthday and beyond while surrounding my dear Father’s white hair with veneration. Such is life… Sometimes birds from the same nest have a special vocation, but this new hue, which is cast on their existence and is at times so different, is only one more bond of affection. For absence makes friends grow dearer by colouring memories… whatever we do, whatever the road we follow, all paths lead to heaven, which is life’s goal. We are always, whether we like it or not, moving towards this unique goal. Dear little sister, let’s run very quickly so that we arrive very quickly, I don’t say “very soon” because I wish you a long life with your dear Francis; another 3 times 25 years at least, and also descendants worthy of their ancestors!.........

But let’s run together in faith and trust, especially trust, despite life’s difficulties, in spite of everything! From time to time, [2 v°] were we to live another 3 times 25 years and even were earth’s oceans to separate us, we will make little signs to each other. For one of us mustn’t become more saintly than the other, we have to be united with each other again up above. The difference in our paths doesn’t mean anything in relation to the goal.

Little sister, I will leave you now to leave room for Léonie who would scold me otherwise. You will perhaps be surprised at my language. It’s because this week has been very moving; Pauline’s election proved to me once more the extent to which God looks after his own and exalts them after trials. – Give Francis lots of love from me and accept big kisses from your little Céline.

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