From Céline to her sisters Agnes of Jesus, Marie of the Sacred Heart, and Thérèse - March 1, 1889

From Céline to her sisters Agnes of Jesus, Marie of the Sacred Heart, and Thérèse. (Fragments.)

March 1, 1889

When Papa sees me, he asks for news about all of you; he is thinking about all of you. I believe they are going to allow us to come no more than once a week; we come every day inquiring about him.

Sister Costard, after having talked about other patients, told me, when speaking about Papa: "This is not M. Martin's case, he is paralyzed. " She claims that he is rapidly approaching a general paralysis; she finds his tongue a little impaired, his movements are slow, and he walks with difficulty.

My heart is filled with melancholy; there is nothing around me that does not speak of exile .... Life! Life appears to me as something whirling around that is passing by very quickly. Yes, all passes! Soon we shall rejoice over our sorrows. Oh! what good this thought from St. Ignatius does me: "You have told me, Lord, that ... if anyone wishes to follow me, he must be content to live under my tent, to eat at my table, and to drink the same cup; he must work like me and with me. He will share with me the fruits of victory after he has shared with me the fatigue of the combat."

Little sisters, I want to be very happy about tribulations, and to do more: thank God for the bitterness of our humiliations. I don't know why, but instead of receiving these trials with bitterness and complaint, I see something mysterious and divine in the conduct of Our Lord in our regard. Besides, did He not Himself pass through all humiliations! ... I admit that the opinion of the world amounts to nothing in my mind.

Oh! if you only knew how I see God in all our trials. Yes, every­thing in them is visibly marked with His divine finger.

Thanks, little Marie, thanks, little Pauline, for your very dear letters. Thanks, dear Thérèse . . . but I don't want you to call yourself the little grain of sand because this is not true. If you per­sist in calling yourself this, then give me the name of impercepti­ble atom, and then things will be right. I always come after you; I am another you, but you are the reality while I am only your shadow . . . .

Your little sister,


Caen, March 1, 1889

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