From Céline to her sisters Agnes of Jesus, Marie of the Sacred Heart, and Thérèse - March 4, 1889

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

March 4, 1889

Sister Costard takes care of Papa simply as though he were her father; yesterday she was crying when she was giving me informa­tion about him: "You see, it's heartbreaking to see this handsome patriarch in such a condition; we are sad, deeply pained, and our staff is dismayed. In the short time that he has been here, he has made himself loved, and, then, there is something so venerable about him! He bears no ordinary stamp .... We can see that it is a trial; it doesn't suit him to have this illness, and this makes it all the more distressing!"

This good religious kept repeating: "There is something so ven­erable about him!" Oh! how true this is. He seems to be so incred­ibly good. The doctor wouldn't be surprised if paralysis were to follow this attack.

Dear sisters, Papa will certainly have no purgatory in the other world, but these sorrows are so sharp for us that they can, I think, bring about changes in our souls that will make us saints. I don't believe the saints had harder trials ....

Just think of it, Uncle sent me two urgent and forceful notes in which he was advising me and almost commanding me to obey; he wanted to see us at Lisieux today. As you can see, I held my ground, and I remained at my post.

And, nevertheless, I am struggling against my heart which calls me to be near you, and I want, on the other hand, to remain on duty, even to die because of it.

I would not have believed that so weak a creature could bear such an amount of suffering. Oh! dear sisters, I feel that without a special grace I would be unable to remain here, this exile is too deep.

Let us trust in Jesus, all that He permits can be only good.


Caen, March 4, 1889

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc

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