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From Céline to Agnes of Jesus, Marie of the Sacred Heart, and Thérèse - July 22, 1890

From Céline to Agnes of Jesus, Marie of the Sacred Heart, and Thérèse

July 22, 1890

La Musse, July 22, 1890

My dear little Sisters,

Eight more days and we shall be returning, and what a joy! Our departure is set for Thursday a week from now, July 31.1 long for the moment when I shall see you again, for you are my whole hap­piness.

Each day has its sharp thorns. Oh, dear little sisters, if you only knew what a heart, made like mine, suffers in a strange home. And it isn't the big things that wound my heart the most but little nothings: the bird fears the bullet less than the hunter's rifle.

All this serves to detach me from earth and to look upon what is taking place here as transitory and worthless. From my window, my eyes sweep out on the flat open countryside, and there I see fields and meadows, but how limited all this is! These fields are only narrow strips of land, cut very sharply; some are yellow, this is ripe corn; others are light green, dark green. They blend to­gether, forming a striped carpet. I can see men tossing hay, and how tiny they are! I look with surprise on the haystacks, and these, though very large, appear to me only like mud pies shaped by the

hands of children. And yet both the happiness or the sadness of the workers consists in the odor and the color of this hay!

Among these workers, there are very few who love God. This morning, there was a civil burial. Ordinarily, this is rare in these country places; however, right here, the country places are worse than the towns, for they are populated by poorly educated peo­ple, who have not heard anyone speak of God except at their First Communion; since then, not a single word. They are absent from Church services, never receive Holy Communion. It is sad.

Oh! how necessary it is to pray for priests! I find they have a great responsibility; there is so much to do, and, in my opinion, they don't do all that is within their power. Never any sermons, never any paternal instructions, never any visits to their flock. Most of them don't know their parishioners. I would say, without judging the priests in particular, that I find the people much more excusable than the priests. They don't know their duties, how then would they carry them out? I don't think God expects anything from them.

It's true that in these parts there are only old priests, very aged and infirm, and they no longer have the zeal and strength of youth to lift up the crowds.

However, I will resume once again the chapter of my impres­sions of all that is around me .... I don't understand how they can seek to build up a human family when there is scarcely anyone who devotes himself to forming these people in spiritual matters. Earthly marriages form bodies, the soul produces souls, but how many souls without wings! Who, then, will engender souls for heaven? Oh, little sisters, this will be ourselves through our mystical union with Jesus and our soul .... And this union will not stop at tens but at a thousand million!

The world that doesn't understand us, that thinks us selfish, says we are living a useless life; it will see later on the ones who have worked the most. People will compare with astonishment the variety of vocations.

Dear little sisters, read into the whole soul of your little Céline. I'm thinking so much about these things!

And Thérèse! What should I tell you about your letter and the page you copied out for me? I commissioned my good angel with carrying my thanks to you. That letter is my consolation-, I read it, read it again, and meditate on it endlessly ....

Monsieur La Néele brought me some news about Papa. He did not see him, but Madame Costard told him that Papa is doing better than when we saw him last. This helps me to bear up with this exile at La Musse.

Hug my dear Mother tightly for me. I was thinking very much about Mother Geneviève on her feast. Had I been there, I would have treated you royally in her honor.

Your little Céline

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