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From Céline to Mme La Néele – July 8, 1891. Fragment

From Céline to Mme La Néele – July 8, 1891. Fragment

8th July 1891. Dear little Jeanne,

I am very grateful for the news of Papa you gave me. You can’t do me more pleasure than talking about my dear Father, who is the object of all my affection. You yourself know what the absence of a dear relative can do to the heart so well that you can easily imagine what joy you can bring me. I find that being separated from those we cherish is one of life’s greatest sorrows. Dear little Jeanne, I say a whole-hearted Thank you to you and [1 v°] to Francis. I was very touched by the visit you both paid Papa. I assure you, dear Jeanne, that is was a great comfort knowing you were near Papa. Trips to La Musse used to cause me pain because I would leave him all alone and so far away. Now I don’t have as many fears, I find rest in my darling little Jeanne, I entrust everything to her… Lovable little sister, you are more than kind! So I sing your praises to all who will hear me and I don’t tire when the conversation is about you. I share in all your troubles. I am upset when I know you have them and it is with you that I pray to God so that he puts a stop to all [2 r°] the problems concerning the pharmacy. The other day I read this complaint that a saint addressed to God. He said: “It seems things are going badly for me and that God has forgotten me because a whole month has gone by and I have suffered nothing and I’ve not been hurt in my person, my body, or my peace.”

Darling little Jeanne, God hasn’t forgotten you!... For not a month, not even a day goes by that you don’t suffer. And you can’t say that things are going badly for you, but that they are going well and better and better in proportion with how detrimental they are. – I also read these words, which I find most encouraging: “affliction is a treasure… It is greater to remain patient in the detrimental things than to resuscitate the dead.” So [2 v°] Jeanne, look; we can do 10, or a hundred deeds a day so big they exceed brilliant works. And these great deeds can be the smallest and lowliest. So unconsciously we can be saints and do more than them… I have noticed that I have given my heart free reign and I have comforted myself with my darling Jeanne regarding the miseries of exile. It sometimes does one good to open up one’s soul a little to a sister’s soul. Don’t you think so?... I really don’t know why my conversation has revolved around this subject today, for your letters don’t tell me anything and it is perhaps precisely because they tell me nothing that I sense something. You see, when people don’t communicate to me (…)

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