From Céline to Mother Agnes of Jesus, Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart, and Thérèse - July 3, 1893

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

July 3, 1893

Last week Uncle wrote a letter to Léonie which must have reached her on Saturday, but a letter I would never have expected, it was so paternal and gentle.

He is allowing her to remain at the Visitation, congratulates her on her plans, and goes as far as to tell her she is not to worry about the void she is causing with regard to Papa, for with God's help, he and Aunt hope to make his life so nice that they will take her place insofar as this is possible.

I was very much surprised by this language. I had seen Uncle so oppositely disposed, and I do not doubt God has placed His hand on Léonie's boat. All obstacles broke down at the same time.

Dear little sisters, oh! if you only knew how torn my heart was when reading this letter from Uncle; it was the consummation of the offering, it was the first! I wept... my heart was sad for a long time.... I was thinking of Léonie, my companion in misfortune who was abandoning me!... There is no longer anyone on earth, a void was formed around me, and for a moment I considered myself with heartbreaking dizziness as the last stray of the family.... Oh! life seemed so sad to me, so sad!...

My whole life with dear Léonie came back to me in all its details to deepen my regrets. I went back into my bedroom sadly, and I read this passage from the psalms: "Lord, you are my inheritance and all my good; it is you who make firm my lot. The lot that has fallen to me is delightful, and what I possess is infinitely pleasing to me!" (Psalm XV). Poor little Céline's heart was consoled.

Dear little sisters, I do not want to speak only about myself, for I know the joy you experience when receiving news about Papa.

He is always well, but the day when I had written our Mother was exceptional. I had never seen him like that, and for the rest of my life I shall remember his beautiful face when in the evening as night was falling, deep in the woods, we stopped to listen to a nightingale. He was listening... with such an expression in his eyes! It was like an ecstasy, an indescribable something of the homeland was reflected on his features. Then, after a long moment of silence, we were still listening, and I saw tears rolling down his dear cheeks. Oh! what a beautiful day!

Since then he is not so well; this extraordinary consolation could not last. And still, in spite of everything, how sweet his last days are, who would have thought it?... God is treating us with inex­pressible kindness.

Dear little sisters, I am thinking of you, and I am trying to take your place at Papa's side. I am doing my best, I assure you, for I realize the sacrifice it is for you not to assist our dear little Papa in his last days. I am the one who has this wonderful consolation. God is not asking as much from me as He is from you! No doubt, I would not have the fortitude. Oh! pray for your poor little Céline! I am doing so little for God and for you; you are giving Him so much. I think you are so good and I am so bad!...

Dear little sisters, you know I love you with my whole heart.

I kiss you tenderly,

Your little Céline

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc