From Sr Marie of the Eucharist to her father – July 3, 1898.

From Sr Marie of the Eucharist to her father – July 3, 1898.

                 Marie Guérin to her father

                                                                                3rd July 1898

... Since you like hearing stories about little graces granted by our little angel, I shall tell you about one that occurred for me last winter and which I didn’t tell you about.

One day when it was very cold, at about 5 o’clock in the evening, my feet were so frozen that I could hardly walk; I couldn’t feel them anymore.

I must tell you beforehand to clarify my story: 1st that as the soles of our alpargates are made of rope, they become damp easily and we are obliged to dry them out on a foot heater; but the foot heater simply warms the alpargates when our feet aren’t inside them, for using foot heaters to warm our feet is forbidden in the convent.

2nd clarification: At that time I was having frequent nosebleeds, and our Mother had obliged me to put warm alpargates on from time to time. But as I hadn’t had any nosebleeds for a few days, I assumed my obligation was also suspended. Therefore that evening, as my alpagates were drying, I could, without committing a sin, have put them on when they were very warm, because I had permission to do so, but I decided to practice mortification. I said to myself, ‘If my little Thérèse was here, what would she say? Oh! Her reply would be categorical; she would want

me to change my alpargates and put warm ones on, because she was always full of tenderness towards her little novices and very often spared them suffering. But in my place, what would she have done? Ah, the little rascal! She would have jumped at this opportunity for self-sacrifice, and would have born cold feet out of love for God.’ So I said to her, ‘Since you would have done this, I’m going to do the same; you wouldn’t have set us the example if you didn’t want us to follow it!’ My resolution was therefore taken, and I was happy to give something to God. I sang as I passed the room where the alpargates were warming. I had hardly passed the door of the room when, crack!... I heard one of my alpargates break; I took a look… it was beyond repair for the time being. It was impossible for me to continue walking in those alpargates. I was therefore obliged to go and put on some of the nice warm ones, because I didn’t have any others.  

  God sometimes performs little acts of kindness like these when we deprive ourselves for his sake. On this occasion I recognised one of little Thérèse’s tricks; she often did such things. She would let us willingly make sacrifices, and then find a way to lessen them when they were fully accepted.