From sr Marie of the Eucharist (Marie Guerin) to her mother Mrs Guerin - before July 16, 1898

From sr Marie of the Eucharist (Marie Guerin) to her mother Mrs Guerin - before July 16, 1898

                                                                                               undated [July 98 – before 16th]


+ Jesus!

                                             Dear Mother,

   I’m very glad to hear you’ve arrived! I hope you’re all feeling joyful and in good health, and that the fresh air at La Musse will do you good. As for me, the air of La Musse is doing me immense good. I lost my appetite for a while, but since Thursday, the day I arrived, it has returned. The air of La Musse has always been a sovereign remedy for me and I can feel its benefits all the way from the Carmel.

     And have “the children” arrived? Ah, tell them from me that they should enjoy themselves while they can, and make the most of their time on holiday. I’m looking forward to hearing how happy they are to be back at that beautiful place. I hope the rabbit hunter is going to prove deft. We Carmelites would be grateful if he could give us two or three little rabbits for the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Our Mother would give one to the bishop for his welcome dinner, another to the newlywed groom to whom we kindly ask you to send the little parcel (Mr Auguste Acard) and another would be given to the Sisters who are on a meat diet for health reasons. The others will content themselves with the sight of the little rabbits.

There’s only one thing I know how to do, and that is ask for things. I’m an expert at it. It’s not my fault; I’m never refused when I knock at the door.

   In the copse at the Carmel, it’s not rabbits we see running across the paths, but hideous little beasts: rats. We’re invaded by them. They’re enormous, the size of little rabbits, and they will dash out in front of you. Ah, so with a bit of imagination, I could have been at La Musse this morning when I saw an enormous rat run across a path, just like a rabbit. A few moments later, a crow flew through the air crying “caw caw”. The scene was set. In an instant, I was transported to wonderland. It doesn’t cost much to take these little trips of mine. The bell interrupted my daydreaming and brought me back to reality.

   I fear I shocked you with all my comic songs when I last spoke to you. For a Carmelite who should be completely absorbed in God, it’s very strange to see a temperament as partial to comedy as mine. What can I say, I consider it a gift from God, and want it with all my heart. Our Constitutions say that “there will be some who have a grace for amusing others”. It appears I’ve received this grace and I thank God for it!

   And was little Jeanne pleased with our Mother’s present? I’m expecting a little letter from her any day now saying how happy and surprised she was. I’m not assuming it will be addressed to me but to the person it concerns, and I’ll be just as happy if that’s the case.  

   Has Papa heard from St Paul Publishers? News is beginning to spread. Father La Butte and Father Domin think they are taking a long time. They would like to read the fine biography that they’ve heard is so wonderful. In any case, hopefully the people over at the publishers will put their shoulder to the wheel. In many ways, I’d like it to be finished as soon as possible. Then I’ll be able to sing a Te Deum. Everyone was joyful following our last meeting. Petit Paulin1 says to Papa that she’s delighted and loves you to bits.

   When you next write, dear Mother, you can go ahead and call your little nieces “my little girls”. I understand, as we all do, your concern for respectfulness, but it’s taken for granted at the Carmel now. It’s not important. Everyone knows that your little nieces are really daughters to you. No one was offended. You know, I’m telling you this so that you act more freely from now on.

   Your little girl, who cherishes you highly and love her Papa and Mamma with all her immense heart.

             Marie of the Eucharist


Our dear Mother sends all her religious sentiments.

Big kisses to my little sisters and big brother on behalf of all the little Sisters at the Carmel.

1 Nickname for Pauline