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From sr Marie of the Eucharist (Marie Guerin) to her father Isidore Guerin - September 26, 1898

From sr Marie of the Eucharist (Marie Guerin) to her father Isidore Guerin - September 26, 1898

                                                  J.M.J.T.                                     26th September 1898

+ Jesus

                       Darling Father,

   I saw Jeanne this evening and she didn’t give me good news of your health. We comforted each other and she left the visiting room feeling encouraged and strengthened. She is often downhearted, that little sister of mine, but today she left a good impression on Sr Agnes of Jesus and I. She always does, but this time, we thought she was particularly sweet and charming. She is in good, earnest and Christian dispositions. Ah, dear Father! How fortunate you are to have such an earnest little girl when there are such worldly and frivolous ones about! It should comfort you in your suffering. After all, while it’s true God has sent us His cross in the form of this illness (bodily suffering for you, and sufferings of the heart for all those who hold you dear), in reality we’re fortunate in our little family. All your children are as sweet as can be, and are earnest, Christian, and even saints, or will be one day. We’re a privileged family you know! Most have given themselves to God, so what more could you ask for? You have a devoted son-in-law, and whilst your desire was to have a son priest, God gave you an “apostle”. It can’t be denied, his mission is fine and fruitful. And while our big brother is in the arena, fighting to tear souls from Satan’s grip, his little sisters on the mountain of Carmel are praying and suffering for the very same souls. Where he fights, we pave the way to heaven. And what can I say about our parents, our father and mother, who are real saints? Their virtues can’t possibly be recounted in this world. In heaven we’ll see and celebrate our beloved parents’ glory. We’ll be able to contemplate the fine harvest of souls that was saved by my dear Mother’s fervent and humble prayers and sacrifices. I admire her holiness every day.

It’s a holiness that is hidden, humble, has the scent of violets and doesn’t like noise or being seen in broad daylight and yet it’s all the more present and all the more charming for the heavenly court. And so it’s not at all surprising that God sends a few crosses to a family He loves so much. Ah, we must praise Him for treating us as His friends, and above all, thank Him for His crosses, which are lighter in comparison to the heavy, weighty ones we sometimes see around us. Take poor Mr Lahaye for example, and so many other family members who are far from God. As for my dear Father, I won’t recount His virtues; they astound me and charm all those who know him.

   And the benjamin of the family is a little imp, a little ferret, whom God loves and spoils in the same way. I’m also built to give Jesus an abundant harvest of souls if I choose, but to do so, I must be a fervent, very active little soldier, and follow my parents’ example closely. Most importantly, I must become a brave knight. Our Mother has allowed me to send you the novices’ statutes, which she wrote herself a few days ago. It must have been Sr Thérèse of the Child Jesus who inspired this good idea, to speed up our progress in perfection. As you will see, we are knights of the Virgin Mary. Our leader is our little Angel. Before she died, she said to us, “Give everything you do to the Bl. Virgin through my hands, and she will present it to her son Jesus.” Therefore we fight. Every day, we record our defeats on our rosary of practices, and we admit our failings out loud in the novitiate. But this regulation won’t be implemented until 30th September. Until then, we hunt, that is to say we chase all sorts of animal game, which are sacrifices, and the game will be given to those who need our work most so they can have the food they need. But as from 30th 7ber, as you will see, there’ll be a different focus each week. One week it will be silence, another charity, etc., and to Jesus’ ears, the love with which we make all our sacrifices will be either like the melody of a musical instrument, or the sweet chirping of birdsong, etc. You don’t know how much emulation this new regulation inspires among us; we are becoming virtuous and fervent.

Have you had enough of my babbling, dear Father? Ah, if this long letter could bring you comfort, a single moment of happiness in your day, how happy I’d be!

But I must stop here. It’s going to be time for Matins so I’ll leave you by sending all my love to you and my dear Mother. She shouldn’t be sad and should come to see me when she likes. Wednesday would perhaps be preferable, because I fear the washing won’t be finished by tomorrow. However it doesn’t matter; she can come tomorrow, Tuesday, if she prefers.

Lots of fond kisses to my dear Father and dear Mother

    Your darling little girl Marie of the Eucharist.

Please send back the Knight’s statutes when you have an opportunity, otherwise Mamma can bring them tomorrow if she fears they will be crumpled. They were created and written by little Geneviève.

   At Mass on the 30th, the solemnity will in fact only be marked by the harmonium played by the Reverend.

One of our Lay Sisters began a novena to the most neglected soul in Purgatory for Papa’s recovery. When you think of it, please send some kola wine. It’s not urgent.

When Mamma comes, please could she bring, or send, the first six pages of Thérèse’s life story. Everyone in the novitiate took Communion for Papa this morning.