From sr Marie of the Eucharist (Marie Guerin) to her mother Mrs Guerin - November 19, 1898

From sr Marie of the Eucharist (Marie Guerin) to her mother Mrs Guerin - November 19, 1898

                    + Jesus!                                 J.M.J.T.                               19th Nov. 98

                               Dearest Mother,

   Today is a day of great celebration in heaven and on earth. In heaven, two little Angels are interceding for a beloved mother. They know that today, God will refuse them nothing, so they are going to let fall a torrent of graces upon earth. And on earth, four little Carmelites with hearts that are overflowing with daughterly love will make the air resound with loving and lively songs of thanksgiving. When we have a mother like the one we cherish, our lives ought to be a perpetual hymn of praise.

But I’ve noticed in the middle of my dissertation that I’ve forgotten the most important thing, which is to wish you a happy feast day. Ah, dear Mother! Can earthly words convey what the inner soul feels? Certainly not, and I’m given proof of this very often. So when I want to pour out my little heart, I’m sad, very sad, because I can’t convey what I feel. Moreover, the deeper the feelings I want to express, the harder it is to find the words. Such things can only be understood soul to soul; heart to heart. And that is what is happening today, is it not, dear Mother? You can understand what your child is stuttering, just as when I was very small and stuttered on your lap, you understood my language. Well, now, I’m speaking to your heart, and you can decipher every little beat of mine.

   It doesn’t take much to move me; one word suffices. Today’s words open up such a chasm in my soul that, from time to time, I’m forced to turn my thoughts away from it. There are feelings so deep that our hearts cannot contain them, and it seems that if our hearts continued to dwell on them, they would burst, being too weak and too tiny to hold something so great. The words that delight my soul today are these: “A mother’s feast day!” Who can say how much these four words mean to me? I cannot. My heart would get carried away trying to express it. Ah, dear Mother, how I love you! Do you understand that? Yes, no doubt you do. The older I grow, the more I love you! I wonder if it will go on forever.  

   You often ask me what you need to do to imitate little Thérèse in her life of love. Well! Listen to my little secret, but you mustn’t tell anyone about it: One day when I was praying, I complained to little Thérèse that she seemed to have abandoned me. I asked her to take me by the hand once more, and help me walk in the way of pure love, but I told her it was impossible for my love to become as great as hers. During meditation the following day, I had forgotten the request I had made the previous day, and as I was thinking about my heavenly little Sister’s ardent love, I suddenly realised that everyone has a spark of the Love she possessed in their hearts, and that even she had no more than the same little spark of love to begin with. However, she was able to make it bear fruit and rekindle it, and that was how it became a raging fire. Ah, I said to myself, I know what I must do. Like her, I have a spark of divine love in my heart, and when you have a little spark, you must be very careful not to let it go out. You must feed it; you must approach the very fragile little ember and blow a little air on it from time to time, but not so violently that it is extinguished completely. But when the ember is hot, you put a tiny twig on it, and then a bigger one so that the ember glows brightly. But all fires, no matter how big or small, stay alive under ash. That is my little story about a spark.

   And so I made it my duty to find all the tools I needed to feed my spark; embers, tiny twigs and big logs. The twigs represent the little sacrifices, the tiniest ones imaginable, often even goodwill alone. The bigger logs represent the big things, the big sacrifices, but before you come to that, you need time and patience. You therefore begin with little trivialities. If you put pieces of wood that are too big on the little spark, it will be smothered, so the smallest of sacrifices, the little trivialities, will nourish my little spark of life. Now I need some bellows. What better than acts of love and sighs of love to rekindle my little spark? My bellows are therefore my little acts of love. My God, I love you!

   The following day, I asked God why the fire died out little by little when, every morning, our hearts were ablaze with love during Communion. “Ah, it’s not surprising,” I could hear God say, “for fire remains alive under ash.” And I set about finding some ash to keep the love alive, and I quickly discovered that my ash would be represented by my daily little immolations, which will be consumed by love and in love.

   That is my feast day bouquet, dear Mother. It’s an entirely spiritual bouquet, but I know you will like it. It shows the way in which Jesus and little Thérèse have chosen to teach your little girl.

   I will quickly leave you by once more sending you all my love, affection and best wishes.

                                   Your little girl

                               Marie of the Eucharist


   Our Mother sends her best wishes and her affectionate and religious respects. Who can say how good she is and how much she loves you?

My ‘daughters’ have asked me to pass on their particularly daughterly affection, they say.

   The flowers for the bouquet have been reserved for you by one of our Lay Sisters, Sr Vincent de Paul.

Thank you for the cakes we had this morning. They were exquisite. Sr St Stanislaus sends her best wishes. She has asked me to tell you that your memory is deeply imprinted in her heart.

Sr Marthe sends her ‘Mamma’ all her love and best wishes. She will take Communion for you tomorrow, as will Sr Béatrix of the Child Jesus.