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From sr Marie of the Eucharist (Marie Guerin) to Mrs Pottier – September 1898?

From sr Marie of the Eucharist (Marie Guerin) to Mrs Pottier– September 1898?

                                                      J.M.J.T.                                     [September? 98]

+ Jesus

                       Dear Céline,

I had been meaning to write to you when I received your letter. It’s true it has been a long while since we last exchanged news. But, as you said so well, our prayers and hearts have always been united. You know that everything that concerns you also deeply concerns me. Your thoughts are my thoughts, and your joys my joys. I knew you were worried about your sweet Guiguite [nickname for Céline’s daughter]. I assure you I wholeheartedly empathised with you and my prayers were with you.

You mustn’t think I’m indifferent when I receive news of you and your family; I’m very glad. It’s what the sacrifice of religious life means: not seeking to satisfy oneself, and writing to you would have brought me great satisfaction. I only had to ask, and I would immediately have been granted permission, but I thought it would be better to make this little sacrifice and wait for a letter from you. I think, dear Céline, that my little sacrifices are more useful to you than my letters. You understand this, don’t you? If only you knew how happily I’d write to you if I heard that something was bothering you. But I don’t, preferring to sacrifice it out of love for God. However, when something big is upsetting or troubling you, oh, then I’m the first to write.

Oh, as you so well said, the friendship we have is no ordinary friendship; it’s a friendship between souls. It was God who united our souls, and it is God who helps you to understand so many things that are incomprehensible to others, because, as I’ve said many times, He chose your soul. He loves you with a special love, and don’t forget that He expects a great deal from you because He has given you a great deal. He wants us to help each other become saints, and that’s why He made our souls in sympathy.

I’m very pleased that Papa let you into the secret regarding our dear little saint’s life story. I’ve wanted to tell you about it for a long time, but when you last visited me, there was no way I could, since we weren’t able to be alone. In her story, you’ll read about some wonderful things, things that many people out in the world won’t understand, but which you, little cousin, will appreciate. You’ll read about how there is only one path to becoming a saint: Love. Doing everything out of love leads to sainthood. And you’ll see that you don’t need to feel this love to possess it, but that it must pervade your work, even when the night is dark and you feel good for nothing.

Don’t forget that now you have two reasons to become holy, and that you’re offering another little soul to Jesus, one whom you’ll bring up in His love and for His love. Be happy that God has given you tender and delicate flowers to grow. He has entrusted you with beautiful flowers, flowers He cherishes. He takes so much pleasure in them that He is making them His home and His temple, fashioning them in His image. And one day, the beautiful flowers that you have surrounded with your care will form your crown for all eternity. That is why the more beautiful they are, the brighter their whiteness, and the more dazzling your crown. I’m very glad you received an affectionate welcome at La Musse. I didn’t doubt you would, given the love I know all my family have for you. You are their favourite, just as you are at the Carmel for that matter. Everyone in the Community loves you very much and often asks after you and your dear little treasure. When we haven’t heard from you for a while, my Sisters come up to me at recreation and say, “And how is her sweet little Guiguite doing?” I must give them news of her health.

Yet, most importantly of all, you know that you have a little sister here who cares deeply for you. In your last letter, you mentioned my parents, saying they are saints. It’s true, I admit it, I’m spoilt in this respect, but you don’t realise that you are called to the same state of sainthood. This is the level I want you to reach, and you’ll see, one day in the future, you’ll become like them and understand things that are hidden from the wise of today. You are walking in their footsteps, helped by little Thérèse. Don’t forget that, in the days preceding her death, she often spoke of her little childhood friend, Céline. Even now, in heaven, she hasn’t forgotten all the kindness you showed her when she was sick. Take, for example, your wildflowers, which made her weep with joy and gratitude. Here at the Carmel, too, we are very grateful for the kindness you showed to our little Sister.

I’ll leave you, my darling, by sending all my love to you and my dear little niece Guiguite. Come now, am I not her true aunt? But I understand perfectly why she doesn’t call me Aunt Marie. Deep down I know it’s inappropriate.Your little sister

                                                                                 Marie of the Eucharist

                                                                                                   u.c.n.