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From sr Marie of the Eucharist (Marie Guerin) to Mrs Pottier – October 6, 1898

From sr Marie of the Eucharist (Marie Guerin) to Mrs Pottier– October 6, 1898

                                                           J.M.J.T.                                 6th Oct. 98

+ Jesus

                       Dear Céline,

It appears you think my letters are very rare. It’s true, but you see, I deliberately didn’t write to you while you were staying at La Musse. I didn’t feel I could speak freely. I feared that circumstances might oblige you to show my letter to others, so I didn’t write. I waited for you to return to Bernay, and as soon as I heard you were back, I decided to come and chat with you.

You said you were enchanted with the affection that Mamma and Papa showed you at La Musse. That doesn’t surprise me, for they know the strength of the friendship that binds us both. They hear me talk about you, although I don’t tell them your little secrets; I keep them safe in my heart. They in turn were delighted to grow better acquainted with you. They have only the highest praise of you, your piety, and of your duties as mistress of the house, wife, and mother. It helped me get to know my dear little Céline even better, if that’s possible. And as for Baby, they cannot say enough about how sweet and well brought up she is. Continue, my darling, and thank God for having given you models of sainthood to follow, because I can’t deny it, my parents are saintly Christians. Even if you can’t follow their example exactly, at least imitate their resignation and complete surrender into God’s hands, and their living faith. Yes, act according to your faith often. See God’s will in all things, for in His fatherly goodness, He sends us comfort and tests both big and small to sanctify us.  

Surrender yourself to Him. At this time, it’s more important than ever you surrender the present situation to Him. Becoming a mother for a second time means giving God one more angel on earth, someone He can gaze upon with His divine eyes when sinners aggrieve Him. Joyfully give this little angel to Jesus, so that their little heart might live and beat only for Him, and that they might later become a saint in the vocation God will give them. After all, you can be very saintly in the world; it’s not always necessary to come to the cloisters. You become saintly in the vocation God gives you, and in the place where He calls each soul.

Yes, surrender yourself to God. With all your actions, however small, and your sacrifices, make Him a bouquet of flowers that will delight His heart. Think to give Him a bouquet that will charm Him each evening, and you’ll be happy. When one works for God, one is light at heart. Yes, you should use some of your spare time embroidering for altars and for God, for there are many churches that have been abandoned. Well! Once a year you could offer God a piece of needlework that will dress His shrines. You don’t know how touched I am to see you were intending your pillow cases to be used for praising God and bringing Him glory. It’s what a Christian mother should do. She should work for Jesus in her name and in her children’s name, and offer Him the work of her hands, because out in the world, people prefer spending time decorating their living rooms and forget Jesus in the tabernacle.

   I must leave you, my darling. I’ve passed on your Mass requests. I won’t forget them and will pray hard for you. I’m always very pleased when you send me your news. Your little Sister Marie of the Eucharist

                                                                      7th Oct. 98

I’ve just received the beautiful piece of embroidery you sent. Thank you, thank you so much, darling Céline, on behalf of our Reverend Mother and all your little Carmelite Sisters. And what magnificent work it is! I’ve just given it to the sacristan, and she will make it her duty to turn it into a Communion altar cloth, as I’ve already explained to you. I’ll see this little masterpiece often, and Jesus will rest on it more often than you think. And how could I forget, even if it was in my heart to forget, the creator of this gift and her entire family. Jesus will hear mention of them, and of you too, Céline. Don’t forget to pray for your little cousin as she goes on her great retreat this evening.

Everyone is in awe before your work. Imagine how proud I am of my little cousin! Thank you, thank you again. You don’t know how much pleasure it brings me to see you work for Jesus.

   You asked me how much the Masses will cost. Our Mother has them said for 1 franc in alms per Mass, but it’s not urgent you know.

   Oh, your charming gift touched us so deeply!