From sr Marie of the Eucharist to Mme Guérin - July 12, 1896.


From sr Marie of the Eucharist to Mme Guérin - July 12, 1896.

+ Jesus J.M.J.T. 12th July 96

Dear Mother,

Today I’ve taken a big piece of paper because I have many things to tell you. Every single time, I wonder how you manage to decipher my handwriting; it’s so all over the place.

However, today I begged Sr. Marie of the Sacred Heart to write her messages herself. You won’t be cross about this because it will earn you a letter. My poor little Jeanne might suffer from it, though, for I fear that if I write to her, the letter will be too heavy, but she will lose nothing by waiting: next time she will be the one stuck with my handwriting. Her letter amused us so much; she has a special talent for telling stories. You’d think they were real; but I would very much like her to have her fair share of boldness, she would benefit from it, because as she so loves [lv°] going to bed early in the evenings, I think that if she was bold she would have this pleasure much more often. So we are complete opposites… I had never realized that my sister was different from me in this respect. Most importantly, she mustn’t stop telling us about her comings and goings; it’s a real delight for us.

I myself, dear Mother, don’t have any excursions or adventures to tell you about. My life is still the same; calm and peaceful, without incident. Actually… yes, I do have an incident to tell you about… regarding my daughter… my daughter, whom you probably think has arrived safely at port is not yet here, and I do fear that she won’t come at all. On the eve of her entry (10th July) our Mother received a letter from her saying that she had already made half the journey, because she was in Paris, but that she lacked courage, and didn’t have the strength to go further; that she preferred to wait a little longer… Imagine my disappointment! My daughter had let me down!... And yet she had already left [2v°] half her family, she only had her mother left and lacked courage. I still hope she will come in time for the Feast of Mount Carmel, but only I harbour this hope. Either she doesn’t have the vocation, or she lacks courage… I believe that my daughter, if ever she becomes my daughter, will cause me difficulty in this respect. You are very fortunate, dear Mother, that God gave me the energy necessary to take the big step, because it’s also very difficult for parents to see their child suffer like this, and be obliged to make several attempts at the difficult trial of parting.

Ah! No, I was never mistaken about that… I had the vocation… I have new proof of it every day. I have never, since I have been here, felt even the slightest shadow of regret; I have always lived in perfect joy. I often wonder how we manage to be happy in a life that is a continual death. And despite all the glimpses of the pleasure I could be having [2v°] in the world, I unhesitatingly love my life of deprivation and suffering even more, and find I am happier here. I cannot say however that God has given me the grace of burning with his love. Oh no! On the contrary, in this respect he makes the deprivation and drought felt, but he gives me other great graces, and apparently the more we want to love, the more we love. He still does me little kindnesses sometimes. He still sometimes gives me sweets as one would little children, but not as many as at the beginning because I have already grown older…

The other evening, there was a little creature in our cell that was making a racket and preventing me from sleeping. It was on a washing day, and as these days are very tiring, we are in great need of rest. I could see that I was perhaps going to spend my sleepless night with the little creature. I got up and started following my creature, but it was pointless! When I thought I had caught it, it had already flown away!... I was desperate… so I prayed to God and said: “God I have worked hard for you today, help me kill this little creature, I need rest so that I can work courageously tomorrow.” A few moments later, I saw the little insect fly straight towards the lantern, burn its wings a little and fall… so I hurried over to kill it completely. You see, God had answered my prayer. He had helped me. He held the little creature by the tip of its wings so to speak so that I could kill it more easily… These little kindnesses from God may appear silly and childish for some, but they are very great acts of goodness and condescension on the part of God.

What babble this is! But I know, [lr°tv] dear Mother, that you will not be cross. Continue to pray hard for my daughter because, if she joins, she will need courage. It’s a necessary virtue for being a Carmelite. In honour of my daughter, we have composed a kind of little poem to give her and ourselves some courage, for it is washday, and a few little compositions greatly help us in our work. Our poem is very comical.

Dear Mother, for the Feast of Mount Carmel, we would like 12 siphons to quench our thirst. When you give us siphons, we drink wine because it wouldn’t taste nice with beer, so would you also give us 6 bottles of red wine. Thank you in advance, I received the wax for the lights. Thank you! Thank you…

[lv°tv] Father is still improving, I hope; give him a big hug for me. This letter is also for him. I send big kisses to my little sisters and big brother. We are praying hard for Papa.

Your little daughter who sends you her biggest kiss and all her love,

Marie of the Eucharist


If you wanted, you could find us some more tree bark, as we don’t have enough. We would very much like some more little dried grass stems like those I picked last year and some little pieces of tree wood, well bark, but not pine cones… We don’t need any of those. Our Mother sends you her affectionate regards. Mother Agnès of Jesus sends big kisses as does Sr. Geneviève. I am very well… I am no longer on the meat diet… I am very pleased that Papa is lending the Life of Mother Geneviève to the priest of Navarre. He will read it while you are at La Musse.

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