Print

From Marie Guérin to Céline - October 13-14, 1890.

From Marie Guérin to Céline - October 13-14, 1890.

Dear little Céline “darling”

What a lot of secrets the heart has!... Today you would never guess what is happening inside mine. I was even told several times that I seemed very happy despite your departure, and that I was very bravely coming to terms with it. However my darling Céline, my heart hasn’t half suffered, since with so much tightening, I had become all pale. The lack of colour was blamed on illness, but I knew very well that it was not my body that was suffering but my heart, [1 v°] which was deprived of its Céline’s affection. There are certainly graces of state; I would never have believed I could bear such a separation so well. It’s my first, my mimi cheri1, but it’s hard. It is probably useful for our friendship, it will tie the knots tighter if that’s possible, but above all it is useful for our souls, because it teaches us to seek none but God, and savour none but Him. Life is such, it’s a continual separation. Only God remains with us always, He’s the One who separates us, so together let’s say: His will be done. Don’t you find some happiness in this Fiat?...
My poor darling, my letter will perhaps find you in one of those bitter moments when the soul cannot savour its sorrows. I imagine that it’s in this state that you [2 r°] are completing your pilgrimage. You are right to say it, consolations aren’t for you, you have too lofty a soul although it might sometimes seem down to earth to you. God’s little delights are not for the weak, but to you, valiant and intrepid soldier, He gives the toughest crosses to carry because he knows there is nothing you won’t do when it comes to suffering for his love.    

Darling Céline, when walking along the shady little path in the wood (in La Musse, the previous summer), your soul would sometimes soar to the heights and you would say: “Heaven, Heaven, oh Marie, Heaven”. I’ll never forget the tone of your voice on those solitary walks. Try to take heart, my mimi chéri, you’re not the only one carrying your cross; your little sister is with you, and is also suffering to see you suffer. She knows all your sorrows beforehand. You’ll have no need to [2 v°] tell her, her heart is wounded by the same arrows. Above all, don’t believe that the Sacred Heart will grant you fewer graces because you didn’t have any great desire to go on the pilgrimage. I think that if you had been happy to go, you wouldn’t have had any merits. Pilgrims used to make the journey stick in hand. Even if your body has none of all that to suffer, your soul is climbing steep paths and you have no other support but a weighty and heavy cross by way of a stick.

My darling Célin1, you know well that I can’t console people, there is only one thing I do well, and that’s loving my beloved little sister with all my heart. I am again going to recommend my letter to your Blessed Virgin’s prayers. Last night’s letter left without any problems. First I asked which one of you I should write to. Mama, half-smiling, replied Léonie. She thought she had caught me out, but it was she who was the most surprised. I set about writing to Léonie without saying anything. It suited me perfectly fine; at least it wouldn’t seem I was chasing you. Yesterday evening, which was Monday (13th), I got undressed and presented myself to Mama in my nightshirt so that she could see I was ready for bed [1 r° tv] but instead of climbing into bed I sat down at my desk. I wrote to you until 10 o’clock. This morning my guardian angel woke me up at ½ past 6 as I had asked him to. It is 7 o’clock. I will leave you; I hope to go to the Carmel when Papa goes to the station (on 14th–15th October, Mr. Guérin went to Alençon and Roullée (small property belonging to the Martins). Marie accompanied him but stopped at the Carmel for a long talk with Thérèse in the visiting room, without a third party. It is not understood whether Marie Guérin entrusted her letter for Céline to the Carmel or whether she posted it herself) at 9 o’clock, otherwise I won’t go until Thursday. It’s true that I will have your news if I waited until then, but I am having so much bother sending this letter that I would prefer taking advantage of this opportunity today. I will perhaps go on Thursday all the same but it’s not certain.

I am carrying you in my heart today and love you as a little sister. Marie

[2 r° tv] We have just received news of you, you had a very bad headache, I thought you might. How I love you my mimi chéri, if God could give me your headache I would thank him. Whatever you do tomorrow, go to the post office before leaving Paray. I’m hoping to write to you again. I’m going to the Carmel now, my scheme has appeared to be a very good one.

Francis and Jeanne aren’t coming home until Saturday. I’m afraid you’ll not like my letter, it doesn’t seem affectionate enough to me, and yet if only you knew all the affection my heart holds for you. Read between the lines. There are perhaps some sentences that will have the effect of someone of the world writing to you. I’m sorry for these sentences, but they just ran off my pen, such as this one: “life is such, it’s a continual separation,” forgive me.  

1 Terms of endearment.

Back to the list