From Mme Martin to Mme Guérin CF 45 - February 28, 1869.


From Mme Martin to Mme Guérin

February 28, 1869

I’m annoyed with you. You bought cloth in Lisieux that was much more expensive than what I would have gotten for you. I found some here that’s so good it’s like nothing I’ve ever had. It’s worth twice what I used before. You must have really thought it was an oversight on my part not to have answered your question, and you shouldn’t have assumed that it bothered me in any way. I’m happy and satisfied only when I’m given the opportunity to help you in some way. The next time I forget to answer a question you’ve asked me, please remind me of it, and above all, don’t buy any cloth; I’ll get it for you first hand.

Today I took charge of looking for a cook for you. I’ve already found ten of them, if you don’t insist that they know how to cook perfectly. There are as many ordinary servants as drops of water in the river, but the capable ones are very sought after and difficult to find. It’s truly sad to be forced to serve other people. I have such a great fear of sending you a bad servant that it bothers me more than I can say. I’m asking the Blessed Mother to put her hand on a perfect one. Don’t be impatient; I’m going to devote so much time to it that I’ll end up succeeding.

Now let’s speak of something else. The day I received the news that my little girls were admitted to the Congregation of the “Children of Jesus,”( a pious association for children) both of them arrived that evening with Monsieur Vital (Vital and Pauline had a brother who lived in Le Mans). That was two weeks ago Thursday; they’re still here, and I don’t know when they’ll go back. It’s because an older student came down with typhoid fever. They thought it prudent to return the boarders to their families until the sick girl herself was well enough to return to her parents’ home. I was quite upset by this because they won’t have any vacation at Easter. Now, I’m waiting from day to day for a letter telling us they can return to school. Both of them were sick, especially Marie, who was very sick to her stomach and had a bad cold.

I’m happy to see, my dear sister, that your little girl is your pride and joy. I, too, was so happy with my first child. To my eyes, there had never been a child like her. I hoped that it would go as easily for all the others. I was mistaken. What I’ll learn for another time is not to dream of lasting happiness, something quite impossible here below!

So, you can’t imagine how frightened I am of the future, about this little person that I’m expecting (Céline). It seems to me that the fate of the last two children will be his fate, and it’s a never-ending nightmare for me. I believe the dread is worse than the misfortune. When misfortunes come, I resign myself well enough, but the fear, for me, is torture. This morning, during Mass, I had such dark thoughts about this that I was very deeply moved. The best thing to do is to put everything in the hands of God and await the outcome in peace and abandonment to His will. That’s what I’m going to try very hard to do.

 © Society of St. Paul / Alba House


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