From Mme Martin to Mme Guérin CF 90 - March 30, 1873.

From Mme Martin to Mme Guérin

March 30, 1873

My dear sister, I’m sorry to hear of the fire you told me about (on March 27, there was a fire at Isidore Guérin’s drug business, located across the street from his pharmacy). When I think of all the trouble my brother went through to organize his drug business and, in an instant, to see all his efforts lost. One must have a great deal of faith and resignation to accept this setback without complaint and with submission to God’s will.

As for me, I feel the consequences of this misfortune. This, joined with the tribulations I already have, has taken away my courage. I just wrote a letter to my little girls that is hardly going to delight them. I just spoke to them about your disaster and the troubles of this world. It’s true that each person has a cross to bear, but there are some for whom it is heavier than others. My dear sister, you’ve already begun to see that life is not a bed of roses. God wills this to detach us from the world and raise our thoughts toward Heaven.

Yesterday, while going with the doctor to see my little Thérèse, who is very sick, I noticed a beautiful château and some magnificent properties. I said to myself that all of that is nothing. We’ll only be happy when all of us, we and our children, are reunited in Heaven, and I offered up my child to God.

Ever since she’s been with the wet nurse, she’s always well. She’s even gained a lot of weight, but the intestinal irritation was only dormant. Since Friday it’s moved back up to her throat and her chest. When the doctor saw her, she had a very high fever. However, he told me he didn’t believe she was in danger.

Today she’s doing better, but I have some serious fears. I believe we’ll not be able to raise her. My first little boy was like this. He was coming along very well, but he had a stubborn case of enteritis and couldn’t get over it. Oh well, I did everything I could to save his life. Now, if God wills otherwise, I’ll try to endure the ordeal as patiently as possible. Truly, I often need to restore my courage. I’ve already had to suffer so much in my life. My dear friends, I’d so like you to be happier than I am, and I see with sorrow that adversity comes to visit you, too.

I hope my dear sister that you won’t be long in giving me the details of your accident and telling me how you’re going to set up business again. I know you put your confidence in God. That makes me believe that you’ll come through this bad time much better than you think.

Madame Tifenne seems much happier than you. She lives only for luxury and pleasure. She gives balls in mid-Lent. And yet would you believe that I prefer to see you with your adversity than to suppose that you, like her, are forgetting Heaven for the brief pleasures of the world. Goodbye, my dear sister, give a big hug to your dear little girls for me. Tell my brother that I’m going to ask the Poor Clares to say a novena so that the disaster will be repaired quickly and do you the least possible harm. In other words, for all that you need.


© Society of St. Paul / Alba House

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