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From Mme Martin to Pauline CF 169 - October [22], 1876.

 

From Mme Martin to Pauline

October [22], 1876

My dear Pauline,

It gave me great joy to read the few lines from your aunt. She tells me that her strength is returning and may this continue! Céline has a special affection for her aunt. When we received your letter, she said to us, “I knew God would answer me; I do so many practices for her.” Actually, she does several of them every day. Today she only did one, which isn’t surprising since she played all day long, and she didn’t think of it anymore. I believe Céline will give me many consolations; she has an angelic nature. She’s already seriously thinking about what she’ll have to do to make her First Communion.

God is very good to grant me compensations which diminish the bitterness my poor Léonie causes me. I can’t get through to her anymore; she only does what she wants and as she wants.

She just noticed that I was writing and said to me, “Mama, don’t say anything to my aunt about me, I’ll never do it again.” I didn’t answer her, but she started again so as to prevent me from writing. To have peace, I said, “No.” I’m not lying because it’s not to her aunt I’m saying it, but to you.

Oh well, here is everyday life, which isn’t cheerful, I assure you. But often, to console myself, I think of my dear Pauline, who makes my consolation. It’s a balm on my wound, and I find myself happy. Marie also makes me happy. Certainly, I have nothing to complain about. On the contrary, she does everything she can to make me happy. She’s very pious and doesn’t go a single day without saying her rosary.

Thérèse is still the same little imp. She often speaks of Pauline and says she’s very annoyed not to see her returning from Le Mans. This evening she thought that we were going to wait for you at the station because your father went out to take Marie to Mademoiselle Pauline’s house. She put up a struggle “to go get Pauline, too.”

Yesterday morning, Céline was pestering your father to take her and Thérèse to the Pavilion, as he’d done the day before. He said to her, “Are you joking, do you think I’ll take you every day?” The little one was there playing with a stick and didn’t seem to be listening to the discussion, she was too absorbed. While playing her little game, she said to her sister, “We mustn’t have the nerve to think that Papa will bring us every day.” Her father laughed with all his heart.

The day your uncle was in Le Mans, at ten o’clock I received a letter from his wife, who was in very big trouble. The student they’d had for four days to take care of the pharmacy was intoxicated to the point that they had to put him to bed. Your aunt was alone, not knowing what would happen. She asked me to tell my brother, who was due to return to Alençon on the five-thirty train.

After dinner he left on the eight-o’clock train, which arrived in Lisieux at midnight. We hardly enjoyed ourselves, he was too worried.

I received a letter from them on Thursday. My brother didn’t see the student again because Monsieur Fournet had given him his notice. Now, the most difficult thing is to find another one. Marie and I are going to say a novena to the Sacred Heart that your uncle finds what he needs. We’ll begin on Wednesday so that we’ll finish on the first Friday of the month. If you want, you can say this novena with us.

I’m certain our prayers will be answered because our Heavenly Father always gives us what we need.

I’m eagerly awaiting your letter, and you know you have to write me every week. You did well, my Pauline, in wanting to return to be with your aunt, and how sad I would have been if it had been otherwise! I didn’t want to tell you in order not to influence you, but I wanted it very much.

Please tell me how many times per week you see your aunt and for how long. Above all, during these moments, that are so short, try hard to show her your gratitude and affection for all she’s done for you.

What a lovely evening I’m having writing to you, my dear Pauline! Also, I’m not bored while waiting for Marie, who’s not going to arrive home before ten o’clock in the evening.

Here’s Léonie coming downstairs to bring me my rosary, and who’s saying to me, “Do you love me, Mama? I won’t disobey you anymore.” Sometimes she has good moments and good resolutions, but they don’t last. Tell your aunt not to worry about me regarding the little illness I have and which isn’t really an illness, since I’m not suffering from it at all. I’m making some remedies my brother sent me, and he assures me that they’re infallible. In any case, there’s nothing to worry about.

Good-bye, my dear Pauline. Give your aunt a big hug for me and tell her that I love her like those I love the most after God.

© Society of St. Paul / Alba House