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Ms A 82r

[82r°] be realized, was my dear Céline’s entrance into the same Carmel as ours. This dream appeared to be improbable: to live under the same roof, to share the joys and pains of the companion of my childhood; I had made my sacrifice complete by confiding to Jesus my dear sister’s future, [5] resolved to see her leave for the other side of the world if necessary. The only thing I couldn’t accept was her not being the spouse of Jesus, for since I loved her as much as I loved myself it was impossible for me to see her give her heart to a mortal being. I had already suffered very much when knowing she was exposed to dangers in the world which were unknown to me. Since my entrance into Carmel, I can say that my affection [10] for Céline was a mother’s love rather than a sister’s. When she was to attend a party one day, the very thought of it caused me so much pain that I begged God to prevent her from dancing, and (contrary to my custom) I even shed a torrent of tears. Jesus deigned to answer me. He permitted that His little fiancée be unable to dance that evening (even though she was not [15] embarrassed to dance gracefully when it was necessary). She was invited to dance and was unable to refuse the invitation, but her partner found out he was totally powerless to make her dance; to his great confusion he was condemned simply to walking in order to conduct her to her place, and then he made his escape and did not reappear for the whole evening. This incident, unique in its kind, made me grow in confidence and love for the One [20] who set His seal upon my forehead and had imprinted it at the same time upon that of my dear Céline.

Last year, July 29, God broke the bonds of His incomparable servant and called him to his eternal reward; at the same time He broke those which still held His dear fiancée in the world because she had accomplished her mission. Having been given the office of representing us all with our Father whom we so tenderly loved, she had accomplished this mission just like an angel. And angels don’t remain


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Ms A 81v

[81v°] that I write poems and compose little pieces that were considered beautiful. And just as Solomon, when he considered all the works of his hands in which he had placed so much useless toil, saw that all is vanity and affliction of spirit, in the same way I recognized from EXPERIENCE that happiness consists in [5] hiding oneself, in remaining ignorant of created things. I understood that without love all works are nothing, even the most dazzling, such as raising the dead to life and converting peoples.

Instead of doing me any harm, of making me vain, the gifts which God showered upon me (without my having asked for them) drew me to Him; and [10] I saw that He alone was unchangeable, that He alone could fulfill my immense desires.

There are other desires of another kind that Jesus was pleased to grant me, childish desires similar to the snow at my reception of the Habit.

You know, dear Mother, how much I love flowers; when making myself a [15] prisoner at the age of fifteen, I gave up forever the pleasure of running through fields decked out in their springtime treasures. Well, never in my life did I possess so many flowers as after my entrance into Carmel. It is the custom for fiancés to often give their fiancées bouquets and Jesus didn’t forget it. He sent me in great abundance sheaves of cornflowers, huge daisies, poppies, etc., all the flowers that [20] delighted me the most. There was even a little flower called corncockle that I had never found since our stay at Lisieux; I wanted very much to see it again, that flower of my childhood which I had picked in the fields of Alençon. And at Carmel it came to smile at me again and show me that in the smallest things as well as the greatest, God gives the hundredfold in this life to those souls who leave everything for love of Him.

But the most intimate of my desires, the greatest of them all, which I thought would never


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Ms A 81r

[81r°] I had the happiness of contemplating for a long time the marvels Jesus is working by means of my dear Mother. I see that suffering alone gives birth to souls, and more than ever before these sublime words of Jesus unveil their depths to me: “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless the grain of [5] wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it will bring forth much fruit.” What an abundant harvest you have reaped! You have sown in tears, but soon you will see the result of your works, and you will return filled with joy, carrying sheaves in your arms. O Mother, among these ripe sheaves is hidden the little [10] white flower; however, in heaven she will have a voice with which to sing of your gentleness and your virtues which she sees you practice every day in the darkness and the silence of life’s exile!

Yes, for the past two years I have understood very well the mysteries hidden from me until then. God showed me the same mercy He showed to King [15] Solomon. He has not willed that I have one single desire which is not fulfilled, not only my desires for perfection but those too whose vanity I have understood without having experienced it.

As I have always looked upon you, dear Mother, as my ideal, I desired to be like you in everything; when I saw you do beautiful paintings and [20] delightful poems, I said to myself: How happy I would be if I were able to paint and to know how to express my thoughts in verse and thus do good to souls. I would not have wanted to ask for these natural gifts and my desires remained hidden away at the bottom of my heart. Jesus hidden also in this poor little heart was pleased to show it that everything is vanity and affliction of spirit under the sun. To the great astonishment of the Sisters I was told to paint, and God permitted that I profit by the lessons my dear Mother gave me. He willed also


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Ms A 80v

[80v°] to religious souls. God wanted to show me that He was the Director of my soul, and so He made use of this Father specifically, who was appreciated only by me in the community. At the time I was having great interior trials of all kinds, even to the point of asking myself whether heaven really existed. I felt [5] disposed to say nothing of my interior dispositions since I didn’t know how to express them, but I had hardly entered the confessional when I felt my soul expand. After speaking only a few words, I was understood in a marvelous way and my soul was like a book in which this priest read better than I did myself. [10] He launched me full sail upon the waves of confidence and love which so strongly attracted me, but upon which I dared not advance. He told me that my faults caused God no pain, and that holding as he did God’s place, he was telling me in His name that God was very much pleased with me.

Oh! how happy I was to hear those consoling words! Never had I [15] heard that our faults could not cause God any pain, and this assurance filled me with joy, helping me to bear patiently with life’s exile. I felt at the bottom of my heart that this was really so, for God is more tender than a mother, and were you not, dear Mother, always ready to pardon the little [20] offenses I committed against you involuntarily? How often I experienced this! No word of reproach touched me as much as did one of your caresses. My nature was such that fear made me recoil; with love not only did I advance, I actually flew.

O Mother, it was especially since the blessed day of your election that I have flown in the ways of love. On that day Pauline became my living Jesus.


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Ms A 80r

[80r°] from being free; then I ask her to set up a huge tent worthy of heaven, adorning it with her own jewelry; finally, I invite all the angels and saints to come and conduct a magnificent concert there. It seems to me that when Jesus descends into my heart He is content to find Himself so well received and I, too, [5] am content. All this, however, does not prevent both distractions and sleepiness from visiting me, but at the end of the thanksgiving when I see that I’ve made it so badly I make a resolution to be thankful all through the rest of the day. You see, dear Mother, that I am far from being on the way of fear; I always find a way [10] to be happy and to profit from my miseries; no doubt this does not displease Jesus since He seems to encourage me on this road. Contrary to my usual state of mind, one day I was a little disturbed when going to Communion; it seemed to me that God was not satisfied with me and I said to myself: Ah! if I receive only half a host today, this will cause [15] me great sorrow, and I shall believe that Jesus comes regretfully into my heart. I approached, and oh, what joy! For the first time in my life I saw the priest take two hosts which were well separated from each other and place them on my tongue! You can understand my joy and the sweet tears of consolation I shed when beholding a mercy so great!

[20] The year that followed my Profession, that is, two months before Mother Geneviève’s death, I received great graces during my retreat. Ordinarily, the retreats that are preached are more painful to me than the ones I make alone, but this year it was otherwise. I had made a preparatory novena with great fervor, in spite of the inner sentiment I had, for it seemed to me that the preacher would not be able to understand me since he was supposed to do good to great sinners but not


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