From sr Genevieve (Celine) to Jeanne La Neele – June 24, 1912

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to Jeanne La Neele – June 24, 1912

+                                                                                          24th June 1912

                             Dear little Jeanne,

   Your long letter brought all three of us great pleasure and touched us deeply. When one is on a trip, it’s so difficult to write that we are very grateful to you for having taken the trouble to give us interesting news. And you certainly succeeded. I assure you that you did even more than interest me, because all these details about people out in the world prompt me to meditate on human vanity. It’s unbelievable, and it plunges me into deep thought. Have these people never suffered misfortune? Ah, they have, no doubt, but they seek distractions, because eternal life is not the goal to which they aspire.

I, too, would like to give you some interesting news, but what I’m going to tell you is hardly interesting and yet it brings back happy memories from our childhood. Believe it or not, the other day, I was requested to the visiting room to see the Countess de la Bourdonnaye and her 6 daughters. She was preceded by a whole barrelful of flowers, a huge spray of roses and mock-orange blossoms, plus an enormous punnet of strawberries. I’ve never seen such big ones before; they were as big as your fist (not mine, which is very plump!) I therefore went to the visiting room. I forgot to tell you that she had also delivered 50 frs. I arrived and thanked her profusely. It’s true that it was very considerate of her to bring me flowers and fruit from La Musse. She also gave me some photos of the bedroom where Papa died, taken from in front of the outhouse and from the kitchen garden. Then they asked to see the “keepsakes” and it was then that I heard a deep man’s voice. I saw that Mr de la Bourdonnaye was there! I exchanged some polite words with him but I felt very uncomfortable being all alone in these people’s company. The Turn Sisters told me that they are very distinguished and that the father had been rewarded a medal and was as tall as Francis. In short, they went to see the keepsakes in the sacristy and I didn’t speak to them after that. Only, they left a souvenir of their passage that I didn’t appreciate very much; I found a glass pane from one of the show cabinets broken. As it wasn’t from the fine cabinet, it could have been worse, but I could have gone without that.

   I must hurry, because I’ve filled 4 pages without reminding you of how much I’m thinking of you and how happy I am that Francis is recovering. I assure you that I don’t think your lodgings are too expensive. It’s as if you had a little house of your own, which is very appreciable. You mustn’t deprive yourself, darling little Jeanne, and it’s only fair that you should enjoy the blessings that God has given you. He is pleased with what He has given you, be sure of that. He loves making people happy! I send hundreds and thousands of kisses to you and Francis. Your little Céline

     Sr Geneviève of St Teresa