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From Céline to Mother Marie de Gonzague - August 15, 1886.

From Céline to Mother Marie de Gonzague.

August 15, 1886

 

Dear Mother,

I can wait no longer nor silence my heart any more. How I thank you for your charming gift! If you only knew how much it pleased me. 

Your thoughtfulness in sending it to me stirred the very depths of my soul, therefore I won’t try to thank you any further, I wouldn’t be able to, my pen is incapable of conveying what my heart feels…

How well you understood, dear Mother, my great sorrow at seeing dear Marie's feast coming and having nothing to offer her. This was going to be the last one and she was going to be doubly sad! I wasn't able to resign myself to this thought ;during Mass on Saturday, I prayed to God to give me an idea to comfort me. It was then that I turned to this dear Carmel, [1 v°] which is witness to our struggles and sacrifices. Oh! how well my pain was understood there and, thanks to you, dear Mother, our last feast was somewhat happy. Happy, however, is saying too much, for the sorrow we are experiencing is too great for us to be consoled in this way!

Dear Mother! Once again we are about to lose our mother. God should have been content with the one He now has at His side. How often I think of her! It is unbelievable how much I love pray­ing to her. Often, too, she has been able to see how much I'd love to have her near me. The other day, I was thinking of her, and it seemed to me I was able to see her, to hear her. But, no, I was unable to experience these joys. ... God willed to compensate for these by giving to Marie a mother's heart, and, now that I was beginning to understand her, that my soul loved to confide in her, that I was enjoying her spiritual conversations, now she is about to be taken from me! Oh, Mother, it is too difficult.... I am all alone in life, 1 am deprived of my dear Marie, whom I love so much! I cannot resign myself to this thought; it seems to me it is something unreal, and, yet, it is only too true...

Oh! Mother, God must help me very much during these terri­ble days. I no longer want to recount my troubles to you, no, I would fear causing God pain. I want to make my sacrifice wholeheartedly without complaining for a single instant. However, it seems to me that I am permitted to open my heart to you, my Mother. I want, now that I’m all alone, to entrust you with all my sorrows…

I don’t know whether God was pleased with my sacrifice or whether he wanted to give me strength to bear the great blow he is sending me but I was flooded yesterday, Assumption day (these parenthetical words were inserted on 16th August, the day on which Céline continued her letter), with consolations. Jesus was speaking to my heart and the whole day was spent in this sweet conversation. Jesus is so good at consoling! Once one has given him one’s heart he fills it right up! Even the bitterest sacrifices can be sweet when it is Jesus who is asking for them. Oh! How I’d love to be a Saint! How I’d love for my soul to be like a beautiful lake whose clam and transparent surface is not troubled by anything passing…

If I could see heaven and the glory that awaits me, how quickly I would make all these sacrifices… “Ought not all trials be borne for the sake of everlasting life? (The Imitation of Christ, III, 47.)…”. And then life is so short! [2 v°] Suffering passes, to have suffered well remains for eternity…” Oh! when I think that to endure passing troubles we have Jesus as our reward. The more we suffer, the more we love Jesus for all eternity… If only you knew, Mother, how much strength these thoughts give me, but alas this strength needs to be reinforced. Jesus does this, but he often wants to have people to act for him upon earth; he wants hearts that he made in his own image to talk to each other about him and discover together means to love him further. It is for that reason, dear Mother, that if you will let me I will often go to the Carmel to receive advice and encouragement… I will at times find life so loathsome that I will need to come and seek the Heavenly balm that the Spouses of Jesus are so capable of finding in his Heart.

Oh, Mother! My only consolation is thinking of that! Marie spoke to me so often about Heaven, and Godly things!... it is not because I will be deprived of having her near me that I must no longer hear the gentle counsels that I loved so much!.....

Mother, it is impossible for me to continue any longer, the weight upon my heart is too heavy… Yet I have so many things to tell you! But you understand them, doesn’t a Mother’s heart understand all of her Child’s heartbreaks?......

Thanks a thousand times, dear Mother, and thanks for the beautiful holy picture also. How beautiful it was and what joy it gave me I
Your very sad little daughter,
Céline

 

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