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From Fr. Pichon to Marie Martin - April 1st, 1886.

From Fr. Pichon to Marie. 1st April 86

+ Montreal, 1st Ap. 86

My very true Child in Christ Jesus

Finally! Finally here is the poor little minute I have been chasing after for almost three and a half months. Our Lord is being incredibly severe to my pen. I’m preoccupied with my ministry to the point of losing my breath. Over the last six months I have had to refuse over 700 penitents (some in tears) asking to entrust me with their consciences. [1 v°] Over the last six months, I haven’t had six regular meals, and not two undisturbed nights. In 1886, I haven’t yet read one single column of a French newspaper.

And you, tireless, inexhaustible, without ever growing disheartened, have written me 14 letters, perhaps 15. I suspect that one of them must have gone down with the English Transatlantic liner, the Oregon, which sunk within sight of New York towards the middle of March. These are the dates on which I received [2 r°] your very, very dear epistles: 22nd, 29th Dec., 13th, 14th, 19th, and 31st Jan., 3rd, 10th, 16th and 23rd Feb., 4th, 9th, 23rd, and 31st March. You are the first of my children and you will undoubtedly remain the only one to have written me 14 letters without receiving a reply (Marie would beat her own record; cf. LD 565).

I find all the echoes of your soul and the echoes of your heart so good! Everything sweetly resounds: Love to Jesus! Gratitude to Jesus!

Oh! I don’t [omitted word] you for not tasting the subtleties of the School concerning the Holy Eucharist. Rather I congratulate you. You have better things to do: Love the ever so lovable Jesus. Resting solely on one’s intelligence of mind often impoverishes the heart.

[2 v°] How happy I am to see that my alter ego is (The last three words have been inked out) increasingly invaded by Jesus!

Well done for your New Year’s gifts! My own gifts are magnificent. My very lovely picture for my feast is extremely dear to me! Thanks to you and your holy artist.

It is in heaven that the Feast of the Epiphany shall be cloudless

No, no, I no longer want you to know the hows and whys of it. It fills me with righteous anger. There are certain matters of which I would like you to remain ignorant at the price of my blood. Pray, understand me. I feel that Our Lord has had the ability to make a right out of a wrong. But you mustn’t enjoin him to do these tours de force.

[3 r°] Answer this question. When will I be able to offer my last self to Our Lord? (She is no less mine.) When will you be Marie of the S. Heart? You can see my choice is made. What do you think about your presence in the family? Is it still necessary? I want a note from you to resolve these [3 v°] questions.

Our Lord and I are very pleased to see that you don’t complain too much about my silence.

Our good desires often suffice to please God and honour him more than would our penances, for they would be the fruit of our own will. I don’t allow the mortifications you ask for. [4 r°] Look what a mean father God has given you. I would even allow you to not love him anymore, if at that price you were able to love Our Lord more.

Be a thousand and a thousand times blessed as St. John was blessed by the divine Master.

Your father

A.P.

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