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The yellow notebook - July 1897

130

JULY

Two sources furnish us with a rich documentation for the month of July: the two hundred and thirty-eight statements that form one-third of the "Yellow Notebook, " and the thirty-four letters that speak of Thérèse, the greater part addressed to the Guérin family on vacation at La Musse. The latter permit us to follow the progress of the tuber­culosis step by step.

After an apparent respite at the end of June, great and repeated hemoptyses began on July 6 and 7. Complete immobility, ice, and other remedies removed any immediate danger. On the evening of July 8, the patient was taken down to the infirmary on the ground floor.

The hemoptyses began again very soon. Doctor de Cornière no longer had any hope of a cure. On July 29, her condition worsened to such an extent that she was anointed the following day. They thought she would not pass the night.

At the beginning of the month, Thérèse had to abandon the writing of her manuscript. Her task was completed, and that of Mother Agnes of Jesus was about to begin. At the bedside of her little sister, the future "historian" (see July 29, no. 7) questioned and received in­structions. Through childhood memories evoked by the patient, reflections on her religious experience, reactions to her physical and spiritual sufferings, the real Thérèse expressed herself with great spon­taneity. Her "little way" must be transmitted to as great a number of people as possible. July was the month of prophetic intuitions on her future mission.

Thérèse wrote thirteen letters (in pencil) during this month.

 

July 2

She went for the last time before the Blessed Sacrament in the oratory in the afternoon; but she was at the end of her strength. I saw her look at the Host for a long time and I guessed it was without any consolation but with much peace in her heart.

I recall that in the morning after the Mass, when the community was going to the oratory to make thanksgiving, no one thought of helping her. She walked very quietly close to the wall. I didn’t  dare offer her my arm.

July 3.

1.    One of our friends had died,' and Dr. de Cornière had spoken about her illness in the presence of Thérèse; she had a tumor that he was not able to define exactly. This case interested him very much from the medical viewpoint. "What a pity I was unable to make an autopsy, " he said. She said later:

"Ah! it's in this way that we are indifferent towards one another on earth! Would he say the same thing if it were a question of his own mother or sister? Oh! how I would love to leave this sad world!"

2.    I was confiding to her my thoughts of sorrow and discouragement after having committed a fault:

"You don't act like me. When I commit a fault that makes me sad, I know very well that this sadness is a consequence of my infidelity, but do you believe I remain there? Oh! no, I'm not so foolish! I hasten to say to God: My God, I know I have merited this feeling of sadness, but let me offer it up to You just the same as a trial that You sent me through love. I'm sorry for my sin, but I'm happy to have this suf­fering to offer to You."

3.    "How is it that you want to die with your trial against faith that Jeanne-Marie Primois.

doesn 't come to an end?" I asked:

"Ah! but I really believe in the Thief ! It's upon heaven that everything bears. How strange and incomprehensible it is!"  

4.    Since milk made her sick and since she was unable to take anything else at this time, Dr. de Cornière had prescribed a kind of condensed milk that was to be obtained at the pharmacists's under the name of "lait maternisé. " This prescription, for various reasons, caused her pain, and when she saw the bottles arrive, she began to shed warm tears.

In the afternoon, she felt the need of going out of herself, and she said to us with a sad and gentle look:

"I need some food for my soul; read a life of a saint to me." "Do you want the life of St. Francis of Assisi? This will distract you when he speaks of the little birds. "

"No, not to distract me, but to see some samples of humility."

 

5.    , " "When you are dead, they will place a palm in your hand: I said "Yes, but I'll have to let it go whenever I want to, in order to give graces by the handful to my little Mother. I will have to do everything that will be pleasing to me."

 

6.    In the evening:

"Even the saints are abandoning me! I was begging St. Anthony during Matins to find our handkerchief that I lost. Do you think he answered me? He did no such thing! But it doesn't make any dif­ference; I told him I loved him just the same."

7.                "During Matins I saw the stars twinkling, and then I heard the Divine Office, and this pleased me."

                The window of her cell was opened

July 4.

1.    "God has helped me, and I have gained the upper hand over the matter of the milk."

2.    In the evening:

"Our Lord died on the Cross in agony, and yet this is the most beautiful death of love. This is the only one that was seen; no one saw that of the Blessed Virgin. To die of love is not to die in transports. I tell you frankly, it seems to me that this is what I am experiencing."

3.     I exclaimed: "Oh, what a feeling I have that you 're going to suf­fer!"

"What does it matter! Suffering can attain extreme limits, but I'm sure God will never abandon me."

4.    "I'm very grateful to Father Alexis; he did me much good. Father Pichon treated me too much like a child; however, he did me much good also by telling me I'd not committed a mortal sin."

July 5.

1. I was talking to her about my weak points, and she said:

"I have my weaknesses also, but I rejoice in them. I don't always succeed either in rising above the nothings of this earth; for example, I will be tormented by a foolish thing I said or did. Then I enter into myself, and I say: Alas, I'm still at the same place as I was formerly! But I tell myself this with great gentleness and without any sadness!

It's so good to feel that one is weak and little!"

2.    "Don't be sad about seeing me sick, little Mother, for you can see

how happy God makes me. I'm always cheerful and content."

3.    After looking at a picture representing Our Lord with two little children, the smaller one having climbed up on His lap, the other, standing at His feet, kissing His hand:

"I'm this very little one who has climbed up on His lap, who is lif­ting his little head and is caressing Jesus without any fear. The other little one doesn't please me as much; he's acting like an adult. He's been told something, and he knows he must have respect for Jesus."

July 6.

1.    She had just coughed up some blood; I said: "You're going to leave us then?"

"I am not. Father said to Me: 'You're going to have to perform a great sacrifice in leaving your sisters.' I answered: 'But, Father, I find I'm not leaving them; on the contrary, I'll be closer to them after my death.' "

2.    "I think that as far as my death is concerned I'll have to have the same patience regarding it as I had to have in the other great events of my life. Look: I entered Carmel when I was young, and yet, after everything had been decided, I had to wait three months; for my taking of the Habit, the same thing; for my Profession, the same thing again. Well, for my death, it will be the same thing; it will come soon, but I'll still have to wait for it."

3.    "When I'm in heaven, I'll advance towards God like Sister Elizabeth's little niece, standing in front of the parlor grilles. You know how, when she recited her piece, and finished with a curtsy, she raised her arms, and said: 'Happiness to all those whom I love.'

"God will say to me: 'What do you want, my little child?' And I'll answer: 'Happiness for all those whom I love.' Then I'll do the same thing before all the saints."

I said to her: "You're really happy today; I feel you've seen the Thief "

"Yes, each time I am sicker I see Him again. But even though I were not to see Him, I love Him so much that I'm always content with what He does. I wouldn't love Him less if He were not to come and steal me away; it's just the opposite. When He misleads me, I pay Him all sorts

of compliments, and He doesn't know what to do with me."

4.    "I read a beautiful passage in the Reflections of the Imitation. It was a thought from Father de Lamennais, but it is still very beautiful. (She believed, and we did too, that this Father de Lamennais had died impenitent.)

"Our Lord enjoyed all the delights of the Trinity when He was in the garden of Olives, and still His agony was none the less cruel. It's a mystery, but I assure you that I understand something about it by what I'm experiencing myself."

5.    I had placed a vigil light before the Virgin of the Smile in order to receive the favor that Thérèse stop coughing up blood.

"You're not rejoicing then that I'm dying! Ah, for me to rejoice, it's necessary that I continue to cough up blood. However, it's ended for today!"

6.     It was 8:15 in the evening, and I brought her lamp which they had forgotten to bring up to her; I also did a few other little services for her. She was very much touched and said:

"You've always acted this way towards me. I cannot express my gratitude to you." Then drying her tears:

"I'm crying because I'm so touched by everything you've done for me since my childhood. Ah, what I owe you! But when I'm in heaven, I'll tell the truth; I'll tell all the saints: It's my little Mother who gave me all that pleases you in me."

7.     "When will the Last Judgment take place? Oh, I wish it were at

this very moment! And what will happen afterwards?"

8.     "I'm making very many little sacrifices."

July 7.

1. After she had coughed up blood once more: Baby        is going to go to see God very soon."

 I asked: "Are you afraid of death now that you see it so close?" "Ah, less and less?"

 

Do you fear the Thief? This time He's at the door. " "No, He's not at the door; He's inside! But what are you saying, lit­tle Mother! Do I fear the Thief ! How can I fear one whom I love so much!"

2.   I asked her to explain what happened when she made her Act of Oblation to Merciful Love. First she said:

"Little Mother, I told you this when it took place, but you paid no attention to me."

This was true; I'd given her the impression that I placed no im­portance on what she was saying.

"Well, I was beginning the Way of the Cross; suddenly, I was seized with such a violent love for God that I can't explain it except by saying it felt as though I were totally plunged into fire. Oh! What fire and what sweetness at one and the same time! I was on fire with love, and I felt that one minute more, one second more, and I wouldn't be able to sustain this ardor without dying. I understood, then, what the saints were saying about these states which they experienced so often. As for me, I experienced it only once and for one single instant, falling back immediately into my habitual state of dryness."

And later on:

"At the age of fourteen, I also experienced transports of love. Ah! how I loved God! But it wasn't at all as it was after my Oblation to Love; it wasn't a real flame that was burning me."

3.   "This saying of Job: 'Although he should kill me, I will trust in him," has fascinated me from my childhood. But it took me a long time before I was established in this degree of abandonment. Now I am there; God has placed me there. He took me into His arms and placed me there."

4.   I begged her to say a few edifying and friendly words to Dr. de Cornière:

"Ah! little Mother, this isn't my little style. Let Doctor de Cornière think what he wants. I love only simplicity; I have a horror for 'pretense.' I assure you that to do what you want would be bad on my part."

5.    "In fact, I could give him the impression that I'm really sick. Never shall I forget the scene this morning" when I was coughing up blood; Doctor de Cornière had a puzzled look."

6.    "See, it's for your sake that God treats me so sweetly. No more vesicatories, nothing but gentle remedies. I am suffering, but not enough to make me cry."

After a moment, with a mischievous look:

"However, He did send us trials that could have caused us to cry and still we didn't cry."

She was referring to our great family trial. As for the "gentle

remedies, " these weren't long lasting, and her sufferings were terrible.

7.    "I'm just like a poor 'little gray wolf' that really wants to go back into the forest, but he is forced to live in houses."

Our father, at Les Buissonnets, used to call her sometimes "my lit­tle gray wolf. "

8.    "I just saw a little sparrow on the garden wall, waiting patiently for its parents; from time to time, it gave forth its little chirp, calling them to come and give it a mouthful of food. I thought it was like me."

9.    I told her that I enjoyed compliments: "I'll remember that when I'm in heaven."

 

July 8.

1.    She was so sick there was talk of giving her Extreme Unction. That day, she was taken down from her cell to the infirmary; she was no longer able to stand up, and she had to be carried down. While still in her cell, and knowing they were thinking of anointing her, she said in a tone of joy:

"It seems to me that I'm dreaming! However, they aren't fools." She meant Father Youf, the chaplain, and Doctor de Cornière.

"I fear only one thing: that all this will change."

2.    She was trying to recall sins she could have committed through her senses in order to confess them before being anointed; we were considering the sense of smell, and she said:

"I remember during my last trip from Alençon to Lisieux that I used a bottle of eau de Cologne which was given to me by Mme. Tifenne (a friend of the family), and I did this with pleasure."

3.    We all wanted to talk to her at once:

"Lots of people who have something to say!"

4.    She was overflowing with joy and was trying to communicate it to us:

"If, when I am in heaven, I can't come and play little games with you on earth, I will go and cry in a little corner.'"

5.    To me:

"You have a long nose; it will serve you well later on.'"

 

6.   Looking at her emaciated hands:

"I'm becoming a skeleton already, and that pleases me."

7.    "I will tell you something: very soon I'm going to be dying. . . . It reminds me of a greased pole; I've made more than one slip, then,

all of a sudden there I am at the top!"

8.    "I would rather be reduced to ashes than to be preserved like St. Catherine of Bologna. I know only St. Crispino, who came forth from the tomb with honor."

The body of this Saint is admirably preserved in the Franciscan monastery at Rome.

9.    Speaking to herself:

"It's really something to be in one's agony! But what does it matter

after all! I have sometimes agonized over foolish things."

10.  With a serious and gentle look, I don't recall any longer the oc­casion, but she had been misunderstood:

"The Blessed Virgin did well to keep all these things in her 'little' heart. . . . They can't be angry with me for doing as she did."

11.  "The little angels amused themselves very much by playing little tricks on me. They all tried to hide from me the light which was showing me my approaching end."

 

I asked: "Did they hide the Blessed Virgin from you?" "No, the Blessed Virgin will never be hidden from me, for 1 love her too much."

12.  "I want to be anointed very much; let them laugh at me af­terwards if they want to."

She meant that the Sisters could laugh if she were restored to health, for she knew that some of them didn't think she was in danger of death.

13.  "Oh, certainly, I shall cry when I see God! No, we can't cry in heaven. Yes, we can, since it is said: 'And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.' '"

14.   "I'll offer you my little fruits of joy such as God gives them to me.

"In heaven, I shall obtain many graces for those who did good to me. For my little Mother, everything. You won't even be able to make use of them all, there will be so many for you to enjoy.'"

15.   "If you only knew how gentle God will be with me! But if He is the least bit not gentle, I'll still find Him gentle. ... If I go to purgatory, I'll be very content, I'll do like the three Hebrews in the furnace," I'll walk around in the flames singing the canticle of Love. Oh, how happy I will be, if when going to purgatory I can deliver other souls, suffering in their place, for then I would be doing good, I would be delivering captives."

 

16.  She warned me that later on a great number of young priests, knowing she had been given as spiritual sister to two missionaries,will ask the same favor from the Carmel. She told me that this could become a great danger:

"Any Sister could write what I have written and would receive the same compliments, the same confidence. But it's only through prayer and sacrifice that we can be useful to the Church. Correspondence should be very rare, and it mustn't be permitted at all for certain religious who would be preoccupied with it, believing they're doing marvels, and would be doing nothing really but harming themselves and perhaps falling into the devil's subtle traps."

With further insistence:

   "Mother, what I've just told you is very important; I beg you not to forget it later on. At Carmel, we should never make any false currency in order to redeem souls. And often the beautiful words we write and the beautiful words we receive are an exchange of false money."

17.  To make us laugh:

"I would rather be placed in a little Gennin box, not in a coffin." Someone had sent the Carmel some beautiful artificial flowers in long, well-seasoned wooden boxes from "Maison Gennin" at Paris.

18       It makes us so good when we suffer something; it leads to more regular observance and charity."

July 9.

1. She didn 't want any sadness around her, nor at Uncle's home:

"I want them all to have a 'good time' at La Musse. I'm having a spiritually good time all day long."

"This 'good time' can't be very happy, " I said: "I find it very happy."

 

2.    "Sister Geneviève will need me. . . . However, I will come back."

3.    After the Father Superior's visit, I made the remark that she didn 't know how to use the proper tactics to receive Extreme Unction, that she didn't appear to be sick in the least when receiving these visits:

"I don't know the trade!"

4.    "I would love to go! .. ."

5.    I said: "You will probably die on July 16, the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, or on August 6, the feast of the Holy Face. "

"Eat 'dates' as much as you want; I myself no longer want to eat

any. . . . I have been too much taken in by dates."*

6.    "Why should I be protected more than anyone else from the fear

of death? I won't say like St. Peter: 'I will never deny you.' "

7.    We were speaking about "holy poverty. "

"Holy poverty! How funny to speak of a 'holy one' who will never enter heaven ! "

Mother Agnes says elsewhere: "the trade of trickery."

 

8.    I was somewhat troubled:

"My love should be a consolation to you." To those who were present:

"I'm going to manage everything for my little Mother." In the evening, to me alone:

"Oh! then, I've not been mistaken; I know very well that everything

you do for me is done through love. . . ."

9.    We had caught a mouse in the infirmary, and she made up a whole story about it, begging us to bring her the wounded mouse so that she could put it in bed by her side and have the doctor examine it. We laughed very much over this, and she was happy for having distracted us.

July 10.

1.    "Little children are not damned."

2.    "What you have written could very well one day go to the Holy Father. "

Laughing:

"Et nunc et semper!"

3.    Showing me with a childish gesture the picture of the Blessed Virgin nursing the child Jesus, she said:

"There's something that's good milk; you must tell Dr. de Cornière that."

 

4.    It was Saturday, and she had coughed up blood at midnight: "The Thief had made His mamma a thief. ... So she came at mid­night to force the Thief out of hiding; or else she came all alone because the Thief didn't want to come."

5.    "They will not make me last one minute longer than the Thief wants."

6.    To me alone:

"You go to too much trouble over things that aren't worth any trouble."

7.    With a smile:

"When you've done something like this, what is even much worse is

that you fear the consequences too much. ..."

8.    "You're like a timid little bird that hasn't lived among people; you're always afraid of being caught. I haven't any fear of anyone; I have always gone where I pleased. I always slipped by them."

9.    Holding her Crucifix, after having kissed it at three in the af­ternoon,'' she was acting as though she wanted to remove the crown and the nails.

 

10.  Returning to her accident during the night, she said in a char­ming way, looking at the picture of the Blessed Virgin attached to the curtain of her bed:

"The Blessed Virgin isn't a thief by nature. . . . But ever since she had her Son, He taught her the trade. . . ." After a pause:

"However, the Child Jesus is still too small to have ideas like that. . . . He hardly thinks of stealing when on His Mother's breast. . . . Yes! He's already thinking like this, He knows well enough He will come to steal me." "At what age?" "At twenty-four."

11.  We were speaking about death and the distortions brought upon the features at the moment of death. She said:

"If this happens for me, don't be sad, for immediately afterwards I'll have nothing but smiles."

Sister Geneviève was looking at the lid of a baptismal case, saying that the beautiful head she saw there would serve her as a model for the head of an angel. Our little Thérèse really wanted to see it, but no one thought of showing it to her, and she didn't ask. I learned this later on.

12.  "What will I have to think when I see the window of your cell when you have already left this earth ? My heart will be heavy. "

"Ah! you will think that I'm very happy, that there I struggled and suffered very much. . . . I would have been content to die there."

13.  (DuringMatins)

It came into her head that she wasn't seriously ill, that the doctor was mistaken about her state of health. She told me about these trials and added:

"If my soul had not been filled in advance with abandonment to God's will, if it had been necessary that it let itself be submerged by these feelings of joy and sadness that succeed each other so quickly on this earth, this would have been a bitter pain, and I could not have borne it. But these changes only touch the surface of my soul. . . .

Ah! nevertheless, they are great trials!"

14.  "I believe it isn't the blessed Virgin who is playing these tricks on me! . . . She is forced to do so by God! ... He tells her to try me so that I give further proofs to Him of my abandonment and love."

15.  To me alone:

"You're always there to console me. . . . You fill my last days with sweetness."

July 11.

1. She recited the whole stanza:

Since the Son of God willed that His Mother Be subjected to the night, to anguish of heart, It is, then, a good thing to suffer on earth?

Etc....................................................... *

"You don't see her any longer, the thief?"

"Yes, I see her! You don't understand! She is really free not to steal me. . . . Ah! 'I looked to the right, and there was no one who knew me.' God alone can understand me."

2.    During Matins. She spoke to me about her prayers of former days, in the summer evenings during the periods of silence, and she understood then by experience what a "flight of the spirit" was." She spoke to me about another grace of this kind which she received in the grotto of St. Mary Magdalene, in the month of July, 1889, a grace followed by several days of "quietude.

". . . It was as though a veil had been cast over all the things of this earth for me. ... I was entirely hidden under the Blessed Virgin's veil. At this time, I was placed in charge of the refectory, and I recall doing things as though not doing them; it was as if someone had lent

me a body. I remained that way for one whole week."

3.    I was speaking to her about the manuscript of her Life, about the good it would do to souls.

"... But how well they will understand that everything comes from God; and what I shall have of glory from it will be a gratuitous gift from God that doesn't belong to me; everybody will see this clearly. ..."

4.    She spoke to me about the Communion of Saints, and she told me how the goods of one would be the goods of another:

". . . Just as a mother is proud of her children, so also we shall be proud of each other, having not the least bit of jealousy."

5.    "Alas! how little I've lived! Life always appeared short to me. My childhood days, these seem but of yesterday!"  

 

6.   "One could believe that it is because I haven't sinned that I have such great confidence in God. Really tell them, Mother, that if I had committed all possible crimes, I would always have the same con­fidence; I feel that this whole multitude of offenses would be like a drop of water thrown into a fiery furnace. You will then tell the story about the converted sinner who died of love; souls will understand im­mediately, for it's such a striking example of what I'm trying to say.

However, these things cannot be expressed in words."

7.   In the evening, she quoted this stanza from "The Young Con­sumptive, "Ibelieve. She did it with great charm:

My day declines, earth's scene for me shall fade.

A last farewell, my dear one, draweth near;

Thy guarding glance through all shall be my aid,

And Autumn's falling leaves call forth thy prayer.

8.    ". . . There's great peace in my soul. . . . My little boat is sailing once again. I know I shall not return, but I am resigned to remain sick for several months, as long as God wills it."

(*) Novissima Verba adds:

This is the story exactly as she related it to me:

"It is related in the Lives of the Fathers of the Desert that one of them converted a woman who was a public sinner, and whose evil life had scandalized the entire coun­tryside. Touched by grace, that poor sinner followed the Saint into the desert, there to carry out rigorous penance. On the very first night of the journey, however, even before she had come to the place of her retreat, her earthly ties were snapped by the violence of her repentant love. At that very moment, the holy man saw her soul being carried by angels up to the very bosom of God. This is a striking example of what I mean butxan- not express."

 

9. "How God has ored you! What do you think of this predilec­tion?"

 

"I think that 'the Spirit of God breathes where he wills.' "

July 12.

1.    She told me that formerly she had to undergo a rough battle with regard to a lamp to be prepared for Mother Marie de Gonzague's family that arrived unexpectedly to spend the night in the extern Sisters' quarters. The struggle was so violent, there came such thoughts against authority into her mind, that, not to give in to them, she had to implore God's help with insistence. At the same time, she applied herself as well as she could to what had been demanded of her. It was during the night silence. She was portress, and Sister St. Raphael was first in charge:

"To conquer myself I imagined I was preparing the lamp for the Blessed Virgin and the Child Jesus; and then I did it with an incredible care, not leaving on it the least speck of dust, and, little by little, I felt a great appeasement and a great sweetness. Matins sounded, and I was not able to go to it immediately, but 1 experienced such a disposition of mind, I had received such a grace, that if Sister St. Raphael had come and had said, for example, that I was mistaken about the lamp, that I had to prepare another, I would have obeyed her happily. From that day, I made the resolution never to consider whether the things commanded me appeared useful or not."

2.   Sister Marie of the Eucharist was saying that I was admirable: "Admirable Mother! Oh! no, rather amiable Mother, because love is worth more than admiration."

   

   

3. To Mother Marie de Gonzague:

"I hold nothing in my hands. Everything I have, everything I merit is for the Church and for souls. If I were to live to eighty, I will always be as poor as I am now."

July 13.

1.    "I really see I will have to watch over the fruits when I am in heaven, but you must not kill the birds, or else people will not send you alms."

Swinging her arms gently towards the picture of the Child Jesus: "Yes, yes!"

2.    "God will have to carry out my will in heaven because I have never done my own will here on earth."

3.    "You will look down upon us from heaven, won't you?" "No, I will come down!"

4.    During the night, she composed the couplet for Holy Com­munion:

"You who know, etc."

At the process of beatification and canonization, Mother Agnes stated: "During the night of July 12, she composed this couplet as a preparation for Holy communion:

You who know my extreme littleness, You don't hesitate to lower Yourself to me! Come into my heart, O white Host that 1 love, Come into my heart, for it longs for You! Ah, I desire that Your goodness would let me Die of Love after receiving this favor. Jesus! Listen to my tender cry. Come into my heart!

With reference to it, she said:

"I composed it very easily; it's extraordinary. I believed I could no longer compose any verses."

5.     "I don't say: 'Although it is hard to live in Carmel, it is sweet to die there,' but: 'Although it is sweet to live in Carmel, it is still sweeter to die there.' "

6.     The doctor had found her better than usual. Then holding her side from which she was suffering very much, she said:

"Yes, yes, she's much better than usual! . . ."

7.     It seemed to me she was down-hearted in spite of her happy mood, and I said: "It's for our sake that you take on this happy mood and say these cheerful things, isn't it?"

"I always act without any 'pretence.' "

8.     We offered her some Baudon wine. (A strength-giving wine)

"I don't want any earthly wine; I want to drink only the new wine in the kingdom of my Father."

 

9.   "When Sister Geneviève used to come to visit me, I wasn't able to say all I wanted to say in a half hour. Then, during the week, whenever I had a thought or else was sorry for having forgotten to tell her something, I would ask God to let her know and understand what I was thinking about, and in the next visit she'd speak to me exactly about the thing I had asked God to let her know.

"At the beginning, when she was really suffering and I was unable to console her, I would leave the visit with a heavy heart, but I soon understood it wasn't I who could console anyone; and then I was no longer troubled when she left very sad. I begged God to supply for my weakness, and I felt he answered me. I would see this in the following visit. Since that time, whenever I involuntarily caused anyone any trouble, I would beg God to repair it, and then I no longer tormented myself with the matter."

10. "I beg you to make an act of love to God and an invocation to all the saints; they're all my 'little' relatives up there."

11. "I want them to buy three little pagans for me; a little Marie- Louis-Martin, a little Marie-Théophane; and a little girl in between the two called Marie-Cécile."

A moment afterwards: "Rather, a little Marie-Thérèse."

She wanted this in preference to money being spent for flowers after her death.

12. "With the virgins we shall be virgins; with the doctors, doctors; with the martyrs, martyrs, because all the saints are our relatives; but those who've followed the way of spiritual childhood will always retain the charms of childhood."

she developed these thoughts.

13.  "Ever since I was young, God gave me the feeling that I would die young."

14. Looking at me tenderly:

"You really have a face! And you will always have it. I'll recognize you, there!"

15.  "God made me always desire what He wanted to give me."

16.  To all three of us:

"Don't believe that when I'm in heaven I'll let ripe plums fall into your mouths. This isn't what I had, nor what I desired. You will perhaps have great trials, but I'll send you lights which will make you appreciate and love them. You will be obliged to say like me: 'Lord, You fill us with joy with all the things You do for us.' "

17.  "Don't imagine that I'm experiencing, in dying, a living joy, such as, for example, I experienced formerly when I spent a month at Trouville or Alençon; I no longer know what living joys really are. I'm not expecting some kind of joyful feast; this isn't what attracts me. I can't think very much about the happiness of heaven; only one expectation makes my heart beat, and it is the love I shall receive and I shall be able to give. And then I think of all the good I would like to do after my death: have little children baptized, help priests, missionaries, the whole Church.

"But first console my little sisters."

"This evening, I heard some music in the distance, and I was thinking that soon I would be listening to incomparable melodies, but this feeling of joy was only passing."

18. I asked her to point out her various assignments since she was in Carmel:

"At my entrance into Carmel, I was placed in the linen-room, working with Mother Sub-prioress, Sister Marie of the Angels; besides, I had to sweep the staircase and the dormitory.

"I recall how much it cost me to ask our Mistress permission to per­form acts of mortification in the refectory, but I never gave in to my repugnances; it seemed to me that the Crucifix in the courtyard, which I could see from the linen-room window, was turned towards me, begging this sacrifice.

"It was at this time that I was going out to weed the garden in the afternoon at 4:30; this displeased Mother Prioress very much.

"After I received the Habit, I was put in charge of the refectory un­til I was eighteen; I swept it and set out the water and the beer. During the Forty-Hours devotion in 1891, 1 was assigned to the sacristy with Sister St. Stanislaus. From the month of June of the following year, I went for two months without any assignment; during this time I was painting the angels in the oratory and was companion to the Procuratrix. After these two months I was assigned to the Turn with Sister St. Raphael, while still being in charge of painting. I had these two assignments until the elections of 1896, when I asked if I could help Sister Marie of St. Joseph in the linen-room, under the cir­cumstances about which you are aware."

She then told me how others found her slow, little devoted to her duties, and how I myself believed it; and in fact, we both recalled how much I scolded her for a refectory tablecloth which she had kept in her basket for a long time without mending it. I accused her of negligence, and I was wrong, for she didn't actually have time to do it. On that oc­casion, without excusing herself, she had cried very much, when she saw that I was sad and very much displeased. Is this possible?

She told me, too, how she had suffered in the refectory with me (I was in charge), not being able to speak to me about her little affairs as she was formerly, because she didn't have permission and for other reasons.

"You had come to the point where you no longer knew me," she added.

She spoke to me, moreover, about the violence she had to do to her­self to remove the spiders' webs from the alcove of St. Alexis under the stairs (she had a horror of spiders), and a thousand other details which proved to me how faithful she had been in her tasks, and what

she had suffered from them without anyone's being aware of it.

July 14.

1.   "I read how the Israelites built the walls of Jerusalem, working with one hand and holding a sword in the other. This is what we must do: never give ourselves over entirely to our tasks."

2.   "If I had been rich, I would have found it impossible to see a poor person going hungry without giving him my possessions. And in the same way, when I gain any spiritual treasures, feeling that at this very moment there are souls in danger of being lost and falling into hell, I give them what I possess, and I have not yet found a moment when I can say: Now I'm going to work for myself."

3.   She began to recite with a heavenly expression in her voice the stanza in her poem "Rappelle-toi, " which begins with these words:

"Remember that Your holy will

 Is my repose, my only happiness."

4.   "It is not the pain it appears to be (dying of love), provided it is really it!"

5.   "What God has given me has always pleased me, even to the point that, if He had given me a choice in the matter, I would have chosen those things; even the things which appear to me less good and less beautiful than those which others had."

 

6.   "Oh, what poisonous praises I've seen served up to Mother Prioress! How necessary it is for a person to be detached from and elevated above herself in order not to experience any harm!"

7.   In his visit, the doctor gave us renewed hope, but she experienced only pain and said to us:

"I'm accustomed to it now! What does it matter if I remain sick for a long time! It was to spare you any anxiety that I wanted to have it over quickly."

8.   "Oh, how I love you, little Mother!"

9.   "My heart is filled with God's will, and when someone pours something on it, this doesn't penetrate its interior; it's a nothing which glides off easily, just like oil which can't mix with water. I remain always at profound peace in the depths of my heart; nothing can disturb it."

10. Looking at her emaciated hands:

"Oh, what joy I experience when seeing myself consumed!"

July 15

1.   I said: "Perhaps you'll die tomorrow (the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel) after you have received Holy Communion. "

"Oh, that wouldn't resemble my little way. Would you want me to leave this little way, then, in order to die? Dying after receiving Holy Communion would be too beautiful for me; little souls couldn't imitate this.

"I only hope there will be no mishaps tomorrow morning! It's things of this nature that can happen to me; for example, it's im­possible to give me Communion; God is obliged to return to the taber­nacle; understand?"

2.   She spoke to me about Blessed Théophane Vénard, who had been unable to receive Holy Communion before his death, and she heaved a deep sigh.

3.   We had made preparations for her to receive Holy Communion the next day from Sister M. Philomena's nephew who was coming to celebrate his first Mass at the Carmel and to bring her Communion af­terwards. Seeing that she was sicker than usual, we feared she would cough up blood after midnight, and so we asked her to pray that no such unfortunate incident take place to interfere with our plans. She answered:

"You know well that I cannot ask this myself, but you ask it for me .... This evening, in spite of my feelings, I was asking God for this favor in order to please my little sisters and so that the community might not be disappointed; but in my heart I told Him just the con­trary; I told Him to do just what He wanted."

4.   Seeing us decorating the infirmary:

"Ah! what trouble we go to in order to get everything ready the way it should be! How good earthly feasts really are! We bring beautiful white dresses to the little communicants, and all these have to do is to put them on; all the trouble we have gone to for their sake is hidden from them, and all they have is joy. It's no longer the same thing when we grow up."

 

5.   She told me about the following incident, the memory of which was the source of a great grace to her:

"Sister Marie of the Eucharist wanted to light the candles for a procession; she had no matches; however, seeing the little lamp which was ourning in tne front of the relics, she approached it. Alas, it was half out; there remained only a feeble glimmer on its blackened wick.

She succeeded in lighting her candle from it, and with this candle, she lighted those of the whole community. It was, therefore, the half-extinguished little lamp which had produced all these beautiful flames which, in their turn, could produce an infinity of others and even light

the whole universe. Nevertheless, it would always be the little lamp which would be first cause of all this light. How could the beautiful flames boast of having produced this fire, when they themselves were lighted with such a small spark?

"It is the same with the Communion of Saints. Very often, without our knowing it, the graces and lights that we receive are due to a hid­den soul, for God wills that the saints communicate grace to each other through prayer with great love, with a love much greater than that of a family, and even the most perfect family on earth. How often have I thought that I may owe all the graces I've received to the prayers of a person who begged them from God for me, and whom I shall know only in heaven.

"Yes, a very little spark will be capable of giving birth to great lights in the Church, like the Doctors and Martyrs, who will undoubtedly be higher in heaven that the spark; but how could anyone think that their glory will not become his?

"In heaven, we shall not meet with indifferent glances, because all the elect will discover that they owe to each other the graces that merited the crown for them.

The conversation was too long, and I wasn't able to take it down entirely or word for word.

July 16.

1.   "I fear you will have to suffer very much to die, " I said:

"Why fear in advance? Wait at least for it to happen before having any distress. Don't you see that I would begin to torment myself by thinking that, if persecutions and massacres come, as they are predic­ted, someone will perhaps snatch out your eyes!"

2.   "I had made a complete sacrifice of Sister Geneviève, but I can't say that I no longer desired her here. Very often in the summer, during the hour of silence before Matins, while I was seated on the terrace, I would say to myself: Ah! if only my Céline were near me! No! This would be too great a happiness for this earth!

"And this seemed to me an unrealizable dream. However, it wasn't through selfishness that I desired this happiness; it was for her soul, it was so that she walk our way. . . . And when I saw her enter here, and not only enter, but was given to me completely to be instructed in all things, when I saw that God was doing this, thus surpassing all my desires, I understood what an immensity of love He has for me.

"And so, little Mother, if a desire that is hardly expressed is an­swered in such a way, it is then impossible that all my great desires

about which I've so frequently spoken to God will not be completely answered."

3.   She repeated with an air of conviction this statement of Father Bourb's which she had read in his book: "Petites Fleurs. "

"The saints of the latter days will surpass those of the first days just as the cedars surpass the other trees."

4.   "You know all the inner recesses of my little soul."

5.   Like a little child with a bit of naughtiness in her head, she said: "I would like to give you a proof of love that nobody has ever before given you." (I wondered what she was going to do, when . . The three lines following this are erased, illegible

On August 28, 1940, at the end of her notebook, Mother Agnes of Jesus added this text:

Important remark:

When my saintly little sister told me on July 16, 1897, "You alone know all the in­ner recesses of my little soul, " I am sure that she was not excluding from this complete knowledge of her soul, Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart and Sister Geneviève of the Holy Face. Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart, to whom she owed the Blessed Virgin's smile and who had prepared her for her First Communion, and to whom we ourselves owe her goddaughter's marvelous response in Manuscript B, Story of a Soul, on Sep­tember 17, 1896. Sister Geneviève of the Holy Face, her Céline, whom she called: 'The sweet echo of my soul. '

"But she was inspired by God to tell me this in particular, so that, later on, because of the authority that would be given to me, others could place their trust entirely in what I said and wrote about her. "

Sister Agnes of Jesus August 28, 1940.

6. "If God were to say to me: If you die right now, you will have very great glory; if you die at eighty, your glory will not be as great, but it will please Me much more. I wouldn't hesitate to answer: 'My God, I want to die at eighty, for I'm not seeking my own glory but simply Your pleasure.'

"The great saints worked for the glory of God, but I'm only a little soul; I work simply for His pleasure, and I'd be glad to bear the greatest sufferings when this would be for the purpose of making Him smile only once."

July 17.

Saturday, at 2:00 in the morning, she coughed up blood: "I feel that I'm about to enter into my rest. But I feel especially that my mission is about to begin, my mission of making God loved as I love Him, of giving my little way to souls. If God answers my desires, my heaven will be spent on earth until the end of the world. Yes, I want to spend my heaven in doing good on earth. This isn't im­possible, since from the bosom of the beatific vision, the angels watch over us.

"I can't make heaven a feast of rejoicing; I can't rest as long as there are souls to be saved. But when the angel will have said: 'Time is no more!'" then I will take my rest; I'll be able to rejoice, because the number of the elect will be complete and because all will have entered

into joy and repose. My heart beats with joy at this thought."

July 18.

1.   "God would not have given me the desire of doing good on earth after my death, if He didn't will to realize it; He would rather have given me the desire to rest in Him."

2.   "I have only inconveniences to put up with, not sufferings."  

 

July 19.

1.   I said: "I'm going to water the garden this evening. " (It was the beginning of recreation.)

"But it would be much better to water me!" "What are you?" I asked.

"I'm a little seed; no one knows yet what will develop."

2.   "Just now I wanted to ask Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart, who had come back from a visit with Father Youf, what he had said about my condition after his visit to me. I was thinking to myself: This would perhaps do me some good; it would console me to know. When I thought the matter over further, I said: No, it's only curiosity; I don't want to do anything in order to learn what he said, and since God hasn't permitted her to tell me herself, this is a sign He doesn't want me to know. And I avoided bringing the conversation back to this subject lest Sister Marie be forced to tell me. I wouldn't have been happy."

3.   She told me she dried her face carefully, because Sister Marie of

the Sacred Heart noticed she was perspiring a lot.

July 20.

1. She coughed up blood at three in the morning.

"What would you have done had one of us been sick instead of you? Would you have come to the infirmary during the recreation periods ?" I asked.

"I would have gone directly to recreation, without asking for any information. However, I'd have done this quite simply so that no one would notice the sacrifice I was making. If I had come to the in­firmary, it would have been to please others and not to satisfy myself. I would do all this in order to accomplish my little task and to draw down grace upon you, which the seeking of myself would certainly not accomplish. I myself would have drawn great strength from this

sacrifice. If at times through weakness, I would have acted otherwise, I would not have been discouraged. I would have been careful to make up for my failures by depriving myself still more, without allowing this to be seen by others."

2.   "God allows Himself to be represented by whomever he wills, but this is of no importance. With you as Prioress now, there would have been the human element, and I prefer the divine. Yes, I say this from the bottom of my heart; I'm happy to die in the arms of Mother Prioress because she represents God for me."

3.   "Mortal sin wouldn't withdraw my confidence from me; don't forget to tell the story of the sinful woman! This will prove that I'm not mistaken."

4.   I was saying that I feared she would suffer death's agonies:

"If by the agonies of death you mean the awful sufferings which manifest themselves at the last moment through sighs which are fright­ful to others, I've never seen them here in those who have died under my eyes. Mother Geneviève experienced them in her soul but not in her body."

5.   "You don't know how much I love you, and I'll prove it to you."

6.   "They plague me with questions; it reminds me of Joan of Arc before her judges. It seems to me I answer with the same sincerity."

 

July 21.

1. "When I see you, little Mother, it gives me great pleasure You never bore me; on the contrary. I was saying recently that while I'm obliged to give so often, you are the one who supports me."

 

2. "If God should scold me, even only a little bit, will not cry.  However, if He doesn't scold me at all, if He welcomes me with a smile, I'll cry."

 

3. "Oh, I would like to know the story of all the saints in heaven- however, nobody will have to tell it to me as it would take too long' When approaching a saint, I'll have to know his name and his whole life in one single glance."

 

4. "I've never acted like Pilate, who refused to listen to the truth. I've always said to God: O my God, I really want to listen to You- I beg You to answer me when I say humbly: What is truth? Make me  see things as they really are. Let nothing cause me to be deceived "

 

5. We were telling her she was fortunate in having been chosen by God to tell souls about the way of confidence; she answered :

"What does it matter whether it's I or someone else who gives this way to souls! as long as the way is pointed out; the instrument is unimportant."

 

July 22.

1. Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart said: "You are attended to with much love."              

"Yes, I see that. It's an image of God's love for me. I've never given Him anything else besides love, and so now He gives me love, and that's not all. Very soon He'll give me more love.

"I'm very much touched by this, for it's like a ray, or rather a flash of lightning in the midst of darkness; but only like a flash of light­ning!"

2. She repeated with a smile this remark of Father Youf after she had made her confession:

"If the angels were to sweep heaven, the dust would be made of diamonds!"

July 23.

1.    We were speaking to her about Associations.

"I'm so close to heaven that all this seems sad."

2One of us had said and read something to her, thinking it had given her some consolation and joy in her great trial. "Did your trial cease for a moment?"

"No, it was as though you were singing."

3.    I was always telling her of my fear that she'd have to suffer much more:

"We who run in the way of love shouldn't be thinking of sufferings that can take place in the future; it's a lack of confidence, it's like meddling in the work of creation."

 

4.   "At the time of Papa's trials, I had a violent desire to suffer. One night, knowing he was sicker than usual, Sister Marie of the Angels noticed I was very sad, and she consoled me as well as she could. I said: 'Oh, Sister Marie of the Angels, I feel I can suffer more!' She looked at me, surprised, and has often reminded me of it since."

(Sister Marie of the Angels had never forgotten that night. Our little Saint was still a postulant and was ready to retire; she was sitting on her bed in her nightgown, her beautiful hair was falling over her shoulders. "Her appearance and her entire person had something about them so noble and so beautiful that I thought I was looking at a virgin from heaven. ")

5.  "I remember one day when we were at the height of our trials, I met Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart after I'd swept the dormitory staircase (on the linen-room side). We had permission to speak, and she stopped me. I told her I had a lot of strength, and that at the moment I was thinking of that statement of Mme. Swetchine. It had so penetrated my whole being that I seemed on fire with it: 'Resignation is still distinct from God's will; there is the same difference between the two as there is between union and unity. In union there are still two; in unity there is only one.' "

(I'm not sure if I have quoted the text with total fidelity.)

6.   "I was obliged to ask for Papa's cure on the day of my Profession; however, it was impossible for me to say anything else but this: My God, I beg You, let it be Your will that Papa be cured!"

7.   "At the time of our great trial, how happy I was to say this verse in choir: 'In te, Domine, speravi!' "

          

July 24.

1.   She had been sent some beautiful fruit but was unable to eat any of it. She took each one in her hands, one after the other, as though offering them to someone and then she said:

"The Holy Family has been well served. St. Joseph and the little Jesus have each received a peach and two prunes." Then she asked in a low tone of voice: "I've touched them with pleasure, and perhaps that's not good? I get so much pleasure out of touching fruit, especially peaches, and I like to see them near me." After I had reassured her, she continued:

"The Blessed Virgin had her share, too. When I'm given milk with rum, I offer it to St. Joseph; I say to myself: Oh, how much good this will do to St. Joseph!

"In the refectory, I always considered to whom I should offer the food. Sweets were for little Jesus; strong foods were for St. Joseph, and I didn't forget the Blessed Virgin either. But when I missed anything, for example, when they forgot to give me sauce or salad, I was very happy, for then I could really offer it to the Holy Family, being really deprived of what I was offering."

2.   "When God wills that we be deprived of something, there is nothing we can do about it; we must be content to go this way. Sometimes Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart placed my bowl of salad so close to Sister Marie of the Incarnation, that I couldn't consider it my own, and I didn't touch it.

"Ah, little Mother, what 'poor' omelet they served me during my life! They were convinced I liked it when it was all dried up. You must pay particular attention after my death not to give bad fare to the poor Sisters."

July 25.

1. I was telling her that I was coming to a point where I desired her death so that she wouldn 't suffer any longer:

"Yes, but you mustn't say that, little Mother, because suffering is exactly what attracts me in life."

2.     "Are peaches in season? Are they selling plums in the streets now? I don't know what's happening anymore.

When we reach our declining years,

We lose both our memory and our head.

3.     Uncle sent her some grapes; she ate a few and said:

"How good those grapes are! However, I don't like to eat what comes from my relatives. Formerly, when they brought me bouquets of flowers for my little Jesus, I could never take them until Mother Prioress had said so."

4.     Upon her request, I had her kiss her Crucifix, and I handed it to her in the customary way:

"Ah! but I kiss His face!"

Then gazing at a picture of the Infant Jesus, which Sister Marie of the Trinity had brought from the Carmel at Paris, she said:

"It appears to me that this little Jesus here is saying: 'You will come to heaven very soon; I'm the one who is telling you!' "

5.     I asked: "Where's the Thief now? You don't speak of Him anymore. " She placed her hand on her heart, saying:

"He's there! He's in my heart!"

6.     I was telling her that death was a sad affair, that I would suffer a lot when she died. She answered tenderly:

"The Blessed Virgin held her dead Jesus on her knees, and He was disfigured, covered with blood! You will see something different! Ah! I don't know how she stood it! Imagine if they were to bring me to you in this state, what would become of you? 'Responde mihi!'

7.    After she had confided several little faults for which she re­proached herself, she asked me if she had offended God. I answered simply that these little sins were nothing and that she had done me a lot of good in telling me about them; she appeared very much touched and she said later:

"When I was listening to you, I was reminded of Father Alexis; your own words penetrated my heart as much as his."

Then she began to cry; I gathered up these tears, drying them with a

little piece of linen, which Sister Geneviève keeps as a relic.

8.  Sister Geneviève gave her a little geranium which had been on the table for a long time so that she could cast it at her holy pictures pin­ned to the bedcurtains:

"Never cast little faded flowers . . . only little flowers 'freshly blooming.' "

9.    Someone suggested a rather noisy distraction; she answered with a smile:

"No little boys' games! No little girls' games either! Just the games of little angels."

10.  "I look at the grapes, and I say to myself: They are beautiful, they look good. Then I eat one; I don't give this one to Jesus, because He's the one giving it to me."

 

11. "I'm like a real little child during my sickness; I don't think of anything; I'm content to go to heaven, and that's it!

12. "The first time I was given grapes in the infirmary, I said to Jesus: 'How good the grapes are! I can't understand why You are waiting so long to take me, since I am a little grape, and they tell me I'm so ripe!'"

13. With reference to spiritual direction:

"I think we have to be very careful not to seek ourselves, for we can get a broken heart that way, and afterwards, it can be said of us in all truth: 'The keepers . . . wounded me; they took away my veil from me. . . . When I had passed by them a little, I found Him whom my soul loves.'

"I think that if this soul had humbly asked the keepers where her Beloved was, they would have shown her where He was to be found; however, because she wanted to be admired, she got into trouble, and she lost simplicity of heart."

14. "You are my light!"

15. "Listen to this little, very funny story: One day, after I received the Habit, Sister St. Vincent de Paul saw me with Mother Prioress, and she exclaimed: 'Oh! how well she looks! Is this big girl strong! Is she plump!' I left, quite humbled by the compliment, when Sister Magdalene stopped me in front of the kitchen and said: 'But what is becoming of you, poor little Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus! You are fading away before our eyes! If you continue at this pace, with an appearance that makes one tremble, you won't observe the Rule very long!' I couldn't get over hearing, one after the other, two such con­trary appraisals. Ever since that moment, I have never attached any importance to the opinion of creatures, and this impression has so developed in me that, at this present time, reproaches and com­pliments glide over me without leaving the slightest imprint."

July 26.

1.   "I dreamed last night that I was at a bazaar with Papa, and there I saw some pretty little white cushions that tempted me as a place to put my pins; but in the end I told myself that they made the same things in Carmel, and I asked for a little music box."

2.   She was telling me that around December 8, 1892, she was oc­cupied with Sister Martha; in 1893, she was helping Mother Marie de Gonzague in the novitiate, and after the election of 1896, she was placed in complete charge of the novices.

3.   "Virtue shines forth naturally, and as soon as it is no longer present, I can see this."

July27.

1.   She didn’t  want me to forget to take some drops of a medicine which had been prescribed for me:

"Oh, you must strengthen yourself; thirty drops tonight, don't forget!"

2.   I asked: "Do we tire you out?" "No, because you are very nice people."

 

1.     She was telling us with a smile that she had a dream in which she was being carried to the heated room, between two torches in order to celebrate the feast of our Father Superior

 

4. The community was doing the laundry:

"Around one o'clock in the afternoon, I said to myself: They're really tired out from doing the washing! And I prayed to God to con­sole all of you, so that you would work in peace and love. When I saw how sick I was, I rejoiced at having to suffer like all of you."

5.   In the evening, she recalled for me St. John of the Cross' words: "'Tear through the veil of this sweet encounter!' I've always ap­plied these words to the death of love that I desire. Love will not wear out the veil of my life; it will tear it suddenly.

"With what longing and what consolation I repeated from the beginning of my religious life these other words of St. John of the Cross: 'It is of the highest importance that the soul practice love very much in order that, being consumed rapidly, she may be scarcely retained here on earth but promptly reach the vision of her God face to face.'"

6. With reference to the difficulties I foresaw with regard to the publication of her Life:

"Well, I say with Joan of Arc: 'And the will of God will be carried out in spite of the envy of men!' "

 

7.    I said: "Soon I will see your beloved little face no more; I'll see only your little soul. "

"It's much more beautiful."

8.    I said to her: "When I think that we are about to lose you. "

""But you will not lose me . . . not smart! . . ."

9.    She said to Sister Geneviève, who was crying:

"And she really sees that the same thing will happen to her (death), and see how she's seized with fear now!"

10.  After she had offered a cluster of grapes to the Infant Jesus:

"I offered Him these grapes to give Him the desire to take me because I believe I'm this type."

The skin wasn’t hard and it was very golden; tasting one grape: "Yes, this is my type."

11.  "Little Mother is my telephone; I've only to cock my little ear when she comes, and I know everything."

12.  "I'm no egoist; it's God whom I love, not myself!"

13.  "According to my natural inclinations, I prefer to die, but I rejoice in death only because it's God's will for me."

 

14.  "I've never asked God for the favor of dying young; I'm sure, then, that at this moment He's accomplishing His own will."

15.  She was having difficulty breathing, and I showed my sympathy and sorrow for her:

"Don't be disturbed; if I can't breathe, God will give me the strength to bear it. I love Him! He'll never abandon me."

16.   She told me how she'd worn her little iron cross for a long time and that it made her sick. She told me, too, that it wasn't God's wilt for her, nor for us to throw ourselves into great mortifications; this sickness was proof of it.

17.  With reference to some massages prescribed for her by the doctor:

"Ah, to be 'trounced' as I was, it's worse than anything!"

18.  "From June 9 onward, I was sure I would die very soon."

July 29.

1.    "I would like to go!" I asked: "Where?"

"Above, in the blue heavens!"

2.    A Sister reported this reflection made during recreation: "Why are they talking of Sister Thérèse as though she were a saint? She practiced vertue,true, but it wasn't a virtue acquired through humiliations and especially sufferings. "She said to me afterwards:

"And I who suffered so much from my most tender childhood! Ah, how much good it does me to

 

 

see the opnion of creatures, especially at the moment of my death!"

2.     One of the Sisters thought she was pleasing Thérèse by bringing her a certain object, but it had just the opposite effect. She showed her displeasure, thinking someone had been deprived of the object in question, but she was sorry immediately and begged pardon with tears in her eyes:

"Oh, I really beg pardon; I've acted through selfishness. Please pray for me!" A little later:

"Oh, how happy I am to see myself imperfect and to have such need of God's mercy at the moment of my death!"

4.    She coughed up blood in the morning and at three o'clock in the afternoon.

5.    We expressed our fears that she'd die during the night:

"I'll not die during the night, believe me; I have had the desire not to die at night."

6.    "Two days after the entrance of Sister Marie of the Trinity I had to be taken care of for a sore throat. God permitted that the novices should exhaust me. Sister Marie of the Eucharist told me that the same thing happened to me as happens to preachers."

 

7.    "To be my historian, you'll have to spare yourself."

8.    "Well, 'baby' is about to die! For the last three days, it's true that I've suffered very much; tonight, it's as though I were in purgatory."

9.    "Very often, when I'm able to do so, I repeat my Act of Oblation.'"

10. I confided some trouble I was having:

"It's you who sowed in my little soul the seed of confidence; you don't remember that?"

11.  I was holding her up while they were arranging her pillows:

"I'm resting my head on the heart of my little Mother."

12.  She hadn't asked for a certain remedy, and we believed it was done out of virtue; however, she hadn't thought of mortifying herself in the matter. When we were admiring her action, she said:

"I'm tired of this earth! We receive compliments when we don't merit them and reproaches when we don't merit them either. All that! . . . All that! . . ."

13.  "What is our humiliation at the moment is our glory later on, even in this life."

 

14. "I haven't the capacity for enjoyment; I've always been like that; but I have a great capacity for suffering. Formerly, when I had a lot of trouble, I experienced a big appetite in the refectory, but when I had joy, it was just the contrary: impossible to eat."

July 30.

1.   "... My body has always embarrassed me; I've never been at ease in it. . . even when very small, I was ashamed of it."

2.   For having rendered her a little service: "Thanks, Mamma!"

3.    "I would not want to have picked up a pin to avoid purgatory. Everything I did was done to please God, to save souls for Him."

4.    "Looking at a picture of Fathers Bellière and Roulland:

"I'm much prettier than they are!"

5.    Someone had promised to buy some Chinese babies for her.

"It's not Chinese babies I want, it's black ones!"

6.    "It's bitter for me when you don't look at me."

 

7.    The flies tormented her, but she wouldn 't kill them:

"I always give them freedom. They alone have caused me misery during my sickness. I have no enemies, and since God recommends that we pardon our enemies, I'm happy to find this opportunity for doing so."

8.    "It's very hard to suffer so much; this must prevent you from thinking?

"No, it still allows me to tell God that I love Him; I find that this is enough."

9.   Pointing to a glass containing a very distasteful medicine that looked like a delicious red-currant liqueur:

"This glass is an image of my whole life. Yesterday, Sister Thérèse of St. Augustine said: 'I hope you're drinking some good liqueur!' I answered: 'O Sister Thérèse, it's the worst possible thing to drink!' Well, little Mother, this is what happens in the eyes of creatures. It has always seemed to them I was drinking exquisite liqueurs, and it was bitterness. But no! My life hasn't been bitter, because I knew how to turn all bitterness into something joyful and sweet."

10.  "If you want to give Doctor de Cornière a souvenir of me, give him a picture with the words: 'What you have done to the least of my brethren, that you have done to me.'

11.  Someone had given her a fan from the Carmel of Saigon; she used it to shoo away the flies. When it became very hot, she began fanning her holy pictures pinned to her bedcurtains, and she fanned us, too:

"I'm fanning the saints instead of myself; I'm fanning you to do you some good because you, too, are saints!"

12.  Doctor de Cornière told us to give her five or six spoonfuls of Tisserand water, and she begged Sister Geneviève to give her five; tur­ning to me, she said:

"Always the least; right, Mamma?"

13.   "Don't tell Father Ducellier that I've only a few more days to live; I'm still not weak enough to die, and after these visits when I con­tinue living, others are 'kaput.' "

14.  She was smiling at me, after a visit from one of the nuns. I said: "Rest now; close your eyes!" (Four o'clock.)

"No, I just love looking at you!"

15.  I was trying to catch a fly that was bothering her: "What will you do to it?" I’ll kill it” Oh ! no, I beg you !”

"I'll kill it." "Oh! no, I beg you!"

16.  "Want to prepare me for extreme Unction?" Looking at me with a smile:

"I'm not thinking of anything! Pray to God so that I receive it as well as it can be received."

 

17. She told me what Father Superior had said to her before the ceremony:

" 'You're going to be like a little child who has just received bap­tism.' Then, he spoke to me only about love. Oh! how touched I was!"

 

18. She was showing us her hands with reverence after the Extreme Unction. I was collecting as usual the little pieces of skin from her desiccated lips, but that day she said to me:

"I am swallowing my little skins today because I've received Ex­treme Unction and Holy Viaticum."

It was afternoon. She had hardly any time to make her thanksgiving when some Sisters came to see her. She told me in the evening:

"How they came to disturb me after Communion! They stared me in the face . . . but in order not to be provoked, I thought of Our Lord, who retreated into solitude and was unable to prevent the people from following Him there. And He didn't want to send them

away.1 wanted to imitate Him by receiving the Sisters kindly."

 

July 31.

1. We were still imagining a date on which she would die, for in­stance, August 6, the Transfiguration of Our Lord, or August 15, the Assumption of Our Lady, and she said:

"Don't talk of a date; it will always be a feast day!"

2. After telling us La Fontaine's fable:* "The Miller and his three Sons, " she said:

"I have two boots, but I have no bag! This means I'm not near to dying."

 

3.     They had brought down her paillasse to lay her body out after her death. She noticed it when someone opened the door of the cell ad­joining the infirmary, and she cried out with joy:

"Ah! there's our paillasse! It's going to be very close to place my corpse on. . . . My little nose was always good!"

4.    "What is baby to do in order to die? But what shall I die from?"

5.    "Yes, I'll steal. . . . Many things will disappear from heaven because I'll bring them to you. I'll be a little thief; I'll take whatever I please."

6.    Looking at the Blessed Virgin's statue and pointing to her little cup with her finger:

"When it happened last night (a great coughing up of blood), I believed you were coming to take me away!"

7.    We all fell asleep while watching by her bedside: "Peter, James, and John!"

8.    "I tell you that I'll have this for a long time if the Blessed Virgin does not intervene."

9.    Lovingly:

"Let's not chat together; it's really enough to peep at each other!"

 

10.             The Thief will come

11.             And carry me off     

                  Alleluia!

11. We were discussing the few days of life she had left:

"It's still the patient who knows best! And I feel I still have a long time."

* * *

12. "I thought that I should be very good and should wait for the Thief very nicely."

13. "I have found happiness and joy on earth, but solely in suffering, for I've suffered very much here below; you must make it known to souls. . . .

"Since my First Communion, since the time I asked Jesus to change all the consolations of this earth into bitterness for me, I had a per­petual desire to suffer. I wasn't thinking, however, of making suf­fering my joy; this is a grace that was given to me later on. Up until then, it was like a spark hidden beneath the ashes, and like blossoms on a tree that must become fruit in time. But seeing my blossoms always falling, that is, allowing myself to fall into tears whenever I suffered, I said to myself with astonishment and sadness: But I will never go beyond the stage of desires!"

14. "This evening, when you told me that Dr. de Cornière believed I still had a month or more to live, I couldn't get over it! It was so dif­ferent from yesterday when he was saying that I had to be anointed that very day! However, it left me in deep peace. What does it matter if I remain a long time on earth? If I suffer very much and always more, I will not fear, for God will give me strength; He'll never aban­don me."

15. I said: "If you live a long time now, no one will understand anything. "

"What does it matter! Everybody can misunderstand me, that's what I've always desired; and I shall have these misunderstandings till the end of my life."

16.   "God has done what He willed to do, He has misled everybody. He will come like a thief at an hour when no one is thinking of Him; that's my idea."

Normal 0 21 false false false FR X-NONE X-NONE

 

succomber elle dut implorer avec instance le secours du bon Dieu. En même temps, elle s'appliqua de son mieux à ce qui lui avait été demandé. C'était pendant le silence du soir. Elle était portière et Sr St Rapahël était sa première d'emploi.

Pour me vaincre, je pensai que je préparais la veilleuse pour la Ste Vierge et l'Enfant-Jésus ; alors je le faisais avec un soin incroyable, n'y laissant aucun grain de poussière, et peu à peu j'ai senti un grand apaisement et une grande douceur. Matines sonnèrent et je ne pus y aller de suite, mais je me sentais dans une telle disposition, j'avais reçu une telle grâce que si ma Sr St Raphaël était venue et m'avait dit, par exemple, que je m'étais trompée de lampe, qu'il fallait en préparer une autre, c'est avec bonheur que je lui aurais obéi. A partir de ce jour, j'ai pris la résolution de ne jamais considérer si les choses commandées me paraissaient utiles ou non.

2

Sr Marie de l'Eucharistie disait que j'étaits admirable...

... Mère admirable ! Oh ! non, plutôt Mère aimable, parce que l'amour vaut mieux que l'admiration.

3

A Mère Marie de Gonzague:

Rien ne tient aux mains. Tout ce que j'ai, tout ce que je gagne, c'est pour l'Eglise et les âmes. Que je vive jusqu'à 80 ans, je serai toujours aussi pauvre.

13 juillet

1

Je vois bien qu'il faudra que je veille aux fruits quand je serai au Ciel, mais faudra pas tuer les petits oiseaux, ou bien, on ne vous enverra pas d'aumônes.

Brandisant le bras gentiment vers l'image du petit Jésus :

Oui, oui !...

2

Il faudra que le bon Dieu fasse toutes mes volontés au Ciel, parce que je n'ai jamais fait ma volonté sur la terre.

3

Vous nous regarderez du haut du Ciel n'est-ce pas ?

Non, je descendrai !

4

Pendant la nuit elle avait composé le couplet pour la Communion :

Toi qui connais, etc.

A ce propos, elle me dit :

Je l'ai composé bien facilement, c'est extraordinaire ; je croyais que je ne pouvais plus faire de vers.

5

Je ne dis pas : «S'il est dur de vivre au Carmel, il est doux d'y mourir» mais : «S'il est doux de vivre au Carmel, il est encore plus doux d'y mourir.»

6

Le médecin l'avait trouvée mieux qu'à l'ordinaire.

Tenant ensuite son côté dont elle souffrait beaucoup :

Oui, oui, ça va mieux qu'à l'ordinaire !...

7

Il me semblait qu'elle avait le coeur gros, malgré son air gai et content et je lui dis :

C'est pour ne pas nous attrister que vous prenez cet air et dites des paroles gaies, n'est-ce pas ?

... J'agis toujours sans «feintise»...

8

On lui offrait du vin de Baudon.

Je ne veux plus du vin de la terre... je veux boire du vin nouveau dans le royaume de mon Père.

9

... Quand ma Sr Geneviève venait au parloir, je ne pouvais pas lui dire en une demi-heure tout ce que j'aurais voulu. Alors, dans la semaine, quand j'avais une lumière ou bien si je regrettais d'avoir oublié de lui dire quelque chose, je demandais au bon Dieu de lui faire savoir et comprendre ce que je pensais, et, au prochain parloir, elle me disait juste ce que j'avais demandé au bon Dieu de lui faire savoir.

... Au commencement, quand elle avait de la peine et que je n'avais pu réussir à la consoler, je m'en allais le coeur navré, mais je compris bientôt que ce n'était pas moi qui pouvais consoler une âme ; et alors je n'avais plus de chagrin quand elle était partie toute triste. Je demandais au bon Dieu de suppléer à mon impuissance et je sentais qu'il m'exauçait ; je m'en rendais compte au parloir d'après... Depuis ce temps là, quand j'ai fait de la peine involontairement, je demande au bon Dieu de réparer cela et je ne me tourmente plus.

10

Je vous demande de faire un acte d'amour au bon Dieu et une invocation à tous les saints ; ils sont tous mes «petits» parents là haut.

11

... Je désire qu'on m'achète trois petits sauvages : un petit Marie-Louis-Martin, un petit Marie-Théophane ; une petite fille entre les deux qui s'appelle Marie-Cécile.

Après un moment :

Une petite Marie-Thérèse en plus.

(Au lieu de laisser dépenser de l'argent pour acheter des couronnes après sa mort.)

12

Elle me parla encore de la Communion des Saints.

... Avec les vierges, nous serons comme les vierges ; avec les docteurs comme les docteurs ; avec les martyrs comme les martyrs, parce que tous les Saints sont nos parents ; mais ceux qui auront suivi la voie d'enfance spirituelle garderont toujours les charmes de l'enfance.

(Elle me développa ces pensées)

13

... Depuis mon enfance, le bon Dieu m'a donné le sentiment profond que je mourrais jeune.

14

...En me regardant avec tendresse :

Vous avez un figure !... «pis»... vous l'aurez toujours... Je vous reconnaîtrai bien, allez !

15

Le bon Dieu m'a toujours fait désirer ce qu'il voulait me donner.

16

A nous trois :

Ne croyez pas que lorsque je serai au Ciel je vous ferai tomber des alouettes rôties dans le bec... Ce n'est pas ce que j'ai eu ni ce que j'ai désiré avoir. Vous aurez peut-être de grandes épreuves, mais je vous enverrai des lumières qui vous les feront apprécier et aimer. Vous serez obligées de dire comme moi : «Seigneur, vous nous comblez de joie par tout ce que vous faites.»

17

Ne vous figurez pas que j'éprouve pour mourir une joie vive, comme par exemple j'en éprouvais autrefois d'aller passer un mois à Trouville ou à Alençon ; je ne sais plus ce que c'est que les joies vives. D'ailleurs je ne me fais pas une fête de jouir, ce n'est pas cela qui m'attire. Je ne puis pas penser beaucoup au bonheur qui m'attend au Ciel ; une seule attente fait battre mon coeur, c'est l'amour que je recevrai et celui que je pourrai donner. Et puis je pense à tout le bien que je voudrais faire après ma mort : faire baptiser les petits enfants, aider les prêtres, les missionnaires, toute l'Eglise...

... mais d'abord consoler mes petites soeurs...

... Ce soir j'entendais une musique dans le lointain et je pensais que bientôt j'entendrais des mélodies incomparables, mais ce sentiment de joie n'a été que passager.

18

Je lui demandais de me préciser ses emplois au Carmel.

Dès mon entrée au Carmel, j'ai été mise à la lingerie avec Mère Sous-prieure (Sr Marie des Anges), j'avais de plus l'escalier et le dortoir à balayer.

... Je me rappelle que cela me coûtait beaucoup de demander à Notre Maîtresse de faire des mortifications au réfectoire, mais je n'ai jamais cédé à mes répugnances, il me semblait que le crucifix du préau que je voyais par la fenêtre de la lingerie se tournait vers moi pour me demander ce sacrifice.

C'est à cette époque que j'allais arracher de l'herbe à 4 h. ½, ce qui mécontentait Notre Mère.

Après ma prise d'habit, j'ai été mise au réfectoire jusqu'à l'âge de 18 ans, je le balayais et je mettais l'eau et la bière. Aux Quarante-Heures en 1891, j'ai été mise à la sacristie avec ma Sr St Stanislas. A partir du mois de juin de l'année suivante, je suis restée deux mois sans emploi, c'est-à-dire que pendant ce temps, j'ai peint les anges de l'oratoire et j'ai été tierce de la dépositaire. Après ces deux mois j'ai été mise au tour avec ma Sr St Raphaël, tout en gardant la peinture. Ces deux emplois jusqu'aux élections de 1896 où j'ai demandé d'aider ma Sr M. de St Joseph à la lingerie, dans les circonstances que vous savez...

Elle me raconta ensuite comme on la trouvait lente, peu dévouée dans les emplois, que moi-même je le crus ; et, en effet nous nous rappelâmes ensemble combien je la grondai fort pour une nappe du réfectoire qu'elle avait gardée longtemps dans son panier sans la raccommoder. Je l'accusais de négligence et je me trompais, car c'est le temps qui lui avait manqué. Cette fois, sans s'excuser du tout, elle avait beaucoup pleuré, me voyant attristée et très mécontente... Est-ce possible !!!

Elle me dit encore ce qu'elle avait souffert au réfectoire avec moi (j'étais sa première d'emploi alors) ne pouvant me dire ses petites affaires comme autrefois, parce qu'elle n'en avait pas la permission, et pour d'autres raisons...

Si bien que vous en étiez venue à ne plus me connaître ajouta-t-elle.

Elle me parla de la violence qu'elle se faisait pour enlever les toiles d'araignées du trou noir de St Alexis sous l'escalier (elle avait horreur des araignées) et mille autres détails qui me prouvaient combien elle avait été fidèle en tout et ce qu'elle avait souffert sans que personne ne s'en doute.

14 juillet

1

J'ai lu autrefois que les Israélites bâtirent les murs de Jérusalem, travaillant d'une main et tenant une épée de l'autre. C'est cela que nous devons faire : ne point nous livrer entièrement à l'ouvrage... etc.

2

Si j'avais été riche, il m'aurait été impossible de voir un pauvre ayant faim sans lui donner aussitôt de mes biens. Ainsi à mesure que je gagne quelque trésor spirituel, sentant qu'au même instant des âmes sont en danger de se perdre et de tomber en enfer, je leur donne tout ce que je possède, et je n'ai pas encore trouvé un moment pour me dire : Maintenant je vais travailler pour moi.

3

Elle se mit à répéter avec un air et un accent célestes la strophe de « Rappelle-toi » qui commence par ces mots:

Rappelle-toi que ta volonté sainte

Est mon repos, mon unique bonheur.

4

Ce n'est pas la peine que ça paraisse (mourir d'amour) pourvu que ce soit !

5

Toujours ce que le bon Dieu m'a donné m'a plu, au point que s'il m'avait donné à choisir, c'est cela que j'aurai choisi, même les choses qui me paraissent moins bonne et moins belles que celles que les autres avaient.

6

Oh ! quel poison de louanges j'ai vu servir à la Mère Prieure ! Comme il faut qu'une âme soit détachée et élevée au dessus d'elle-même pour ne pas en éprouver de mal !

7

Dans sa visite, le docteur avait redonné un peu d'espoir, mais elle n'en éprouva plus de peine et nous dit :

J'y suis habituée maintenant ! Mais qu'est-ce que cela me fait de rester longtemps malade ! C'est pour vous épargner des angoisses que je désirerais que cela soit vite fait.

8

Oh ! je vous aime beaucoup, ma petite Mère !

9

Mon coeur est plein de la volonté du bon Dieu, aussi, quand on verse quelque chose par dessus, cela ne pénètre pas à l'intérieur ; c'est un rien qui glisse facilement, comme l'huile qui ne peut se mélanger avec l'eau. Je reste toujours au fond dans une paix profonde que rien ne peut troubler.

10

En regardant ses mains amaigries :

Oh ! que j'éprouve de joie à me voir me détruire !

15 juillet

1

Vous mourrez peut-être demain, (fête de N.D. du Mont Carmel)après la communion.

Oh ! cela ne ressemblerait pas à me petite voie. J'en sortirais donc pour mourir ? Mourir d'amour après la Communion, c'est trop beau pour moi ; les petites âmes ne pourraient imiter cela.

Pourvu seulement qu'il ne m'arrive pas d'accident demain matin ! C'est des affaires de ce genre là qui peuvent m'arriver à moi : Impossible de me donner la Communion, le bon Dieu obligé de s'en retourner ; voyez-vous cela !

2

Elle me parla du Bx Théophane Vénard qui n'avait pu recevoir la Sainte Communion au moment de sa mort, et poussa un profond soupir...

3

Nous avions fait des préparatifs pour sa Communion du lendemain. Le neveu de Sr M. Philomène devait entrer après sa première Messe au Carmel pour lui donner la Communion ; mais la voyant plus malade, nous avions peur d'un crachement de sang après minuit et lui demandions de prier afin que rien de fâcheux ne vienne entraver nos projets. Elle répondit :

Vous savez bien que moi, je ne peux pas demander... mais vous demandez-le pour moi... Enfin, ce soir, je le demandais tout de même au bon Dieu pour faire plaisir à mes petites soeurs, pour que la Communauté n'ait pas de déception, mais au fond je lui dis tout le contraire, je lui dis de faire tout ce qu'il voudra...

4

En nous voyant orner l'infirmerie :

Ah ! comme on se donne de mal pour apprêter tout ce qu'il faut ! Comme c'est bien les fêtes de la terre ! Aux petites premières communiantes, on apporte leur belle robe blanche le matin, elles n'ont plus qu'à s'en revêtir ; toute la peine qu'on a prise pour elles leur est cachée, elles n'ont que de la joie. Ce n'est plus la même chose quand on grandit...

5

Elle me raconta le trait suivant dont le souvenir lui restait comme une grâce :

Sr Marie de l'Eucharistie voulait allumer les cierges pour une procession ; elle n'avait pas d'allumette, mais voyant la petite lampe qui brûle devant les reliques, elle s'en approche. Hélas ! elle la trouve à demi éteinte, il ne reste plus qu'un faible lueur sur la mèche carbonisée. Elle réussit cependant à allumer son cierge et, par ce cierge, tous ceux de la Communauté se trouvèrent allumés. C'est donc cette petite lampe à demi éteinte qui a produit ces belles flammes qui, à leur tour, peuvent en produire une infinité d'autres et même embraser l'univers. Pourtant ce serait toujours à la petite lampe qu'on devrait la première cause de cet embrasement. Comment les belles flammes pourraient-elles se glorifier, sachant cela, d'avoir fait un incendie pareil, puisqu'elles n'ont été allumées que par correspondance avec la petite étincelle ?...

Il en est de même pour la Communion des Saints. Souvent, sans le savoir, les grâces et les lumières que nous recevons sont dues à une âme cachée, parce que le bon Dieu veut que les Saints se communiquent les uns aux autres la grâce par la prière, afin qu'au Ciel ils s'aiment d'un grand amour, d'un amour bien plus grand encore que celui de la famille, même la famille la plus idéale de la terre. Combien de fois ai-je pensé que je pouvais devoir toutes les grâces que j'ai reçues aux prières d'une âme qui m'aurait demandée au bon Dieu et que je ne connaîtrai qu'au Ciel.

Oui, une toute petite étincelle pourra faire naître de grandes lumières dans toute l'Eglise, comme des docteurs et des martyrs qui seront sans doute bien au dessus d'elle au Ciel ; mais comment pourrait-on penser que leur gloire ne deviendra pas la sienne ?

. . . . . . . . . .

Au Ciel on ne rencontrera pas de regards indifférents, parce que tous les élus reconnaîtront qu'ils se doivent entre eux les grâces qui leur ont mérité la couronne.

(La conversation était trop longue je n'ai pu prendre tout, ni le mot à mot.)

16 juillet

1

- J'ai peur que pour mourir vous souffriez beaucoup...

- Pourquoi avez-vous peur d'avance ? attendez au moins que cela arrive pour avoir de la peine. Voyez-vous que je me mette à me tourmenter en pensant que s'il survient des persécutions et des massacres, comme c'est prédit, on vous arrachera peut-être les yeux !

2

J'avais fait le complet sacrifice de Sr Geneviève, mais je ne puis pas dire que je ne la désirais plus. Bien souvent l'été, pendant l'heure du silence avant Matines, étant assise sur la terrasse, je me disais : Ah ! si ma Céline était là près de moi ! Mais non ! ce serait un trop grand bonheur pour la terre !

... Et cela me semblait un rêve irréalisable. Pourtant ce n'était point par nature que je désirais ce bonheur, c'était pour son âme, pour qu'elle marche par notre voie... Et quand je l'ai vue entrer ici, et non seulement entrer, mais donnée à moi complètement pour l'instruire de toutes choses ; quand j'ai vu que le bon Dieu faisait cela, dépassant ainsi mes désirs, j'ai compris quelle immensité d'amour il a pour moi...

... Eh bien, ma petite Mère, si un désir à peine exprimé est ainsi comblé, il est donc impossible que tous mes grands désirs dont je parle si souvent au bon Dieu ne soient pas complètement exaucés.

3

Elle me répéta d'un air convaincu cette parole qu'elle avait lue dans les 'Petites Fleurs', livre de l'Abbé Bourb.

Les saints des derniers temps surpasseront autant ceux des premiers que les cèdres surpassent les autres arbres.

4

Vous connaissez tous les replis de ma petite âme, vous seule...

5

D'un air d'enfant qui a une gentille malice en tête :

Je voudrais vous donner un témoignage d'amour que personne ne vous ait jamais donné...

Je me demandais ce qu'elle allait faire... Et voilà que [Mère Agnès a gratté la suite !]

6*

Si le bon Dieu me disait : Si tu meurs maintenant, tu auras une très grande gloire ; si tu meurs à 80 ans, la gloire sera bien moins grande, mais cela me fera beaucoup plus de plaisir. Oh ! alors je n'hésiterais pas à répondre : «Mon Dieu, je veux mourir à 80 ans, car je ne cherche pas ma gloire, mais seulement votre plaisir.»

Les grands saints ont travaillé pour la gloire du bon Dieu, mais moi qui ne suis qu'une toute petite âme, je travaille pour son unique plaisir, et je serais heureuse de supporter les plus grandes souffrances, quand ce ne serait que pour le faire sourire même une seule fois.

17 juillet

Samedi - A 2 heures du matin elle avait craché le sang.

Je sens que je vais entrer dans le repos... Mais je sens surtout que ma mission va commencer, ma mission de faire aimer le bon Dieu comme je l'aime, de donner ma petite voie aux âmes. Si le bon Dieu exauce mes désirs, mon Ciel se passera sur la terre jusqu'à la fin du monde. Oui, je veux passer mon Ciel à faire du bien sur la terre. Ce n'est pas impossible, puisqu'au sein même de la vision béatifique, les Anges veillent sur nous.

Je ne puis pas me faire une fête de jouir, je ne peux pas me reposer tant qu'il y aura des âmes à sauver... Mais lorsque l'Ange aura dit : «Le temps n'est plus!» alors je me reposerai, je pourrai jouir, parce que le nombre des élus sera complet et que tous seront entrés dans le joie et le repos. Mon coeur tressaille à cette pensée...

18 juillet

1

... Le bon Dieu ne me donnerait pas ce désir de faire du bien sur la terre après ma mort, s'il ne voulait pas le réaliser ; il me donnerait plutôt le désir de me reposer en lui.

2

Je n'ai que des incommodités à supporter, pas des souffrances.

19 juillet

1

-« Je vais aller arroser ce soir. » (C'était au commencement de la récréation)

... Mais... faudrait bien aussi que vous m'arrosiez !

- Qu'est-ce que vous êtes ?

- Je suis une petite graine, on ne sait pas encore ce qui en sortira...

2

J'avais bien envie tantôt de demander à Sr Marie du S.C. qui revenait du parloir à Mr Youf, ce qu'il avait dit de mon état après sa visite. Je pensais en moi-même : Cela va peut-être me faire du bien, me consoler de le savoir ; mais, en réfléchissant, je me suis dit : Non, c'est de la curiosité, je ne veux rien faire pour le savoir ; puisque le bon Dieu ne permet pas qu'elle me le dise d'elle-même, c'est signe qu'il ne veut pas que je le sache. Et j'ai évité de ramener la conversation sur ce sujet, de peur que ma Sr Marie du Sacré Coeur ne me le dise comme forcément ; je n'aurais pas été heureuse...

3

Elle me dit qu'elle s'était recherchée en essuyant son visage une fois de plus qu'il n'était nécessaire, pour que Sr Marie du S.C. s'aperçoive qu'elle transpirait beaucoup.

20 juillet

1

(Le matin à 3 heures, elle avait craché le sang.)

« Qu'auriez-vous fait si l'une de nous avait été malade à votre place ? Seriez-vous venue à l'infirmerie pendant les récréations ? »

- J'aurais été tout droit à la récréation sans demander aucune nouvelle, mais j'aurais fait cela bien simplement pour que personne ne s'aperçoive de mon sacrifice. Si j'étais venue à l'infirmerie, je l'aurais fait pour faire plaisir, jamais pour me satisfaire.

... tout cela pour accomplir mon petit devoir et pour vous attirer des grâces que la recherche de moi-même ne vous aurait pas bien sûr attirées. Et moi-même, j'aurais retiré de ces sacrifice une grande force. Si quelquefois, par faiblesse, j'avais fait le contraire de ce que je voulais, je ne me serais pas découragée, j'aurais tâché de réparer mes manquements en me privant encore davantage sans que cela paraisse.

2

Le bon Dieu se fait représenter par qui il veut, mais cela n'a pas d'importance... Avec vous, il y aurait eu un côté humain ; j'aime mieux qu'il n'y ait que du divin. Oui, je le dis du fond du coeur, je suis heureuse de mourir entre les bras de Notre Mère, parce qu'elle représente le bon Dieu.

3

... Le péché mortel ne m'enlèverait pas la confiance.

... Ne pas oublier de raconter l'histoire de la pécheresse surtout ! C'est cela qui prouvera que je ne me trompe pas.

4

Je lui disais que je redoutais pour elle les angoisses de la mort.

Si vous entendez par les angoisses de la mort des souffrances terribles qui se manifestent au dernier moment par des signes effrayants pour les autres, je ne les ai toujours jamais vues ici, dans celles qui sont mortes sous mes yeux. Mère Geneviève les a eues pour l'âme, mais pas pour le corps.

5

Vous ne savez pas à quel point je vous aime et je vous le prouverai...

6

On me harcèle de questions, cela me fait penser à Jeanne d'Arc devant son tribunal ! Il me semble que je réponds avec la même sincérité.

21 juillet

1

Quand je vous vois, ma petite Mère, cela me fait un grand bonheur ; jamais vous ne me fatiguez au contraire. Je le disais tantôt : tandis que si souvent je suis obligée de donner, c'est vous qui m'apportez...

2

Si le bon Dieu me gronde, même un tout petit peu, je ne pleurerai pas d'attendrissement... mais s'il ne me gronde pas du tout, s'il m'accueille avec un sourire, je pleurerai...

3

Oh ! je voudrais connaître au Ciel l'histoire de tous les saints ; mais il ne faudra pas qu'on me la raconte, parce que ce serait trop long. Il faudra qu'en abordant un saint, je connaisse son nom et toute sa vie dans un seul coup d'oeil.

4

Je n'ai jamais fait comme Pilate qui refusa d'entendre la vérité. J'ai toujours dit au bon Dieu : O mon Dieu, je veux bien vous entendre, je vous en supplie, répondez-moi quand je vous dis humblement : Qu'est-ce que la vérité ? Faites que je voie les choses telle qu'elles sont, que rien ne me jette de poudre aux yeux.

5

Nous lui disions qu'elle était bien heureuse d'être choisie par le bon Dieu pour montrer aux âmes la voie de confiance. Elle répondit :

Qu'est-ce que cela me fait que ce soit moi ou une autre qui donne cette voie aux âmes ; pourvu qu'elle soit montrée, qu'importe l'instrument !

22 juillet

1

Sr Marie du Sacré Coeur lui disait : »Allez ! vous êtes soignée avec beaucoup d'amour... »

Oui, je le vois bien... C'est une image de l'amour que le bon Dieu a pour moi. Je ne lui ai jamais donné que de l'amour, alors il me rend de l'amour, et ce n'est pas fini, il m'en rendra davantage bientôt...

Je suis bien touchée, c'est comme un rayon ou plutôt un éclair au milieu de mes ténèbres... mais seulement comme un éclair !

2

Elle me répéta en souriant cette parole que M. Youf lui avait dite après sa confession :

Si les anges balayaient le Ciel, la poussière serait faite de diamants.

23 juillet

1

On lui parlait d'associations :

Je suis si près du Ciel que tout cela me semble triste.

2

L'une de nous lui avait dit et lu quelque chose et pensait l'avoir beaucoup consolée et réjouie dans sa grande épreuve.

-N'est-ce pas que votre épreuve a cessé pour un moment ?

- Non ! C'est comme si vous chantiez !

3

Je lui disais toujours cette crainte qui ne me quittait pas de la voir souffrir davantage encore.

Nous qui courons dans la voie de l'Amour, je trouve que nous ne devons pas penser à ce qui peut nous arriver de douloureux dans l'avenir, car alors c'est manquer de confiance et c'est comme se mêler de créer.

4

... Au moment des épreuves de papa, j'avais un désir violent de la souffrance... Un soir que je le savais plus malade, Sr M. des Anges me voyant bien triste, me consolait de son mieux ; mais je lui dis : «O ma Sr M. des Anges, je sens que je puis encore souffrir davantage!» Elle me regarda tout étonnée et me le rappelait souvent depuis.

Sr M. des Anges, en effet, n'a jamais oublié cette soirée. Notre petite sainte encore postulante était près de se coucher, assise sur sa paillasse en chemise de nuit avec ses beaux cheveux sur les épaules. »Son regard, dit-elle, et toute sa personne avaient quelque chose de si noble, de si beau, que je crus voir une vierge du Ciel. »

5

Je me souviens qu'un jour au plus fort de nos épreuves, je rencontrai Sr Marie du S.C. après avoir balayé l'escalier du dortoir (du côté de la lingerie). Nous avions la permission de parler et elle m'arrêta. Alors je lui dis que j'avais beaucoup de force et qu'à ce moment je pensais à cette parole de Mme Swetchine qui me pénétrait tellement que j'en était comme embrasée : «La résignation est encore distincte de la volonté du bon Dieu; il y a la même différence qu'entre l'union et l'unité. Dans l'union, on est encore deux, dans l'unité, on est plus qu'un.»

(Je ne sais si c'est tout à fait textuel)

6

On m'avait obligée de demander la guérison de papa le jour de ma profession ; mais il me fut impossible de dire autre chose que cela : Mon Dieu, je vous en supplie, que ce soit votre volonté que papa guérisse !

7

... «In te Domine speravi!» Au moment de nos grandes peines, que j'étais heureuse de dire ce verset au Choeur !

24 juillet

1

On lui avait envoyé de beaux fruits, mais elle n'en pouvait manger. Elle les prit les uns après les autres comme pour les offrir à quelqu'un et dit :

La Sainte Famille a été bien servie. St Joseph et le petit Jésus ont eu chacun une pêche et deux prunes.

A demi voix, m'interrogeant :

Ce n'est pas bien peut-être, mais je les ai touchés avec satisfaction ? Cela me fait beaucoup de plaisir de toucher aux fruits, surtout aux pêches, et de les voir de près.

Je la rassurai et elle continua :

La Sainte Vierge a eu sa part aussi. Quand on me donne du lait avec du rhum, je l'offre à St Joseph ; je me dis : Oh ! que cela va faire de bien au pauvre St Joseph !

Au réfectoire, je voyais toujours à qui il fallait donner. Le doux c'était pour le petit Jésus, le fort pour St Joseph, la Sainte Vierge n'était pas oubliée non plus. Mais quand je manquais de quelque chose, par exemple quand on oubliait de me passer de la sauce, de la salade, j'étais bien plus contente parce qu'il me semblait donner pour de bon à la Ste Famille, étant privée réellement de ce que j'offrais.

2

... Quand le bon Dieu veut qu'on soit privé de quelque chose, il n'y a pas moyen, il faut en passer par là. Quelquefois, Sr Marie du Sacré Coeur posait mon plat de salade si près de Sr Marie de l'Incarnation que je ne pouvais plus le considérer comme à moi, et je n'y touchais pas.

Ah ! ma petite Mère, et quelle «savate» d'omelette on m'a servie dans ma vie ! On croyait que je l'aimais ainsi toute desséchée. Il faudra faire bien attention après ma mort à ne pas donner cette saleté aux pauvres soeurs.

25 juillet

1

Je lui disais que je finissais par désirer sa mort pour ne plus la voir tant souffrir.

... Oui mais, il ne faut pas dire cela, ma petite Mère, car souffrir c'est justement ce qui me plaît de la vie.

2

Est-ce que c'est la saison des pêches tout à fait ? Est-ce qu'on crie les prunes dans la rue ? Je ne sais plus ce qui se passe.

«Quand on arrive à son déclin,

«On perd la mémoire et la tête.»

3

Mon Oncle lui avait envoyé du raisin. Elle en mangea un peu et dit :

Qu'il est bon ce raisin là ! Mais je n'aime pas ce qui me vient de ma famille... Autrefois, quand on m'apportait de sa part des bouquets pour mon petit Jésus, je ne voulais jamais les prendre sans être bien sûre que Notre Mère l'avait dit.

4

Sur sa demande, je lui faisais baiser son Crucifix et le lui présentais comme on le fait d'habitude.

... Ah ! mais, moi, c'est la figure que j'embrasse !

Regardant ensuite l'image de l'Enfant Jésus (que Sr M. de la Trinité a rapportée du Carmel de Messine°.

Ce petit Jésus là, il semble me dire : «Tu viendras au Ciel, c'est moi qui te le dis!»

5

Où donc est le Voleur maintenant ? On n'en parle plus. Elle répondit en mettant la main sur son coeur :

Il est là ! Il est dans mon coeur.

6

Je lui disais que la mort était bien triste en apparence et que j'aurais tant de peine de la voir morte. Elle me répondit d'une voix attendrie :

La Sainte Vierge a bien tenu son Jésus mort sur ses genoux, défiguré, sanglant ! C'était autre chose que ce que vous verrez ! Ah ! je ne sais pas comment elle a fait !... Je suppose qu'on me rapporte à vous en cet état, que deviendriez-vous ? Responde mihi ?...

7

Après m'avoir confié plusieurs petites choses qu'elle se reprochait, elle me demanda si elle avait offensé le bon Dieu. Je lui répondis simplement que tous ces petits péchés là n'en étaient pas et qu'elle m'avait fait du bien en me les racontant ; alors elle parut très touchée et me dit un peu plus tard :

En vous entendant je me suis rappelée le Père Alexis : vos paroles ont pénétré aussi avant dans mon coeur.

Et elle se mit à pleurer ; j'ai recueilli ses larmes en les essuyant avec un linge fin. (Sr Geneviève garde cette relique )

8

Sr Geneviève lui présentait une petite fleur de géranium qui était depuis longtemps sur la table, afin qu'elle la jette à ses images épinglées au rideau du lit :

... Jamais lancer de petites fleurs fanées... rien que des petites fleurs «fraîches écloses».

9

On lui proposait une distraction mais trop bruyante. Elle répondit en souriant :

... Pas de jeux de garçons !.. Pas de jeux de petites filles non plus ; seulement des jeux de petits anges.

10

... Je regarde le raisin et je me dis : C'est joli ça, et ça à l'air bon. Puis j'en mange un grain ; celui-là je ne le donne pas au petit Jésus, c'est lui qui me le donne.

11

Je suis comme un vrai petit enfant pendant ma maladie ; je ne pense rien ; je suis contente d'aller au Ciel, voilà tout !

12

... La première fois qu'on m'a donné du raisin à l'infirmerie j'ai dit au petit Jésus : Que c'est bon le raisin ! Je ne comprends pas que vous attendiez si longtemps pour me prendre, puisque je suis une petite grappe de raisin et qu'on dit que je suis si mûre !

13

A propos des directions spirituelles :

... Je pense qu'il faut bien faire attention à ne pas se rechercher car on aurait le coeur blessé ensuite et l'on pourrait dire avec vérité : «Les gardes m'ont enlevé mon manteau, ils m'ont blessée... ce n'est qu'après les avoir dépassés un peu que j'ai trouvé mon Bien-Aimé».

Je pense que, si l'âme avait humblement demandé aux gardes où était son Bien-Aimé, ils lui auraient indiqué où il se trouvait, mais pour avoir voulu se faire admirer, elle est tombée dans le trouble, elle a perdu la simplicité du coeur.

14

... Vous, vous êtes ma lumière.

15

Ecoutez une petite histoire bien risible : Un jour, après ma prise d'habit, Sr St Vincent de Paul me voit chez Notre Mère et s'écrie : «Oh! quelle figure de prospérité! Est-elle forte cette grande fille! est-elle grosse!» Je m'en allais tout humiliée du compliment quand Sr Madeleine m'arrête devant la cuisine et me dit : «Mais qu'est-ce que vous devenez donc, ma pauvre petite Sr Thérèse de l'Enfant-Jésus! Vous maigrissez à vue d'oeil! Si vous y allez de ce train là, avec cette mine qui fait trembler, vous ne suivrez pas longtemps la règle!» Je n'en pouvais revenir d'entendre l'une après l'autre des appréciations si opposées. Depuis ce moment je n'ai plus du tout attaché d'importance à l'opinion des créatures et cette impression s'est tellement développée en moi qu'à présent les blâmes, les compliments, tout glisse sur moi sans laisser la plus légère empreinte.

26 juillet

1

J'ai rêvé cette nuit que j'étais dans un bazar avec papa, et là je voyais de jolies petites pelotes blanches qui me tentaient pour mettre mes épingles ; mais à la fin je me suis dit qu'on en faisait de pareilles au Carmel et j'ai demandé une petite musique.

2

Elle me dit que vers le 8 Déc.1892 elle s'était occupée de Sr Marthe ; qu'en 1893 elle avait aidé Mère Marie de Gonzague au noviciat et qu'à la dernière élection en 1896 elle s'était vue pour ainsi dire chargée complètement des novices.

3

... La vertu brille naturellement, aussitôt qu'elle n'est plus là, je le vois.

27 juillet

1

Elle ne voulait pas que j'oublie les gouttes d'un médicament qui m'avait été ordonné.

... Oh ! il faut vous fortifier ; 30 gouttes ce soir, n'oubliez pas !

2

Nous vous fatiguons ?

Non, parce que vous êtes du monde très gentil.

3

Elle nous raconta en riant qu'elle avait rêvé qu'on la portait au chauffoir entre deux flambeaux pour la fête de Notre Père.

4

La communauté était à la lessive.

... Vers une heure je me suis dit : elles sont bien fatiguées à la lessive ! Et j'ai prié le bon Dieu pour qu'il vous soulage toutes, pour que l'ouvrage se fasse dans la paix, dans la charité. Quand je me suis vue si malade, j'ai éprouvé de la joie d'avoir à souffrir comme vous.

5

Le soir elle me rappela la parole de St Jean de la Croix :

«Rompez la toile de cette douce rencontre.» J'ai toujours appliqué cette parole à la mort d'amour que je désire. L'amour n'usera pas la toile de ma vie, il la rompra tout à coup.

Avec quel désir et quelle consolation je me suis répété dès le commencement de ma vie religieuse ces autres paroles de N.P. St Jean de la Croix : «Il est de la plus haute importance que l'âme s'exerce beaucoup à l'Amour afin que, se consommant rapidement, elle ne s'arrête guère ici-bas mais arrive promptement à voir son Dieu face à face.»

En répétant ces dernières paroles elle leva son doigt et prit un air céleste.

6

A propos des difficultés que je prévoyais pour la publication de sa vie.

... Eh bien, je dis comme Jeanne d'Arc : «...Et la volonté de Dieu s'accomplira malgré la jalousie des hommes.»

7

- Je ne verrai bientôt plus votre petite figure aimée ! Je ne verrai plus que votre peite âme.

- Elle est bien plus belle !

8

- Quand on pense que nous allons vous perdre !

- Mais vous ne me perdrez pas... point fines !...

9

A Sr Geneviève qui pleurait :

- E'voit bien qu'c'est ça qui lui pend au bout du nez (la mort) la v'la saisie d'peur maintenant !

10

Après avoir offert une grappe de raisin à l'Enfant Jésus :

Je lui ai offert cette grappe là pour lui donner envie de me prendre, parce que je crois que je suis de cette espèce là...

La peau n'était pas dure et il était très doré - Goûtant un grain :

Oui, je suis de cette espèce là...

11

La petite Mère c'est mon téléphone ; je n'ai qu'à tendre ma petite oreille quand é vient, et j'sais tout !

12

... Je ne suis pas égoïste, c'est le bon Dieu que j'aime, c'est pas moi.

13

... Pour la nature, j'aime mieux mourir, mais je ne me réjouis de la mort que parce qu'elle est la volonté du bon Dieu pour moi.

14

Je n'ai jamais demandé au bon Dieu de mourir jeune, je suis donc sûre qu'il n'accomplit en ce moment que sa volonté.

15

Elle étouffait et je lui manifestais ma compassion et ma tristesse.

N'ayez pas de peine, allez ! Si j'étouffe, le bon Dieu me donnera la force. Je l'aime ! Il ne m'abandonnera jamais.

16

Elle me raconta comment elle avait porté longtemps sa petite croix de fer et qu'elle en avait été malade. Elle me dit que ce n'était pas la volonté du bon Dieu sur elle ni sur nous qu'on se jette à de grandes mortificaitons, que cela lui en avait donné la preuve.

17

A propos des frictions qui avaient été ordonnées par le médecin :

Ah ! d'être «étrillée» comme je l'ai été, c'est bien pire que n'importe quoi !

18

... A partir du 9 juin, j'ai été sûre de mourir bientôt.

29 juillet

1

... Je voudrais m'en aller !

- Où ?

«Là-haut, dans le Ciel bleu!»

2

Une soeur lui avait rapporté cette réflexion faite en récréation : « Pourquoi donc parle-t-on de ma Sr Thérèse de l'Enfant Jésus comme d'une sainte ?! Elle a pratiqué la vertu, c'est vrai, mais ce n'était pas une vertu acquise par les humiliations et surtout par les souffrances. » Elle me dit ensuite :

... Et moi qui ai tant souffert dès ma plus tendre enfance ! Ah ! que cela me fait de bien de voir l'opinion des créatures au moment de la mort !

3

On avait cru lui faire plaisir en lui apportant un objet et c'est le contraire qui arriva. Elle manifesta du mécontentement, devinant qu'on avait privé quelqu'un de l'objet en question, mais se repentit bientôt et demanda pardon avec larmes.

Oh ! je vous demande bien pardon, j'ai agi par nature, priez pour moi !

Et un peu plus tard :

Oh ! que je suis heureuse de me voir imparfaite et d'avoir tant besoin de la miséricorde du bon Dieu au moment de la mort !

4

Elle avait craché le sang le matin et à 3 heures de l'après midi.

5

Nous lui exprimions la crainte qu'elle ne meure la nuit.

Je ne mourrai pas la nuit, croyez-le ; j'ai eu le désir de ne pas mourir la nuit.

6

... Deux jours après l'entrée de Sr M. de la Trinité on m'a soigné la gorge... Le bon Dieu a permis quel les novices m'épuisent. Sr M. de l'Eucharistie m'a dit que cela m'arrivait comme aux prédicateurs.

7

... Pour être mon historien, il faut vous ménager.

8

Eh bien ! «bébé» va donc mourir ! Depuis 3 jours, c'est vrai que je souffre beaucoup ; ce soir je suis comme en purgatoire.

9

Bien souvent quand je le puis je répète mon offrande à l'Amour.

10

Je lui confiais un trouble.

... C'est vous qui avez jeté dans ma petite âme la semence de la confiance, vous ne vous le rappelez donc pas ?

11

Je la soutenais pendant qu'on arrangeait ses oreillers.

J'appuie ma tête sur le coeur de ma petite Mère.

12

Elle n'avait pas demandé un soulagement, on croyait que c'était par vertu, mais elle n'avait pas songé à se mortifier en cela. Comme nous admirions son acte :

Je suis lasse de la terre ! On fait des compliments quand on n'en mérite pas et des reproches quand on n'en mérite pas non plus. Tout ça !... tout ça !...

13

Ce qui fait notre humiliation au moment fait ensuite notre gloire même dès cette vie.

14

Je n'ai point de capacité pour jouir, j'ai toujours été comme cela ; mais j'en ai une très grande pour souffrir. Autrefois, quand j'avais beaucoup de peine, je ressentais de l'appétit au réfectoire, mais quand j'avais de la joie, c'était le contraire ; impossible de manger.

30 juillet

1

... Toujours mon corps m'a gênée, je ne me trouvais pas à l'aise dedans... toute petite même, j'en avais honte.

2

Pour lui avoir rendu un petit service

Merci, maman !

3

Je n'aurais pas voulu ramasser une épingle pour éviter le purgatoire. Tout ce que j'ai fait c'était pour faire plaisir au bon Dieu, pour lui sauver des âmes.

4

En regardant la photographie des P.P. Bellière et Roulland :

Je suis plus gentille qu'eux !

5

On lui promettait de lui acheter des petits chinois.

C'est pas des chinois que j'veux, c'est des nègres !

6

Ça m'est amer quand vous ne me regardez pas.

7

Les mouches la tourmentaient beaucoup mais elle ne voulait pas les tuer.

Je leur fais toujours grâce. Elles seules pourtant m'ont fait de la misère pendant ma maladie. Je n'ai qu'elles d'ennemies et comme le bon Dieu a recommandé de pardonner à ses ennemis, je suis contente de trouver cette petite occasion de le faire.

8

C'est bien dur de tant souffrir, cela doit vous empêcher toute pensée ?

Non, cela me laisse encore dire au bon Dieu que je l'aime, je trouve que c'est suffisant.

9

Montrant un verre qui contenait un remède très mauvais sous l'aspect d'une délicieuse liqueur de groseilles.

Ce petite verre là c'est l'image de ma vie. Hier, Sr Thérèse de St Augustin me disait : «J'espère que vous buvez de la bonne liqueur!» Je lui ai répondu : «O ma Sr Thérèse de St Aug. c'est tout ce que je bois de plus mauvais!»

Eh bien ma petite Mère voilà ce qui a paru aux yeux des créatures. Il leur a toujours semblé que je buvais des liqueurs exquises et c'était de l'amertume. Je dis, de l'amertume, mais non ! car ma vie n'a pas été amère, parce que j'ai su faire ma joie et ma douceur de toute amertume.

10

Si vous voulez donner un souvenir de moi à Mr de Cornière, faites-lui une image avec ces paroles : «Ce que vous avez fait au plus petit des miens, c'est à moi que vous l'avez fait.»

11

On lui avait donné un écran, venu du Carmel de Saïgon ; elle s'en servait pour chasser les mouches. Comme il faisait très chaud, elle se tourna vers les images épinglées au rideau du lit et se mit à les éventer, et nous ensuite, avec l'écran.

J'évente les saints en place de moi ; je vous évente pour vous faire du bien et parce que vous êtes des saintes aussi.

12

M. de Cornière avait dit de lui donner 5 ou 6 cuillerées d'au de Tisserand. elle demanda à ma Sr Gneneviève de ne lui en donner que 5 puis se tournant vers moi :

Toujours le moins, est-ce pas, maman ?

13

Ne dites pas à M. Ducellier que ne n'en ai plus que pour quelques jours ; je ne suis pas encore faible à mourir, et après cela, quand on vit en est bien «capot».

14

(4 heures) Elle me souriait après le départ d'une soeur. Je lui dis : Reposez-vous maintenant, fermez les yeux..

... Non, j'aime tant à vous regarder !

15

Je voulais prendre une mouche qui l'importunait.

Qu'est-ce que vous allez lui faire ?

Je vais la tuer.

- Oh ! non, je vous en prie.

16

Voulez-vous me préparer à l'Extrême-Onction.

Avec un sourire en me regardant :

Je pense à rien !

Priez le bon Dieu pour que je la reçoive aussi bien qu'on peut la recevoir.

17

Elle me raconta ce que Notre Père lui avait dit avant la cérémonie :

... «Vous allez être comme un petit enfant qui vient de recevoir le baptême.» Puis, il ne m'a parlé que d'amour. Oh ! que j'étais touchée !

18

Elle nous montrait ses mains avec respect après l'Extrême Onction.

Je recueillais d'habitude les petites peaux de ses lèvres desséchées ; mais ce jour là elle me dit :

J'avale aujourd'hui mes petites peaux parce que j'ai reçu l'Extrême Onction et le saint Viatique.

C'était dans l'après-midi. A peine avait-elle fait une courte action de grâces que plusieurs soeurs vinrent lui parler. Elle me dit le soir :

Comme on est venu me déranger après la Communion ! On m'a regardée sous le nez... mais pour ne pas m'agacer j'ai pensé à Notre-Seigneur qui se retirait dans la solitude sans pouvoir empêcher le peuple de l'y suivre. Et il ne le renvoyait pas. J'ai voulu l'imiter en recevant bien les soeurs.

31 juillet

1

On supposait encore un jour de fête pour sa mort, comme le 6 Août la Transfiguration, ou l'Assomption le 15.

Ne parlez pas d'une date, ce sera toujours une fête !

2

Après nous avoir raconté la fable de La Fontaine(1) : »Le meunier et ses trois fils. »

... J'ai deux bottes, mais j'nai pas cor de sac ! Ça veut dire que je n'suis pas près de mourir.

(1) C'est l'histoire du « Chat Botté » non une fable de La Fontaine.

3

On avait descendu sa paillase pour l'exposer après sa mort. Elle l'aperçut lorsqu'on ouvrit la porte qui donne dans la cellule à côté de l'infirmerie et s'écria avec joie :

Ah ! Voilà notre paillasse ! Elle va se trouver toute prête pour mettre mon cadovre.

... Mon petit nez a toujours eu de la chance !

4

Comment que bébé fera pour mourir ? Mais, de quoi que je mourrai ?

5

... Oui je volerai... Y disparaîtra bien des choses du Ciel que je vous apporterai... Je serai une petite voleuse, je prendrai tout ce qui me plaira...

6

Regardant la statue de la Sainte Vierge et lui désignant du doigt son petit plat :

Quand c'est venu cette nuit (un grand crachement de sang) je croyais que vous alliez m'emmener !

7

Nous nous étions endormies en la gardant :

... Pierre, Jacques et Jean !

8

... Je vous dis que j'en ai pour longtemps si la Sainte Vierge n'y met pas la main !

9

Aimablement :

... Ne nous entre-causons pas, c'est bien assez de s'entre-guigner !

10

L'Voleur viendra

Et m'emport'ra

Alleluia !

11

On discutait sur le peu de jours qui lui restaient à vivre.

C'est encore la malade qui sait le mieux ! et je sens que j'en ai encore pour longtemps.

12

J'ai pensé qu'il fallait que je sois bien mignonne et que j'attende le Voleur bien gentiment.

13

J'ai trouvé le bonheur et la joie sur la terre, mais uniquement dans la souffrance, car j'ai beaucoup souffert ici-bas ; il faudra le faire savoir aux âmes...

Depuis ma première Communion, depuis que j'avais demandé à Jésus de changer pour moi en amertume toutes les consolations de la terre, j'avais un perpétuel désir de souffrir. Je ne pensais pas cependant à en faire ma joie ; c'est une grâce qui ne m'a été accordée que plus tard. Jusque là c'était comme une étincelle cachée sous la cendre, et comme les fleurs d'un arbre qui doivent devenir des fruits en leur temps. Mais voyant toujours tomber mes fleurs, c'est-à-dire me laissant aller aux larmes quand je souffrais, je me disais avec étonnement et tristesse : mais ce ne sera donc jamais que des désirs !

14

Ce soir, quand vous m'avez dit que M. de Cornière croyait que j'en avais encore pour un mois et plus, je n'en revenais pas ; c'était une si grande différence avec hier où il disait qu'il fallait m'administrer le jour même ! Mais cela m'a laissée dans un calme profond. Qu'est-ce que cela me fait de rester encore longtemps sur la terre ! Si je souffre beaucoup et toujours davantage, je n'ai point peur, le bon Dieu me donnera la force, il ne m'abandonnera pas.

15

Si vous vivez encore longtemps, personne n'y comprendra rien.

Qu'est-ce que ça fait ! Tout le monde peut bien me mépriser, c'est toujours ce que j'ai désiré ; je l'aurai à la fin de ma vie !

16

... Maintenant que le bon Dieu a fait ce qu'il voulait faire, qu'il a trompé tout le monde... Il viendra comme un voleur à l'heure où l'on n'y pensera plus ; voilà ma petite idée.

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc

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