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From Léonie to sr Geneviève - July 9, 1896.

 

From Léonie to sr Geneviève - July 9, 1896.

fragment

La Musse, 9th July 96

(...)

Only twenty days left to spend here, I have no regrets, but I’m nevertheless not bored, because I am living life as I would in Lisieux, and we also take many walks. Francis is intrepid and Jeanne is frightened of everything, as you know, so I am finding crosses and renouncements everywhere, fortunately. Jesus does this to bring me closer to Him, I understand all his loving pursuits but always without rebelling, I complain too often, especially inwardly.

Yesterday Mrs. Maudelonde invited me to Marguerite’s wedding (actually Hélène Maudelonde’s wedding, who on 4th August was to marry Jules Houdayer, solicitor in Lisieux) very kindly, affectionately even. Aunt will see to replying to her for I am determined not to go.

More and more, darling sister, I see the nothingness in all that happens and it does me good and, little by little, makes me more detached. But I still feel a sadness deep down that I can’t completely overcome. Although I feel I am where God wants me to be for the moment, I suffer, and suffer greatly even; my exile feels long… only Jesus knows how it will end. [p. 25] I know my Céline will understand me.

When you write to me, my darling, give me precise news of my little Thérèse, don’t hide anything from me, I beg you; I want to know everything.

(Léonie had already asked Thérèse in her letter dated 1st July: “above all tell me the exact truth”. But this letter had been intercepted by Thérèse’s sisters. Sister Geneviève’s reception of Léonie’s insistent request on 10th July perhaps led Céline to search for the letter dated 1st July in her cell. It might also have been on this occasion that a Sister (Marie-Philomène?) met Thérèse, her face flushed and evidently cross, and said: “I count for nothing in this family!” cf. DE, 550).

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