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From sr Agnès to Céline - July 27-29, 1890.

From sr Agnès to Céline - July 27-29, 1890.

Little Céline,

I don’t know whether Aunt should see Marie’s letter, so don’t give it to her in case. We are still having difficulty writing to her, so tell us where we stand (for Marie Guérin was considering life as a Carmelite, without her parents’ knowledge).

And aren’t the grandeurs and castles working their charms upon you?... Ah! you do indeed possess true wisdom… What did our Lord put in our souls? I have no idea. It’s a world of celestial poetry, which makes us disdain all things. It’s like someone who has come back from the faraway islands where all of nature’s riches were put before their eyes, and whom you try to make [1 v°] admire the cuckoos on your hats. O stupidity and hardness of the human heart, which refuses to look at the sky and see its destiny, or if it does it’s rarely, and incidental. What’s necessary is its earthly life! But we are spared these pipe dreams, for with Jesus we can say: “We are not of this world. (Jn. 8:23 and 17:16)”. Well, may nothing in us belong to it! My little Céline, how your soul pleases me! But much more importantly it pleases Jesus. Pray for me, I need it; life in the Carmel is beautiful and admirable, but it’s a hidden pearl. One does sell everything [2 r°] to buy the field that contains it (Mt. 13:44 ‑ 45), which is sweet, easy, and delightful to do… But it’s not enough, you then need to weed, search, and plough the field to find the precious pearl…

The work is long; it’s a lifetime’s work as a nun… At times, the things we must do are so simple, so basic, and we repeat them so often. They seem to have so little value that we look around in surprise asking ourselves whether we are making progress in our work, if it is indeed this that will help us find our treasure… A swift [2 v°] martyrdom or heroic action would, it seems, be easier…

...
O my God! How hidden are your ways, isn’t it by losing ourselves that we discover you who are the only desirable Pearl! What is most important to you is not that our actions be small or big; what is there that is great in your eyes if not love! The multiplicity of small sacrifices frightens us, as does always, always having to start over again, never resting, and always waging war; what a life! My little Céline, yet it’s this life that we are destined for and we courageously embrace it, for it’s the cross and we know where it leads. Besides, we can already live in glory, and be below and above at the same time according to St. Paul’s advice: “our citizenship [2 v°tv] is in heaven” (Ph. 3:20), that is to say “live in your Fatherland in spirit”, even when in exile.
See you soon, your little sister
Sr. Agnès of Jesus
u.c.n.
Our darling Mother and we three send you our love with all our hearts.
[1 r°tv] Say hello to everyone, think up all the niceties possible and say them on our behalf.
Sr. M. of the S. H. wrote to Sr. Costard but she didn’t receive the letter until yesterday evening.
[1 v°tv] The Chaplain of the Hospice of Bayeux came to see how the painting was going. (supra, n. 35), I was obliged to tell him that you had it but I assured him it would be good to such an extent that he left delighted.

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