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From Mother Agnès to Céline - July 18, 1893.

From Mother Agnès to Céline - July 18, 1893. 

J.MJ.T.

My darling little goddaughter (confirmation goddaughter; Mrs. Guérin was Céline’s godmother)

It is your petit Paulin’s1 turn to write to you! Alas! She has neither time nor ideas! It will be a bad dinner for poor little Céline! But soon the celestial lyre of Thérèse of the Child Jesus will play again. Oh, then Céline’s heart will be content! What bliss!... I myself am neither selfish nor sensitive; I am happy, happier even that bliss should come from people other than [lv°] myself… Dear little Céline, your letters bring us so much happiness and comfort! Your life, being wholly devoted to sacrifice, is highly enviable. Do not worry and don’t dream of joys other than those of your filial devotion!...

I was in solitude for 10 days (great annual retreat, which Sister Agnès usually took around the date commemorating her taking of the veil – 16th July 1884), but Jesus permitted me to be so disturbed by a thousand problems that I didn’t enjoy my retreat. I can tell that for the next few years I must create a place of solitude within where I can live with Jesus alone, whilst still being occupied with outward matters. [2r°] Ah! This poor life is so sad! We are truly in exile here. There are no celebrations and no delights that are not pierced by the cross. Let us lift ourselves up, my little Céline, let us lift our hearts and eyes to our Homeland. May all that passes away and all that smells of earth have no attraction for us. Let us seek only one thing here below; to accomplish God’s will moment upon moment, hour upon hour. In our little joys and sufferings, and in our deprivations, let us always see this divine will. Let us shut ourselves away in the present moment because it is that [2v°] which buys us heaven. It’s neither the past nor the future. It is in this unique and present moment that we live and work for God. I don’t mean that the past hasn’t earned us immense amounts of glory if we have suffered much and worked hard, but the past no longer belongs to us, and we don’t yet possess the future. So all we have to do is give the present day to God and even then not in its entirety. All he demands, and all he blesses, is the offering that our heart makes at the very moment we hear it beat within our chests. But look how our dear Jesus holds out His hand! Look how much he desires it, and how he covets all our heart’s affection! For Him the present moment is an eternity of delights when we let him reign alone within us!

[2v°tv] My little Céline, I am pushed for time, I don’t know whether you will understand me. It’s not well put, and yet I think I am giving you here a very easy and very pleasant little method of perfection.

I send you and little Marie lots of kisses! Mother Marie de Gonzague and we three love you both tenderly.

We enjoyed the magnificent apricots immensely. We have been thoroughly spoilt (for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 16th July). Thank you, Thank you.

[1r°tv] We have just received a charming letter from Léonie with a note from the Mother Superior telling us she is very much in her element and assuring us she will succeed.

[2r°tv] finding my letter much too silly, I have asked the little lyre player to send you some of her tunes.

1 Term of endearment.

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