From sr Marie of the Eucharist to Mme Gaston Pottier (Céline Maudelonde) - July 20, 1897.

From sr Marie of the Eucharist to Mme Gaston Pottier (Céline Maudelonde) - July 20, 1897.

20th July 97

Dear little Céline,

I thank you, and all of us here thank you for the expression of sympathy you sent us in your last little letter. We were very touched by it. It’s very kind of you to share in our great trial with so much affection. Our little patient is still in the same condition. Dr. de Cornière says she’s lost unless there’s a miracle. Every three days, she coughs up blood; she is very much changed, I assure you, for she is becoming thinner by the day. She can continue like this for another few weeks, or perhaps months, but we mustn’t delude ourselves, she’s an Angel who’s going to fly away to heaven. Ah! dear little Céline, as you can imagine, this is a great trial for our hearts, but we are resigned and ready for the sacrifice. We mustn’t be selfish; she’s going to be so happy!!...

I thank God for having allowed me to know this little saint, for here in the Community she is loved and appreciated as such. If you were to see her, you’d say the same and you’d desire only one thing, which would be to walk in her footsteps. Hers is not an extraordinary holiness; there is no love for extraordinary penances, no, only Love for God. People in the world can imitate her holiness because she endeavoured only to do everything through Love and to accept all the little difficulties and all the little sacrifices that come at each moment as from God’s hands. She saw God in all things and carried out all her actions as perfectly as possible. Duty always came before everything else, and as for pleasure, she knew how to sanctify it even while savouring it, offering it up to God. Oh! what a lot of merits she has acquired, if only you knew!... What discoveries we shall make in heaven!!... The other day I asked her: Did you sometimes refuse God something?... She replied: “No, I don’t remember doing so. Even when I was very little, from the age of three I began to refuse God nothing he asked of me.” To be able to give such an answer says everything, doesn’t it, and it’s rare to hear it even in our Carmels. To never have refused God anything!! And if only you could see her joy at the prospect of dying. To die to go and live God’s life, to die and go to heaven; that is her only wish. And her face lights up when she’s told that her wish will come true. It’s very lovely to envisage death in this way, and it’s a comfort for those left behind. It prevents you from fearing it, and you view it yourself with more joy.

I thought, little Céline, that by giving you our little patient as an example, I couldn’t give you better advice. Oh! if she was in your shoes, and, like you, had some little family difficulty, she would certainly be able to draw profit from it. She would see God in all circumstances and would offer him each little thorn wounding her heart in an act of perfect love. That’s what she would do and she would feel great peace. But she has often said to me: “that is not to say we shouldn’t feel the pain and suffering; where would the merit be if we didn’t feel it? We can feel it very keenly even, but we can offer it to God and find in this offering, amid the greatest of suffering, great peace.”

I read your letter to her and she asked me to give you this reply: “Tell Céline that I shall never forget my little childhood friend, and that when I’m in heaven, I shall watch over her in a very special way. Tell her that God is calling her to be a saint in the world, and that he has special plans for her and a special love.” I’m conveying her words just as she spoke them. Ah! it’s certain that when she’s in heaven, she’ll be a protecting Angel for us all. Next time I’ll send you a few poems she has written; I’m sure they’ll do you good.

I’ll leave you, my darling, by saying that I love you very much. Take heart, let’s both walk in the footsteps of our little saint.

Your little Sister Marie of the Eucharist

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