From sr Marie of the Eucharist to Mme Pottier - May 17, 1896.



From sr Marie of the Eucharist to Mme Pottier - May 17, 1896.

J.M.J.T. 17th May 96

Dear little Céline,

I would have liked to write to you earlier but you no doubt know that I was a little poorly, which prevented me from acting on my desire. Now that I am fully recovered, I have come to tell you how much I’m thinking of you and have been with you in the sad circumstances that have just befallen you. Our [lv°] Mother has allowed me to write to you despite the retreat because at Pentecost we are on retreat (retreat preceding Pentecost, which was on 24th May) and during that time there aren’t to be any visitors or letters… but on this occasion, Our Mother strongly wishes me to tell you how much I have been thinking of you.

My little darling, you were faced with death for a long time, you say, and you learnt not to fear it. This must have done your soul good for you must have nourished it with holy thoughts and deep meditation, and it seems to me that as a result you must [2r°] feel wholly renewed and reverent. You see, no matter what our vocation, we have but one goal: rejoice in God for all eternity. We are all on earth to make this great journey and if we love God as we should love him, death certainly shouldn’t frighten us; we should desire it even, because when we love we desire but one thing, which is to enjoy and possess the one we love. That is why we must love God very much and make provisions for the great journey that is eternity. We will be so [2v°] happy to have suffered in life. Everything within us must die so that we can be united to God, and all we have to do is survey our natures, for they will give us many opportunities to die unto ourselves.

My poor little Céline, I’m writing you a whole essay about death unto oneself, and it’s because, you see, I am on apprenticeship with regard to this death and despite how hard it is for my nature, I am so happy to suffer that I would like the whole world to experience my happiness. And it is possible for everyone to experience it because it is within arm’s reach of every soul. Try it for yourself. When you make a sacrifice, don’t you feel happy and at peace? But when we have been unfaithful, we feel unhappy despite having giving ourselves the satisfaction we were looking for. We are responsible for our own happiness and it is found in sacrifice…

But I have talked enough about that… I saw your little daughter (the little Marguerite had been taken to the visiting room by someone other than her mother; perhaps by the Guérin family, as Mrs. Pottier had been retained by a death in the family). We found her so sweet… she’s a real little posy. She liked my white veil very much no doubt because she was always looking and smiling at me. One would have thought she understood that I loved her very much. [lr°tv] She wouldn’t have been mistaken because you know how dear her little soul is to me and how dear it will always be. You must be very pleased with this dear little angel, and you will foster her intelligence for God, which she certainly doesn’t lack; her little eyes prove that she is not simple.

I will leave you, my little darling, by renewing to you my expression of affection, which is not new as you know. Instead it continues to grow behind my beloved grilles where I am so happy. I send you lots and lots of love. Give a big kiss to my little niece (they were in fact first cousins once removed: Marie Guérin and Céline Pottier-Maudelonde were first cousins).

Your little sister

Marie of the Eucharist


[2v°tv] Remember me to your husband and tell him how much I shared in his grief, which he is bearing in such a Christian-like manner. I find him very admirable… I understand the grief his parents must be feeling and I think of them in my prayers.