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From sr Marie of the Eucharist to Mme Pottier - Beginning of January 1897.

  

From sr Marie of the Eucharist to Mme Pottier - Beginning of January 1897.

+Jesus                                   J. M. J. T.

Dear little Céline,

       Happy New Year… to you, my dear little Sister. How can I express all the wishes I have for you… When one loves someone, desires and wishes are so numerous and so sincere, that even if we listed them one after the other, there would always remain one forgotten in some deep recess of one’s heart. Wishes of the heart can’t be conveyed in words.

       Carmelites, it can truthfully be said, always appear at the eleventh hour. [lv°] They appear to deserve this compliment, but if you look deeply at this lateness, you will find it is only apparent, and that on the contrary, there is perhaps no one in the world who is more punctual and who sends their New Year’s wishes earlier. Because in the very first seconds on 1st January, my darling little sister received my wishes through the intermediary of Jesus (it was customary for the Carmelites to hold vigil in the choir from eleven o’clock to midnight on 31st December to live the last minutes of the old year and the first of the coming year in prayer) and only He knows and can fulfil the very personal and very secret wishes that come from the heart. You know, do you not, my darling little sister, how much I thought of you and all your family, particularly my dear little niece.

     Your letter was given to me [2r°] by the baby Jesus on Christmas day. Our Mother had received it a few days beforehand but as it was Advent, I couldn’t read it until Christmas day. It was a double consolation for me; the baby Jesus brought news of the dear little soul of whom I’m so fond. You do well, my darling, to recommend your father-in-law to my prayers, because you know that is the Carmelites’ principal purpose; bringing back poor sinners through their prayers and penances. Where the missionaries go to fight and battle, they fly to prepare hearts through prayer and penance as these are the two weapons dearest to the Heart of Jesus.

     [2v°] My darling, I don’t know whether you are like me, but when a year is over, I like to look back on it and remember it in all its detail, and the strongest feeling in my soul is that of gratitude to God. What is striking when one looks back on one’s life are God’s abundant graces. They are so many that we really wonder how our hearts can be so dry and cold towards a Heart that loves us so much. We wonder how God can have so much love and be so generous with it to souls who, in return, see only sin, misery, and ingratitude. Oh! At a year’s end, how we regret not having employed every moment of our time for God and his love. For me, a year’s end is like a picture, in miniature, of what must happen when we die. Because at a year’s end we still feel we have the time to do better and yet what a lot of regrets we have about the time that’s gone. We feel that lost time never comes back. But with God, is that what happens? Oh, no! An hour of love for Him makes up for years without thinking of Him because he is Infinite Mercy34. It’s because he is so good that we serve Him so badly. There’s such an easy way of repairing entire lives with Him… but people don’t want to… My darling, at the beginning [lr°tv] of this new year I hope you acquire the habit of feeling God’s presence in your heart, which you think about so rarely. I might be making a rash judgment, but you’ll forgive me. I want you to often think that Jesus is present within you and within your dear little Angel, in whom he so lovingly delights. See Him, love Him, adore Him, particularly in the innermost shrine of your dear little Angel. Oh, how happy he is there! Teach the dear little one to love the One who loves her so much and who showers her with so many graces. Oh! If you could see the inner beauty within the little being who’s always with you, how reverent and loving you would be towards the One from whom all glory shines. You wouldn’t be able to sustain the sight of this little soul’s beauty; she’s in the company of Angels, because it’s certain that little children see and play with the little angels. If we had faith and a great deal of it, what a lot of beauty God would reveal to us.  

When we’re in Heaven, we’ll understand and see all this and will only regret one thing, not having lived in close enough union with God, and not having seen all things through [lv°tv] the eyes of faith. Grow accustomed, my darling, to seeing Jesus in all things, and to finally living a life of faith. I hope that these few words do you good and help you to love more and more the One who is to become my Divine Spouse. Pray very hard for your poor little sister. Ask that she prepares herself well for this great act of her religious life. Have your dear little Angel pray, children’s prayers are so pure, so that God accepts me for his Spouse. Time is marching on and I hope that in a month I will have fixed the blessed day that will witness my spiritual wedding with Jesus.

Your little sister who cherishes you

Marie of the Eucharist

u.c.n

All your little cousins send you their kisses and most affectionate wishes.

Remember me to your husband.