From Marie Guérin to Céline - Late September 1894.


From Marie Guérin to Céline - Late September 1894.

Darling, darling,

     I feel the need to write to you because, you see, I’ve just had an outburst of tears… I am so upset... life seems so sad… Ever since the day you said you glimpsed the seriousness of life, I have done the same; I’ve seen nothing but that, but some moments are so difficult to endure!!... Being deprived of my Carmel until Thursday feels like such a long time and I find it’s asking the impossible… I don’t know whether I’ll last that long…

       And then, this morning, Pauline told you that I wasn’t as upset to have left you as you thought I was. This thought follows me wherever I go… You know, don’t [lv°] you, my darling, how much pain I’m in, but this pain is tempered by the grace of God, who, as a reward for the sacrifice I have offered him, gives me the grace to be brave and courageous in the midst of my great trial. Oh, yes! I love you!! And it’s because of you that I have just shed bitter tears, and I am still shedding them as I write these lines… My heart is very heavy… that’s all I can say. Above all, there are times when I feel the void you have left more keenly… I seek counsel and support everywhere and find nobody… it is very hard… And then I often hear people talk about next summer, of La Musse, and Vichy. People are counting on me going, they won’t go without me, it breaks my heart… I so hope to be on the other side of the grille by then… I envy your lot so much… I find you so fortunate to be where God has called you… I’m frightened I will have more trials than you when I join, because this morning Papa said to me: “For two days I have been very anxious and I regret not having tested Céline. I fear I didn’t do my duty.” You understand I defended you and was a good advocate for you. I said that everyone found you had a true vocation for the Carmel and that there was certainly no mistake… I said [2v°] much more than that but it can be summarised thus.

       Oh, my darling! Do you know that I love you and that I love you as deeply as ever. The separation has not lessened our affection; on the contrary, it has made it stronger. But you know that what I’m most attracted to is conforming to God’s will, so as long as he takes delight in this great trial I am happy, because I was not created to live for myself but for Him. This thought does me a great deal of good. And what’s more, my affection for you is not selfish. As long as I see you happy, what does it matter if I suffer?... If I saw you unhappy, my suffering would be double… Do you remember in the world… when I suffered to see you obliged to make a journey I knew you were unhappy to take? (For example the pilgrimage to Paray-le-Monial, in October 1890).

     My darling, tell dear Mother that I would very much like to write to her. I am in great need of confiding in her but I haven’t a spare minute to write to her. I run all your errands as best I can, I will look out for the sheets and shirts a second time. I am not at all cross with you for saying that I wasn’t running errands very well. I know you and I love you, and that explains and says a lot.

Your little darling,


[lr°tv] Don’t tell Papa that I told you he has been anxious for two days. Now that I’ve written to you, my tears have dried, I am all cheerful again.

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