From Marie Guérin to J. La Néele - March 3, 1895.



From Marie Guérin to J. La Néele - March 3, 1895.

Lisieux, 3rd March 1895

           Dear little Jeanne,

           I thank you very much for having found me a tune for my poem, but I’m very sorry, there is not one that fits or lends itself better than “le mirliton” (famous song in 19th century France). I’ve composed a few couplets to the tune of “les trois petits enfants” (nursery rhyme), but I have no doubt used up my eloquence, nothing I write is any good any more. If you would send me what Francis has done, it would help me enormously and would perhaps give me some ideas. What I’ve written seems so silly that I don’t know whether I will send it to you.

      Marie has a little Marthe at last (Marthe Maudelonde, daughter of Henry and Marie Asseline, was born on this very day. The young couple already had a boy, Paul, who had been born on 16th May 1893. The Mother would die on 5th December 1895 at the age of twenty-three)... “she has everything she could want,” say people everywhere. It’s true! [lv°] But if she is so happy on earth, she might not be as happy as us in the next life and it will be her turn to envy our lot… You know, little Jeanne, patience obtains everything… One day Marie, too, will have her share of pain and anguish. We don’t go to heaven in feather-beds, and her two little children, who are her joy today, might at a given time be the cause of very hard crosses and trials. For having been patient and resigned for several years, we shall have a little Credidi, (nickname for Jeanne and by extension for the baby she had always wanted) who shall be a saint. Did Thérèse not ask for this the day she took the Habit? (Actually, it was when she took the Veil (24/9/1890), a week before the La Néele’s wedding. They didn’t know each other in January 1889 when Thérèse was invested) The saints always make us wait and want something for a very long time. For the great consolation they bring to their [2r°] parents, they can afford to be the cause of great suffering before their birth.

       The other day at the Carmel, Céline reminded me that when Papa brought Uncle back from Caen (10th May 1892), Uncle was moved and touched to see Papa look after him like that, and as at that time he still had moments of lucidity, he began to weep, saying: “I’ll make all this up to you”. These words touched Papa deeply. Well! I’m convinced that, now he is in heaven, Uncle is protecting Papa and will surely send him a grandson. But as he now sees to what is most useful to us, like God he finds that the right time has not come… As for Mother Geneviève, who prayed so hard for you… do you really think she has abandoned you?... No, she, too, is waiting for the right time to come, and believe me, it [2v°] won’t be long now. I’m sure of what I’m saying.

         Enclosed is the Prayer of St. Francis Xavier, whose novena begins tomorrow, 4th March. I will also send you my little poem, you will tell me what you think of it. If you could send me your appreciation and Francis’ couplets by Tuesday, I would be very happy because I don’t have much time left to write the rest.

       I send you all my love and kisses, which is saying a lot. Papa and Mama do likewise. We all send our love to Francis.

Your little sister


I’m not sending you my verses; I’m impatiently waiting for those of Francis so that I can work with what he has done. Send them to me as quickly as possible.

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