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From sr Marie of the Eucharist to Isidore Guérin - June 22, 1896.

 

From sr Marie of the Eucharist to Isidore Guérin - June 22, 1896.

+ Jesus J.M.J.T. 22nd June 96

Dear Father,

(The Guérins had been at La Musse since 10th June. With them on holiday was “Aunt José”, Miss Joséphine Pigeon. Francis and Jeanne La Néele joined them from 20th June to 21st July. The ‘Lexoviens’ would return home on 26th July.)

Apparently you have fallen ill again, we are all very sorry to hear that… I do hope you won’t be obliged to rest for very long, I will try to have my divine Fiancé understand, and he can’t refuse me anything when I pray to Him for the one who gave Him his dearest possession.

How fortunate you are, dear [lv°] Father, to have given one of your children to God!... I understand your joy and pride… and I’m aware that I’m more and more unworthy of becoming God’s Bride…

I don’t know why God chose me, there are so many others who would have been much more faithful… It plunges me into deep thought!... and I can only see one reason, which is that he wanted to demonstrate his love and thank my dear Father already here on earth for having worked so hard and fought for Him, and for continuing to defend his Church and his representative on earth (allusion to Mr. Guérin’s journalistic struggles).

[2r°] Both of us, dear Father, work for the redemption of souls; you through your work and all the fatigue, struggles and sacrifices it requires, and me simply through “sacrifice”. Because religious life is really a life of continual sacrifices in which one experiences unparalleled joy and happiness, so I wouldn’t give up my place for anything in the world. That just shows how happy I am…

Since I joined the Carmel, you have been constantly ill (we read in Mr. Guérin’s diary: “26th October (1895) – Beginning of I. G.’s illness” – “11th July (1896) Consultation in Paris by Drs. Tillaux and Dauchez”. – From 1897 onwards, Mr. Guérin would go to Vichy for cures). For me, this is further proof of God’s love… He didn’t want just one little host, but chose three [2v°] of them, because dear Mother suffers a great deal seeing you like this, and sufferings of the heart are the most difficult to bear. What joy… Three hosts for Jesus… who immolate themselves for souls… I can’t wait to see how warmly God will welcome my dear parents in Heaven. Those that mock you now will be severely caught out and will regret not having had the same honour.

All the enclosed letters were written yesterday, on Sunday, and sent to Mrs. Lahaye so she could take them to La Musse.

Now I would like to place an order with Mr. Francis, the famous hunter… You would happily have sent us a barrelful of rabbits (Marie was reemploying her father’s expression, as rabbits were more numerous at La Musse than the trout she had asked for) well, dear Father, we accept, which will surprise you no doubt. But instead of a barrelful, 5 or 6 will suffice. Our Mother will be very pleased to have some to offer to our Father (Canon Maupas, who had been Superior of the Carmel since the end of January). You can understand it; little gifts sustain friendship. And also, this week we have Fr. Godefroy with us (Godefroid Madeleine, Premonstratensian at Mondaye, was preaching a triduum from 22nd to 24th June to lead the Sisters into grace for the exceptional jubilee that had been granted to the Catholics of France in honour of the 14th centenary of the baptism of Clovis at Reims) and that will make for our dinner… Also, since you want us to taste the produce from La Musse, your dear little daughter and all those who have the humiliation of eating meat will happily [lr°tv] eat wild rabbit (the Primitive Rule of Carmel envisaged perpetual abstinence from meat. Sick or frail Sisters were dispensed of this, which was considered a “humiliation”). So, as you can see, Francis is going to have a lot of work to do.

Could we possibly have a few, one or two, by Wednesday or Thursday (24th or 25th June), because after that the preacher will have left and he won’t be able to eat the rabbit. It would be an economy if it arrived before that day.

Lastly, dear Father, I know that you will be very glad of this opportunity [lv°tv] to make our Mother happy and with that in view you are going to pull out all the stops to catch these [2r°tv] rabbits… Oh, how we appreciated the trout!… And the sparkling water, too… Our thirst is quenched for a whole year.

I send you all my love dear Father and dear Mother, both of whom I love to the point of folly.

Your little daughter

Marie of the Eucharist

u.c.n.

I hope to have better news soon. Whatever you do, tell me the truth. I send big kisses to Jeanne, Léonie, Francis, and Aunt José. Francis must take good care of Papa and heal him very quickly. I know how knowledgeable and devoted he is, so I am not worried and am hopeful.

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