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From sr Marie of the Eucharist to Mme Guérin - July 6-7, 1896.

 

From sr Marie of the Eucharist to Mme Guérin - July 6-7, 1896.

+ Jesus J.M.J.T.

Dear Mother,

Yes, Ma’am, three rabbits… We received them and tucked into them hungrily… Yes, three very excellent, very tender, and very well-prepared rabbits made a delicious banquet for the Carmelites. The little Benjamin had a good share of it and as he was eating, he thought of La Musse and imagined all the places where the little rabbit could have roamed. [lv°] Yes, the three rabbits were so warmly received that they are telling their friends in La Musse to let the great Francis catch more of them for the Feast of Mount Carmel. If we could have another 2 or three for that day, our Mother would again be very pleased.

I told you I would write to the parish priest of Navarre this week, but I don’t know whether I will be able to. We have a lot of work to do, my daughter is arriving at the end of next week, then we are doing a bit of washing, in any case, I will do all I can. At the moment we are doing the haying, [2r°] so we turn the hay over and over again and will soon put it into piles. Our meadow is not as big as the one at La Musse as you can well imagine (the meadow was about 30 metres long on each side. It was during the haymaking of 1896 that the group photo featuring Thérèse and her sisters was taken, n° 35.).

As I’m writing to you, I suppose Francis is preparing to take his trip to the famous quarries of Bapeaume, which was such an issue last year. You will tell me about it…

So I will soon have a daughter… I feel very maternal inside; yes, I will love this daughter very much, and will try as much as possible to ease the trial that the first days [2v°] will pose. I have recently gone through it, everything still feels very fresh in my heart and I will also do everything in my power to help her grow accustomed to the Carmel quickly. And yet when I joined, I wasn’t coming into an unknown land, I was already known and loved. What will it be like for my daughter who will see her parents leave her far behind while I had mine very close to me. So I am strongly recommending her to all your prayers, you know how hard these moments are for parents and children alike, but you also know what delights and consolations follow. I never stop thinking about my daughter, I am with her everywhere and, for her sake, want the big step to be over… Apparently she is excessively shy. I make the Community laugh because I often exclaim at recreation: “Mother, what will become of us, two shy people together: mother and daughter alike. We won’t dare talk to each other and will look at each other like two porcelain dogs.”

And as at the Carmel I am considered as being far from shy, my exclamations make everyone laugh. No matter how many times I say I was shy in the world, no one believes me. It is a fact that there [lr°tv] lies proof of my vocation. I was shy in the world because I was not in my place whereas at the Carmel I am in my element and, in my happiness, I no longer feel shy.

Father should follow the advice of his little Carmelite: he should go to Paris for a consultation while he is at La Musse. Tell him he will save money on the train fare and that he will give the surplus to the Carmelites as a little present, which we won’t refuse. We are all beginning a novena for him to St. Anthony of Padua, it was our Mother who asked me to tell you this. She sends you her affectionate regards.

If I can, I will enclose with my letter my famous song about the life of Carmelites. Big kisses to Papa and Mama from all their little Carmelites.

Give plenty of kisses to Jeanne, Aunt José, Mrs. Lahaye, the babies, Léonie and Francis. The latter hasn’t changed then, he still amuses himself by losing people on his excursions. I identify with him there; it’s a good way to amuse oneself…

As for Jeanne’s cries of “Mama, Mama”, I can picture her with the big frightened eyes that she has in these circumstances. Mrs. Lahaye’s cool-headedness is long-established [lr°tv], as is that of Léonie, whom I can picture as well.

Your little daughter who cherishes you

Marie of the Eucharist

u.c.n.

Since you ask what we would like, I will tell you that we can’t swallow any more fish or vegetables, it is too hot. What we would like is fruit or prawns. I am very, very well.

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