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From sr Marie of the Eucharist to Mme La Néele - July 17, 1896.

 

From sr Marie of the Eucharist to Mme La Néele - July 17, 1896.

+ Jesus J.M.J.T. 17th July 96

Dear little Jeanne,

I am hurrying to write to you because I do believe that soon you will be flying back to Caen, to your great regret. You see this year, I, by coming to my Carmel, spared myself the regret of leaving La Musse and its delights…

Your letter amused me so much!... And your composition!... your poem, my congratulations to the unknown [lv°]author, to the poor “Exiled one” whose name I think is Lady Jeanne…

There’s nothing new in my solitary life. My daughter is not yet here, and I think it’s over now… I’ve had no luck with her; I’d prepared everything to welcome her… And then nothing… Like Sister Ann, I look to see if she is coming. And I see nothing but a cloud of dust in the sun, and the green grass…

Would you tell Mama that everything… wine, siphons, etc. arrived safely… Once again, our thirsts were well quenched. Do thank [2r°] her for us and give her a big hug for her little daughters, and to Papa whom I will write to next time. I would have done so today, but I haven’t had the time, I’m holding up the post.

My illumination yesterday was a great success. You’d have thought you were in a place of pilgrimage. On the side, in the holes of a wooden foot heater, we had placed 5 or 6 candles that people outside had given us to burn before the Bl. Virgin. Don’t laugh at our invention… a foot heater transformed into a candle-holder, covered in greenery and mounted on a little column.

I spent the whole evening surveying my illumination beside my Bl. Virgin… I looked exactly like a lady who rents chairs outside church. Other Sisters sometimes came to bring me candles to burn which I would put in one of the holes of the foot heater. You see how at the Carmel we are able to make use of absolutely everything.

On the eve of 14th July I attended a ball until midnight. I think it was at the Askier’s, because from our cell I can see their house very well (in Rue de Livarot). I heard everything: polkas, waltzes, mazurkas, and above all the lancers square dance. The lancers square dance brought back many memories. I followed each turn of the dance as if I was really there and so closely that I could tell you when there was a mistake. For instance, they had to start the 4th turn again three times, they couldn’t get it right. There was an artist playing the piano because every note was polished; not one single hiccup in any of the dances. I thought I could recognize Regina’s skill (Regina Beretta, a fellow pupil of the boarding school attended by the Guérins and Martins). Look how informed I am about my neighbours. After each dance there was endless applause. If it was a Carmelite word, I would say that I was enraged [lr°tv] by this confounded piano that was preventing me from sleeping. I was, however, very pleased to hear it (this anecdote is to be compared with that of Thérèse in Ms. C 29v°/30r°; a memory of her novitiate when she led the infirm Sister Saint-Peter from the choir to the refectory).

On Sunday I heard an orchestra rehearse for the music competition to be held at the Hôtel du Petit Couvent (hall). They performed their piece perfectly. At the Carmel we don’t often hear music so I was very happy to rediscover my buried former [lv°tv] talent. I will leave you by sending you and Francis lots of love.

Your little sister

Marie of the Eucharist

u.c.n.

The rabbits were excellent. Fr. Youf had one for his priests’ dinner (for the Feast of O. L. of Mount Carmel – among the guests was the day’s orator, a certain Fr. Lechêne, cf. LT 192). The other was eaten by the Carmelites on a fast-free day. Thank you. Thank you. Congratulations to the hunter. I am still very well.

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