From Marie Guérin to Céline - August 1-2, 1892.

From Marie Guérin to Céline - August 1-2, 1892. 

La Musse Monday 1st August 92

Dear little Céline,

You received a letter from me that really wasn’t very amusing, and it was because I was so upset from reading yours. As soon as I feel you are unhappy all is lost for me, if only I could be near you!... I won’t tell you everything I’m thinking on that point; it would only distress us both. Let each of us remain in God’s will and let’s accept our mission wholeheartedly. Oh, what a hard time this is to endure!... I too feel as though it has been two long months since I left. If I knew you were happy, surrounded with affection, if I knew of a friendly heart, someone to whom you could confide your sorrow, my suffering would be roses, but no, I see you [1 v°] abandoned by everyone, except God. Oh, yes! I’m learning to love God, but in suffering. I’m having to endure everything: scruples, neglect and exile of the heart. I accept everything and surrender myself to God. If only I received a few letters telling me what has become of you; about your inner sorrows, your joys, but I haven’t, it is the utmost exile in all respects. However I’m doing everything I can to be cheerful, and I can see that Mama is very pleased with me. I never mention you, I never show regret, and never complain, which doesn’t prevent everyone from knowing that it is impossible for us to have parted without sacrifice, even though it wouldn’t be visible on my face.

Are you pleased with your poor Mimi?.. I for one am very pleased, or rather I thank God for all his indulgence. He has purified me little by little, and now I’m learning to fly in the midst of my sacrifice. My wings are still very small and weak, but undoubtedly have enough strength to bear this trial. A year ago, I wouldn’t have been able to withstand it.

How joyfully would I have offered this trial to God, if I wasn’t flooded with scruples from all sides. I didn’t dare inform our Mother of this (Marie de Gonzague, to whom Marie wrote at length and frequently), it would upset her. I simply told her I had a few of them but that I was being very obedient. It’s also the truth, but I don’t just have a few, I am assailed with them. It is a dark night in my soul, so it mustn’t be believed that I have beautiful thoughts or beautiful feelings. I remain crushed, that’s also why I’m writing you such a sad letter.

I’ve been reading Fr. de Ravignan these past few days and it says he replied to all his letters of spiritual direction, letter by letter. He followed up all his correspondence and when a soul was in sorrow, he would send comforting words every day. I read that one lady he directed received two hundred letters in seven years. I thought of you; if you received only three or four a year, you would be satisfied, well, we must hope that one will come soon. The newspapers talk a great deal about the heat wave in New York, there are dozens of casualties every day, but I looked carefully and they don’t mention any in Montreal (Fr. Pichon’s usual place of residence). So don’t worry.

[2 v°] (8 o’clock Tuesday morning.) Papa arrived yesterday evening and told us that our poor little Jeanne is seriously ill. We were far from expecting this bad news!... Mama is very pleased that you are going to see her, she repeated constantly yesterday evening: “Was it poor little Céline who thought of that all by herself?” I can see that all your little kindnesses bring her enormous pleasure, and make you very loved. Who wouldn’t love you? You are so good, so kind, and so amiable. In short, with respect to your Mimi you will always be full of qualities and I see with pleasure that many people think as I do. Only what hurt me were all the things Papa recounted about you. He finds you are so kind, so loving, and it appears that time seems to be going very slowly for you, which is not news to me. And then it also appears you hardly have the time to catch your breath, how do you manage to write to the Father (Fr. Pichon), you must hardly be getting any rest? All that upsets me, but when you come to La Musse, you’ll be as free as a bird. And I for one will no longer make your life a misery. In my solitude, I wept over all the grief I caused you by being too worrisome. I won’t do it again, [3 r°] now, I promise to give you a quiet life, I understand that you needed a great deal of patience to bear me at times.

I am almost resolved to confide my scruples to my beloved Mother. Would you, when you go to the Carmel for the last time before you come to La Musse, find out whether our Mother has anything to pass on to me. I’m not expecting a letter from her; I have bravely made that sacrifice.

What day will you be coming? Arrange it so that you have at least nine days as was agreed. Think of all the pleasure you will bring us. Papa finds that you can leave Léonie all alone without any problem, nothing can really happen.

Yesterday evening I couldn’t help shedding three or four tears when I went back up to my little second-storey room. It relieved me. We had heard so much bad news, and then all alone in my corner, when you were mentioned, my heart bled and loved you very deeply. Then to crown it all, as he was wishing me goodnight, Papa said: “I saw one of my little girls today, and she showed me affection, but this one here is cold and [3 v°] yet she loves deeply, but she is withdrawn.” These words went straight to my heart, I, who on the contrary love so much, was already so upset, but I show affection to those by whom I feel understood. I almost feel embarrassed with Papa and Mama. I’ve endured so many little remarks because of you that I was encouraged to withdraw and then it’s also my nature.

Farewell, my dear little Céline, I send you my kisses and love you with all my heart. See you soon. I think about you constantly.

Your little sister


P.S. I very often wonder whether my letters bore you instead of entertaining you. I know that Mama wrote to the Carmel saying I had cheerfully accepted my sacrifice, and that she was happy to see it.

Every morning and evening, I say an O Memorare for you, then I take a bit of holy water and make the sign of the cross in the direction of Lisieux. May God hear my prayers and bless you.

Don’t fret over my gouache.

Keep absolute silence with regard to this letter. My beloved Mother mustn’t send me a letter in the post. Nobody has been informed.

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