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From Marie Guérin to Céline Maudelonde - June 1894.

From Marie Guérin to Céline Maudelonde - June 1894. 

Dear little Céline

On the eve of the great day that will open the door to a new life for you, my heart feels the need to find your own, firstly to renew the affection it has for you and which will last eternally, because it is for God and in God; and also, allow it to give you a little advice concerning the Sacrament of Marriage.

Few people understand Marriage in the sense it should be understood, that is to say according to the religious sentiment. Many people see it as a celebration, a day of pleasure and happiness, but only a few are able to savour the grandeur of the Sacrament. Because it is a Sacrament, and a great one, that you will receive, my dear little Céline, and it is barley given a thought…

And so why not prepare for it as we would other great events in life?... Is it [lv°] less worthy than the others?... Of course not!... It is on the contrary one of the most important events, and nobody prepares for it as they should!... We generally consider it as a worldly celebration, but few care about the great religious act that it is: it is almost overlooked!... Why is this?... Oh, because everyone loves and is attached to earthly celebrations that are gone in a flash, and nobody thinks of heavenly celebrations, which last eternally.

He asks you, my darling Céline, who has received such great graces from God, to console Him from his creatures’ oversight, and prepare for this great action as you did the beautiful day of your First Communion. Are you looking to thank him for the great grace he is giving you? The only way to do this is to make your heart a shrine during the days preceding your wedding: that will be the most wonderful Thank you that you can give Jesus!... It will prepare you by way of a sort of little retreat, without, however, making you neglect the duties that will weigh upon you before the great day. Having a heart united to Our Lord is the only thing we are asked to do to reach the kingdom of heaven: performing all our actions with Him and in Him and loving all those [2r°] we love in Him and for Him.

You understand me, don’t you? And knowing your soul like I know it, I am certain you won’t refuse the grace that is being given to you, that is to say the grace of a little retreat. Later on, you will see all the blessings that will result from the few days you will have given to Jesus. Nothing touches his heart quite like a “Thank you” and why? … because it is in this way that most souls sin: they know how to ask for things, but they don’t know how to give thanks, and that is also why the source of graces runs dry in souls who don’t know how to say “Thank you”.

You, my darling Céline, do say a sincere thank you… May your whole life be but a continual thank you. Above all, on the day of your wedding, live the event with great reverence to thank Jesus. A few days beforehand, read the Marriage service that can be found in the Diurnals along with the marriage blessing.

We will continue, I hope, to write personal little notes to each other; they are useful for both of us. It’s not because we change lives that we must forget our spiritual progress. For your whole life, be able to say: I want things [2v°] that concern religion and eternal life… Leave fear of others’ judgment behind… it has no place in a heart filled with God’s graces!... Would you ever be ashamed of Jesus?... Of course not! If you acknowledge him, he will acknowledge you on the last day (Cf. Mat. 10:32)... Never forget, darling little Céline, the blessed days of your life as a maiden when you loved God and served him with love. With that in mind, I advise you never to let a day go by without doing some meditation, even if it’s only for five minutes. Be firm on this point…To ensure you keep your resolution, make yourself a sort of little rule where your pious duties will be noted down formally. It would be very good if you could also do a quarter of an hour of spiritual reading, you know I will lend you books on the subject.

But above all!... Oh, above all!... Don’t forget your duty to take Communion and which is so sweet to you. That is above all why you need a course of action. Take Communion at least once a fortnight, but let it be regular. Under no circumstances should you let more than a month go by without going to receive Jesus. You owe him this after the graces he has given you. Once a fortnight is not too much to ask, and Jesus will be so happy.

I also advise you, my dear little Céline, [3r°] to continue with the resolution you took to perform all your actions in God’s presence, and to offer them to him for his greater glory and the redemption of poor sinners. And then dare I ask you something?... Don’t refuse me, please… As soon as you can, and I don’t think there will be anything preventing you from doing this, take up the scapular of Mount Carmel (the young woman would receive the scapular in Lourdes). It will give me great joy; we will be united by even stronger spiritual bonds. You will be able to call yourself my true sister because we shall both be children of the Queen of Carmel (Marie had therefore informed her cousin of her intention to enter religious life). You will have more merits, because one who wears the scapular partakes of all the penances and prayers that are performed throughout the Order of Carmel. Also, little darling, if you wear this scapular, eternal life is formally guaranteed, because the Blessed Virgin revealed this herself.

Forgive me for giving you all this advice, I feel I have a right to do so; our mutual affection is proof of this. I can say I love your soul in a way I can’t explain, and my last wish is that in heaven we will be reunited in perfect happiness.

The little sister of your soul

Marie

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