From Marie Guérin to Thérèse - July 23-25, 1890

From Marie Guérin to Thérèse.

July 23-25, 1890

La Musse, July 23, '90

My dear little Thérèse,

I was very much touched by Pauline's tenderness in my regard- thank her for me, I beg you. How can I tell you how happy I was to receive this little poem that corresponds so well with my sen­timents!. . . I read it and read it again continually; in a word, I am relishing it. And you, my darling Thérèse, do you imagine that your few lines did not do good to my soul? They supplied me with spiritual nourishment today. While Jeanne's fiancé is here, the means of union with God are difficult to carry out, so medita­tion is often set aside. However, conversations with this poor human being cannot take its place for me!. . .

How can I tell you, dear little sister, all the temptations that I am experiencing since I am here; I am pursued by bad thoughts. Every moment is a struggle, and so I experience no joy in my Communions, and my thanksgivings after Communion are cold. I don't feel any love for God. Meditation, however, is a moment of delight for me; I could spend my days in this exercise. This is only one more proof that I'm not advancing in virtue, for prayer without mortification is like a body without a soul! I love to breathe in an air that is purer than the air of this earth, but as for drawing any fruit from this, there is nothing. It is true, never­theless, that in my meditations I feel I am burning with love, but once I return to the combat, fortitude abandons me, and there can be no fruit without work. Very often, I ask myself this ques­tion: What do I have to offer to God today? Always nothing or next to nothing, a few times some little efforts. Dear Thérèse, you who have so much fervor in God's service, teach your little sister to walk in it with courage. I am hardly born into the spiritual life! what have I done for the last twenty years?... I have allowed myself to live just as worldly people live, and God has been forgotten. Now I have a great desire to love Him, but this desire has to bear fruit. I learned to make my first steps at Carmel, and will it be there that I'll make my last?. . . How I'd like it to be so . . . How can you expect God to call to Himself a child who is not seeking to procure His glory? If I had more will power, would not this single thought give me more fervor in overcoming myself? I must be, then, a tepid and cowardly soul? If you only knew the sor­row this thought gives me because I feel that I am this very weak soul.

This is the third time I've begun my letter, on three different days? Today, in one of my walks, I came across an ant hill, and these little beasts gave me much to think about, furnishing me with a model. I saw their coming and going, with much fervor in their work, and I made this reflection: What is the goal and the reward of their efforts? They have none, and I who have a divine Master to love and serve, I remain inactive. The lesson from the ants was beneficial for me; I spent a blessed day, so this evening I am happy. Tell dear Mother that I have a little cell all to myself, and that I feel much at home there. First, I have a splendid view, and this does not harm the soul's ascensions. And then I love soli­tude so much; is it not there, more than anywhere else, that union of the soul with God becomes more intimate? Unfortunately, I am somewhat deprived in this matter, for I am not permitted to re­tire into my little room as much as I would like, a half hour at the most in the evening, and that is all.

Dear Thérèse, the four pages are filled, and this distresses me. If I were to listen to myself, I would talk with you indefinitely, but I have to fear Céline's wrath. She is already not pleased that I have taken up so much space. My darling's green eyes are terri­ble to take in the evening.

Adieu, dear little sister. Kiss dear Mother for me, and tell her how much I love her; my heart feels it, but it cannot express it. I kiss you with my whole heart. We received the photographs, and Mamma's has to be done over again. I beg you to tell Pauline this.

Your little sister

Marie of the Blessed Sacrament

What do you think of my name? It immerses me in deep meditation! As for myself, I see a divine inspiration in this, and I don't know another name that would give me more joy. What a beautiful title! However, noblesse oblige. . . Let us console God's Heart; never before did I understand what outrages He is made the object of in the Sacrament of His love. You ought to come into these country places to see continual examples of these outrages.

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc

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