From Isidore Guérin to sr Marie of the Sacred Heart - October 15, 1886.

From Isidore Guérin to Marie of the Sacred Heart.

October 15, 1886

This was written on the same day as Marie's en­trance into Carmel.

Lisieux, October 15, 1886


My very dear Daughter,

I'm interrupting my letter to Mother Prioress of the Poor Clares in order to speak to you for a few moments. I will not go to see you so as not to tire your courage and to steal from your dear sisters the precious time you owe them and to which I have no right whatsoever. The sacrifice, then, is complete, and what a sacrifice: your youth, your beauty, family, tastes, well-being, freedom, and the world! All the natural and legitimate affections that God has put in your heart, you violently tear out in order to have but one alone: His own. What intoxicating words does this jealous God use, then, to draw all these young hearts, hungry for an ideal, to Him, and thus break even the sweetest bonds? -His words are incomprehensible to mankind; they are an alternately smooth and terrible music, whose divine chords can only be heard by the privileged souls whom He has nourished with his flesh and blood.

[1v°] You understood these mysterious chords that gave you a glimpse of the unknown world where the kind Sovereign is eternally praised. However they were faint and muddled, and instead of the calm they should have brought in your soul, for you they were a source of terror and anguish. How incomprehensible are God's ways and how poor human reason must bow before His unfath­omable designs! For Pauline, He casts roses beneath her feet; she is pierced by the thorns, but the scent of the roses inebriates her, and the Beloved's melodious voice lessens the suffering. She hears His loving call distinctly: "Come, my Dove, rest on my Heart. Fly quickly away from the despicable and misleading world which can only soil your white plumage in the black and fetid mud in which it wallows." From you, my dear, He hides the roses; the thorns alone strike your view, and He is spreading them abun­dantly beneath your feet. The path you must follow becomes in­visible because of them, and your poor feet are made bloody by them. However, you advance without turning your head, being guided by a feeble voice whose few sighs you can distinguish amid the outbursts of the storm raging within your heart. "This way, my beloved daughter; here you will discover the peace and perfect joy after which you hunger. I will shelter you within my Heart burning with an inextinguishable love for you; we will share our sufferings, and you will forget your pains in the im­mense profundity of mine. Come quickly, then, my fiancée, so that I may place on your forehead the seal of our covenant which will unite you to Me and my Mother, taking henceforth the name of Marie of the Sacred Heart."

To Léonie, He is showing an immense desert in which sandy paths crisscross in all directions. She hears His voice only in­distinctly at a distance, and the poor child walks timidly in His direction, but the further she advances the further away His voice seems to be. She gets lost, always returning to her point of depar­ture. Suddenly, the lightning will tear through the clouds, a whirlwind will carry her off, her eyes will be opened, and she will be at port!

God's hand is upon us, my dear child, and we would have to be blind not to see it. What have we done for this Merciful God that He guides our steps in this way and showers the treasures of His blessings upon us? Alas, we have no other virtue except that of listening to His voice and being the children of relatives whose ac­cumulated merits, through successive generations, are being poured out on our souls in a fruitful dew.

Oh, my admirable and heroic daughter, how blessed are you now for having so courageously carried out your sacrifice, and how God's voice will be heard distinctly in your heart now that it rests in His! I am not worthy to have such adopted daughters, always expecting them to listen to the counsels of human prudence whereas their ears are so close to the lips of infinite Wisdom ; I’m crying and laughing as I write these lines. I’m crying at my wretchedness and laughing at my pride.

One day, God showed me an old tree laden with five beautiful fruits awaiting maturity; he ordered me to transplant that tree in­to my own garden. I obeyed Him. The fruits matured successive­ly, and the Child Jesus—just as He had done on the flight into Egypt —passed by three times and made a sign. The old tree bent down lovingly, each time without any complaint, and it allowed one of the ripe fruits to fall into the Child-God's hand. What an admirable spectacle, the spectacle of this new Abraham! What simplicity! What faith! What greatness! We are but dwarfs at this man's side!

My heart is overflowing, my dear child, I am being carried away by my pen and could write until tomorrow. I would prefer to stop talking, admire and adore.

I could live a thousand years without ever forgetting the calm and smiling face of Jesus’ new bride, as she received the farewells of her family and the blessing of her old Father. One worry will remain with me however; I fear I haven’t corresponded faithfully enough to God’s will and with my false wisdom to have contributed to sustaining a cause for unrest within your soul; although if I acted wrongly it was unintentional. 

Adieu, dear daughter. Pray to God for me and mine.
Your second father,
I. Guérin


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