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September 23, 1890.

O Céline, how can I tell you all that is happening within me? What a wound I have received! And yet I feel it is inflicted by a loving Hand, by a Hand divinely jealous.

All was ready for my espousals;210210Soeur Thérèse received the veil on September 24, 1890. but do you not think that something was still wanting to the feast? It is true, Jesus had already enriched me with many jewels, but no doubt there was one of incomparable beauty still missing; this priceless diamond He has given me to-day . . . Papa will not be here to-morrow! Céline, I confess that I have cried bitterly. . . . I am still crying so that I can scarcely hold my pen.

You know how intensely I longed to see our dearest Father again; but now I feel that it is God's Will that he should not be at my feast. God has allowed it simply to try our love. Jesus wishes me to be an orphan . . . to be alone, with Him alone, so that He may unite Himself more closely to me. He wishes, too, to give me back in Heaven this joy so lawfully desired, but which He has denied me here on earth.

To-day's trial is one of those sorrows that are difficult to understand: a joy was set before us, one most natural and easy of attainment. We stretched forth our hands . . . and the coveted joy was withdrawn. But it is not the hand of man which has done this thing—it is God's work. Céline, understand your Thérèse, and let us accept cheerfully the thorn which is offered us. To-morrow's feast will be one of tears, but I feel that Jesus will be greatly consoled. . . .

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