Eve of the Ascension
May 20, 1857
In thinking of the beautiful feast we celebrate tomorrow, my Reverend Mothers and good Daughters, I have experienced true consolation in comparing you to the newborn Church, in which all the faithful, persevering in prayer, formed one heart and one soul. The instruction which I have found, in entering into this little solitude, has been for me the consoling measure of charity which you have given in helping one another compete for the greater good.
Difficulties and privations will be imposed on us during our time here, it is true, but I cannot tell you, my good Mothers and Daughters, how much I rejoice sincerely that Our Lord deigned to precede this time, in which it is given to us to undertake a great many works for [the Lord’s] greater glory, with a time of solitude and abnegation, in which we can strengthen ourselves in the practice of interior virtues. I would have trembled if He had not placed this store of humility and poverty on the littlest Society of his divine Heart. And while we toil at the construction of this material edifice,* destined for works of zeal and charity, to serve as asylum for those who come into solitude seeking some moments of rest and new strength, to toil at the work of the Society; we toil in that small cenacle to raise on solid foundations our interior edifice, casting it onto the foundations in Jesus Christ, that is to say, on humility and obedience, two virtues by which nearly his whole life is summarized.
Our mission may be that of Moses, who prayed and raised his imploring hands toward heaven without ceasing, while the children of Israel fought the soldiers of the Lord. We pray so much, we pray always, above all for this generous fidelity in the accomplishment of all our duties, this gentleness of heart for Our Lord that holds back nothing from him, and to which he holds back nothing in return. We pray for our children who are preparing for their first Communion, we pray for the needs of our little Society, who sees the efforts of hell raging against her to the degree that she attracts souls.
Let us encourage one another to continue following our divine Chief, who will reward our little sacrifices here below with an eternal reward.
*In 1857, the Society was building the Mother House on Bd. des Invalides, on the grounds of the Hôtel Biron.