August 19, 1894.
This is perhaps the last time that I need have recourse to writing in order to talk to you, my dear little sister. God in His goodness has granted my dearest wish. Come, and we will suffer together . . . Then Jesus will take one of us, and the others will remain in exile yet a little longer. Now, listen well to what I am going to say: God will never, never separate us; and if I die before you, do not think that I shall be far away -- never shall we have been more closely united. You must not be grieved at my childish prophecy. I am not ill, I have an iron constitution; but the Lord can break iron as if it were clay.
Our dear Father makes his presence felt in a way which touches me deeply. After a death lasting for five long years, what joy to find him as he used to be, nay, more a father than ever! How well he is going to repay you for the care you so generously bestowed on him! You were his Angel, now he will be yours. He has only been one month in heaven, and already, through the power of his intercession, all your plans are succeeding. It is easy for him now to arrange matters for us, and he has had less to suffer on Céline's account than he had for his poor little Queen.
For a long time you have been asking me for news about the noviciate, especially about my work, and now I am going to satisfy you. In my dealings with the novices I am like a setter on the scent of game. The rôle gives me much anxiety because it so very exacting. You shall decide for yourself if this be not the case. All day long, from morn till night, I am in pursuit of game. Mother Prioress and the Novice Mistress play the part of sportsmen -- but sportsmen are too big to be creeping through the cover, whereas a little dog can push its way in anywhere . . . and then its scent is so keen! I keep a close watch upon my little rabbits; I do not want to do them any harm, but I tell them gently: |You must keep your fur glossy, and must not look foolishly about as does a rabbit of the warren.| In fact, I try to make them such as the Hunter of Souls would have them, simple little creatures that go on browsing heedless of everything else.
I laugh now, but seriously I am quite convinced that one of these rabbits -- you know which one I mean -- is worth a hundred times more than the setter; it has run through many a danger, and I own that, had I been in its place, I should have long since been lost for ever in the great forest of the world.