Letter 8-To his uncle.(1)
J. X. P.
St. Saviour's Retreat,(2) Broadway, Worcestershire,
22nd March, 1867.
I am happy to let you know that I am still in good health and that, by God's grace, everything is going well. Your last letter, written on 22nd January, 1867, arrived here on the 24th, and I offered Mass on the 25th for my dear sister, Mary Christine. I have remembered her during my Masses, and the community have prayed for her. I hope she is keeping better now. I am glad to hear that you are well, uncle, and that my brothers and sisters and our niece Philomena are all enjoying good health. I hope God grants Philomena the grace to persevere in the Redemptoristine monastery. Now a few words for my sister Mary Christine: I hope she will bear her illness with resignation, because this is God's will, and with devotion, since this will be to her advantage. She must not lose heart in her sufferings and should think of the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. St. Paul says: "The Lord chastises those whom he loves." May my sister grow used to saying these words: "Blessed be God! Thy will be done! I adore your holy will! My God, I thank you for this illness, for crosses, etc. " (3)
God tried Saint Lylwina with sickness for thirty years; her patience made her a great saint.
My dear uncle, I am indebted to you not just financially but in so many other ways too; I hope you will forgive me if I have failed to pay you back. (4) My kindest regards to you, uncle, and to all my brothers and sisters, and my niece Philomena.
I remember you all in my prayers; please pray for me.
My best wishes to the rest of the family, to Father Gobbels and the curate, and to our other friends and acquaintances. My superiors send you their good wishes.
Your loving nephew,
Fr. Charles of St. Andrew, Passionist.
1. Summ. p. 336, L. 17.
2. Charles arrived in Broadway from Mount Argus on 4th July, 1866.
3. The words Charles writes to his sister remind us of the teaching of St. Paul of the Cross who, in a letter to his brothers and sisters, taught them this prayer of abandonment to God's will: "Your holy will be done! Welcome be our troubles! Sweet suffering, I embrace you. I press you to my heart! May you be the delights that my Lord sends me! How beautiful to suffer! Dear hand of God, I kiss you! Blessed be the scourge which so gently strikes me! Dear Father, you humble me for my own good. Dear God, your scourges are the joy of my heart; yes, yes, dear Jesus, to suffer or die!" (St. Paul of the Cross, Words from the Heart, Dublin, 1976 p. 53).
4. He had lived with his uncle, mayor Luyten, during his last years at school.