I was so struck by this letter of Mother Mectilde de Bar to a religious of the monastery of Rouen that, after reading it, I had to translate it. Mother Mectilde wrote the letter in 1679.
Guard yourself well, my daughter, from making a tragedy of things. I foresaw that you would have struggles and be attacked harshly, but Our Lord has control of everything and, with His grace, I will help you and I will not abandon you, if you want to be faithful. Don’t be afraid of telling me everything that you want; I swear to you and promise you an inviolable secret, I will not disappoint you.
Come to me with simplicity and confidence. Your wounds are my wounds; your sins are my sins; I will suffer from them for both you and me. You know well that I am your mother and that you are my dear little child; believe that I love you tenderly and that I am your sincere friend.
I will hide you in my heart; I will have prayers to God made on your behalf. Your eternal interests will be my interests, and I will tell the Lord that I don’t want to go into paradise without you.
Know for certain that, with His grace, I will not abandon you. Hope in His mercy and in the merits of His death and of His Blood. It is of faith that, as soon as a sinner repents with all his heart of having offended God, He welcomes him in His mercy and pardons him all his sins. Take heart, then, suffer your anxieties and your troubles as a penance, but open your heart and have full confidence in me because, in Jesus, I am all yours.
Today I will try to see you. Don’t upset yourself: it is enough that you recognize that you are a sinner, and that you would willingly suffer all the pains of hell rather than ever offend so good a God, who is all powerful to pardon you and to forget your sins for ever. He wants to consume them in His blood; in a word, He wants to save you. You must make your way back to God, as to your Good Shepherd; He waits for you, to consume you in His love.