16 December 1866 – Penola
My own dear Mamma,
I have been the cause of uneasiness and pain to you, but do not grieve nor lose heart at the thought of my having to leave you sooner than you expected. God in His infinite mercy has been extremely good to one and all of us. His greatest blessing has been what to the worldly eye appears a severe and heavy trial, or a continuation of trials. I mean the unfortunate position of our family.
Truly your life since I can remember has been a succession of trials. God knows how badly I bore my share, and how much I must have added to your sorrows by my impatience, but your cheerful resignation and confidence in the Divine goodness, ah! it will solace you now, or, at any rate, when my duty calls me away from you.
Yes, we must and will pray, we will resign ourselves to do God’s Will. That is all we want. Our pilgrimage in this world must have an end. Then, and not until then, shall we have our rest and reward.
Yours, my darling mother, will be great, for has not our Father shown His love in the crosses you have received. Don’t dread the future. I feel sure you won’t have cause. If my God calls me, unworthy as I am, to serve Him in a special manner, He will look over and save from too much care the mother I have so much cause to love.
If you cannot come up here, I must see you before any further change takes place. You occupy my thoughts too much for me to leave you without a struggle – but enough of this for the present.
Cheer up – John is all right, Maggie much better, Lexie, I hope, has written ere this to you, Annie is much improved in every respect, Uncle and family well.
I am writing in Father Woods’ study, Vespers to begin immediately, so I must see to the lights. I am truly grieved at the state of the Portland church, but you have our dear Lord there. Ah! make His Sacred Heart all the reparation you can.
My next won’t be so hurried if I can help it. Love to Mrs Finn. I will write to her during the holidays.
Your own loving child