A letter from Mary MacKillop - 1867

24 November 1867 - Adelaide

My dearest Mamma,

You are punishing me for my long delay in answering your last letter, but if you are well and your mind happy, I have cause to be thankful indeed. I never have cause to be anything else.

My Father Director has given me permission to write once a month to you – ‘tis now five weeks since I last wrote, and if my poor letters can give you any comfort, you shall, please God, have them regularly in future. My love and feeling for you have not cooled. I remember all the past but cannot grieve, nor can I when I think of your present lonely position, for at the same time I think of our dear, good and merciful God who has so honoured you and me, and it seems to me but a very poor offering I have to make Him when I lay your loneliness and sorrow before Him and beg of Him to accept my poor heart in spite of its unworthiness, and to be Himself your sweet and only Comforter.

Oh Mamma, if you but knew what the Sisters of St Joseph ought to be, and can be, too, if they but correspond with the graces they receive, you would rejoice more and more every day that you have one child amongst them and you would try to send another too. Now I suppose you will shake your head at this, but never mind, I am sure you won’t resist God’s Holy Will, and when the proper time comes, I hope dear Lexie will come too, but it will be sooner than you think, at least I hope so.

Did Peter like his letter? The poor child must have thought I had forgotten him. I cannot write more, for ‘tis time to go to bed – and I have not permission to sit up. You know I have to obey our holy Rule to the letter. Pray, my own dear Mamma, that I may have the grace to do so.

Monday morning – Father Woods is going to the North today and will see Donald. The poor boy will also think I am neglecting him – but when I know he is well, I do other things instead of writing to him. Give John my love when you write, and please tell him that, though I am a poor Nun at last, he may write to me.

Fond love to yourself and pray, dear Mamma for
Your affectionate child in J.M.J.
Mary of the Cross – Sister of St Joseph

Please write to me, and give Papa my love – ask him to write too.

Reprinted with permission from Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart.

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