Happy new year from Father Pernet !
«I was wondering this morning what a good year was. According to me, and according to the almanac, it is a year when the seasons are in their place and each one produces its effect with a view to the general good, or to the overall good of the year.
First of all, there must be a rigorous winter, in its time, a winter that does not drag out and which does not scatter itself through the other seasons, in a word, there must be an honest winter that prepares the germination of the spring. When there is no winter, everything is affected.
Then a delightful spring, with the refreshing morning dew and the timely rain of evening, the spring with a reviving sun, young and warm, under whose action one can even hear the leaves sprouting.
Then a full-bodied summer, a sun that is unsparing and prepares the autumn with its abundant harvests and trees laden with fruit.
That is the good year. Well! It should be the same in the spiritual order. The good year that I wish for you, my daughters, is that in which nature is ground as in winter. That grinding is necessary in order to furnish the field of our soul, preparing it to receive the seed, the life from above that Our Lord brought to the earth.
What is suitable to wish for ourselves is that we be vigorous in death to ourselves, so that, when we have done this, the spring will come. Grace, heavenly dew, will refresh our souls, the sun, the Holy Spirit will fertilize the seed which is the word of God, and will make it germinate.
So, I wish this germination for you, because your souls are not like that universe in which the spring, the summer, the autumn and the winter invariably succeed one another. In the moral, spiritual world, the four seasons make themselves felt, I was going to say at the same time. Yes, there is always in us, the winter that saddens, the spring that delights; virtues that are beginning, others that are improving. Our soul must resemble the orange tree on which there are always leaves, flowers, fruits that are growing, and fruits that are fully mature.
If there is a winter and a spring in souls, there is also the summer which makes them pass through the trials and the ardours of the love of God.
When one can find in a soul that warmth, that divine ardour which makes it more apt for its duties, in that case it is life to the full.
I wish for you, that summer which is very warm, very heavy, but which is borne valiantly, I wish that you lend yourselves to all the demands and the delicacies of the love of God, to the support of the neighbour, to the difficulties of the mission, so that you may reach the autumn, that is to say, a rich harvest of merits that will be for us the end of life.
That is what I understand by a good year and that is what I wish for you, my very dear daughters, not only for 1893, but for all the years that will follow this one. Let us pray very much for the Church, for your country so threatened by the revolution;
let us pray for our religious family, that vocations may come, numerous and good, and that those who come to us may become stronger ».
(Etienne Pernet, according to the instruction of the 1st of January 1893