by Catherine Doherty and Peggy.
September 5, 2003
Dear Postulator of Catherine’s Cause,
"Aunt Kate" [Catherine Doherty] wrote this letter and sent this snapshot to me more than forty years ago. It is a much treasured possession of mine.
However, I felt the beauty of her message as well as the wonderful photo should be shared with all who love her. So I made a copy to keep and am sending you the originals. If you already have too much material and don’t need/want them, please send them back to me.
But my hope is that her loving words will touch someone else’s heart the way they have touched mine.
God’s love to you,
December 20, 1965
The Christ Child sometimes brings to people unexpected gifts, gifts so beautiful, so perfect, that those who receive them cry for joy! The Christ Child brought me such a gift today in the letter of your mother.
It is a perfectly simple gift. It was a slip of green paper, a check, on which there was written "Madonna House Apostolate," the name and address of your mother and father, and the amount of ten dollars.
As I look at it, I have tears in my eyes because it is not at all a piece of paper. It is not even the "silver and gold" alone that it brings to my desk. It brings me the heart of a young girl who loves God so much in his poor, so much that she foregoes her own Christmas present for Christ in other children.
Some day when you will have children of your own or serve God wherever he wants you to serve, he will remember that gift for, I repeat, it isn’t a piece of paper.
It is gay, lovely, red, blue, and white candies pouring out of a nice Christmas box into the hands of a child who perhaps never sees a candy from one year to another.
It is a toy to crown the heart of a little baby—a rattle maybe, a bunny, a teddy bear to hug and to sleep with and to be happy about.
It is a big doll for a little girl who never had a doll. It is a mechanical toy or a set of little cars that a little boy far away in a forest in a little farm house dreamt about as he looked at the various old Sears and Roebuck catalogs but never expected to see.
It is a red ribbon for that twelve-year-old and about her tiny wrist a bracelet with the cutest charms. It is a pair of nice warm bed slippers for Grandma.
It is a lovely picture of Our Lady or Our Lord to hang in the poor house that has no pictures at all and to bless it not only because it is the picture of Our Lord but because it came to those nice people who have so little and came from the heart of a young girl that was filled so much with the love of God and his poor.
Yes, darling, it is all of these things. But it is so much more.
It is a young girl kneeling before the crib to pray to the Lord Jesus and suddenly finding that he is playing with all the things that I mentioned because they were given to little children and men and women who were poor, and because of that, they are in his crib even unto the bed slippers for Grandma and the pen knife, sharp and good, that Grandpa wanted to whittle with.
Yes, all those things a young girl who loved God so much will find at the crib or under her tree at Christmas, I am sure. So thank you for a gift beyond all thanks.
P.S. May I call myself "Aunt Kate" for you? And here is my picture. I love donkeys. A donkey carried Our Lady. A donkey carried Our Lord. So I love donkeys and miraculously enough, a donkey was found one day in Combermere when he came to visit me unexpectedly. This is my picture with him.
* Peggy is not her real name.
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