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Sister Pauline who had been waiting patiently beside her for some minutes, was at last obliged to touch her.
“ You are to come home with me,” she whispered, “and spend the whole day with us.”
Ottilie sprang to her feet.Oh, what happiness this was ! It meant not only tea in the afternoon and the Christmas-tree afterwards, but breakfast and even dinner with the Sisters; and helping Sister Pauline and Sister Gertrude to get ready for the evening, and perhaps even getting the flowers and fresh water ready for Sister Leonora to put in the Chapel. Oh, what a happy, happy Christmas this was after all. Had she not done well to tell herself that God was indeed good to her ?
She walked briskly along by Sister Pauline's side, and did great justice to her breakfast of bread and milk. Still not till she had opened her heart to her kind friend could she begin the labours of the day.
“O, Sister Pauline,” she whispered directly the opportunity offered, “ I've got something I must tell you."
And sympathising Sister Pauline drew her aside into an embrasure of an ancient window, and waited to hear her story. There Ottilie told her dream, and her promise which she had ratified scarcely an hour before, kneeling at the altar.
And how can I keep it ?" she asked anxiously.
By serving God wherever He may place you,” answered Sister Pauline; “not by expecting great things and wasting your life till they come to you: but by striving humbly to do your duty cheerfully and thankfully in ordinary matters day by day, remembering always that He never puts us in any position in which we cannot serve Him, and that a rejoicing heart is one of the best offerings we can make Him. But now that you have told me everything, we must get to work, and you shall come and help me to cut up the cake for tea.”
So saying Sister Pauline drew Ottilie to her and kissed her kindly.
The happy day passed all too quickly away, but Ottilie, by God's grace, never forgot its lesson.
Yet she never rose to be anything greater than a domestic servant.
Nearly fifty years afterwards, when Ottilie’s masters brought the corpse of their trusty and trusted old housekeeper back to lie in the "God's acre" of the old Alsatian town, they said to Sister Pauline's successor, to whom Ottilie's story was familiar: “If ever a faithful servant of God and of her masters was laid to rest, it has been done this day. The watchword of her life was, Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might—as to the LORD, and not to
C. H. M. B.
HYMN FOR HOLY COMMUNION.
With food Divine !
The heav'nly Wine!
A pilgrim band,
Our promised land.
Is drawing near, -
To fill with fear,
This table fair,
And lighten care.
BOMBAY MISSION WORKS.
Poona, which most of us think of as a "good station," a pleasant place to be sent to if one has to live in India,-a place where fashionable gatherings abound, and the busy world goes on its way rejoicing after its fashion,—has somewhat suddenly come to be a city of very special interest to those of the Church Catholic interested in the Bombay diocese.
Notes gathered from a letter written by one recently returned from India will therefore just now be interesting, and answer some of the many inquiries relating to Poona.
“Next to the capital itself, Poona is one of the most important places in the Bombay Presidency. It is during a considerable portion of the year, the seat of the local government, which holds its meetings in the Council Hall. The Governors reside in a charming country seat about five miles distance. From June till October the place is very full, as the climate during that rainy season is very pleasant. Many English people reside there all the year round. . . There is no real cold, but a sharp dry wind, which is trying at times, --still it is only to some constitutions that the air of the Deccan proves really prejudicial; the heat of the hot season is such as can only be understood by experience. In the city itself the houses stand thickly together : there only the natives live. The present Zenana workers are hard at work there. Then there is the Poona Bazaar, which though not in the city is crowded with shops and houses. Then there are detached houses or bungalows (in Anglo-Indian parlance) dotted about. European barracks on the south and east, and the river on the north. At S. Paul's Church there is daily service, and a weekly celebration. Poona
may be looked upon as the head-quarters of the Brahmins in the Western Presidency, though Nassich is their more sacred city, where they occupy many influential positions. The Eurasians (a halfcaste race speaking English, and Christians by profession,) also the poor white population demand great attention and require much help from those who have gone out as missionaries. It is possible the Mission lately held at S. Mary's Church, Poona, was the beginning of real work amongst them.”
Poona is about one hundred miles from Bombay. The railway journey takes some five hours.
Soon after the Bishop of Bombay reached India he decided that Bombay itself was not the best place for the “ Sisters," and he therefore turned his attention to, and finally selected Poona as their headquarters. The little band who sailed in the “ India” from Liver. pool on the 10th of November, are now well at work in their new home. It was doubtless a sad disappointment to the Mission party that after all the “ India” did not touch at Naples, where the Bishop of Bombay had remained, on purpose to greet them. Still there is much, very much, to be thankful for ; for on the 10th not only did the Wantage Sisters set sail for India, but the Rev. Father Goeh and another brother from Cowley. The Rev. Stansfield Rivington, from Cuddesdon ; Mr. Percy Ellice, from S. Augustine's, Canterbury; and Mr. King : all these, one in faith, in doctrine, in practice, will be a mighty support to those already at work,—may many more follow, may many this new year awake to their awful responsibilities regarding India, ay, regarding every soul over which they have any power.
The two ladies who have been collecting for the Wantage Sisters' work at Poona, Mrs. Douglas and Miss Maclachlan, will continue to do so, forwarding their moneys from time to time to the Rev. Canon Butler. It may again be stated that all help given, whether in money or “ kind,” (clothing, books, &c.,) to S. Mary's Home, Wantage, is a very efficient means of assisting the branch house at Poona. Letters regarding needlework, and inquiries as to what will be most useful to the Sisters should be addressed to Mrs. Douglas, her residence in India giving her the power to answer correctly.
Canon King, and others, have called attention to how much time our Blessed LORD while on earth devoted to the care of the suffering bodies as well as the sin-sick souls of His creatures. It is therefore with deep thankfulness known that the Dispensary was to be opened in December, 1877, and as “owing to the generosity of a single donor the money wanted for the Medical Mission has been supplied,” ere long the Cottage Hospital too will be established at Poona.
Many know how when the whole heart is sick, when oppressed and broken in spirit from bodily suffering, the Great Physician is often brought near by the means of an earthly vessel, who while he binds up the wounds, and quenches the thirst can (oh let us thank Almighty God for our many God-fearing doctors, for the Guild of S. Luke for medical men, and for all using their powers to insist upon, impress upon others the holiness of the human body) speak to ears that never heard of One Who can heal perfectly, of the water of life, that those who drink thereof can thirst no more. Let us be hearty in our thanksgiving, let us pray earnestly that by the ministry of loving hands hearts may be won, and that by going to and from the Dispensary many may learn to go to their FATHER Who has provided this help by the way, and back to their daily toil with a new life growing up in them : that many may go out from the Hospital to tell what great things have been done unto their soul and body: that others who would have died without the knowledge of a Saviour but for the Poona Cottage Home, may be borne from thence by their waiting angels to join the company of the spirits redeemed from every nation and kindred and tongue to swell the Alleluia. Let us answer, Amen, Amen.
The Rev. B. Dully, Bishop's Chaplain, and Priest in charge of the Poona Mission, says, referring to the great number of heathen children, who by the late awful famine have been deprived of, or deserted by, their parents,—"The Bishop of Bombay has already started in Poona an orphanage to receive these small starvelings. It is a blessed work to save them certainly from heathenism,” (mark that “ certainly,")
probably from death. Some die indeed after they come to us,-one small child has just done so, a few days after having received holy baptism. Who can tell the value of that one soul thus brought into His fold, taken unto Him with its baptismal grace fresh and untarnished ?"
“JESUS called a little child.”
Oh, Catholic mothers, you who have been teaching your little ones the story of the Babe of Bethlehem,—why He came to earth, why He was born in a stable; you who will on Sunday and holy day, fast day and feast, teach your own children the great truths of the Church, will you not find room in your hearts for these little "starvelings” too? Will you not now at once make your children feel interested in, take thought for, their little sable brothers and sisters ? For it was for them as well as for us there was the first Christmas,—there was an all Holy all Pure Child.
The cost of one of these orphans would be about £8 per annum. Mothers and children who cannot give so much, could give small sums towards at least one £8.
To avoid confusion and waste of time incidental to asking, any wishing to help should state the sum they will give (or collect annually) in writing, and send the same sum at the same time yearly. Letters containing promises of assistance will be carefully handed on to one who will attend to this work.
There is something inexpressibly touching in a man going into the minutiæ that "Each person who will make themselves responsible for one £8 shall have the child's photograph sent, give the Christian name, and receive regular tidings of the little one."
Any one who wishes may write direct to Mr. Dully, but surely we,