|Title:||Coogan, Michael (Brother Declan) to Coogan (n. Nolan), Catherine, 1877|
|Sender||Coogan, Michael (Brother Declan)|
|Origin||Mt. Melleray, Cappoquin, Co. Waterford|
|Destination||Harlem, NYC, USA|
|Recipient||Coogan (n. Nolan), Catherine|
|Genre||consoling his mother, religious commentary, photograph|
|Transcript||Mount Melleray Abbey|
Cappoquin, County Waterford
November 14th, 1877
My Dear Mother
I write to you now and I hope it will not be for the last time to try to console you under your heavy afflictions which are now I believe enormous. I'm afraid you'll sink under them if you continue fretting as you are. God in his mercy has given you a very long life, and it seems reasonable to hope that from your long life and many trials, God has a high throne prepared for you in heaven. But take care and don't frustrate his merciful designs in your regard by a want of resignation. All our trials and Crosses in this life are either sent or permitted by the Almighty for our sanctification and eternal welfare.
My Dear Mother, always remember that your fretting is no use to yourself or anyone else. On the contrary it's injurious to you all. I'm always afflicted when I hear of you acting so unwisely because I know it's displeasing to God and injurious to your own soul. So in God's name give it up and be resigned perfectly to his holy will, offer up to God every day, and frequently in the day, all your Crosses and Sufferings and Sorrows as far as they are pleasing in his Light in union with the suffering of his divine Son for His greater honour and glory and in satisfaction for your sins and offences, and those of the whole world, and to obtain all the graces and blessing which you all require for your salvation and sanctification, and thus you will obtain multitudes of graces and blessing and besides you will give great glory to God. And you may rest assured that He will never abandon you, or any of those whom you'll leave behind when he calls you to himself, unless indeed they neglect their religious duties, or in any other way live in mortal sin or in the willful proximate occasion of sin, then indeed if they do God may send them trials most severe to punish them for their unfaithfulness. I have heard from good authority that many in America are leading careless sinful lives, neglecting their duty to God. And who can tell how soon God will call them to account and then what will become of them at his terrible Judgement if they are not prepared. But I hope none amongst our family are so unfortunate.They know their duty too well for that. They know that if they willfully fall into mortal sin and live so even for one day, they may at any moment be dashed into hell for all eternity. I hope now you won't be afflicting me and yourself by this trouble any more but let all your thoughts be directed to God. And be always preparing for your last end. It's near at hand now; often think of the terrible torments of hell and that one mortal sin is sufficient to send you there for all eternity. And then often think of the joys of heaven which will certainly be ours if we be faithful to God and his graces here below. Go often to Confession and Holy Communion and be saying little prayers frequently during the day. Say acts of contrition, faith, hope, and charity, and beg of God to grant you grace to love him with all your heart and soul, and to grant you true contrition for your sins and grace to avoid all sin, even the least. And certainly your death will be most holy, and we will rejoice when we will meet in the lovely regions above, where the sun of immortal felicity never sets.
I thank you for sending me your love, and I return you mine in the kindest manner. I would send my likeness now but the man who used to come to take views and likenesses has left the locality long ago, but an opportunity may occur yet and I'll do so. I send my love to you all inclusive.
Your loving son till death,
Written in vertical lines in top margin:
Please do not be so long in future without writing to me.
My health is splendid, thank God. Don't despair.
Times in America will soon change for the better.
The cause of your trials will soon be removed.
Read this letter often, and remember the advice I have given you. Adieu