We must become a people truly strong ... by the valiant nobility of character of all of us, from the humblest to the greatest. Chastity, determination, and the dignity of life should be perpetually taught and developed in all. Woman, whose immense role and influence [the French] do not yet fully grasp, and who does not always grasp it herself, should from now on realize her task and consecrate her life to it.
To recoil from duty and sacrifice is cowardly ... [I]t is a duty to have a care for those in less fortunate circumstances than our own in the matter of wealth or education; it is a duty to develop unceasingly one's intelligence, to strengthen one's character, to become a creature of thought and will; it is a duty to view life with joy and to face it with energy. Finally, it is a duty to be able to understand one's time and not despair of the future.
All this woman can do. As much as man, she is a being who thinks, acts, and loves; she can proudly reclaim her right to duty. But for that she must come and draw her strength from the source of all strength, and to increase her intelligence she must bring it into contact with the supreme Intelligence. But this also is true of man. He also is powerless without God ... God must live in our hearts and lives.
- Elisabeth Leseur, from her Journal on July 30, 1900
|Elisabeth and her husband, Felix.|