What do St. John the Evangelist, Servant of God Marcel Van, and Miss Marcel/Suzie Andres all have in common? I shouldn't have given it away in the title of this post, but there it is, we are all Apostles of Love! There's more than that, however, linking us together, and I wonder if you'll be surprised to hear what it is.
What were you doing a year ago yesterday? I know at least one thing I was doing . . .
Perhaps you were reading Miss Marcel's first post at her page of Musings?
For though time has flown, it turns out to be exactly a year and a day since, on the feast of St. John the Beloved, December 27, 2017, I began writing and posting here, first with "Never Say Never," quickly followed by "Why Miss Marcel?" The next day (that is a year ago today) brought "Quintessential Marcel," and on December 30, 2017, at last that burning question, "Who is Marcel Van?" was answered with joy and gladness and copious photos.
If you weren't here then and haven't had a chance to scroll back that far since, I sure hope you'll enjoy a cup of hot cocoa, coffee, or tea, or a glass of wine or a G & T (or hot toddy if it's cold where you live, though I confess I don't quite know what one is) while you stroll back down memory lane by clicking the bold titles above.
Funny it didn't occur to me at the time (not that I remember now, at least) that I was beginning to write this blog on the very feast of St. John the Evangelist, Apostle of Love. God must've had it in mind, though, because what feast could be more fitting on which to begin writing about His more recent Apostle of Love, little Marcel Van? In this year since our beginning, I've only become more convinced that Marcel is truly the second Therese, God's inspired messenger of the Little Way, the one sent to bring again, but in an even more convincing format. the good news of the limitless love of the Spouse of our souls.
In order to do justice to this anniversary, I'd like to transcribe the whole of Marcel's Conversations (with Jesus, Mary, and St. Therese) in this post, but alas, that would take longer than the waning hours of this day, and we'd end up being perhaps two days and two dollars short, instead of just one! I will instead, then, pledge to continue writing and posting from Conversations throughout the coming year (and hopefully years) ahead, and meanwhile give you simply a taste today of one of Jesus and Marcel's chit-chats. In doing so, I rejoice to continue my own apostolate of love. How blessed I am to be able to transcribe Marcel's transcriptions of his conversations with Love Incarnate! Thank You, dear little Jesus, for giving me someone to write about, and thank you, dear little reader, for giving me someone to write about him for!
And now, a snippet of Marcel's Conversations. From this day, 63 years ago, December 28, 1945:
Marcel: Little Jesus, yesterday I heard certain brothers state that they were surprised to encounter many expressions in books which would not be pleasing to You and which, according to them, should not be employed except for men of the world since they indicated a profane love. Have these brethren never recognized You as being their friend? However, I believed that all were Your friends. So, why do they find it strange that one uses words that express a deep intimacy with You? Moreover, I notice that You use these so-called unsuitable expressions all the time in Your dealings with me.
Jesus: My dear little brother, I am covering you unceasingly with kisses and I keep my lips forever pressed against your cheek. Marcel, there is no need for a long speech to reply to your quite natural question. My dear little Marcel, do you know why it is like this? I have already told you that a good number of my spouses do not know what to say to their Spouse and are so ignorant that they do not know that He who is the object of their affection is truly their Spouse. What is even more regrettable is that after having recognized them as my spouses, they, on their part, dare not recognize me as their Spouse, considering that it is madness on my part to act as I do. They also find offensive and intolerable the intimate words which my other spouses address to me . . . Finally, I am adding this: the reason for all this is that these spouses do not have enough humility to understand clearly their dignity as children of God and spouses of Christ, since God is at the same time Father, Spouse, and Master . . .
If all my spouses understood that I am also their Spouse, they would never dare to refuse this dignity of being my spouses; but because they do not wish to humble themselves sufficiently, they never succeed in recognizing the love that I show to them, since this love is without limit . . . So Marcel, the only thing to do in order to recognize my love is to humble oneself. Marcel, say this to souls: 'To see My love it is not necessary to analyze it; it is sufficient to humble oneself.'
Little Marcel, do you love me? How do you love me? Tell me what names you give to me. Oh! Little Marcel, love me. Love me just as I love myself, love me madly and all that you love, love it only through love for me. Marcel, call me your little Spouse; call me the butterfly nestled on the little flower of your soul to breathe in the honey and enjoy its fragrance; call me, again, the aeroplane which takes you away to circle in infinite love . . . Yes, Marcel, give me all these names.
Now, Marcel, do you want something? Do you want me to give you a kiss? I am going to give you one, all right?
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Let's tell little Jesus, Spouse of our souls too, that it is totally all right for Him to give us His kisses! He is waiting to shower us with His limitless love, so on this feast of the Holy Innocents, let's ask Mary our Mother to keep us little in her arms, on her lap with Marcel and Therese, ready for all the kisses Jesus wants to bestow upon us!
And while we're at it, let's invite the whole world to join us! As Jesus explained to Marcel (and as Marcel had learned from the words of his fellow religious), many even of those who love Him don't yet understand the intimacy with which He, the true Spouse of their souls, wants to love them. Let's pray, then, in the words Therese taught us, having borrowed them from God's word in the Song of Songs:
Draw me, we will run!
We love You, little Jesus! Kiss all the Holy Innocents for us today, and may their prayers bring us a renewed innocence and simplicity in Your smiling presence. Thank You for being the Spouse of our souls! And thank You for giving us Marcel, as well as St. John, to remind us of Your limitless love!
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Okay, I shouldn't be surprised, not the teensiest tinsiest bit. Because after all, as I said then and I've only become more sure of since, "I AM MARCEL." (Not to frighten you or make you worry for my sanity; just paraphrasing Merle Oberon in Hollywood's Wuthering Heights.) In other words, I am as forgetful as my little brother, and having just looked back at those original posts whose anniversary we're celebrating today, I've discovered that yes, not only was I aware - a year ago yesterday - that I was beginning this blog on St. John's feast day, but I was aware too of the significance, and I called us all (St. John, Marcel, and Miss Marcel) Apostles of Love!
Ah, but what is worth saying, is worth saying twice (and far more often for those of us losing our senses and/or our memories!), so I'm glad to have said it again. And I'm smiling hugely to know that without a doubt I am Miss Marcel in deficit of memory at the very least! May your every other word bring you the limitless humility forced upon me by mine, and may our mutual humility make us the perfect little receptacles for our Spouse's infinitely solicitous, tender and compassionate limitless love! Not to mention His kisses!
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