It's that time of year - sales everywhere, shops (online and in 3-D) luring us in to BOGO - buy one, get one free. But the Saints have a better plan they've asked me to share with you, so here we are with our new BNGTF, which I don't think will catch on, because it's so dang hard to pronounce acronyms without any vowels!
Nonetheless, I need to tell you what's happened today to let us know that Heaven is very interested in our every move. Not interested in us in a suspicious and judgmental way, but rather in a loving and laughing way - the Little Way, we like to call it!
I think I've confessed that I recently accidentally bought out amazon's ready supply of Marcel's Conversations (my absolute fave of his books, and to say the whole truth at once, my absolute fave book ever after the Bible). I didn't mean to; it isn't like I bought 30 copies, or even 3 (okay, so I did buy 3, but one was over at barnesandnoble.com) - one for a Miss Marcel with a large house and only 1 tattered copy of The Book, another for a Redemptorist priest I thought would like to meet his little brother, and the third for, well, for me because although my house isn't that large, my copy was getting so chock-full of bookmarks that I could hardly read the words hiding behind them, yet try as I might, it was too painful to remove them all (again) and lose my places . . .
So when my new copy arrived soon after I ordered it, I was shocked to find - first time ever - some sort of red nail polish like goo on the bottom of the book. Shocked and very pleased, I should add, for it offered me the chance to call amazon (they have THE nicest customer service people in Manila!) and explain I needed them to send me another copy for free. They agreed they should, and offered to send a return envelope for the red-spotted copy they'd sent already. I mentioned that I'd prefer to keep it, if it was all the same to them, since they'd simply throw out my favorite book, and that would be too sad. They agreed with this idea too. As I said, they are very nice in Manila.
Next thing I knew, nothing happened.
Which isn't entirely true because on my end, stateside, I carefully cut off the very bottom of the pages where the red goo was, and suddenly had a perfectly readable (if slightly marred, but not even very visibly) 2nd copy of Convos (not counting my husband's, naturally).
But my third copy, the BOGO copy, was not arriving, and sure enough on amazon it looked like they were entirely depleted of copies. Hmmmm.
Another call to Manila, and I opted for a refund. So it was now BNGO - that is, buy none, get one free. That worked for me! I had delighted in Marcel doubling my purchase, as if to say, "You've left every other book to follow me, the least I can do is give you two-fold in this life, and little Jesus will reward you 100-fold in the next." But sadly, it seemed he was keeping an eye on my finances and decided I needed the money more than the second (or rather third) copy. So the money (for the copy that arrived spotted) was refunded, and that was that.
Or so I thought.
But Marcel is an imp! He had more mischief up his soutane's sleeve than I knew!
For what came in the mail today?
The replacement copy of Conversations!
Well clearly, Heaven had in mind their famous Advent sale on grace, Saints, inspiration, and the like:
(Buy none, get two free! Though I tell you, we've got to come up with a clearer acronym.)
You can see, then, why Marcel had to be up top today, with his backpack that he's relieved to report is feeling lighter, now that he's handed over 2 books to me. Kind of a St. Nicholas moment, really.
But why is St. Anthony up there too?
Well this is Heaven we're talking about, and they don't do things by halves, but by doubles.
So it wasn't just my new Conversations that came in the mail today, courtesy of Marcel.
MY DRIVER"S LICENSE came too, courtesy of St. Anthony!
And just in time, because apparently St. Anthony has quickly become accustomed to top billing here, and wants more of the action. So much so that he - picking up on Marcel's tricks - pulled a fast one on me this past Saturday . . .
For Saturday, Feast of Our Lady's Immaculate Conception, having stayed up way too late and gotten up way too early, I found myself in a church hall about an hour from us, ready to teach a class on Therese's letters to my dear brother and sister Carmelites, except that as we were about to begin, as if I were still in an anxiety dream, I couldn't find my page of notes (for teaching the class). Copies of our sister's Letters? Check. Picture of her smiling out at the class? Check. Homework for the next two months? Check. Copies of the prayer we'd all say to begin class? Check. Paper without which I'd be lost? Missing.
I couldn't believe that after staying up so late packing the car with every possible item I'd need (Christmas cards? Check. Dessert for the potluck? Check. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera), I'd forgotten the one item I really absolutely needed! I said a quick "ANTO" in my head. I turned to my husband and asked for a prayer. I turned the other direction and asked my friend CH for the same. She said, "Have YOU prayed?" "Yes," I replied, "I called out to St. Anthony, but," (and here I imagine I became rather muddled sounding because I don't think CH had seen our recent St. Anthony post that was so quickly bumped by our Prayer for France post), "maybe he wants to be bumped back up to the top again!"
And no sooner did I suggest such a thing, then I found the paper right in front of me.
I think St. Anthony has more than his picture for us (and note how he and little Jesus are no longer arguing! As soon as St. Anthony gave in and little Jesus got His way, all was harmony between them again). I think, more importantly, he's saying, "Look, I have nothing against these new kids on the block. Therese, Marcel, they're sweethearts and they belong in your life. But that doesn't mean I'm going away, and a little face time now and then would be much appreciated. There are a LOT of people with lost items out there, and you need to remind them I'm here for them, 24/7!"
And then my DL arrived today, and clearly it's another BNGTF special. Okay, so I had to offer various bribes to St. Anto to get the license back, and the same final gift (a special guest appearance here at Miss Marcel's Musings) got my class outline back to me as well . . . So he could be trying to tell us, "If you want to find your lost items, start a blog and prominently feature St. Anthony and little Jesus in a place of honor!" but I think St. Anthony's urgent message is not merely that.
I'm pretty sure he wanted to assure me that this wasn't, actually, about him.
He simply wants us to know that the Saints all love us like crazy, they're willing to help us out day or night, Friday, Saturday, Monday (probably Sundays too, and so on), and we should never doubt their compassion and kindness - which is only the smallest glimmer of the Limitless Love and Infinite Solicitude of the Blessed and Adorable Trinity for us!
We need this message, this moral, this lesson, this promise, again and again and again!
More like BNGIF - buy none, get infinity free, or perhaps BNGEF would be more true: Buy none, get eternity free.
Meanwhile, the mail also contained a lovely card with Marcel's dear brother Redemptorist St. Gerard on the front, and the message inside: "Thank you very much for the book. I'm enjoying getting to know little Brother Marcel Van, CSsR."
Hooray! Marcel is conquering another heart for little Jesus - well, a heart that already has long belonged to our Spouse, but still, there's always room for more love and another BFF (that's Best Friend Forever, but I bet you knew that without my telling you)!
So thank you St. Anthony, thank you Marcel, thank you dear Therese for all your unbounded affection and lovely roses. Including amazon having plenty of Conversations back in stock, in case any one needs a second or third copy for Christmas (and if it's a first, or a gift, even better)! As to little Jesus, let's pray that we can cash in on His goodness if not by free books (I'm afraid they're likely to cost again) but best of all by bringing - for fun and for FREE - every single soul in the world into His Kingdom of Love this Advent and Christmas! It's as easy as saying our closing prayer:
Draw me, we will run!
I've written books and articles and even a novel. Now it's time to try a blog! For more about me personally, go to the home page and you'll get the whole scoop! If you want to send me an email, feel free to click "Contact Me" below.