A Shower of Book-Roses from Heaven!!! or . . . Free Books, Unlimited Supply, Home Delivery! or . . . 125 years of Merciful Love!!!
"Thus says the Lord:
Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth;
The things of the past shall not be remembered or come to mind.
Instead, there shall always be rejoicing and happiness in what I create;
For I create Jerusalem to be a joy and its people to be a delight;
I will rejoice in Jerusalem and exult in my people.
No longer shall the sound of weeping be heard there, or the sound of crying;
No longer shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days,
or an old man who does not round out his full lifetime;
He dies a mere youth who reaches but a hundred years,
and he who fails of a hundred shall be thought accursed.
They shall live in the houses they build,
and eat the fruit of the vineyards they plant."
This first reading for Mass today, from Isaiah 65, sums up what is happening right now.
Am I getting all apocalyptic on you? Not a bit!
I'm just thrilled to read that God approves of our new crazy adventure with Little Way Books, coronavirus, Plenary Indulgences, FREE BOOKS, falling in love with Him again and again, and, shall I simply add: rejoicing in what He creates! Because WOW, He's been creating a lot lately, and it is so beautiful and good!
Our Father in Heaven says He creates us to be a joy and a delight; He wants to rejoice and exult in us!
He doesn't want weeping any more, or crying, or any sadness or pain.
Well, we can't necessarily wipe out all sadness and pain - this is a valley of tears as they say - but we can provoke each other to laughter, to joy, to delight, and to exultation!
Yes, even in the midst of toilet paper panic, ubiquitous (or worse, disappearing) hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial soap, and the unknowns that surround us even as we attempt to keep praying and trusting, even in the midst of all this we can provoke laughter, and inspire delight. Yes, even when our praying and trusting takes on a new form as we are in the unprecedented (for us in the U.S.A.) situation of being deprived of personal attendence (in 3-D) at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and the simultaneous deprivation of Jesus in Holy Communion. And yet still, with Jesus and Mary and Therese, I insist God creates us to be a joy and a delight, and it is He Himself who will rejoice and exult in us, and He wants us to rejoice and exult along with Him. This is, according to the Little Way of Therese and Marcel Van, not to mention St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, a perfect description of Love, in fact!
Sigh.....(of love)......So what are we to do?
Sometime about the day before yesterday, I think it was, an idea hit me like a ton of bricks. Lucky for me (and for you too, as you'll soon see), it was just LIKE a ton of bricks, but not even very much like them, so I didn't get knocked unconscious or anything, I just shared my idea with a couple of terrific ladies, and then I asked my husband's permission. (Tell first, ask second. Miracles are an addictive way of life!)
My good and darling husband. He's been understandably distracted lately, what with pandemics and cross country travel, poodle arrangements, online college (!?!?!) about to start up, and living apart from me (quarantine can hit in the unlikeliest places; though praise God we are all just being safe, not infected) . . . So it took him a day to say yes to my latest nutsy idea, and that meant it took two days to pull it off . . . but here is the fact, Jack, and you are going to LOVE IT AS MUCH AS I DO!!!! Rejoicing and exultation all around! No more tears, just LAUGHTER and DELIGHT!!! . . but please indulge me in a little backstory before I tell you the particulars on this shower of Heavenly roses with free home delivery . . .
* * *
Four years ago on February 25, 2016 (so technically 4 years and 26 days ago now, if I'm counting right) I went to a talk and book giveaway by the kind and clever Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC. He was kind because he gave away his book 33 Days to Merciful Love, and he was clever for the same reason, but also because he wrote it in the first place (which actually covers kind again, too).
I have loved St. Therese of Lisieux, that is, the Little Flower, or St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, O.C.D. (all those are one person, by the way!) for a very long time. When I heard Father's talk, I'd say I had already loved Therese for more than 30 years. Really loved. Read about. Prayed to. Read more about. Prayed to more. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, as the King of Siam would say.
And so I was quite astounded when Fr. Gaitley's book, which he gave us, was not only excellent (that wasn't too surprising) but also changed my life. I mean come on! How much more can you learn or love a Saint when your friendship has been going on for 31 years?
Like in a marriage, the answer to both those questions is . . . infinitely more?
So I fell in love with Therese all over again, and I began the quest to pray her Act of Oblation (which I remembered writing out and praying with great joy and intensity on its 100th anniversary in 1997!) and mean every word - and the next thing I knew, she whispered a secret to me, and it was so outrageous that I thought I must have mis-heard.
So I listened some more, and then went to pray before the Blessed Sacrament. There was a Discalced Carmelite priest visiting where I was praying, and he happened to be an expert on St. Therese, having as he did a degree in French and being the translator as he was of her poetry for the Institute of Carmelite Studies. So it made sense to ask him if I was losing it. Especially since I'd imagined Jesus saying, "Go for it. Focus on this crazy idea. Run with it! Run to me with it! Let's go!"
I got to have lunch with the Carmelite friar (along with a lot of other people), but then everyone cleared out and I found myself, just as I had hoped, with a chance to ask this holy priest my question.
"Father, if you have a minute . . . I have been captivated lately by this thought, this discovery, this secret in St. Therese that is just COMPLETELY OVER THE TOP!!!! And I think Jesus is telling me He wants me to pursue this idea, and I'm wondering if you, on behalf of the Church, could tell me if I've gone bonkers and made this up entirely, or if this is perhaps truly in St. Therese's teaching and message for us."
Being a compassionate priest, Fr. D.K. said, "Shoot!" (or something to that effect.)
So I told him what she had told me, what Jesus seemed to be enjoying my knowing . . .
And he, this wise and knowledgeable priest, said to me:
"Suzie, you understand St. Therese very well. Go deeper."
As I write this, tears spring to my eyes. Sure, I'm sleep deprived, but wow, he did. He said that right then, and so I did. I went deeper, and I discovered my mission. Besides being a Catholic wife and mother and cheerleader for Marcel Van - though that last role came the day I finished writing what I was soon to write - my new mission from Jesus was to share this secret, this Something New I had discovered in St. Therese, with the whole world. But first, to live it.
So I told Jesus, repeatedly from then until now, that I wanted to live this crazy idea I'd discovered, but I also wanted to share it with others. He confirmed that He was inviting me to live it (not that I know I do, and the one thing I do know is that if I do, I do it badly!), and Therese stood behind me and PUSHED! I mean that girl was in such a big rush for me to write a book about this idea, this Something New of which my husband fully approved, as Father had, saying (as Father did again later) - Yes! This is Something New in St. Therese! and Yes, you must write about it!!! Certainly Therese knew what a short attention span I had, and she wanted me to write FAST, so I did.
I wrote, Therese pushed, and I shocked Father by handing him a draft to review merely 2 months after he'd told me to go for it. He read the book as soon as he had time, and he approved. It was, he said, true and important. And it made him smile on every page. I liked that smiling almost best, though I like true and important a lot too!
He said, finally, to hurry and get a BIG PUBLISHER because this was REALLY IMPORTANT.
So I tried to get a publisher, and tried and tried and tried.
And each publisher would say, typically, YES! WOW! THIS WILL CHANGE THE WORLD!
But then I wouldn't hear back for a long time, and finally the publisher would say, Um, No, we can't publish this.
Collectively, the publishers I tried had lots of different reasons, but finally, no one was willing to commit like Father and my husband and myself - because the idea seemed to them just as crazy as it actually is!
And so, we decided to start a publishing venture and publish it ourselves. Talk about the little way!
And then, we had the chance to publish, simultaneously, a really fun book of Stations of the Cross with Our Sister St. Therese. And then, this morning in Costco, I got permission from the dear publisher of my previous books. Permission to make available along with these two Little Way books, my romantic comedy of vastly hilarious proportions!
Which leads me to the source of delight which Our Good Lord is opening up for you, dear reader, like a Living Stream of life giving water, in order that we might all become sources of delight for Him!
Remember how I said that I'd been praying He would let me share this idea, but first that He'd let me live it? Well every time a publisher said Yes and then No, I would praise His Holy Name, sure that He would let me keep trying to live this dream, touching one person at each publishing house at a time, inspiring them to try to live this grace too, and all the while I was sure that when He was ready to share His secret, He would.
Have I mentioned there's a little pandemic going on? And no easy access to Mass? And thus no Holy Communion?
We know how we feel about that - it's awful! A cause for tears and sorrow! We are separated from our Beloved!
But how does HE feel? He who delights in us? He who made us for perfect union with Him, a union we're pathetic at even when He comes to us in Holy Communion - oh, but how sad to think of how badly and poorly we will love Him without His precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity uniting us to Him as often as possible! What happens when "as often as possible" may be once a month? Or longer? What a time for knowing the longing of the Saints for Our Lord, when so many of them lived - as Therese herself did - in eras when there wasn't easy and frequent Holy Communion!
But enough of sadness and tears. Really, enough, because that isn't the Little Way. Our fearless leader, our sister St. Therese refused to be sad, and we're following not just any little way, but hers! When her dear novice, Marie of the Trinity, asked Therese - sick in the infirmary - really sick and in pain and nearing death - "Oh, isn't life sad?" - Therese responded: "Life isn't sad. It's very, very happy. OH! - Unless by 'life' you mean this exile! But this isn't life! Real Life is happy, very happy!"
St. Thomas Aquinas teaches us that the Eucharist is a foretaste of Heaven.
Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life. It is He who is Life, and we need to continue to unite ourselves with Him now, especially when we are seemingly deprived of Him in the Blessed Sacrament and enduring times that would fill the bravest heart with a smidgen of fear - not to mention the likes of us!
Therese does not leave us alone, any more than Jesus does, who said He would not leave us orphans. And though spiritual communions are wonderful, His Real Presence after Holy Communion is what we long for, and what He longs for!
So . . . St. Therese and Jesus have conspired at exactly this moment in history to reveal a secret known first by our Blessed Mother, and later by such Saints as St. Margaret Mary, St. Anthony Mary Claret, St. Faustina, and St. Padre Pio. It is a secret, a Something New, which has been hidden a long time, though it has been hiding in plain sight in Therese's Act of Oblation to the Merciful Love of the Good God ever since she wrote out her beautiful prayer 125 years ago this June.
What perfect timing! For the 125th anniversary of the most decisive moment of her life, Therese is sharing with us, now, at a decisive moment in our own lives (when we are deprived of Jesus in a way unlike any we have experienced before), the solution, the answer, the union we had thought was beyond our reach.
Jesus is never beyond our reach, and doesn't want to be beyond our reach even now, when He is seemingly locked away in the tabernacle in locked up churches. At best it seems we can only adore Him but not dare approach Him any nearer than that blasted 6 feet of safety, even though He, for One, is not at risk of disease!
Never mind. We can thank Him even for this, because He now has a reason to reveal Something New, the Eucharistic grace and miracle that He would like us all to request.
Enough stalling. You can download the book Something New with St. Therese for free.
And lest I take any credit, let me admit that the ton of bricks that hit me was not some brilliant idea of my own, but a comment from two friends who had read this book in manuscript. They both said, separately, "What a propitious time for your book! It's just what everyone needs!"
This book that is just what you need is at last available right here on our website.
If you have a kindle, the free ebook will soon be available on amazon.com (right now it costs 99 cents there, but is free here, and we're working on getting it free there too).
If you have a nook e-reader, you can get Something New right this moment as an ebook for free at barnesandnoble.com, but also from us, here and now too.
If you are reading this blog on a computer or phone or tablet, you can download the pdf version of Something New onto your device and begin reading as soon as we say our closing signature prayer!
But wait! There's more!
We're also prepared to send you (or rather, you can download this too) a lovely little ebook of Stations of the Cross with Our Sister St. Therese. It even has the very latest from the Vatican (from last week, St. Joseph's Day) on how you can gain plenary indulgences in this coronavirus time without fulfilling any of the "usual conditions" (since so many of us can't receive Holy Communion, which is one of the usual conditions). But I'm keeping you from your books. You'll find out how wonderful they are when you start reading them as soon as I stop writing.
But wait! THERE'S EVEN MORE!
You'd think, like I had thought, that I couldn't be more excited than I am about releasing our 2 new books for the whole world to enjoy simply, happily, and at no cost whatsoever. But this morning (and darned if it wasn't the same friend who reminded me of this 3rd book, which she hoped to read to cheer her, but couldn't find because her teen daughter keeps absconding with it and re-reading it!) - this morning I realized I could ask for permission to share The Paradise Project, the best Catholic novel ever! Okay, sure I wrote it, and yeah, it's not quite an epic classic like The Betrothed, but man, it is FUNNY! I'm looking forward to re-reading it myself! This is the book that of all my books has caused me the most annoyance - because those who read it continually pester me to write a sequel! They loved it so much they didn't want it to end, and so bid me to begin again!
Am I singing my own praises? Hardly! I have no more idea how I wrote that book than you have of how you birthed and raised such lovely children! It's all a great mystery! But a mystery of love, just like the man behind me in Costco agreed: that this is a pandemic of love! (Hint: buy a bunch of roses at Costco, then help Therese bring joy to earth by giving several away before you reach the checkout. You'll still pay for them, but you'll get in return A LOT OF HAPPY PEOPLE surrounding you in Costco!!)
Okay, I gotta get dinner, and more importantly let you get your books! Please contact me if you don't know how to download them - I'll be glad to help you find your way to the Heart of God, rejoicing Him as He rejoices you.
Darling Jesus, You have chosen Your moment to invite many others to share St. Therese's wonderful secret. Now will You please do me one more favor?
Draw me, we will RUN!!!!!
p.s. All 3 ebooks will be available at both amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com, and on your ereaders, soon for free. Meanwhile, you can download from the links embedded in the typewriter area above, or on our Welcome page or our Books page here at suzieandres.com. The pdfs can be printed out or read directly on your phone or computer or tablet . . . and the print copies of the book will be available soon too, from the usual online providers (though not for free, since they cost us something new to make!). And please share these books and this shower of roses to your heart's content with everyone you think might enjoy them - and even those you aren't sure about, like the 2 couples ahead of me in line at Costco, who turned out to be thrilled!
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. To receive new posts, enter your email and click "Subscribe" below.