Bringing Joy to Jesus
Although we at Miss Marcel's Musings have been musing silently for some time, the words of Jesus to Marcel have continued to captivate and enlighten us from one day to the next. What love Our Lord pours out to us through this humble Vietnamese brother! How dearly the Little Flower Therese also loves us through him! And so we are drawn again to share with you the impossibly tender mercy of God as offered to us through Marcel Van, so that by discovering how beloved you are and how important a part you play in Jesus' plans, you too might rejoice His Heart, even as He rejoices yours. But enough of generalities - I want to tell you about Jesus' latest scheme.
Yesterday in my morning time with Him, I came across a passage in Conversations (Marcel's book of chats with Jesus, Mary and Therese) that I had forgotten but which provides a marvelous example of Jesus' tremendous kindness and insatiable thirst for souls to love. I was delighted to find that as usual, He is in such a hurry to save souls that He finds ways to make it easy for us to help Him. And the very little way He offers us now is sweetly simple and completely within our very limited powers. As long as He helps us, of course, which He is ever ready to do!
Here is the passage I found, from a conversation with Jesus which Marcel wrote down on 14 November 1945:
Marcel: Why did You not give me more kisses this evening, dear Jesus? I am really sad. I have never felt anything like this. There must certainly be something that has hurt You . . . Ah! I forgot the advice that my sister Therese gave me yesterday. Sad as I was, I am now happy . . .
[The day before, Therese had told Marcel: "When on your return to work you notice that Jesus is sad, you must try to please Him. Go close to Him and ask Him a little question of this kind and, certainly, His sadness will disappear and He will give you a beautiful smile. You will say to Him: 'My Jesus, why do You look so sad? What news then have You received today? I dearly love You Jesus.' And if you notice that He continues to be sad, repeat these words unceasingly: 'You are the only one I love, Jesus.' He is sad because there are too few who love Him. Finally, if you see that His sadness still persists, call me immediately and both of us, together, will speak of love . . . And, come what may, Jesus will be forced to smile. . . One more word of advice. If at certain times Jesus is sad, it is because, more than ever, His love is trampled underfoot. There you have it, the sole cause of His sadness . . . When, therefore, you see that He is sad, do not be sad because that will make Him only sadder still. All there is to do is to seek to make Him forget His sadness." As Jesus Himself had told Marcel, "A single one of your joys suffices to console me very much."]
And so Marcel, following Therese's advice, continues on November 14:
Forgive me Jesus and tell me why You are so sad. I love You so much. I invite the whole of paradise to come down here to love You. I am even making use of Your love to love You. Yes, dear Jesus, I love You a great deal . . . There, without having had need to call my sister Therese I have succeeded in making You smile. Truly, You have a very charming smile. Now, allow me to ask You a question. Why were You sad just now? Tell me. If I am unable to comfort You, I can at least say again that I love You always and that I love You dearly.
Jesus: My little flower, when you see that I am sad, follow the advice of your sister and do not stop being happy; that is the only way to bring joy to me . . . My dear child, what saddens me is to see huge amounts of clay enclosing magnificent pearls, which are very dear to me, pile up, condemning me to look at them from afar while no one thinks to offer them to me. Nevertheless, my child, if someone placed, if only for a moment, these clods of clay in my hand, they would become as many precious pearls in my eyes . . . My dear child, do you understand the meaning of these words? Let me explain.
The clods of clay designate sinners. They allowed all the love I have given them to be lost in profane love and this profane love envelops them, making them similar to clods of earth . . . My dear child, do you love these lumps of clay? If you love them, try to think of them always and offer them to me. These simple words: "Jesus, I offer them to You" or any other loving words said with the intention of offering them to me is sufficient for me to receive them in my hand and there, my child, I will transform these ugly lumps of clay into many pearls as precious as diamonds.
* * *
Jesus has given so much to us - even Himself, Who is God, and all of Himself! We have the Blessed Sacrament in which He is really and completely present, and He comes to us that we may be entirely one with Him! Yet how many have been given this gift and have somehow let it slip away? That we have not ourselves been lost in profane love is only due to Jesus' ceaseless guardianship, protection, and untiring grasp on our poor hearts. We are allowed to live in close communion with Him, and He even instructs Marcel, "Tell them that I gladly listen to ordinary conversations, even the simplest ones, and I take pleasure in hearing them. There, that is all I expect from souls who love me." He merely wants our childlike honesty and spontaneity with Him, and how can we then, like Him, want anything else but that we may convert the whole world to such intimacy with its Creator and Savior?
Thanks be to God, He makes it so easy. Let us think of those who have wandered from Him, and those who have rejected His advances in whatever form they came; those who are distracted, confused, and ultimately profoundly unhappy because they are separated from the Source of all joy and goodness. Let us, as Jesus asks, think of them and offer them to Him.
Jesus, we offer them to You! Now may You transform these ugly lumps of clay into so many pearls as precious as diamonds! We cannot always distinguish clay from pearls, but we trust You to turn the one into the other as we offer to You all souls, especially those who have wandered far from You. Jesus, we offer them to You!
I am reminded of another passage, this one from the life-changing book I Believe in Love. In it Fr. D'Elbee goes to great lengths to assure of us Jesus' infinite love for us, and he explains at the end of the first chapter:
"I assure you, we are bathed in love and mercy. We each have a Father, a Brother, a Friend, a Spouse of our soul, Center and King of our hearts, Redeemer and Savior, bent down over us, over our weakness and our impotence, like that of little children, with an inexpressible gentleness, watching over us like the apple of His eye, who said, 'I will have mercy and not sacrifice, for I have not come to call the just, but sinners' (Mt 9:13), a Jesus haunted by the desire to save us by all means, who has opened heaven under our feet. And we live, too often, like orphans, like abandoned children, as if it were hell which had opened under our feet. We are men of little faith!"
Ah, but as the years go on, He shows us glimpses and sometimes long glances of this inexpressible gentleness. How can we forget the mercy of His sacraments given to the dying, to those who perhaps had ignored or run from Him for long years and even decades? He hears our prayers, and we can put all our trust in Him. Truly it is not hell that He's opened under our feet and the feet of those we love, but His heaven! That is why He came to live among us, suffered, died, and rose again - to open Heaven and show us the way!
Since He is the Way, let us accompany Him and rejoice in the prayers He suggests to us. Ah, Jesus, You are so good! You know our nothingness and invite us into Your all-powerful saving work, asking only that we smile at You if we can, even through our tears in this valley You know so well. Help us to use the simple words You have given us. Yes, darling Jesus, yes! We offer to You all souls, especially those covered with the clay of the world - and we trust You to transform all into pearls as precious as diamonds!
Draw me, we will run!
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