"Was it not in prayer that St. Paul, St. Augustine, St. John of the Cross, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Francis, St. Dominic, and so many other famous Friends of God have drawn out this divine science which delights the greatest geniuses? A scholar has said: Give me a lever and a fulcrum and I will lift the world. What Archimedes was not able to obtain, for his request was not directed by God and was only made from a material viewpoint, the saints have obtained in all its fullness. The Almighty has given them as fulcrum: HIMSELF ALONE; as lever: PRAYER which burns with a fire of love. And it is in this way that they have lifted the world; it is in this way that the saints still militant lift it, and that, until the end of time, the saints to come will lift it." -St. Therese, final page of Story of a Soul
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I can't remember how many times I've heard friends going through great trials say, "I feel the prayers. They are carrying us through."
I know usually I can't remember because I'm Miss Marcel, and Marcels don't remember anything! But this time I remember well the reality, but merely can't remember the number of times it's happened, because it has happened so many, many times. And now, I rejoice to say, it is happening to me.
If you are reading very carefully (between the lines), you might immediately see what I saw just now while writing this (between the lines). If I'm rejoicing that this is happening to me (and God is so good that I must rejoice, not merely to say it but to live this experience of being buoyed up and carried along by prayer), that means I, too, must be going through a great trial. And rejoicing?
Before we get carried away, let me say that someone dear to me is going through a great trial, and so don't worry that I'm suddenly a big fan of suffering! But the amazing thing is that what I have seen and felt in the last 24 hours is an outpouring of grace that rivals the crossing of the Red Sea.
Okay, the image seems wrong - the parting of the Red Sea was not an outpouring but a holding back of waters . . . Those were salty tearful waters of a bitter, harsh sea, and these are floodwaters of grace, like rain during a drought or, better still, like the water Therese and Marcel are pouring on the little flower pots in the photo above. But in both cases, the result is the same: the irresistible urge to sing a new song in praise of God's mercy.
My father-in-law Paul is in great need of prayer. He had surgery a few months ago, and has been in a kind of decline of health and energy since then. In fact, to put his name in a sentence that includes the word "energy" is so unfitting that I'll say instead that my wonderful and good father-in-law has been utterly exhausted and weak, and thus in increasing stages of being cared for.
To speak for myself, I just love being cared for! I discovered this when I was pregnant with our first son. It was so natural for me to ask others to do for me what I could have done for myself. Just give me an easy chair and a good book, and I'm ready to stay there indefinitely, if you would just please bring me a glass of cold water, yes with ice please, but not too much. Oh, and a butterscotch sucker from See's. We don't have one in the house? Would you mind going to get me one? They'll even give you one as your free sample if you ask . . .
As another MIss Marcel told me recently, some of us are born princesses (think the Princess and the Pea).
And then there are the Pauls of this world. You know, those with gumption who don't want to be waited on hand and foot. Go figure!
But truth be told, it cannot be fun to have all your power and self-control, all your surroundings and even when you can get out of bed or back into it, and most of all when you can go home (ah, even in exile, a home is so dear and basic to happiness) dictated by others. And for me to say "it cannot be fun" is even to add too much humor to the situation. Humor is not added by the recognition of this great suffering, but only - odd as it sounds - by prayer.
Yes, we're back to prayer! Yesterday morning (or perhaps it was the night before) I sent out a prayer request for Paul. I sent it to friends near and far, and God bless the Internet! In a short time (which was all the time I had free because we are now near Paul for a week, and every moment is full), I had sent out my pleading request to four groups of friends. Can you guess what happened next?
My friends prayed.
Some of them are dear friends I've known for decades, friends I grew up with, you might say. Others are friends I'm still trying to grow up with, but God seems to prefer me little, and they kindly put up with me as I am these days. Some I haven't seen in far too long, others I've never met face to face . . . and yet the replies to my request poured in as my friends' kindness poured out. Just like the water Therese and Marcel are pouring out above - and how cute! I just took a closer look at the photo topping this post and Therese has a watering can, but what in the world is Marcel using? He always makes me laugh!
Meanwhile, the prayers. How mysterious. They've poured out grace on Paul and his situation and those of us who so love him and are trying to figure out what comes next, even as these same prayers have flown to heaven, carried by the angels - really, I know it's true because I recently read this in a quote from one of the saints, and not just any saint, but Marcel's (and therefore our) dear spiritual father, St. Alphonsus de Ligouri (and wow, he knew a thing or two about prayer)!
St. Alphonsus says: “Our prayers are so dear to God, that He has appointed the angels to present them to Him as soon as they come forth from our mouths.”
Let me tell you from my experience of the last 24 hours - not only is what St. Alphonsus says true, but also what St. Thomas says: the angels can act immediately (being pure spirits and not slowed down, like Paul has been so much lately, by these silly bodies of ours). That means our prayers don't take any time at all to waft to God! Even besides the good news that He's holding us in His arms close to Himself so that our prayers go quickly from our mouths to His ears and our hearts to His, those angels make sure there's not a second's delay.
I know this because the effect of my friends' prayers (oh my goodness, I am so very, very grateful!) has been as visible as the smiles on the faces of the many kind people who have been helping Paul (and us) where he's currently staying.
To get down to particulars, in the last 24 hours these prayers have brought for Paul a resurgence of health. These prayers have brought for us the gift of counsel and a clarity regarding what comes next. And what comes next is (by God's goodness, the power of prayer, and the kindness of friends) what Paul was been asking for repeatedly - for a very tired man, quite tirelessly, I might add! - namely that he COME HOME!
If I might trouble you who are now reading this - or rather if I might entice you - to join this dear crowd of friends and cloud of witnesses who are praying for Paul and us: will you please say a prayer too that we now find the right home health aide to assist us when, hopefully quite soon, we bring Paul home? It is a bewildering array of possibilities that await our novice attempt to choose among them!
Marcel's favorite prayers were of the simplest nature. After our sister Therese and our mother Mary taught him, and Jesus taught him too, Marcel loved the prayer of the sigh, the prayer of the glance, the prayer of the smile. You might try any of these! The sigh which sometimes starts out as a regular old sigh can become a sigh of love! The glance, which happens to fall on a picture of Mary or Jesus, or someone else you love, becomes a glance of love! And the smile? Ah, the smile is spectacular, and while we're on the subject, I have to tell you about a smile of exquisite beauty, and another little prayer request.
On our visits to Paul in his beautiful (but not home!) room at the rehab place, we keep passing another room with an open door. Just inside the door is a bed, and in the bed is a kind looking blonde woman with a smile that lights up the place. Every time we walk by, there she is, confined to bed, but smiling at us when she sees us. I'm not talking a kind of fake, sad smile, but a real, genuine, friendly and contagious smile!
Each time our eyes met, I wanted to stop in and say hello, but I know myself, and I knew if I stopped in to talk with the smiling lady, I might never leave. You can see, then, the power of a smile! I'd forget to rejoin the others in Paul's room, which was, after all, why we were here . . .
But just like my mother-in-law accidentally turned into Dunkin Donuts the other day (that was a rewarding accident!), so I accidentally turned into Jean's room (for yes, her name is Jean!) two days ago, not looking where I was going and thinking it was the place where they have the coffee maker and such.
I had turned and just about stepped over the threshold of her room, when I looked up and laughed. There I was, Miss Marcel, right where Marcel himself wanted me to be! And Jean didn't miss a beat, but said, "You're from California, aren't you?"
What a great opening line!
I told her yes, though we all wondered later how she knew.
I think it must just be obvious, for although it's a big state, many people when they think of California immediately think of Hollywood, and then Valley Girls are just a step away: ditzy, air-headed, and oh so happy - Yep, I'm from California! How did you guess???
I told her, with a smile matching her own, that I had to go but would love to stop in soon.
And so last night I finally had the chance. I got to stop in and visit, and I got to ask Jean why she was in rehab (my brilliant opening line), and she told me.
Jean is in rehab while she waits for a new hip. Her old one is gone. I mean really gone: she only has one hip. And yesterday they told her that after her 6-8 weeks of antibiotics are up, the insurance won't pay for her to stay the 2 more weeks before she gets a new hip. So, as it turns out, she's supposed to go home in another few weeks alone, with no medical help, and without a hip.
I'm not very medically savvy, but I picked up that the hip is the thing you need two of so you can do things like stand and walk! But do you know what? Jean was still able to smile, though she had a worry crease over her brow and admitted she had asked God earlier that day what in the world He was thinking!
I figure sometimes God likes to pretend He needs us to help Him think.
There He is, running the universe, and perfectly I might add, but somehow it doesn't look that way from our perspective. So we have the opportunity to tell Him how He can do better, and that's what we call prayer. Like this:
"Dear God, I know You love Jean. How could You not? She's so lovely and so full of love, smiling like that from her bed, even when all this time she has only one hip! You would love her tons even if You weren't God! But You are. So how about shortening that two week gap between the end of rehab facility and her hip surgery? Jean would be so grateful, and if You could let her know soon that everything will be okay, that would be really kind. Though if You want her to trust in You while this scary thing looms, then please give her the confidence and joy and peace to know You're on it. Though just for the record, and because You're so good and indulgent, I'll say frankly that I think You ought to fix this soon. I love You!"
See? He just needed me to tell Him what to do!
And getting back to Paul in his bed in rehab, since that's why I'm here, I'll tell you what happened next.
It looked like he was stuck in that bed. The best we could do was move him to another bed in another room that wasn't home, in another place that wasn't home . . .
And I asked for prayers. And friends prayed. Their generosity in itself was enough to pour balm into our hearts - we received so many emails with so many reports of loving prayers for Paul and us from all over the country and the world!
How could God resist? He doesn't even want to resist, and then when we turn to Him - wow! Therese is so right! The saints of these days are doing infinitely more than you might suspect! And the bar is so low - just a sigh, a glance, a smile! But then there were chaplets and rosaries and Masses and Communions and hours of adoration! If you have only a sigh or a glance at your disposal, don't feel it doesn't count beside those rosaries and Communions - every smallest movement toward Him delights His Heart beyond measure!
So by last night, the whole scene had changed.
We went to visit Paul, and we all told jokes and laughed!
Because thanks to an afternoon visit with his case worker, the wonderful Cecilia, it looks like he will be coming home!
He's still in need of loving care, and that's where our next prayer comes in, that we might find the right home-health-aides to help care for him at home. But to go from complete confusion and looming depression to a clear vision of what is next, with joy and hope - that is the power of prayer!
Our deepest, widest, highest prayers have yet to be answered. Isn't that always the way? Always another need, another hope, another important request to the Man Upstairs. But I'm okay with letting God take His sweet time, since His timing is always perfect. When Therese and Marcel had their first conversation (as recorded in his Autobiography), she assured him that God has it down pat: not a moment too soon, not a moment too late, that's how His timing works.
Since I don't have that passage (and that book) at hand, I will offer another passage from another book - my very favorite book, Marcel's Conversations - because I can't close without giving back a gift in thanks for all the graces that are coming our way, thanks to the prayers of the saints, on earth and in heaven.
I love this passage because it sums up my life, and contains such good advice too! These are words of St. Therese to Marcel and us, and though I can't remember what his question was, if we substitute any of our own recent questions, the answer fits like a glove! Our sister St. Therese says:
"My dear little brother, your question does not really make any sense. You must admit, first of all, that you demonstrate a profound ignorance. If you are incapable of making a judgment on something so minuscule, then what are you capable of? However, little brother, the greater your ignorance and the more you give that impression in the eyes of your brothers and sisters (the saints in heaven), the more it will be given to you to understand clearly and with certitude. Supposing even that you know something or other, pretend to know nothing so as to understand more clearly." (218)
When it comes to most things, I don't have to pretend to know nothing! So I thank you most sincerely for joining your prayers to mine, and know that I'll be joining mine to yours so your intentions and needs are covered too. We're so lucky to be able to pour God's limitless love over one another, and I'm so grateful for the floods of it that have been poured out around us these last 24 hours!
Almighty Father, Little Jesus, Holy Spirit of Love:
Draw me, we will run!!!
The roses pictured above are called "Fragrant Cloud," and they are - I wish I could give you a scent, as well as a photo! - fragrant indeed! I know this because I have many of them blooming in my little Therese garden of 4 rose bushes behind the house, and they never cease to delight me, Marcel, and Therese who sends them (not to mention the many recipients of her largess to whom I pass them along, although I confess that lately they're all clustering in our living room around our Russian icon of Mary and a statue of St. Therese that sits beside her).
Enough about the history of these roses in my life, though. What do they mean for us at Miss Marcel's Musings? By picturing them above in a beautiful couplet, I'm thinking of today's great feast:
Happy St. Alphonsus Day!
The smaller rose to the left is our own Marcel, and the bigger more blooming rose represents St. Alphonsus. He is Marcel's holy father in the Redemptorist Order he - St. Alphonsus, that is, founded, and since Marcel is our brother, St. Alphonsus is our holy father too! Furthermore, as well as being our dad, he's a Doctor of the Church, author of a gazillion marvelous books, and the merciful theologian who made moral theology a thing of beauty: or in other words, the one whose teaching has the power to knock out the bullies of Srupples in this fallen world. (If you still find those bullies knocking on your door instead of lying down knocked out, call on St. Alphonsus and maybe even google "Scruples Anonymous" - you'll find there his Redemptorist sons at your service.)
But if we take one more glance at our roses, there's something more they represent, something more personal to you! Just as Marcel was like a little flower under the overarching bloom of his father St. Alphonsus, so we are now the little flower under the overarching bloom of Marcel himself! So ultimately that flower on the left is YOU, dear reader, not merely in bud, but thanks to Jesus and Marcel, blossoming nicely, while the more full blown bloom kissing you from the right of the photo is our brother Marcel himself, who's mighty happy now that he's received the Real Kiss of Jesus that whisked him straight to Heaven!
A year or two ago on this very day, St. Alphonsus Day, I found the most wonderful quote from one of his books, The Great Means of Salvation and of Perfection - which "means," incidentally, is prayer (she revealed, in order to save countless readers the trouble of procuring the book for themselves). Well, this particular book, I mean the actual copy I have, belonged to my dear cousin Charlie, who LOVED St. Alphonsus as perhaps no other has done in the history of post-Alphonsus-time. You can bet, then, that what Charlie underlined in this book is REALLY BIG - and fortunately for us, Charlie didn't underline everything (as I tend to do in my favorite book), so we can see that what he underlined wasn't just really big, but even The Most Important Thing. Or, at the very least, what I found that Charlie had underlined was, and still is, exactly what the Holy Spirit wants us to take away from this great book in our super-short-perusal-of-it-because-we-have-to-get-back-to-Conversations, our favorite book.
As you might guess, this morning I returned to Charlie's St. Alphonsus book and re-found the wonderful quote to share with you. St. Therese said that for simple souls there must be no complicated ways. Given my penchant for complicating things, I've decided this quote is SUPER important for saving my soul, or saving some remnant of simplicity, anyhow. You'll see what I mean when I tell you what the quote is, and so, if you're sitting down, here it is:
"One single holy maxim, well ruminated, is sufficient to make a saint."
It suddenly strikes me that St. Alphonsus' maxim above, you know about one single holy maxim, could be mine. But I think today's guest, our holy father, is rolling his eyes and shaking his head, and Marcel whispers, "No, no, choose another one, silly!" so I have no recourse but to give you my own favorite and most necessary maxim, while at the same time I encourage you to choose one of your own, with the help of the Holy Spirit who breathes where He wills, and your guardian angel who knows exactly what you need to become a saint. And don't worry if you want to borrow mine until you find your own - though I'm biased, I think it's the best ever and you can keep it as long as you like, especially since Jesus meant it for all of us.
Unsurprisingly to those of you who know me or this blog (and to know this blog is to know me!), my maxim comes from Marcel's Conversations with Jesus, Mary, and St. Therese, and in particular, from a conversation our little brother had with Jesus. And the way my maxim (you know, the one that well ruminated will make me a saint) appears in Conversations is both delightful and quite appropriate for today: Delightful because it comes straight from Jesus our adorable Savior and Spouse, and appropriate because Jesus even explains to Marcel (and us) that St. Alphonsus himself endorses it!
We find our maxim in a conversation Jesus had with Marcel on April 13, 1946 at around (438) in Marcel's pages, and happily this holy maxim comes straight from Jesus' sweet mouth when He says:
"Do not worry any more, ever."
That's it! Isn't it terrific?
Besides being a single holy maxim, I think "Do not worry any more, ever" has to its advantage (and ours) that it's quite short, and therefore possibly memorable even for those of us blessed with Marcellian memories. And then, as I mentioned, it's got St. Alphonsus' endorsement, but even better, not only his, as Jesus explains:
"Besides, everybody repeats the same thing to you: your Mother Mary, your sister Therese and, if Saint Alphonsus spoke to you, he would only tell you not to worry . . ."
Isn't that fabulous? But there is, as you may suspect, even more.
What I love about this holy maxim is that although Jesus waited until relatively recently (about 3 years ago) to bowl me over and draw me closer to Him with this saying in Marcel's Conversations (and after all, He had to give good Jack Keogan a chance to translate Convos into English from bearded Jesus' - Father Boucher's - French from Marcel's Vietnamese), our loving Savior could not restrain Himself for those long centuries from giving us all the kiss contained in "Do not worry any more, ever," and so, we find, He actually said it long ago on the night before He died!
You can find it more than once in St. John's record of the Last Supper in chapter 14 of his gospel. There Jesus tells us straight off in verse one, "Do not let your hearts be troubled." And again, a bit later, "Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid."
Wow! God is so good! And to think the night before He died wasn't by far the first time that He told us these words. They're scattered over the New and Old Testaments, as if He really, really, really wants us to get this message!
I love, too, that our Heavenly Father sent Pope Saint John Paul II in more recent years to remind us frequently of this holy maxim. "Be not afraid!" the Vicar of Christ would say in his lovely Polish accent. And he meant it!
We have, then, a well chosen single holy maxim. We are ready to be saints! Except - not to make you worry, but isn't there always a catch?
It struck me this morning that I was forgetting something important about St. Alphonsus' holy maxim that got us started on holy maxims. He says, and again I quote, "ONE SINGLE HOLY MAXIM, well ruminated, IS SUFFICIENT TO MAKE A SAINT."
Did you read the small print? We've got to ruminate? And "well"? Ack! We're sunk!
Except don't forget that Jesus told us not to worry any more, ever, and that includes now, which means there must be a way around "well ruminated," and thankfully, I have that little way handy. (You see, then, that Miss Marcel sometimes muses before she starts writing. Not often, but it happened today, thanks to St. Alphonsus who, believe it or not, himself tended to be a worrier, which is why he was and is so concerned that we learn from his mistakes.)
Recently I came across a book by the famous English Dominican of a hundred years or so ago, Fr. Vincent McNabb. He was a friend of G.K. Chesterton, and I'd heard of him, this Fr. McNabb (that's why I call him famous) but I'd never read anything by him that I recall. Thankfully, this book called God's Way of Mercy jumped off a library shelf into my arms and rectified the situation. (Now don't go popping over to amazon to order the book - you can trust Jesus and me; we're about to give you the best part right here.)
So there I was in the stacks, attacked by a great book, and when I gathered my wits (and the book), what words did Fr. McNabb speak to us? For surely they were not meant solely for Miss Marcel. Why would God have set up a blog especially for my musings, if not because just as every word He gave to Marcel was meant for us, so every word He gives me is for you too?
The touching solicitude of our loving Little Jesus guarantees that He will give us everything we need. He was well aware that it would dawn on me this morning that while I love to muse, I'm rather terrible at ruminating. And so, He had previously sent me Fr. McNabb, a Dominican, and thus a practically professional ruminator! (What with the vow of poverty, I'm not sure he's technically a professional, but you know what I mean.) This is a son of St. Dominic and St. Thomas Aquinas, a lover of wisdom, a contemplative sharing the fruits of his contemplation with the rest of us, and none too soon! Here is what pages opened before me, and here is what Fr. McNabb tells us in his gentle rumination prepared for us 85 years ago, originally given as a retreat talk on "Solicitude" in Hampstead, England, but obviously meant for you and me today. I will border his thoughts with flowers here at the beginning and later at the end, so you might recognize where his ruminations start and finish, and my musings start up again.
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From a retreat conference of Fr. Vincent McNabb
"Be not solicitous." (Luke 12:22)
"Fear not, little flock." (Luke 12:32)
It seems almost sacrilege to add any words to the great sermon of Our Lord to the poor human heart so constantly solicitous for the tomorrow it may never see. And Our Dear Lord says so simply: "After all these things the nations seek" - those nations now seem out upon the dark, all seeking; but not seeking what is first and realizing that all the other things will come, and come in due order. One of the paradoxes is that we seem to preen ourselves on being so much superior to other centuries in intellectual culture. Yet never was there such a century when men were thinking so much of what they should eat and put on. No wonder things are getting worse . . .
So often human life seems in rags because something is denied it. I will give up all that has ever been written for this passage! "Fear not, little flock." God says to me: "Don't be afraid, Father Vincent." I'd tear up all the works of St. Thomas for that! I'd put them all on the fire!
"You're frightened. Don't be frightened. Poor little soul, you're frightened." I wonder how many of you remember, as I remember, waking up from the sleep of sickness in childish terror, to find a mother's arms round me. "Don't be frightened, my child. What are you frightened of? Dear child, don't be frightened. It's your Mother."
You know, we must be in a terrible state when Our Dear Lord tells us to be of good heart by thinking of the ravens. Catholics will always love natural science. We shall always be interested in animals; even in the grass. Perhaps that is why there were dovecots in the old steeples, and grass about the feet of the church. When you and I are almost laying violent hands on ourselves, let us accept Our Lord's invitation to go out to the birds and the grass. Let us just sit and look at the sparrows . . . Our Dear Lord tells us of the sparrows, just to teach the world not to be solicitous. There are times, you know, when we are overwhelmed with sorrow and disappointment. We just look at something, almost unable to think - the swirl of the dry autumn leaves; or a fly crawling up the window-pane, or the sparrows.
Oh, my Beloved Master, how Thou didst know the human heart! Thou didst make the sparrows and the grass for Thyself and for the poor fear-overwhelmed heart of man.
Our Dear Lord speaks here of solicitude about what we shall eat and what we shall put on. That is a great solicitude in modern times. But there is also a kind of spiritual solicitude He is trying to allay, and He meets it with terms of endearment. "Little flock. Little lamb; My lamb, be not afraid. Little flock." Now as the hour of separation comes and He has made these reeds almost into rocks, endearment is on His lips. "Be not afraid." This is to great stalwart fishermen, who hardly knew what fear was. We can have a kind of spiritual solicitude; the soul is almost terrified about tomorrow. St. Peter, the expert in all these sudden fears, says: "Be not afraid of their fear, and be not troubled" (1 Peter 3:14). Even in spiritual things we must not be solicitous for the morrow. We must not think our strength will give out.
"Your Father knoweth you have need of these things." How often I have heard that from my Mother's lips! "Your Father is looking after all that, child. Your Father is seeing to that." Sometimes even in spiritual things we are over-solicitous, even about our sin.
Ah! A Son of St. Dominic can never forget the prayer of his own spiritual Father. He used to pray to be a stone in the mouth of hell to keep souls from falling in. Perhaps that was the most daring of prayers. But there was no solicitude about it, only a solicitude to help others. There is no over-care about tomorrow; just a love of God, a love of souls, and trust that God would keep him against any final loss.
So, dear children in Jesus Christ, may our thoughts tonight be just the memory, I almost said the murmuring, of these words of Our Lord.
Oh, dear children, think how privileged you and I are to close our ears after the music of these words of Our Lord.
Each night, as darkness draws on, I seem to remember the awful terror the darkness was to my boyish mind. Now God is so good He has penned all those terrors; and from time to time, before one dares to give oneself to sleep, the music of these words is sung into our ears.
Whatever, then, the cause of our solicitude today or tonight, we must not yield to it. We must yield to Our Lord. No one loves us as He does, nor so unselfishly. No one has bought us at such great price. We are of great value to Him even if of little value to ourselves. Who of us could value ourselves highly? To Him, even heaven seemed well lost for love of us; and with desire He desired to prove His Love by death.
So let us be lulled and at peace with the sweetness of these exquisite words of Divine Love.
"Your Father knoweth that you have need of these things." Yes, dear Lord, Thou sayest that as if Thou Thyself didst know. But Thou, too, knowest, My Brother, Thou knowest the depth of my sorrow and of my over-solicitude. And with sweet words from Thy most Sacred Heart, Thou dost bid me, "Fear not, little lamb of My Love."
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To borrow Fr. McNabb's opening, it seems almost sacrilege to add any words to the great sermon he preached on the great sermon of Our Lord to the poor human heart . . . and so I will only repeat Jesus' more recent words - twelve years after Fr. McNabb's, and almost two thousand words after His own original, "Fear not, little flock" -
Do not worry any more, ever!
Ah, He is so gentle, so kind, so merciful, so tenderly solicitous in reminding us not to be solicitous! He even gives us a remedy for our inability to not worry, when He sends us Mother Mary's words to us through Marcel in a later conversation (596):
"Each time that you are troubled, even if only for the span of a breath, say this: 'Little Jesus, I offer You this worry as a sacrifice.' Then, remain in peace."
Lots of good advice, but it all comes down to one holy maxim, however many different words we end up using, in imitation of Our Dear Lord (as Fr. McNabb so sweetly calls our True Love!), who never tired of trying to convince us in every possible way: Don't worry! Don't be afraid! Don't be solicitous! Fear not!
What love, what love!
I, for one, am now starting to worry about what I have to do next after finishing this post. Bad me! But let's not be discouraged. Our good father St. Alphonsus told us that one holy maxim, well ruminated, would do the job and make us saints, that is, make us one with Jesus.
If ruminating hasn't worked it's magic on us very little flowers, let's try something else. How about marinating?! Maybe it was a bad translation and that's what St. Alphonsus really said!?
One holy maxim, well marinated, is sufficient to make a saint.
If you're like me, whenever a recipe calls for marinating, you have about ten minutes tops before everyone expects dinner on the table. Oops! But this time it's different. This time our time is - who knows? - well, actually, exactly like when we're making supper: this time our time is just however much time our Heavenly Father deems perfect, so no worries! Let's marinate in Jesus' words; let's not give up, but let's follow our holy maxim till the sweet end when Jesus gives us that Kiss of kisses and takes us to Himself.
Fear not, little flock.
Be not solicitous . . .
Be not afraid.
Let not your hearts be troubled or afraid.
Do not worry any more, ever!
And finally, "Little Jesus, I offer You this worry as a sacrifice!"
St. Alphonsus, pray for us!
Fr. McNabb, pray for us!
Blessed Mother, pray for us!
St. Therese, pray for us!
And Marcel, come play with us, and make us laugh, as you always do! It's hard to be afraid when we're laughing, and so we thank you for all your help!
Little Jesus, kind Jesus, our dear Lord, our True Love:
Draw me, we will run!
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