We here at Miss Marcel's Musings hope you have had a lovely feast of St. Therese! We are urging her to shower her roses upon you, and if you haven't received them yet, don't give up hope! There is, in Catholic tradition, not only the feast itself, but like a mirror of the novena that precedes a big feast, there is on the other side an octave in which to celebrate. This allows us to pray that, over the next week or so, our sister's roses and the heavenly graces they represent become so abundant in your life that you practically begin to take them for granted!
If you are seeing this on your guardian angel's day, let us be among the first to offer praise and thanks to God for your heavenly helper. What a gift that. along with all the saints who watch over us, we each have our own angel to guide us from birth in this life to our birth into Eternal Life! What a loving Heavenly Father we have, One who thinks of everything for our safety and comfort!
But wait! Did I say I hope you will take Therese's roses for granted? Heaven forbid! What I really meant was simply that seeing yourself so favored by our sister's answers to your prayers, you will become accustomed to being surrounded by her roses (visible and invisible, earthly and heavenly) and thus approach her and the sweet Infant Jesus with more confidence than ever!
Along these lines, I can't think of anything more wonderful to share in honor of Therese's feast than some of her sayings that most inspire confidence. And keep in mind that while her feast is celebrated in the new calendar on October 1st, we who can't get enough of her can celebrate again on October 3rd, according to the "old calendar" that accompanies the extraordinary form of the liturgy. God is so very good! He knows how badly we need our sister's help, and so He has doubled her feast for us in these trying times!
For your delectation, then, a feast of good words from our sister Saint Therese:
1. Jesus does not demand great actions, but simply surrender and gratitude.
2. He alone disposes the events of our life of exile . . . It is the hand of Jesus that guides everything.
3. I assure you that the good Lord is much kinder than you can imagine. He is satisfied with a glance, with a sigh of love.
4. In spite of all obstacles, God accomplishes what He wills. . . . The work I had been unable to do in ten years was done by Jesus in one instant . . .
5. We can never have too much confidence in the good God who is so mighty and so merciful. We obtain from Him as much as we hope for.
6. God knows our weakness. He remembers that we are but dust. As a father is tender toward his children, so is the Lord compassionate towards us.
7. God is too good, too generous to give His favors meagerly.
8. Your arms, my Jesus, are the elevator which will take me up to Heaven. There is no need for me to grow up; on the contrary, I must stay little, and become more and more so.
9. Jesus will come for us, however far away we may be from Him, and will set us afire with His love.
10. I will spend my heaven in doing good upon earth. Do not the angels take care of us while still enjoying the Beatific Vision?
* * *
I love these wise words, but then, too, our sister can be so funny and so very clever! Her cousin in the convent, Sister Marie (Guerin) of the Eucharist, asked the dying Therese to obtain great graces for her once Therese was in heaven. Therese responded:
"Oh! when I am in heaven, I will do very many things, great things . . . It is impossible that it is not God who has given me this desire; I am sure He will answer me! And also, when I am up there, I will follow you closely!"
To which Marie replied that this would frighten her! But her cousin (our sister) had the perfect answer:
"Does your guardian angel frighten you? He follows you nevertheless, all the time. Well, I will follow you in the same way, and even closer! I won't let anything pass you."
You see, then, that once again God has timed everything perfectly: Therese day, guardian angel day, and Therese day again! Let's celebrate a triduum at the beginning of our octave!
Happy continued feasting, and may our sister follow you like an angel, inspiring you at every step, helping you in all your trials, and making your real angel's job much easier!
As to the many intentions we have been praying for in this novena, let's remember the very easy way Therese has taught us to pray. She knew that if she tried to enumerate every need of those she loved and whom God had entrusted to her, "the days would never be long enough," and she feared she would forget something important. But she is forever reminding us that Jesus is tenderly solicitous to all our needs, and this is a prime example. She explains:
"For simple souls there must be no complicated ways; as I am of their number, one morning during my thanksgiving, Jesus gave me a simple means of accomplishing my mission.
"He made me understand these words of the Canticle of Canticles: 'DRAW ME, WE SHALL RUN after You in the odor of Your ointments.' O Jesus, it is not even necessary to say: 'When drawing me, draw the souls whom I love!' This simple statement: 'Draw me' suffices; I understand, Lord, that when a soul allows herself to be captivated by the odor of your ointments, she cannot run alone, all the souls whom she loves follow in her train; this is done without constraint, without effort, it is a natural consequence of her attraction for You. Just as a torrent, throwing itself with impetuosity into the ocean, drags after it everything it encounters in its passage, in the same way, O Jesus, the soul who plunges into the shoreless ocean of Your Love, draws with her all the treasures she possesses."
And so, with simplicity, gratitude, and joy, we pray with Therese to our adorable Jesus:
Draw me, we will run!!!
P.S. Marcel asked if he might add a few words . . . these are words said to him by his new sister St. Therese on a Thursday in October 1941 when she first spoke to him, and he wanted to be sure you got to hear them too. This is how he and we can rejoice her heart, and especially Little Jesus' Heart, in these glorious days when we especially remember her. In his Autobiography (600), he recounts that she told him:
"Never fear God. He is the all-loving Father. He knows only how to love, and He wishes to be loved in return. He thirsts for our poor little hearts which come from His creative hands, and where He has placed a spark of love which comes from the very hearth of His Love. His only wish is to gather these sparks of love and unite them to His infinite love, so that our love lives on forever in His. Finally, it is still the force of the attraction of Love which will draw us into the eternal fatherland of Love. Offer all of your little heart to God. Be sincere with Him in all circumstances and in all your points of view. When you feel joy, offer Him that joy which swells your heart and, by so doing, you will transmit your joy to Him. Can there be a greater happiness than a couple loving one another and exchanging all they possess? To act in this way with God is to say thank You to Him, which pleases Him more than thousands of touching canticles. If, on the other hand, you are invaded by sadness, say to Him again with an honest heart: 'O my God, I am really unhappy!' And ask Him to help you accept this sadness with patience. Really believe this: nothing gives more pleasure to the good God than to see on this earth a heart which loves Him, who is sincere with Him with each step, with each smile, as well with tears as with little momentary pleasures."
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