Little Flower, in this hour, show your power!
Yes, those are real roses - I mean not just a photo of roses but a photo of roses that were briefly in my grasp until I relaxed and let Therese do her thing - and wow did they disappear fast! I'd say she's let me be part of the showering of 333 roses this week - and that is an almost exact count! Wowza, this is addictive! I hope they don't have 12 step programs in Heaven because I like to think that Therese will never be cured of her own addiction - she passes me roses, I pass them along to her clients and those in need of a little glory on a stem, and it's all good. Thankfully her expectations are low and I haven't been doing much but play the middle man, and my gracious, it's been so much fun!
So we've reached the end of our triple-almost-quadruple novena, and what's next?
Well, speaking of addictive . . .
I'm thinking that although the roses may have gone to my head (and oh, if you could just smell the John Paul II hybrid tea roses I've been lucky enough to have come into and out of my life this past week - they'd go to your head too!) . . . but the most wonderful thing happened this morning, and I know it's a nudge into the next - dare I say it? - um, nine or so days of prayer! Or rather the next nine or so days of an octave and a day! How can we not keep celebrating when we've got St. Francis of Assisi tomorrow (October 4), St. Faustina and Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos the next (October 5), St. Bruno the following day (October 6), and then on October 7, the magnificent feast of Our Lady of the Rosary!?
Well, and then there's that little occasion of the 40th anniversary of my meeting St. Therese! It happened on October 7, 1983, and the rest has been (or at least is now) history!
So what is this about the second St. Therese feast that I mention in the title of this post?
I'm finding the fruits of Vatican II to be utterly delightful because when you have a saint you're just crazy about and that saint gets a new feast day, you suddenly have two opportunities to feast! And as St. Thomas says, feasting also can consist in saying extra prayers. But before you panic (and for anyone who really does panic, a word from our sponsor: Have you ever read Hope and Help for Your Nerves by Dr. Claire Weekes? It is excellent for helping with panic attacks, and though we discovered and made use of this info about 30 years ago, the book is still helping those we share it with. And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming . . .) Now where were we . . .?
Ah, yes. Just a little prayer for a feast!
So the second Therese feast is today because the extraordinary form of the liturgy (i.e. the old Mass) which is happily among us again uses the old calendar, and on that calendar Therese's feast is October 3. Her new calendar feast is October 1, which I find charming since it follows the huge Doctor St. Jerome (on whose day she entered eternal life but she hasn't managed to budge him off the date yet) and precedes the guardian angels. Perfect! And yet just when I'm wishing I could keep thinking of Therese and expecting more miracles, along comes October 3 and we can celebrate her again! Brilliant!
But since I'm calling it the second Therese feast, it brings to mind the second Therese, who is Marcel Van, also known as the Little Flower of Vietnam and her little spiritual brother, our inspiration and her twin star that guides us especially marvelously through his Conversations with Jesus, Mary, and St. Therese herself.
So there I am in the middle of the night putting vases in my car (what else would you do on a vigil of St. Therese, first or second?), and I check my email to see that THIS NEWS IS JUST IN - our little brother in India who also loves Marcel and Therese has composed a novena in Marcel's honor!
Yes, you should be afraid - what if this novena has long and difficult prayers invovled?
No, wait! Strike that! Reverse it! Absolutely you should not be afraid! We forgot what those John Paul II roses are really all about, but I'm sure if you could just smell the one at my side (I accidentally broke its stem way too short so it's with me resting until it heals: no showers allowed for now), I'm sure you'd never be afraid again for at least a minute or two! I'm going to ask Therese and Padre Pio, both specialists in the art of bringing miraculous fragrances, such as this one, to their children at unexpected moments, to bring this scent of joy to you soon . . . but meanwhile trust me a little, and then find out for yourself: far from being scary, our new novena to little brother Marcel the second St. Therese (on the second Therese feast) is a wondrous novena for it has that familiar ring about it. Thank you little brother in India! We send you a holy kiss with our angel and may you find joy in the joy you are bringing the whole world on this happy day!
Here it is, then, and in pure Miss Marcel style I beg you read it now and consider it prayed! Return to it as you will, and on our part we'll keep saying it as well as we can and as often as we remember for the next nine days. Only this time it will be Therese helping us pray to Marcel instead of Marcel helping us pray to Therese! What fun - turn about is fair play, and these guys love to play!
Novena to our Little Brother the second Therese - Marcel Van:
O little Marcel Van of the Child Jesus, please pick for me a rose from the Heavenly Garden and send it to me as a message of love.
O Little Flower of Vietnam, ask your Little Jesus today to grant the favors I now place with confidence in your hands . . . (mention your petitions here).
Little Marcel Van, spiritual brother of St. Therese, intercede for me all the days of my life, but especially during this Novena, and obtain for me from God the graces and favors I ask through your intercession. Amen!
If you find yourself so inclined, you can add an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be at the end. That way, if you don't have the prayer at hand and want to pray it tomorrow, you can ask your guardian angel to recite it while you say the Pater, Ave, and Gloria! Hooray for the angels and the saints, and all fellow little flowers!
And now, I leave you to the feast - may our sister and brother continue to shower you with roses!!
Draw me, we will run!
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