This is the picture that accompanies me through Easter every year, alongside the song that IS Easter to my family. Tears come to my eyes as I think of His merciful Love, so readily poured out for us in all the little and big Easter moments, from the time of His Resurrection around 33 A.D. to this day, Divine Mercy Sunday, 2020.
What can one say? If one is me, one can say a lot. But then again, sometimes silence reigns (believe it or not!) even in my heart, soul, and mind. And then, on that rare occasion - as on any other occasion I can drum up - it's time to let Marcel and Jesus speak to us from Conversations, the book little Marcel Van, Vietnamese Servant of God and spiritual brother of St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, wrote for his spiritual director and for us (thanks be to God, along with thanks due to Fr. Anthony Boucher, C.S.s.R. and Jack Keogan for their years of translating).
Take today, for instance.
I've long held that it is easier (unpleasanter as it is) to live the 6 weeks of Lent than to celebrate for 7 weeks of Easter. 40 days of restraint (or restrained indulgence, for those of us who seem inclined to break our resolutions one by one when we are really good and not blowing them all at once together!) vs. 50 days of holy dissolution - which do you find more suited to our mortal frames?
I personally can't wait for Heaven, when all penance - in fast or feasting - will be over! But like St. Paul, I happily wait - because we get to love Jesus and be loved by Him either and both here and/or there! So no worrying, any more, ever, about anything at all. And if you don't believe me, whether your words are coming fast and furious this Divine Mercy Sunday, or slow and steady, or not at all . . . well in any case, it is time to open Conversations! If you don't have a copy, I can only say that it is high time we get you one.
If you are destitute, and not only don't have a copy of Marcel's masterpiece yet, but also don't have the means to procure one, perhaps I can help if you Contact Me by clicking the Contact Me button you'll find somewhere or other on this page.
If you are merely impoverished, because you don't yet have this best-book-ever but could click amazon.com just as easily as clicking Contact Me and then keep clicking until the book is ordered and on its merry little Marcelian way to you - well then CLICK HERE to order now! Do I get some sort of remuneration for all my free publicity for Marcel? I sure count on it! I'm looking for heavenly kisses, since earthly ones are harder to come by these days, what with social distancing and all that annoyingly necessary rot!
Okay, so now that I'm confident you're on your way to reading Marcel not only through me (or through this dear and happy blog of our musings) but also with me ("Class, open to 28 April 1946. Miss Marcels Michigan, please begin reading for us, alternating paragraphs, starting with the fly."), let's get going!
If you just ordered your copy (and what with shipping speeds slightly slower in plague time, it hasn't yet instantaneously arrived), or if you can't find the copy that should be at hand but was perhaps stolen by another in your household who has also realized the brilliance of our little brother - or rather his wonderful dullness and Jesus' glorious LOVE shining through their pages - no worries (remember our motto!), simply read our post for today (this one!) and then download any of the free ebooks at the top of the page - I said before they were in the typewriter section, but delightfully discovered that on a phone they are in the rose section, the typewriter having been left in California, apparently. We wouldn't want you left without Easter treats, and these are abundant in every one of the books we're offering for fun and for free, as you can see by their descriptions HERE. Not only that, but if you haven't yet read The Paradise Project (or have, but not since yesterday or the day before), you'll want to dive in because Elizabeth, our heroine, also has some difficulty with Lenten resolutions. I can't quite remember myself what happens to her in the Easter season, though I'll need to know before embarking on the sequel! Like Marcel she is so darn human, though unlike him she is a figment of our imaginations.
Happily, just like the Risen Jesus whom the terrific Thomas doubted (where would we be if he hadn't? Thank you, Thomas the Apostle, for your humanness too! These perfect imperfections help the rest of us survive life in exile and have hope for our own Paradise in His good time!), Marcel is very real. And the two of them - Marcel and Jesus - have the most wonderful 9 page dialogue on Divine Mercy Sunday, 1946! Thank You, Heavenly Father, for providing such abundant nourishment for our sugar-filled souls. We need that spiritual milk St. Paul talks about, as well as our Easter chocolate!
If you know me (and even if you don't know me yet, welcome to my world - I wear my heart on my sleeve so it will take you about 30 seconds to see my inner self if you read on!), you'll know I could joyfully and quickly type out the whole 9 pages of today's Conversations, but in the interests of brevity, I'm going to practice Easter restraint and just give you some highlights. That way you can make it on time to your online Divine Mercy Mass, or say a Divine Mercy chaplet - which will gain you or someone you love a plenary indulgence! You can find info on the special plenary indulgences in coronavirus time in the document put out recently by the Apostolic Penitentiary - but still no worrying allowed, because Holy Mother Church has made it super simple and so have we! You can read the document HERE, or in the back of our Stations of the Cross with Our Sister St. Therese book (downloadable for free with one click, here on this blog - above - or at amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com, or even directly on your kindle or nook by searching in the Store for the title or my name).
But meanwhile, here are some highlights of Jesus' words to Marcel on this Divine Mercy Sunday, 1946 - though back in our little brother's day, it was merely the Octave of Easter. How our Jesus does manage to pile on the blessings and graces as the years accumulate!
Marcel on this day accuses Jesus of being a miser, saying:
"The more I offer You souls in great numbers, the more You want. How can one explain such a strange attitude? I do not really understand how the will of a miser can penetrate Your heart to such a point that it is impossible to get it out. That is a very unattractive defect, little Jesus; the more I offer You souls in great number, the more You say to me: 'I still want more.' So, when will this end? It is probable that it will only cease for good the day when You will no longer be able to receive any at all. And, after all that, You reproach me for having the acquisitiveness of a miser. It is Yourself, Jesus, who has such a yearning and You still thrown the fault in my direction. Are You not afraid of being ashamed? Certainly, our Mother Mary should feel like laughing."
To which Jesus responds:
"Yes, Marcel . . . And whatever you might say, you also have a little of my defect, since the more I give you kisses and caresses, the more your miser's appetite grows. Even though I have exhausted all the means of indulging you, this strange desire always demands more. . . "
Ah, it is true, dear Jesus! We DO demand more, and we thank You for revealing this more to us through our sister Therese!
I have been pushing books on you today, primarily because that is where we find words, and the words of Jesus and His Saints best of all!
Have you yet read our Something New with St. Therese? There you will find the craziest idea yet, the nuttiest and most extravagant indulgence that Jesus has come up with to this point in history. It is NEW, it is WILD, it is (if I might quote myself) OUTRAGEOUS! And it is for you, and He can't wait another second for you to find it out if you have not found it out yet.
Have you been feeling a little low lately? Or maybe your high (like mine) comes from all those orders you're placing with amazon.com, but you know that even when the pringles arrive, they won't really satisfy . . . Jesus alone will satisfy you, and if I might be so bold, I will tell you that Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the Sacrament of His Love and Union - only this union of Holy Communion will satisfy you!
Now don't cry. I'm not being cruel to mention this just when you most likely can't receive Him.
Because the good news this Easter is that YOU CAN receive Jesus, our Love!
No, not by climbing over the boundaries that keep you from Him today (civil law, Church ordinances, Covid 19) - but precisely by climbing under them! Therese taught this to her sister Celine, and Celine and Therese want you to learn the lesson too. We are little ones. We don't have the power to make or break laws and ordinances, nor (tempting as it may be) would it be a good idea to hold up our favorite priest at gunpoint in order to demand Jesus from him!
(Lest my parentheses obscured the meaning of that last sentence, let me reiterate: Please DO NOT hold up anyone at gunpoint, least of all our dear priests!)
No, but if there were a locked gate keeping you from the gorgeous ocean (congratulations, J, C, and J in Arlan! The Resurrection Gate is open!), and if you were a little one determined to get to said ocean, you would not perhaps be big enough to climb over the gate, but you could very likely slip under it. And that is exactly what Therese teaches us to do in this difficult conundrum of how to receive Jesus in Holy Communion when we need Him most this plague time.
No, I don't think I'll explain the rest here. Please Contact Me if you can't manage to download the book Something New with St. Therese: Her Eucharistic Miracle. Or read THIS article to get a hint of it, and then read the book . . . Even my oldest brother - a Very Busy Man (Hi, J.H.! I doubt you have found this blog or have time for it, but if you are here - I love you! Thanks for all your goodness, and hi to the fam!) - even my oldest brother has found time to read (last I heard from him on Easter Sunday morn) enough of the book to Get the Gist and rejoice in Jesus' overwhelming determination to unite us to Himself in the Blessed Sacrament, even now.
But before you immerse yourself in Therese's glorious discovery, let's finish here. What else does Marcel have for us in today's Convos? Our little brother tells us that Jesus said, clear as day, clear as the Light of the World that He is, exactly what He wants us, even in the poverty of our pathetic memories, to keep in mind:
"Remember what I said to you, namely: that you must always be joyful."
and again, Jesus says to us today (through Marcel):
"Because you are wrapped in the flames of my love, on looking at you I see that you are very beautiful and your beauty enchants me so much that I give you kisses without tiring myself; and truly, the more I give you, the more I wish to give them to you without stopping."
Enough already! Padre Pio told us that Holy Communion is all an external and internal mercy, an embrace, and in it Jesus kisses us all over, visiting our whole being, finding delight in us, His creatures. Have you heard this before? If not, you need to listen to it HERE, in the talk I gave for the awesome Padre Pio Prayer Group of Nashville. Then you will understand what Jesus desires. Yes, it is union with you that He desires, now, even as He has desired this union with you from all eternity! Will you become the perfectly imperfect vessel for His Mercy on this Feast of Divine Mercy? I bet you will! You are already it, and need only to hear how in order to open yourself up even more to His infinitely tender and solicitous love!
Let's do it - let's set the world on fire with His love!
Here is what our liturgy told us yesterday, and it is our Easter message of hope and joy:
"Observing the boldness of Peter and John and perceiving them to be uneducated, ordinary men, the leaders, elders, and scribes were amazed, and they recognized them as the companions of Jesus." (Acts of the Apostles 4:13)
Let's be bold, especially with Jesus, just like Peter, John, Therese and Marcel have been!
And if you need a boost in boldness, let's start with joy, which you can find abundantly in this song I posted last Easter, and thanks to another Miss Marcel and her beauty, was reminded of late last night. Ready? It is HERE, our theme song, Souris et Chante, and more fun than a barrel of monkeys, which is to say, more fun than a barrel of Marcels! Will you join me in a prayer for the sweet Miss Marcel who loves it so much? May she smile and sing, whether in CA, MI, or anywhere her dear Jesus takes her in His abundant love!
And speaking of prayer intentions, let's bundle them all up in one big sigh (of love) and offer them to Jesus now!
Draw me, Risen Jesus, we will run!!!!
p.s. Keep listening after Souris et Chante, and you will hear - Jesus' Divine Mercy gift which I had no idea would play next! - my other favorite Therese/Marcel song! It is about how Jesus does everything in me, and I do nothing! It's a great little way to go, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
p.p.s. I am fixing typos, and to my utter astonishment, Jesus played this song for me eventually, the very song that contains (always to my joy and bemusement) the sentence that unlocks Holy Communion for us instantly at every moment: Remain in me . . . but I won't say more, because it's been said at the links above. Enjoy Him as He enjoys you! Rejoice, He is risen! He is risen as He said!
p.p.s. In honor of the Most Holy Trinity and in particular the Holy Spirit, here is an unprecedented 3rd postscript, because how could I not share with you Fr. Michael Gaitley's Divine Mercy Sunday Message? He too will explain the plenary indulgence available to all of us today. I disagree with Fr. Gaitley on how hard or easy it is to be detached from sin, but thankfully, Fr. Gaitley explains that this is not a condition for the Divine Mercy plenary indulgence....Additionally, the Apostolic Penitentiary's Decree doesn't (I think, though feel free to check), that is, DOES NOT require perfect contrition to receive the plenary indulgence in this time, but only the intention to go to confession when we are able/when it is allowed . . . God bless us all!
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.