I'm delighted to be wishing you a happy JPII day! I had hoped to write early and often today, but the Holy Spirit had other plans. I pray your day has been blessed!
Mine began early with some "work" on translating French into English to finish off a wonderful book on St. Therese that I've had the privilege to write. I put "work" in quote marks because it's not clear to any of us (me, Therese, Marcel, John Paul II, my guardian angel, and so on to the whole cloud of witnesses) that I can translate more than escargot (no thank you) and croissant (yes, please)! But I had to laugh when I saw a post it note I'd put on the French page last time I attempted this process. It was apparently a message from St. Therese who was teasing me, saying, "You're the only person I know who gets infused knowledge and then uses a dictionary!."
I remember! I had prayed for infused knowledge of French so I could read this important page which had been sent to me from France (in the real mail!) after our visit to Lisieux. That particular morning, I felt the gift had been given! I whooshed through the passage and understood - and my goodness was it a miracle: not only that I understood, but what I understood! If I am being cryptic, all will be made clear soon when the book is available. Thanks to a terrific priest we met in Lisieux, a real lover of Therese and an encouraging soul if ever there was one, the book will be available much sooner than I had hoped - or so I hope now! But meeting Fr. Ken was only the first of the final steps in the book's development. Another important step was reading this page's confirmation of my thesis, in French no less!
You can understand (do take my side, not hers, will you?) that it was only natural I should check my infused knowledge with a dictionary!! I'm not entirely used to living on the supernatural plane, so basic reference works continue to be a crutch. Also, my infused knowledge was short-lived, so the dictionary is a necessity once again. Ah, for more faith and union of love with my guardian angel! I'm praying for that, for sure!
Meanwhile, after messing about with French this morning, I was ecstatic to receive an email from good Jack Keogan, a man who does know French, enough to have translated Marcel's works from that language into our English. The man, in other words, to whom I owe an eternal debt of gratitude! Jack was telling me that he is still involved in various translation projects, and I told him it was high time he called on Marcel, who anticipated (in his Conversations) that he would himself know French once he was in heaven. He also is the second Therese and wanted to be like his big sister in everything, so I think it's fair to expect him to spend his heaven doing good on earth. Why not put him to work helping Jack help him? (Of course I'm assuming Marcel now knows English too. But then of course he does! As Therese spoke Vietnamese beautifully, once she spoke to Marcel from Heaven, so Marcel speaks English beautifully too - you only have to read the Conversations in English to see that!)
No sooner had I finished and sent my email to Jack, then I received an email from a beautiful couple in Nashville, members of the Padre Pio Prayer Group there, with whom I've been trading Saints. I sent them Marcel, they sent me Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos! And guess what they reported Marcel had been up to today? Nothing more nor less than teaching Blessed Seelos some Vietnamese!!! Here is what P.C. wrote to me:
"Hi Sis Suzie,
You wouldn't believe this. I had several prayer cards of Fr. Seelos. I put them by accident next to Brother Marcel. One of the Fr. Seelos prayer cards turned Vietnamese. I don't think I have a Fr. Seelos prayer card that is Vietnamese?"
Well actually, P.C., I do believe it! And I think you DO have a Fr. Seelos prayer card that is now, thanks to Marcel's antics, quite Vietnamese indeed! Here is the proof, from the photo P.C. sent:
I know this prayer card well, since P.C. sent me several to share, but I also know this card didn't used to be in Vietnamese - so I can't think of a lovelier rose to share with you on St. John Paul II's feast today then a miraculous holy card from one of his beata!
I have been thinking of all he gave us, our dear St. John Paul the Great. The Catechism and the Code of Canon Law. A renewed love of Fatima, taking a bullet for us, beatifying the little shepherds, revealing the third secret. He gave us Our Lady of Guadalupe, declaring himself a Mexican in Mexico, a true son of Our Lady, to whom he said, and taught us to say: Totus Tuus! He gave us his love of Our Lady and the Rosary, even going so far as to give us a new set of 5 luminous mysteries!
He knocked down Communism, this fearless leader on the world stage. He led us into the 3rd milllenium, he visited the whole world, he instituted World Youth Day and inspired countless vocations to the priesthood and religious life. He blessed innumerable married couples, and I'm just thinking of the ones I know personally!!!
This brilliant Polish pontiff who belonged to us all gave us St. Faustina and the Feast of Divine Mercy, the chaplet of Divine Mercy, the image of Divine Mercy, and the prayer to solve all our difficulties: Jesus, I trust in You! And as if all that weren't enough, alongside his own example of selfless dedication and sanctity, he gave us 483 Saints and 1,340 Blesseds - Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos among them!!
But if you think I'm forgetting something, I'll tell you what is on my heart today so you know I have not forgotten. Far from it, I've been rejoicing since early this morning, thinking, "I know he did other things, but they escape me at the moment, because dear St. John Paul II did one thing I can't wait to hug and kiss him for. He recognized and proclaimed St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face the 33rd and youngest DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH!!!"
Ah, the glorious communion of Saints! We are in the thick of them now, celebrating their feasts (even their canonizations, as in the case of St. John Henry Cardinal Newman!) in our triple novenas and they surround us so lovingly that we have hardly enough time to mention them all, let alone do them justice.
Now St. John Paul II is one of their number, a brightly shining star in the firmament of heaven, yet close enough to hear every one of our prayers. And he knows what we need. He knew it long before he went home to the Father's house. He told us, from the very beginning, these words we have been repeating (or at least intended to repeat, or at the very least can say now) through this second part of the second of our triple novenas: the very words of Jesus we so badly needed - and still need - to hear, the very message that Therese and Marcel (or Jesus and Therese through Marcel) continue to give us:
Be Not Afraid!
Jesus, I trust in You!
Thank you, St. John Paul II! We love you!!
I will be honest with you. I'm really very super duper extremely excited about beginning the last 9 days of our second triple novena, because finally we can acknowledge all those we never remember to acknowledge: the whole kit n caboodle, the glorious communion of saints, in toto! (Not the dog, but the entirety!!).
And I have to admit that I'm ready, now that I had shaved our prayers down to a minimum, to spend these next 9 days in a little tiny bit more prayer, because I've missed having something a little longer to say. Turns out a short attention span is not cured by a short prayer! Not that any of us needs curing, precisely.
Jesus has convinced me, through His Conversations with Marcel (which He promises are for us too, every word!) that we are delightful to Him in our weakness, just as He assured St. Paul told us long ago, and as St. John Paul II confirmed in graduating Therese with her doctorate. We are the perfect vessels - misshapen, cracked, and worn as we are! - for God's ultimate gift of Himself, perfect, all-powerful, Limitless Love!
I hope you don't mind if we go back to the beginning, to the prayer that began this love fest of triple novenas. I can't get enough of the way this "Old French Prayer for Friends" covers all our bases, and I'm confident it will help us hit the novena ball out of the park straight into heaven where it will roll to Jesus' feet. He, then, will notice how the ball's in His court so to speak (a slight change in metaphor, but still sporting!), and what can He do?
Nothing but answer our prayers, as He loves to do. He was just waiting for the whole cloud of witnesses to cry out in one voice with our petitions! What a deafening roar! How can He refuse us a single thing we need?
Know, then, that your prayers are my prayers, and all of our prayers are the Blessed Mother's prayers. He cannot refuse her, and she loves to intercede for us, so let's call on her again, for these next 9 days and the rest of our lives in earth and in heaven, to be the loving mother she is.
Here, then, is our novena prayer to begin tomorrow (but no problem getting a running start!) and lead us to the Feast of All Saints:
Blessed Mother of those whose names you can read in my heart, watch over them with every care. Make their way easy and their labors fruitful. Dry their tears if they weep; sanctify their joys; raise their courage if they weaken; restore their hope if they lose heart, their health if they be ill, truth if they err, and repentance if they fall. Amen.
Draw me, Jesus, we will run!!!
May your days be full of saints, your nights be watched o'er by angels, your languages be infused, and your prayers be answered, every one!
Our rules still hold - just to have heard about our triple novena is to be included, along with all your loved ones, so no more worrying, any more, ever! We've got enough confidence here for your intentions and then some, so have a cupcake or a glass of wine, and feast in the glory of our Risen Lord and His love for you!
Blessed be God, in His Angels and in His Saints!
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