I'll be the first to admit I'm codependent (i.e. I want to help everyone and fix everything - whether I'm asked or not, whether it's my job or not, whether the person or thing wants fixing, and whether or not the fixing will be to my detriment - I mean not that I'd consciously make a holy sacrifice for it, but that I'd forget to take care of myself in important ways, like eating or sleeping, and/or that I'd happily at first, though regretfully after the fact, abandon my actual duties and obligations to Save the World).
But I don't think it's me and my codependence behind the title of this post. As much as I gladly imitate the ostrich with its head in the sand (although I'd prefer my head in a really soft pillow), it has come to my attention - or rather ours, here at Miss Marcel's Musings - that I am now not alone in wanting to fix things.
I take my head out of my pillow for just a moment, answer the door or the phone, visit a friend, go to Sunday Mass (or Monday Mass), and WHAM! (Not the 80's group, but more like the old Batman and Robin T.V. show). Everything is not turning up roses outside my pillow, and then yes, I suppose it is my codependence kicking in: When I see that everyone else is now concerned to save the world, I can't help but throw in my two cents, wanting, now, not just to save the world, but wanting too to save everyone else from too much worry. (And we all know - or can read previous posts here to find out - how much worry is too much worry. Any, according to God!)
Which brings us to HOW TO FIX EVERYTHING.
Luckily, I have the answer. And I'm not kidding!
You won't be surprised to hear that the answer comes from Jesus, Divine Physician, Good Shepherd, and actual Savior of the World.
You might be surprised to hear that the answer from Jesus does not come to us through Marcel.
Gosh, even as I write that, I'm surprised. And I want to qualify it, which I'll do by saying that I'm not saying the answer I'm going to give you is the only answer. In fact I can think of one more equally good Way To Fix Everything right off the top of my head. No, I don't mean the answer to that perennial question: How to keep one's roots blonde too; I just mean that another Way To Fix Everything comes to mind immediately, so the one I'm going to offer clearly isn't the Only Way to Fix Everything, but just A Great and Easy Way To Fix Everything., thus leaving room for more such Ways to come to us from Jesus through Marcel.
But since we know from Therese that for simple souls there must be no complicated ways, for now I'm going to go with the first and easiest Way To Fix Everything that Jesus has revealed to me in these last few days.
Though He didn't reveal this to me through Marcel, Jesus did use another little secretary of His love to open the gate to this Way To Fix Everything, and that other little apostle is St. Faustina. (And if it seems repetitive for me to keep saying "The Way To Fix Everytyhing," well I only want to make sure that I don't forget what I'm supposed to be writing about. Because this is BIG!)
St. Thomas Aquinas asks toward the beginning of the Summa Theologiae "Whether God is Simple" and (to cut to the chase, life being short and our need to fix everything becoming more urgent by the moment), he answers Yes.
Without worrying about what that even means, then (please don't tell my husband I'm using my education in this way! nah, just kidding, he already knows . . .), we can conclude, with little Therese, that for Jesus' simple soul there ought not to be complicated ways either. And, not surprisingly, there are not!
When He wants us to learn from Him, Jesus asks us to imitate His gentleness and humility of heart. And when He wants us to help Him Save the World (also known as Fixing Everything), He gives an equally simple Way. Here it is, as He told it to St. Faustina on January 28, 1938 (and if you have her Diary, you can read along at 1541).
"My daughter, encourage souls to say the chaplet which I have given to you. It pleases Me to grant everything they ask of Me by saying the chaplet."
Jesus is speaking of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and you can say it on your rosary. You start with one Our Father and one Hail Mary, followed by the Apostle's Creed (you'll have to be creative to make these fit perfectly on the first beads of the Rosary, but I'll leave that to your imagination so you feel like you're really part of the solution). Then on the first decade, you start with:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins, and those of the whole world.
Then you've got the 10 beads of the decade. On each one you repeat:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us, and on the whole world.
When you finish the first decade and start the next, you repeat the "Eternal Father" prayer, then for the decade itself you say on each bead, "For the sake of His sorrowful Passion," et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
At the end of the five decades, you say the Trisagion.
You thought you knew the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and now I'm throwing you a curve ball, huh? Well no, you most likely do already know even the Trisagion, but you didn't know it was called by this very cool name. I know that I didn't know it was called this until about 2 years ago (almost exactly 2 years ago) when I was messing about one day with books (ah, books!) and started looking into St. Anthony Mary Claret's Autobiography and found that he was told by God to say the Trisagion in order to help save the world.
Naturally, my first thought was: What in heaven's name is the Trisagion? And my second thought (really they were so closely thought as almost to be one) was: And why aren't we saying it everyday like God told St. Anthony Mary Claret we must???
Good news. Even if you and I have been sometimes remiss in saying the Trisagion daily, I can assure you that large numbers of people have taken God's recommendation to heart. You might wonder where you've been and how you've missed this trend. Is everyone else reading The Autobiography of St. Anthony Mary Claret, while you've been reading Clan of the Cave Bear? (That's a little joke. No need for you to even get it; just substitute whatever you've been reading lately for that second title.)
Well no, to my knowledge (and I try to keep my finger on the pulse of what the reading public is reading), not many have been reading St. AMC's Autobiography, though as you are beginning to suspect, it's a page turner (that's not a joke but quite true) and quite wonderful, as the Autobiography of a Saint usually is.
But no, the reason people have been saying the Trisagion prayer daily all over the world is because for simple souls there must be no complicated ways. Jesus, then, as a simple soul, does not simply keep multiplying prayers for us (which would not be simple even if we say He might "simply" keep doing that). Nope, He apparently keeps recommending the Trisagion.
Here's something I found online (and that's another story, but I do enjoy googling my holy questions). I didn't come up with the entry from the Autobiography of St. Anthony Mary Claret that I wanted to share with you, but instead I found (straight off, like the angels had sent it) a pamphlet called The Angelic Trisagion which starts with this passage:
"The exquisitely beautiful Trisagion Prayers, intoned by the nine choirs of Holy Angels – Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Powers, Virtues, Principalities, Archangels and Angels – give “endless praise” to the Holy Trinity in Heaven. This devotion to the Blessed Trinity is the official prayer of the Order of the Blessed Trinity, otherwise known as the Trinitarians. The devotion has been recited by them and their affiliates for centuries in praise of the Trinity. Throughout man's history these prayers were transmitted by the Persons of the Holy Trinity to various saintly people such as Isaias, John the Apostle and Evangelist and St. Anthony Mary Claret.
"When these prayers were given to St. Anthony Claret who lived from 1807 to 1870, he was informed by the Holy Ghost, Third Person of the Holy Trinity, that many chastisements due to mankind . . . would be considerably mitigated for those persons who would pray the Trisagion Prayers . . .
"In a letter to Mother Maria Antonia de San Pedro, Saint Anthony Claret writes, 'God, Our Lord, has made known to me in a very clear way the necessity that we have to pray and to promote the devotion of the Trisagion, and of the Most Holy Rosary and devotion of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, frequently visiting Him and receiving Him in Most Holy Communion.' In particular, the Trisagion is as Saint Anthony Claret says, 'an impenetrable shield against all the evils that God has sent on earth as a chastisement for our sins.'"
To my delight, the author then brings in the very passage I wanted to share with you from St. AMC's Autobiography, the passage I read 2 years ago and which first clued me in to the Trisagion. (Leave it to google and the angels, should be my motto, oh me of little faith!)
St. Anthony says:
"Our Lord enlightened me in regard to the three evils menacing Spain [which is where he lived and was a Bishop], which are . . . "
Well, let's just stop right there and fill in the blanks.
First, you can replace "Spain" with the country in which you live. Then, you can fill in whatever you think are the three evils menacing your country - or even the three evils menacing you personally. I know it would be good gossip to hear what Jesus told AMC were the three evils menacing Spain in his day, but that's not really to the point, now, is it?
What I've been noticing (though I try hard not to) is that there seem to be evils menacing the Church and the world in our own day, evils which are making all holy people profoundly uncomfortable, to say the least. So let's just go ahead and fill in the blanks by ourselves, making it more up-to-date and applicable to our moment in history, and see what Jesus suggests we do about it . . . Continuing with His advice to St. Anthony Mary Claret then:
"In order to counteract these evils, Our Savior made me understand that three devotions had to be intensified, namely, the Trisagion of the Holy Trinity, devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and devotion to the Holy Rosary. The Trisagion is to be said daily. The Blessed Sacrament should be honored by hearing Mass, receiving Communion frequently, visiting the Blessed Sacrament, and making spiritual communions. The three parts of the Rosary should be said every day, or at least one part, while meditating on the mysteries for each decade, and applying the prayers to the needs of the times.” -Autobiography of St. Anthony Mary Claret, Chapter 18 of Part III
Now before you run off and complicate your life to no end, figuring out just where you're going to stuff in those three parts of the Rosary (not to mention the 4th part St. JPII gave us), and when you're going to abandon your post (as a wife and mother, a kid with schoolwork to do, a day laborer or teacher or neurosurgeon or whatever it is you find your work to be) in order to run in and out of Church 12 times a day to adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament . . . let's just pause and use our noggins.
It would be marvelous if it turns out that you've been sitting somewhere (at home, in a car or bus, on the sidewalk or curb, at the beach, on a pillar) just wishing Jesus would instruct you on what to do with all your free time. You don't really want to spend your days reading Wikipedia entries on "Sanford and Son" and finding out whatever happened to your favorite celebrities of yore, but dang if you can find anything productive to keep you busy . . . .If that's your story, feel free (without scruples but with joy and relief that finally someone's suggested something worthy of your time, attention, and above all your heart) to say the whole Rosary, go to daily Mass and Communion, visit the Blessed Sacrament frequently, and say the Trisagion prayers (don't worry, I haven't forgotten that we haven't yet specified what these are. We're getting there, I promise).
I'm guessing, though (and it's an educated guess because I know A LOT of people, and I'm a fond observer of human nature and have a good listening ear) that everyone including you is, let's say, a little busy already.
And that being the situation in which we find ourselves (as well as menaced by evil), wouldn't it be nice if - for simplicity and efficiency's sake - there were just one thing we could do to remedy these evils, fix everything, and help Jesus save the world?
Let's repeat those words Our Lord said to St. Faustina, because I think the answer is right here:
"My daughter, encourage souls to say the chaplet which I have given to you. It pleases Me to grant everything they ask of Me by saying the chaplet."
That's straightforward and simple enough, and here's what I LOVE about the chaplet.
It takes just a few minutes to say, and for those of us who are fairly unfocused and slow to meditate, the great thing about the chaplet is that one just says the same few valuable and effective words over and over, and if in repetition (50 times repeating "For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world") one manages to actually think about these adorable words just once, well I at least feel quite excited to have managed some prayer in my prayers.
I find even more than with the Rosary (though I pray Saints John Paul II and Padre Pio help us love that prayer most of all), there is no room for scrupples here, just littleness and the knowledge that Jesus wouldn't say He'll grant everything we ask of Him by saying the chaplet unless He meant it.
So, having told you just how to say the Divine Mercy Chaplet up until that ending bit, it's time to connect the dots. (No, this isn't another activity. I'm hoping to magically tie together the words of Our Lord to St. Faustina and St. Anthony Mary Claret.)
The Trisagion that Jesus asked St. Anthony Mary Claret to say daily to counteract the evils of the age (and thus, in my loose translation, to save the world and FIX EVERYTHING) is the very prayer He instructed us, through Faustina, to say at the end of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and it goes like this:
Holy God! Holy Mighty One! Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us.
With the happy addition, in the Chaplet version, of a tiny extra prayer to make sure His grace and Mercy cover absolutely everyone (and everything). The tiny extra prayer goes like this:
"and on the whole world."
The final prayer of the Chaplet is, then:
Holy God! Holy Mighty One! Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us, and on the whole world.
Now. I have a confession to make. I'm tempted to worry that I use a few too many words in these blogs. If only I used fewer words, I think, then I could get to the point faster, and more people (who are in a hurry) could profit from the important headlines that top our posts - you know, by actually reading the punchline that goes with it in the post proper. So, for instance, if I were to top today's post with "How to Fix Everything" and someone were to scroll down hoping to find out how, exactly, to fix everything, they could find out without having to commit to reading lots and lots and lots of words before they get to the ones they're looking for.
You, dear reader, are here with me. If you weren't, you wouldn't be reading these words right now (down here, as opposed to the opening words, which you read quite some time ago). Thank you for your perseverance! And I know, because you may be one of the happy readers who have clicked on that "contact me" button to let me know, that you don't mind all the words I've given you between those at the top and these here toward the bottom. ("Toward" in a general, non-committed sense, believe me!)
You might even be thanking God for these many words and saying to yourself, "Gee, I hope she doesn't try to stifle herself. Someone might get hurt, and I'd miss all those words." That's what I'm hoping you're saying, and that's what we'll go with because while I might not hurt myself if I used fewer words (though hating pain and suffering as I do, I'm not sure I want to risk finding out), still, using fewer words certainly would take away lots of the fun I'm having with you every time I write a post.
So....tossing that temptation over my left shoulder where all good temptations should be disposed of, let's now move on to The Punchline.
(This is a rhetorical question. It's one thing for me to take forever to get all the words down and you to take forever to read them, but if we wait for you to guess what, we could be here even longer than forever! Because I think you'll never guess!!!)
Okay, I'm going to give you one guess.
I'm going to close my eyes for a moment to let you think and then you say what you guess. I'll wait while you close your eyes and think and guess..............................................
Okay. Back again?
I hate to say it (actually I'm enjoying this tremendously!), but you guessed wrong! So now I'm going to give you a clue.
Have you ever said (or heard of) a 54 day Rosary Novena?
No, silly, I'm not suggesting we say one.
That might not be your idea of easy, and I did say that we'd take the easy little way to Fix Everything. I did say, too, that this easy Way to Fix Everything wasn't the only way, and Sister Lucia (you know, of Fatima) herself said that with the Rosary we can obtain everything, so that's definitely one more excellent approach.
But for us, for now, we're little ones, and we're taking the little way.
(This being, after all, Miss Marcel's Musings, not St. Simon Stylites' Suggestions, which comes to mind as an alternative since we were recently talking about people sitting on pillars, but no, that's not our preferred posture here.)
So. Think of the Divine Mercy Chaplet as shorter than the Rosary and requiring less meditation. Then think 54 day Novena (technically that's 6 novenas: 3 in petition, 3 in thanksgiving, and whoosh you've got 54 days. Believe me, you don't have to do the math unless you want to; this is a blog which requires no special SAT score to read).
Divine Mercy Chaplet.
54 Day Novena.
You guessed it!
A 54 day Divine Mercy Chaplet Novena!
And don't even tell me that Joe Shmoe over at the Holy Rollers blog thought of it first. Because, I ask you, did he realize or suggest or bring to your undivided attention (there. I got you there. When was the last time your attention was undivided? So I doubt it. But let me finish) that (drum roll please) -
If we start a 54 day Divine Mercy Novena today, on August 30th, we will finish on the Feast of Pope St. JOHN PAUL the Great!?!?!?!?!???????
All those question marks were really unnecessary, except that the statement above, entirely true as far as my counting skills and mathematical computations have calculated (which means you'd better check and Contact Me if I got this wrong), was the end of a question from the previous paragraph.
But otherwise, only exclamation marks fit the end of that sentence!
So what do you think? Are you ready to save the world with me and Jesus? Ready to Fix Absolutely Everything?!?!?
I say let's do it. Let's start the first annual 54 days (to the Divine Mercy Champion's feast) Divine Mercy Novena. We may want to come up with a shorter and catchier name, but for now, are you in?
Here's the best part.
Or rather the best 3 parts, in honor of the Trinity (whom the angels honor by saying the Trisagion in Heaven as Isaiah and John in Revelation assure us):
1. While you're saying the chaplet, you can feel free to think of and throw in (as intentions) every single thing that's wrong in your world (according to your limited intelligence, and I'm not judging here, just saying sometimes it's easier to call it a petition than to thank God for it, so throw it all in) and throw in too what's wrong in the outside world . . . not as an exercise in scrupulosity or a precursor to mental breakdown, but rather as a way of saying implicitly, "Jesus, I trust in YOU," knowing He's going to fix it all because He said He would. Ah, how comforting that is!
2. Let's ask our guardian angels to pray this novena with us.
Please? (That's to the angels, not to you :).
That way if we forget, our angel can say the chaplet for us.
Talk about the little way of novenas. I hardly count a novena as successful if I remember all the days. We have to let God do the saving without our deserving it, so missing days helps, though I try not to do it on purpose. Believe me, it will happen without our trying!
But as I said, this way our angels can fill in the gaps.
3. Finally, the very best part.
Do you know what is the most successful way I've found to get to sleep (or get the chaplet said)? Try saying it when you desperately need a nap around 3 pm (and for once you have permission to try this at home, but NOT while operating heavy machinery; better to be in a reclining position, though not while driving) or at night when going to bed (start when in bed for best results) or when you wake at 3 a.m. If you don't get to sleep (or back to sleep), you'll get your chaplet said, so it's a win-win, but likely you'll drowse off into dreamland and your angel can finish the chaplet (per #2). He absolutely loves saying that Trisagion at the end, and I'm confident he'll say the prayers leading up to it too.
That's it, then, and I'm excited to have finished writing so I can post this and do my little part to save the world (i.e. Fix Everything) by spreading the good news of just how easy it is.
Incidentally (or essentially, depending on how the shoe fits), you don't need to keep up with the news that comes from secular or even Catholic outlets. Just say your chaplet knowing that Jesus will use your loving prayer (whether said attentively, foggy-brained, fuzzily, or with the help of the angels) to save the world and Fix Everything. He's omniscient and He'll know what needs fixing, who (and what) needs saving, and so on and so forth. Your job is to have fun with the chaplet, that's all you need to do, with nothing left to worry about ever!
Ah, but before we end this post, I had a request. Kind of like a song request, except that I don't know the tune, just the words, and I don't even know how to say the words correctly, which is why I need your help. (If "you" are the one who wrote in with the request, pretend you aren't reading this. I am not turning the tables and requesting you to find the answer, cutie.)
I'm going to write out our signature prayer (in French and English) but the thing is that some of us have no idea how to pronounce the French. I did put our French prayer into Google translate (or rather into the Google box and with the additional word "translate") and I did get a translation and audio file for how to say it . . . but I didn't get around to reproducing those sounds as phonetic spellings (like telling you that you'd pronounce Smarcel as S-mark-ul - which is another story for another day) . . . So any one of you kind-hearted souls who worry that saying the chaplet for 54 days is too easy, please don't hesitate to assist a fellow Marcel lover (Miss Marcel East, to name names) who wants to know how to pray in French and not be laughed at by our sister Therese and our brother Marrcel. (Good luck with that, MME! But it's worth a try!)
Meanwhile, in our worst imitation of a native French speaker (unless you are a native French speaker reading this, and then you can pray it beautifully and correctly), let's say together our other (and even simpler) Fix Everything prayer:
Entraine-moi! nous courrons a ta suite!
and with likely more convincing accents:
Draw me (sweep me off my feet, Jesus!)! We shall run!
Finally, for a dose of courage, scroll back up to the top of this post and take a good look at those two brave men. They are your brothers, your fathers, the ones who have your back. And they're both saying the same thing to you right now and forever - Be not afraid! I love that, and didn't want you to miss it. No worries, now! You can tell just by looking at their faces that everything is going to be fine, just fine. So no more fears! And if you just can't help it, remember Our Lady's good counsel: "Little Jesus, I offer You this worry as a sacrifice." But enough of my words; scroll up and let those guys fill you with their undaunted and all knowing courage!
P.S. If you are reading this sometime in the future, I have one suggestion and one question.
Suggestion: you can join in this 54 day Divine Mercy novena at any time! Or start your own now and go 54 days into the even further future.
Question: is everyone wearing one piece polyester pantsuits?
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.