It was a Set Up!
set·up /ˈsedˌəp/ noun INFORMAL/noun: set-up
It was a set up.
You know (if you didn't know before you started reading today's post, you know now, thanks to the handy dandy dictionary definitions above): a scheme or trick intended to incriminate or deceive someone. Though upon reflection, considering the sort of characters we're up against here at Miss Marcel's Musings (not least of all Marcel himself), we might as well admit it's also a set up in the sense of the way in which something, especially an organization, is planned or arranged.
Less than a week ago, Padre Pio was our special guest here at MMM, and with good reason. As I said in that post ("Guess What Today Is?" just two posts down from this one), "It's no small thing to have one's cause for canonization opened, and Marcel needed to use me as his little pencil to celebrate Padre Pio's anniversary today."
A few days later I was minding my own business goofing around on my kindle, looking at an adorable digital French children's book about Marcel, when what did I see but that Marcel's process of beatification was opened in the Diocese of Belley-Ars on March 26, 1997. That would be -- today! Happy anniversary, Marcel!! I see it all now! Padre Pio got us to feature him big time so that when your own day came, he could turn the tables and put you in the spotlight! (Yes, we have tables and spotlights and all sorts of props and gear - no expenses spared at this blog!)
Ah, Marcel. It is no small thing to have one's cause opened, and I think you had yours opened twice! First in Quebec, thanks to the loving work of your bearded Jesus, who had 32 years to remember you and work for you after little Jesus finally gave you that first REAL kiss in July of 1959. And then, thanks to the loving work of Les Amis de Van, your cause was transferred and reopened in Ars, the home of the great Cure whose heart has been traveling in the U.S. the past few months to help us pray for priests.
And how beautiful that your little feast, Marcel, is the day after the solemnity of the Annunciation (or Incarnation, as I like to call it so I'll remember the Mystery hidden within) just as Padre Pio's was the day after the solemnity of St. Joseph. You two darling boys probably thought you'd get to hide in the shadows of these great feasts, but we've ferreted you out, or rather you've ferreted each other out, little weasels! But one good fete deserves another, and Our Lady and her wonderful St. Joseph are no more interested in grasping God's glory than you two are. Nope, it's souls magnifying the Lord at every turn, and what a joy that you've let us share your wealth this year.
I'm thinking that it would be fun to do something sort of lasting for these two shadow feasts, now that they've come to our attention. More than sugar (can you believe I just said that? I must be getting quite spiritual this Lent to think there's something more than sugar with which to celebrate!) - and here is my idea. It started out kind of crazy, kind of Marcel, kind of Pio, and kind of JPII. But then, because of my littleness, my very Marcel-ness, it morphed into something very small.
Recently I've been wanting to pray more for priests, and I've also been thinking about the Rosary since this is Pio's, JPII's, and I daresay Marcel's favorite prayer. With Marcel, however, it's a little different because he had such a variety of Heaven sent prayers at his disposal. So at first I was thinking we could come up with some kind of Rosary crusade to pray for priests. This is beautiful and I don't want to discourage anyone from participating in such a crusade, but I must admit that I'm feeling just a smidge smaller than St. Joan of Arc or St. Louis of France or any other brave warrior Saint. And then, just to reassure me that spiritual liberty is a very important principle for little tiny souls like ours, and that rosaries are not Our Lady's only favorite prayer, here is what Our dear and Blessed Mother dropped into my lap last night and this morning.
Nothing less than my favorite from Marcel's repertoire of prayers, and the one she taught him at (596), saying:
My child, did you just mention sacrifice? So, offer your cough as a sacrifice to Jesus. Listen, I am going to tell you a new method of sacrificing yourself. Each time that you are troubled, even if only for the span of a breath, say this: 'Little Jesus, I offer you this worry as a sacrifice.' Then, remain in peace. Thanks to this sacrifice, you will be consumed in the fire of Love, which will act freely in you. Thanks to this sacrifice, how many sinful souls will be able to avoid an occasion of sin that would expose them to falling into despair? . . . Always remember this method, all right? Little Jesus loves this kind of sacrifice a lot . . . Little Jesus will make use of it to draw you to His Heart, and then He will make use of it to draw many other souls.
* * *
I love this so much! Jesus and Therese and Mary have so often told Marcel not to worry, that they don't want him to worry, that their sole concern is to get him to stop worrying. But here is Our Lady, the ultimate Mother, dealing with her anxiety ridden child by trying another method. A mother doesn't give up, and the Mother of Mercy, the Mother of Good Counsel, the Mother who is also Seat of Wisdom has a new approach that is about the most brilliant thing ever proposed! Why not offer up the worry as a sacrifice? If this anxiety seems to be here to stay, Jesus must have a reason for allowing it. Aha! So that we can offer it to Him, and by so doing, we can save souls, snuggle next to His Heart, and even be consumed by the fire of His love! Yowza! Better even than not worrying in the first place!
So while I was going to try and be big and organize something (a set up!) like a Rosary crusade for priests, I've decided to be weasely instead, like our little brother Marcel and our funny father Pio (these two just taught me the second kind of set up!), and organize an army of little souls all worrying day and night but remembering occasionally to offer up their worries as a sacrifice, and even a sacrifice for priests! If anyone complains in Heaven or on earth, I will appeal to (596) of Marcel's Conversations. It was Mary's idea! I don't think God ever objects to Mary's ideas, and He's the only One (-in-Three) whose opinion really matters!
Do you have a worry? Perhaps it is about the prayers you haven't been saying, or have been saying "badly" (in your opinion, though I venture to guess that Jesus loves your "bad" prayers!) . . . maybe it's about the Lenten resolutions you're falling down on (or which are falling down on you!) . . . or maybe you are worried about someone (or everyone) you love.
May I make a suggestion?
First, thank Jesus for these worries.
Thank You, little Jesus, for all my worries!
Second, repeat after me:
"Little Jesus, I offer You these worries as a sacrifice!"
Third, remain in peace!
That third part is evasive and elusive for me, but then it's kind of fun because I can start offering my worries to Jesus one by one - so many sacrifices! You'd think I was the greatest saint ever, the way I've got more sacrifices to offer Jesus than sands on the seashore or stars in the sky!
I think I'll post this now so you can enjoy the last moments of Marcel's special day, or if you're seeing this on another day (than March 26), I give you permission to celebrate the opening of Marcel's cause on your day (the day you're on now).
Who gave me the permission to give you permission? Hey, I know enough philosophy to know that an infinite regress is bad news! Always leads to trouble, so the buck stops here. I'm giving you permission because I'm Miss Marcel, and if you're worried I don't really have the authority to cause a serious rupture in your Lenten observance (haha, I'll go along with you on that one for the sake of argument, but you gotta admit it's funny! I mean the part about your Lenten observance being all that and more when it's been feast after feast according to the Church calendar) - well if you're worried, all the better! You get to offer up this worry too as a sacrifice!
One thing I noticed in Mary's advice and explanation was a beautiful and unexpected gift: just because we are little and can only do little things, doesn't mean we can't cause big results. Our Lady has just told us through Marcel that by this little prayer (which is so charming!), we can save many souls! Hooray for littleness which, like Jesus hidden in Mary's womb, changes history forever!
Or, dare I say,hooray for littleness which, like a little Vietnamese boy known, even after his death, by relatively few, has yet changed the whole history of our souls, those of us infinitely blessed enough to know him and read his Conversations with our adorable Jesus, beautiful Mary, and very little (too) Therese.
Thank You, Jesus, for Marcel!
Draw each of us, and we will run - with everyone in our hearts, with all those we've been asked to pray for, with all those we've promised to pray for, with all those who need our prayers.
And little Jesus, all these worries we can't seem to shake - we offer them to You as so many sacrifices. We give them to You freely so that You can save the whole world!
* * *
Incidentally, a Miss Marcel of my acquaintance recently mentioned that she isn't yet convinced that she'll escape purgatory, though she knows Therese counsels that sort of escape and promises it through the great and very effective Fire of Jesus' Love.
Well, dear Miss Marcels (and Mister Marcels) who may be reading this post - I have good news and bad news for you.
The bad news first - you'll never be able to spend time in purgatory whether you want to or not. It's too late - you're one of Therese's little victims of Love, and Love has too many cleansing properties to leave you in purgatory for any more than the time it takes you to shoot through it (if it's geographically between earth and Heaven as I imagine it to be) into Jesus' arms. He's waited too long already for you, and whenever He kisses YOU for the first time (really), it's all over! Heaven is your destiny.
The good news? The same as the bad news, of course. It was just bad news if you were really counting on purgatory. Once you get over it (this desire for suffering, ha ha!), you'll be happy with your future: It's Jesus alone for all little souls! Don't worry - this one doesn't depend on you, but on Him, and He won't wait a split second longer than He has to for union with His beloved children. And you, by some wonderful blessing, are His beloved child . . . Just like Marcel!!
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