Lately I've been laughing with family and friends over the question of my supposedly prolific writing. Or in other words, my gift of an excess of words!
When asked, "How do you write so much?" I've been giving the stock answer (true, as well as fun) that I type fast and I don't think - my secret recipe for writing copiously. But this morning, our sweet Jesus has given me another answer which brings tears to my eyes, for in all our moods He is with us and near us, and His tenderness knows no limits.
Here is the passage in Marcel's Conversations which explains more theologically just how it is that I write so many words (the reason that might be more illuminating than my typing speed and ability to write pages and pages without a thought in my happy little head!). I have been delighted with this passage for some time now, and you'll know why when I transcribe it for you now. It is Jesus' own commentary (in answer to Marcel's wonderfully simple question) on our Act of Oblation to Merciful Love -the very subject of our new book, Something New with St. Therese: Her Eucharistic Miracle (which you can read even before reading another word of this post, by clicking on the pdf, or mobi - for kindle - or ebpub file above in the typewriter area of this page).
As I say, I love this passage and Jesus' words to us through Marcel, words by which He explains our Offering to Love, but as with any particular passage in Conversations, despite the dozens of bookmarks I have to set off favorite entries, I never can find anything without St. Anthony's help! I was so touched, then, when Jesus Himself assisted me this morning as I started my own conversation with Him. He it was who guided my hand to open, accidentally as it were, to this very passage! Jesus is speaking to Marcel and answering our little brother's question: "So little Jesus, tell me what 'Victim of Love' means." To which Jesus replies (on April 30, 1946):
"They are victims who, through love, offer themselves to Love. These victims leave to Love complete liberty to accomplish His desires in them but of themselves, they do nothing to expend themselves; it is Love, that is to say the Holy Spirit who acts spontaneously in them . . . What I have just said to you is sufficiently clear. You already feel tired, little one. Go and rest. Besides, it is time. Go in peace and rest."
So you see, I do nothing to expend myself! It's really that simple! Having offered myself to Love with Therese by reciting with her the Act of Oblation to the Merciful Love of the Good God which you can find HERE (you can click HERE and scroll down the page to her Act which is the last prayer listed - and feel free the enjoy the other lovely prayers and pictures along the way!), I am confident that the Holy Spirit uses my natural Chatty Cathy-ness to spew (Don't worry! These days from behind a mask if we're in public!) words of love just everywhere!
Incidentally, the Chatty Cathy reference is no slur on the sweet Cathys in my life, but rather a reference to a doll, and a nickname my mom gave me as a little girl . . . Something along the lines of, "Well aren't you a Chatty Cathy today," if I'm remembering rightly. Ah, the wonders of the Internet! Do let's redeem it by using it, this world wide web, to bring laughter to ourselves and others . . . for after all these years, I've discovered just now (for instance), thanks to crazy find-anything-on-google technology, that Chatty Cathy, a 60's doll who spoke when her ring was pulled, said wonderful things! Not just, "Let's play house!" but finally and foremost, "I LOVE YOU!" You can see for yourself HERE as long as you promise to come back and finish reading our Musings (and promise to that you'll skip any obnoxious adds that get tacked onto the beginning of the commercial), because we don't want you to miss the wondrous surprise that comes next! Though first, the Chatty Cathy tagline you won't want to miss - my very favorite part of the whole Chatty Cathy comparison (and I'm smiling and laughing to think of my mom giving me this too-appropriate nickname): toward the end of the commercial, the narrator advises: "Just pull the ring: You never know what she'll say next!"
Honestly I never know what I'll say next either! We just have to pray the Holy Spirit and my guardian angel are the ones supplying the words, and again, I'm confident that (usually) they are . . . because I trust Jesus' words to us both in the Gospel and in Conversations. I can't think of two more reliable witnesses and little secretaries than St. John the beloved Apostle and Evangelist, and our little Marcel. On this day of love, this Feast of Love - the very day of the Institution of the Eucharist and the Priesthood to perpetuate the Sacrament of Love - St. John gives us the incomparable chapters of his gospel (John 14-17) on which to meditate and chew, beginning with the greatest words (for me and Marcel) in history:
LET NOT YOUR HEARTS BE TROUBLED . . .
But don't let me start commenting on these words and what follows from Our Spouse's sacred and beautiful lips and Heart, or this blog post will be simply a transcription of those chapters! That would be wonderful indeed, but then I wouldn't have time to tell you the confirmation and gift we received for you today while setting up this post . . . And that we can't miss telling!
Possibly the most fun I have (in life and when setting up a new blog post) is in choosing the pictures that will top the page. Did you like me-as-Miss-Marcel with my birthday cake in the last post? I can't believe how cute I am! But today is even better, and the Holy Spirit being one to breathe where He wills, and St. Therese always being in such a rush to make us love God as she loves Him . . . well almost instantly when I wanted to share Jesus' love with you in this post (the one you're reading now, whenever now happens to be, though I'm writing on the morning of Holy Thursday, the day of Love), I found the picture at the top of our post. It was one image among dozens that popped up when I put into google "archives lisieux carmel holy cards" and then clicked on "Images" under the search bar. Talk about redeeming the Internet! The Lisieux Carmel (Therese's Carmel) has most of their archives online now, in English! Happy Holy Thursday!
And so, I saw the double image above, and my heart melted, and I quickly imported it here to share with you. But amidst my joy and importing, I read the Carmel's explanations for this holy card HERE, and then HERE. Don't feel you need to follow all my bold links, because I'm happy to report the pith of my discoveries in these next few paragraphs, but I also am adding way more links than I usually do because today is the Feast of Love - and Love begets love! How can I keep anything at all from you, little ones, today?
Most important from what the Carmel offered by way of explanation was simply this:
The holy card on the right of our double "Biblical Holy Card" above was originally the holy card from Celine's profession as a Carmelite. This took place on the very second specialest day of her life, namely, the day she made her vows and became the Bride of Christ, Februrary 24, 1896, a year and a half before Therese flew their little dovecote for Heaven.
I guess I'm not the only one who likes to give away gifts on my special feast - this is an old Carmelite and Catholic custom: you see it in priests' ordination holy cards, and in this card of Celine's which would have been given to the Sisters in her community and also to friends and family who attended the ceremony in the public part of the chapel of the Lisieux Carmel (where, by God's unpredictable grace, Tony and I got to pray and pray and pray 11 months ago).
But here is the kicker . . . a two part kicker . . .
First, February 24, Celine's 2nd specialest day, turned out (63 years later) to be the Vigil of her VERY SPECIALEST day - the day Jesus whooshed her into His arms forever to begin her own eternal Day of Love. But Celine anticipated and expressed much better than I can what Jesus had done and would do, so let me just give you what she had written on this card when she gave it to her sister St. Therese on February 24, 1896:
Keepsake of the fine day of my Profession
We have already witnessed two of the greatest days in our lives and we’ll soon witness the third finest . . .The morning and noon of our pilgrimage are gone, and in a few more hours the radiant evening of eternal rest will come in a light breeze to refresh our souls . . .
Little Céline, who wants to be hidden for life and eternity in the face of Jesus with her Thérèse.
In the year of Our Lord 1896 on the Feast of the Agony of Christ in the Garden of Olives.
Wowie zowie! Did you catch the 2nd kick?? Or the full impact of the 1st?
I hope you are reading as quickly as I type, because I would hate for you to think this was a test or quiz. Don't worry, I rejoice to explain the meaning I'm seeing (or, let's say, I rejoice to share the kicks with you just as I receive them!) -
First (again), February 24th, the day Celine gave this image to Therese, the day of Celine's profession, was the Vigil of February 25th (I think it usually is, but I'd have to consult old almanacs and such, would't I? Just to truly employ the historical-critical method :).
Februrary 25th is a day that will go down in history not only as the day, in 1959, when Celine finally left this exile to join her sisters, and most of all to meet Jesus her True Love, in Heaven! But in my own happy history - and yours too, I hope, thanks to free downloads, pandemics of love, and Jesus' awesome unstoppable LOVE for you - February 25th is a red letter day because it was not only the day I received from Fr. Michael Gaitley his 33 Days of Merciful Love, which started me on my adventure of discovering and writing Something New with St. Therese: Her Eucharistic Miracle, but also, you can see if you go to that last link - to Something New on amazon, but again, don't rush to leave unless you're getting restless with your sheltering in the place of our blog (and if you are getting restless, do feel free to hop over and check to confirm my facts) - you will see that beside the title of our new book, paperback edition, amazon boldly proclaims the date of publication: February 25, 2020! Or (they only have so much room to keep their copy sharp, but in full it might say) - February 25, anniversary of Celine's entry into Heaven!
But our second kick is that that this day of Celine's original profession - the day on which she had the big joy of becoming one with Jesus and the little joy of sharing a holy card in HIs honor - was TODAY!
No, I haven't lost ALL my marbles just yet, but rather, I'm delighted that in the liturgical calendar, where Holy Days are often on varying dates depending on, for instance, the full moon and the corresponding feast of Passover, the day (February 24, 1896 and her profession date) that Celine gave this holy card to St. Therese (not the whole double image shown above, but specifically the beautiful image of Jesus in Holy Communion with a beloved soul like yours on the right) was actually - that year of 1896 - Holy Thursday, the same feast of Love we are celebrating today (as I write), though our date is April 9 (third day in the octave of my birthday!), 2020!
If you managed to follow that trail of word-crumbs (an excessive amount of words, no doubt!) all the way to here, let me give you a reward for your labors!
Aren't you - like me, and so many of us - feeling just a teensy bit sad about not being able to receive Jesus' own gift of Love (Himself in Holy Communion) on this Feast of Love, Holy Thursday?
I'll be honest, I have a sense of relief and a burgeoning joy that accompanies my sadness, because in plague time God can do so many things He usually restrains His love from doing. Why do miracles when the ordinary course (even the ordinary course of exceptional sacramental graces, themselves in a sense miraculous) takes care of our every need? But when the ordinary course of exceptional sacramental graces is closed to us through the ordinary means - no Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper! No feet being washed in pairs of 12! No little visits (for most of us) to Jesus at the altar of repose! No singing our dear St. Thomas' hymns with the choir at church, nor hearing them (in our own dear parishes and sung by our own dear choirs) as we go to receive Jesus, reveling in the most magnificent and humble stanza of all hymnody - the translation of St. Thomas' words by our beloved Gerard Manley Hopkins:
Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived:
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God's Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth himself speaks truly or there's nothing true.
Have you wondered about the other half of the double holy card above? It was the profession card of Therese and Celine's cousin, Marie Guerin, when she became the bride of Christ: Marie of the Eucharist. This dear cousin, also in the Lisieux Carmel with Therese, Celine, Pauline, Marie, and the irrepressible Parisian, Marie of the Trinity, had "the voice of an angel," everyone agreed. Therese loved when Marie of the Eucharist sang for community celebrations, and I think this recording of Godhead Here in Hiding (GM Hopkins, SJ's translation of St. Thomas' Adoro Te Devote) must remind Therese in Heaven of Marie when they were on earth! If you follow the link to listen and find that some imp (no, I'm not blaming you, Marcel, but just in case!) has slipped in an ad before this recording, please feel free to skip the ad - that was unintended by the management here! (Padre Pio, please send your guardian angel to lead us only to lovely things today on this day of LOVE!)
Did I, perchance, digress?
Like my holy mother, Teresa of Avila, I'd like to think all my words hold together in an order, even if not the conventional order! But my point is simply this:
We are in unusual times, so God our loving Father has sent us unusual means. I offer some here to you now (again, if you've been reading the last posts, but with no less love and joy - if possible, I offer these gifts, in the imitation of our Jesus, with more love than every before!).
1. If you can't receive Jesus in Holy Communion today, I am asking Him to give you, through the intercession of St. Anthony, Servants of God Charlene Richard, Carlo Acutis, and our little brother Marcel Van, St. Padre Pio, and St. Therese herself, the grace of discovering and asking for the crazy grace - the Eucharistic miracle - you can learn of in Something New with St. Therese: Her Eucharistic Miracle (free, like the Eucharist itself!) or in case you would rather listen than read, you can learn HERE, through a talk I gave (sponsored by Padre Pio himself) last weekend.
2. For links to all the latest miraculous ways Jesus is using us, His little secretaries of love, to spread His thirst (and invite YOU to invite HIM to remain in YOU today! - as in a tabernacle, even!), check out the amazing article HERE at the website of my alma mater (my sweet mother) Thomas Aquinas College. You'll find plenty of links there to lead you to more free gifts of Jesus' and my love, so I hope you take advantage of Him (and me). It's crazy love today, and we want you to have your fill!
3. Even if you are not (like I wasn't, until circumstances strangely compelled me) on Facebook, you can see my new Suzie Andres Author Facebook page, where you'll find the picture which had migrated to our typewriter area - the picture by Celine of herself, Therese, Marie, Pauline, Leonie, and Marie of the Eucharist - and also you'll find lots of fun! You can get to the page by typing Suzie Andres Author into the search bar at the top of your Facebook page, or if you don't have Facebook, try typing Facebook Suzie Andres Author into google, and I hope Carlo and your angel will take you to my page. You can like or follow the page over there to get continuing news of my posts at the Suzie Andres Author public Facebook page. If just as a matter of amusement, you may enjoy keeping track of (if not reading all of) the amazing amount of silly words I continue - typing fast and not thinking, expending myself as little as possible - to spew! (Virtually, so you're quite safe! Not to mention that I don't leave the house much these days!)
4. If you need an intention, this one is FREE today too! I will be accompanying my father-in-law Paul to his PETscan (no, not the scan of his pet, but the scan of himself to show if chemo has helped stave off his cancer or not really) - but we're all taking a lot of precautions, as you can imagine, due to the need to protect him, especially, from Lady Corona (as Fr. Buckley, S.J. so charmingly refers to her). Prayers, please - maybe the Stations of the Cross with Our Sister? Or sending your guardian angel to Mass, per the prayer at the back of the FREE Stations (thanks to Cardinal Nichols, who offered it through his wonderful pastoral letter HERE). Or maybe a Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3 (or anytime) or a Hail Mary. Other options for prayer-gifts would be a Rosary, or maybe even better - what we all need these days - a Nap! And God reward you for your alms of prayer!
If I keep writing, you won't get to read and share our joy in Jesus' Feast of Love, His Gift of Himself, His Offering of Love - the Holy Eucharist which He invites us to receive today in a remarkably unusual way, with the help of our sister St. Therese. And so, praying that He blesses you and you bless Him too with your invitation that He remain in you as in a tabernacle, I will close for now.
Shall we pray together - the simple prayer that can serve as a perfect substitute for the Holy Thursday traditions we will have to forego?
Draw me, Jesus my Love, we will run!!
p.s. We have decided to save our traditional Holy Thursday lamb chop dinner for Easter Sunday. We're having hot dogs tonight! I hope you, too, find a unique way to celebrate Jesus' Love in this unique Holy Week of the plague. Shall we do it? Yes, let's - let's turn this pandemic of fear into a Pandemic of Love! Come Holy Spirit, and Thank You Jesus, for everything!!!
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.