If I were to simply quote James Taylor and be done with it, the Meaning of Life is enjoying the passing of time. Actually, to quote him more literally (or his song), The Secret of Life is enjoying the Passage of Time. And as with many of James' lyrics, I must say: How true, how true! And with St. Thomas (lest you think I'm as silly all the time as I sound much of the time), "All truth, by whomever spoken, is from the Holy Spirit." The great thing about that St. Thomas quote is that he wasn't (by far) the first to say it! So there you go - as our sister Therese said too, there really is no such thing as intellectual property since it all comes from God and the angels. That isn't an exact quote, but she was firm on the idea and if I had more time, I could get you word for word from her on the topic.
As it is, I don't have much time left. Of my blessed stay in Florida, that is. I am writing this post for Pentecost on the Vigil thereof, and even the morning of the Vigil because my husband and I will travel home today. Please say a little prayer for safe and easy travel that brings us home to our son and community, and please say another little prayer for those we leave behind here: my dear in-laws whom we love so very much!
Dear Jesus, please send Your Holy Spirit upon the Florida Andres that they may bask in Your Love even when those who have enjoyed pouring it upon them are in Calfornia. And also, dear Lord, please send Your angels (with Your mom's permission of course, since You have made her queen over them) to guide Miss Marcel and her Mister home safely and sweetly to all that awaits them there. Bless too, please, all those who have prayed for them - may the kindness of those who have prayed for the Andres rebound and multiply so that it showers down upon them in blessings beyond counting!
There, nothing like saying a prayer together! Which reminds me, before we launch full joy into Pentecost, I would love to say a couple more prayers with you - those Holy Spirit prayers that are so sweet and rich that they kind of remind me of the banana cheesecake I had last night. (A real revelation, as it was not from the Factory of Cheesecare Worship but actually from a nearby pizza place called Grimaldi's which had a kind of pandemic promotional with a slice of the BEST banana cheesecake ever for only $3!). The thing about prayer, though, is that it tastes even better than anything we can put in our mouth food-wise (except Jesus Himself!) because it doesn't pall. It has a thousand varieties (prayer), and I think we maybe need to start a prayer network similar to the food networks. Wouldn't that be fun? A lot like EWTN, so maybe they have it covered already, but there are two food networks now, I think, so maybe someday two Catholic networks too . . .
Meanwhile, here is our reflection from St. Cyril of Jerusalem, followed by our prayer to the Holy Spirit a la St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi (doesn't that a la remind you of mode? I think I'm hungry!).
Reflection from St. Cyril:
His action is different in different people, but the Spirit Himself is always the same. In each person, Scripture says “the Spirit reveals His presence in a particular way for the common good.”
The Spirit comes gently and makes Himself known by His fragrance.
He is not felt as a burden, for He is light, very light. Rays of light and knowledge stream before Him as He approaches. The Spirit comes with the tenderness of a true friend and protector to save, to heal, to teach, to counsel, to strengthen, to console. The Spirit comes to enlighten the mind of the one who receives Him, and then, through him, the minds of others as well.
Prayer Proper from St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, Carmelite (feast May 25):
Come, Holy Spirit. Let the precious pearl of the Father and the Word’s delight come. Spirit of truth, you are the reward of the saints, the comforter of souls, light in the darkness, riches to the poor, treasure to lovers, food for the hungry, comfort to those who are wandering; to sum up, You are the One in whom all treasures are contained. Come! As You descended upon Mary that the Word might become flesh, work in us through grace as You worked in her through nature and grace. Come! Food of every chaste thought, fountain of all mercy, sum of all purity. Come! Consume in us whatever prevents us from being consumed in You.
Draw me, Holy Spirit of Love, we will run!
You might wonder how we can top that awesome reflection and so lovely prayer. I was wondering that myself until a beautiful Nigerian priest started sending me his collection of novena prayers in preparation for Pentecost. Thank you, Father Ambrose!
What I found in Father's treasure trove just before sleep last night (or maybe it was upon waking this morning - yes, I think that was it) is the perfect Pentecost prayer to cap our novena! Do you ever feel a little letdown at the end of the novena when the feast arrives and you are plumb out of special prayers? I am not a long pray-er, that is, I don't do well with long prayers. But if I find a prayer I love (like the one from St. MM de P above, or my old go-to stand-by, "Come Holy Spirit, enlighten our minds with Your Mind and enflame our hearts with Your Love!"), then when I've said it 9 times over 9 days more or less (haha, usually less!), I like to continue it if I remember (which I pull off for about a day!) because it seems wrong for the culmination of 9 days of prayer to be no more prayer! I don't mean I think it's a sin, but rather it just feels like there ought to be a fast, then a feast, not vice versa!
So to share Fr. Ambrose's gift to me and a feast of a prayer for Pentecost itself, here is - and isn't it too funny when the Marian "brothers" Fr. Gaitley and Fr. Calloway are supplying us hand over fist with consecrations, each one more stunning than the last! - here is a Consecration to the Holy Spirit:
O Holy Spirit of Light and Love,
to You I consecrate my heart, mind, and will for all time and eternity.
May I be ever docile to Your Divine inspirations
and to the teachings of the holy Catholic Church whose infallible guide You are.
May my heart be ever inflamed with the love of God and love of neighbor.
May my will be ever in harmony with Your Divine will.
May my life faithfully imitate the life and virtues of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To Him, with the Father and You, Divine Spirit, be honor and glory forever. Amen!
Did I say I was worried that we'd run out of prayers once the Holy Spirit arrives in earnest?
I think I implied it, and I know I felt it a smidge, but the thrilling reality is that the day after Pentecost (which enfolds within its Divine embrace the sweet sisterly embrace of Mary and Elizabeth at the Visitation - since Pentecost is May 31st this year) - the day after Pentecost, June 1st, we will begin - God willing - a new novena to prepare our hearts to celebrate - are you sitting down?? -
The 125th anniversary of Therese's Act of Oblation to Merciful Love!
And you know how we little Marcelites are always forgetting things, like to say each day of a novena? Well this is, fittingly enough, the perfect little novena because it doesn't have one single end date feast! Two days after her own Act of Oblation to the Merciful Love of the Good God on June 9, 1897, Therese and Celine made their formal Act of Oblation to the same, together before the family statue of the Virgin of the Smile! So if June 9 scares you with its imminence, you can keep going - forgetting novena prayers or remembering them, as is your custom - until June 11th! On June 9th we also celebrate the feast of the great St. Ephrem the Syrian, poet of Our Lady, deacon and Doctor of the Church. On June 11, we have the feast of the oft-forgot but really terrific St. Barnabas, Apostle - not one of the original 12, but a co-worker with St. Paul, so in that 2nd wave of those we still honor with the name. His day is special to me because on it Jacques and Raissa Maritain, along with Raissa's very beloved sister Vera, were baptized!
All that is coming soon, but I have yet to tell you more exciting news. This is BIG!!!
Yesterday I got a phone call from Nigeria. Yes, that is big too, but it was even bigger in the news it brought. The call was from one of my favorite sons, and in the course of a delightful conversation I was informed that there are more saints in the making. I mean the official canonized kind, and the news is TREMENDOUS! I am so consoled that even plagues can't stop saints from rising to the top and shining down on us like so many bright starts to light our little way. READY???
I get my Saint-news from Hagiography Circle - and you can click on that bold name to go there too, when you want to find the latest, although I must admit I usually get my news from a couple Saintly-news-hounds who are quicker to see the news than I am. Then I go to Hagiography Circle!
Here is the latest in saints from that glorious site! I will put the 3 that particularly made my month at the top - I can't believe it, and yet I can. So Thrilling!!!!!!! The others I will include because my heavens, these are our brothers and sisters too, even if we don't know them yet. But ah, those first three are almost a case of read it and weep! Hooray for the Holy Spirit who makes saints and then makes them again, first in their lives of union with Jesus on earth, and then in their glory recognized by holy Mother Church! Alleluia and Woohoo!!
VATICAN CITY - Yesterday, 26 May 2020, Pope Francis received Cardinal Angelo Becciu, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, in a private audience. In the course of the audience, the Holy Father authorized the Congregation to promulgate decrees regarding:
- the miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed CHARLES DE FOUCAULD (in religion: CHARLES OF JESUS), priest of the diocese of Viviers; born in Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin (France) on 15 September 1858 and died in Tamanrasset, Tamanghasset (Algeria) on 1 December 1916; beatified on 13 November 2005;
- the miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God MICHAEL McGIVNEY, priest of the archdiocese of Hartford and founder of the Knights of Columbus; born on 12 August 1852 in Waterbury, Connecticut (United States of America) and died in Thomaston, Connecticut (United States of America) on 14 August 1890; heroic virtues confirmed on 15 March 2008;
- the miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God PAULINE-MARIE JARICOT, layperson of the archdiocese of Lyon and founder of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and the Living Rosary Association; born on 22 July 1799 in Lyon, Rhône (France) and died there on 9 January 1862; heroic virtues confirmed on 25 February 1963;
- the miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed CÉSAR DE BUS, priest and founder of the Congregation of the Father of the Christian Doctrine; born in Cavaillon, Vaucluse (France) on 3 February 1544 and died in Avignon, Vaucluse (France) on 15 April 1607; beatified on 27 April 1975;
- the miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed MARIA DOMENICA MANTOVANI (in religion: MARIA GIUSEPPINA OF THE IMMACULATA), cofounder and first superior general of the Institute of the Little Sisters of the Holy Family; born on 12 November 1862 in Castelletto di Brenzone, Verona (Italy) and died there on 2 February 1934; beatified on 27 April 2013;
- the martyrdom of the Servants of God SIMÈON CARDON and 5 COMPANIONS, professed religious of the Cistercian Congregation of Casamari; killed in Casamari, Frosinone (Italy) in odium fidei between 13 and 16 May 1799;
- the martyrdom of the Servant of God SANTE SPESSOTTO (in religion: COSMA), professed priest of the Order of Friars Minor; born on 28 January 1923 in Mansué, Treviso (Italy) and killed in San Juan Nonualco, Zacatecoluca (El Salvador) in odium fidei on 14 June 1980; and,
- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God MELCHIOR-MARIE DE MARION BRÉSILLAC, titular bishop of Prusa, ex vicar apostolic of Coimbatore, and founder of the Society of African Mission; born on 2 December 1813 in Castelnaudary, Aude (France) and died in Freetown (Sierra Leone) on 25 June 1859
* * *
As if that weren't enough . . . our dear brother and internet patron Carlo Acutis, whose beatification is scheduled in June in Assisi, may just have that event happen with zoom participation! How perfect that would be! I was lucky enough to be part of a virtual tour of Assisi a few weeks back, and I heard the Bishop of Assisi, the sweetest man ever, talk about how he might go ahead, despite plague time, and possibly do the beatification with world wide participation thanks to the world wide web that so fascinated - and became such a tool of Love for - our brother Carlo. Plus this may be the month I get my act together and write his and Charlene Richard's book at last!
Speaking of books, it is high time I explain the reversal of Babel! Don't hold your breath waiting for the reversal of my own babble - that was a bit of a joke (and sorry if you are disappointed :) - but Babel reversed by Pentecost is much more dependable, and we are doing our little part, even while we continue to babble.
Guess what's new at Little Way Books?
Thanks to the amazing ladies who help me (God bless you dear M, N, Sr M, LM, and T!), there is another link you can click to get a new free ebook. THIS IS SO AWESOME!!!!!
It is (drum roll please) - the bilingual Spanish/English Stations of the Cross with Our Sister St. Therese!!! Simply go to suzieandres.com (our welcome page) and scroll down until you see the picture of the book - then click on it! Or if you are feeling lazy, or simply want more immediate gratification (and that must be a good thing when these are holy things that gratify!) click HERE!
I can't believe how amazing my elves are. They have helped God shower us with book-miracle-roses, and you will love what you see! The print book will be available at amazon soon, and it is gorgeous! But the ebook is ready now, so enjoy our Pentecost gift and let St. Therese lead you closer into the Heart of Our Love!
And now, I'd better wish you a happy Pentecost and get moving so I can write again soon, though 3000 miles from where I write today! Enjoy the descent of the Holy Spirit - and may the Wisdom, Love, Light, Joy, Peace, and absolute MYSTERY of God fill you with everything you desire and need! (And your loved ones too!)
Come Holy Spirit!
Draw me, we will run!
P.S. I almost forgot to tell you the meaning of life! I finally got to spend a little time in more quiet prayer this morning (don't feel too sorry for me about that "finally" - it just means I didn't stand in my way as much as I usually do :). And Jesus was kind enough to tell me the Meaning of Life, so I thought I'd better write and tell you before I forget.
The Meaning of Life is God's infinitely tender and solicitous love for us.
or if you want it more in action form (as in, "What is the meaning of life? What should I do?" - well then the Meaning of Life is to Let God Love us. As St. Elizabeth of the Trinity put it, "Let yourself be loved." That's it! Thank You, Holy Spirit, for making it all so simple. And may Your little daughter Therese continue to shower this crazy world with Heavenly Roses in abundance, and even more so!
Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, in a private audience. In the course of the audience, the Holy Father authorized the Congregation to promulgate eight decrees regarding miracles, martyrdom and heroic
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