Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion, shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem! See, your king shall come to you; a just savior is He, meek, and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass. (Zechariah 9:9)
"See, little brother, the bosom of our Mother Mary is always like the little donkey on which we ride, both of us, to bear witness to our mutual love. Together from this world to heaven we will have only this gentle carrier. Marcel, without doubt Mary will have a strong urge to laugh on hearing us say that her bosom is the back of the little donkey on which we have both climbed. Sister Therese will have to come to meet us; what incomparable happiness! However, little brother do not be sad. If you are sad, tomorrow's triumphant reception will no longer be joyful. Therefore be joyful. Do you hear? Recently it seems that you are more tired than sad. However, you have nothing to fear; normally during this season one is easily fatigued. I still love you dearly and on Mary's breast I clasp you closely in my arms. Never be sad, do you hear?" - Jesus to Marcel Van, Vigil of Palm Sunday, 1946, from Conversations
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I hope and pray you have been finding ways to be joyful even in this time of the pandemic. Thanks to the Padre Pio Prayer Group of Nashville, I have a great joy to share with you - so that even if you're tired (and Lent + plague = tired), we might manage to infuse some love and laughter into your heart and home on this glorious Palm Sunday, 2020. If you are seeing this the very day it begins to exist here forever (ah, the eternal Internet!), hooray! If you are seeing this sometime later than Palm Sunday, 2020, no worries! The message is timeless, and it will only get better, like God's love making its warm way into our cold hearts. Are you ready?
Yesterday I had the great good pleasure of speaking (on zoom) to the Padre Prayer Group of Nashville (thank you Paul, Mildred, and Alice - and everyone there, and all who managed to join in for short or long) - and as is their custom, this delightful group managed to get the link to their monthly talk (which this time was my talk) posted asap - or really sooner than asap! Angels assist them, no doubt, and Padre Pio's chief among them. So without further ado, HERE is the link to my TALK to the PADRE PIO PRAYER GROUP OF NASHVILLE!!! (Yep, click any of these LINKS, these BOLD PLACES, and you'll end up at my BOLD TALK!)
Thank You Jesus, St. Anthony, St. Therese, St. Padre Pio, Marcel Van, Charlene Richard, and the tech whiz of the new millenium, Servant of God Carlo Acutis!
No, this isn't the Academy Awards, but I'd like to thank all the Angels and Saints, because by their help and God's grace, this was by far the best talk I've ever given. I listened to it this morning (hey, this is the privilege of the poster: why share something if it won't help?), and I'm happy to report that I enjoyed it immensely!
It was so much fun giving the talk and hearing it too, but especially in "real time" I loved seeing lots of smiling faces - even my older son's smiling face in Denver, which was a huge gift, and my dear, dear sister Camille's smiling face in Germany - and everyone got to see me too, none of us having to wear masks, and most of us thousands or hundreds of miles apart, keeping well ahead of any future social distancing distances! Yes, we would have been in absolute danger if we'd been together, even six feet apart, because at least on my part there was laughter (and thus possible spewing), and yet what with our hunkering down, each single, pair, or family group in our own homes, we've been mighty good and mighty joyful both!
Incidentally, don't you think that if you could invest in words, we all would've made a fortune by getting in on "spewing" and "hunkering" when they were still fairly cheap on the word-stock-market? I've always been a big fan of hunkering (if not of spewing), and how sweet that it is now coming into its own!
But don't decry the money you haven't made, we'll have fun yet without it!
Besides, I don't think there actually is a word-stock-market in our world, though that might be a wonderful feature of a pandemic-time-novel along the lines of The Phantom Tollbooth. Do feel free to steal the idea - I'll even give it to you like my ebooks - because though my batch of ISBNs burns a hole in my pocket, I've actually-potentially got them more than used up in the counting my chicks before they hatch department.
I'm supposed to be writing a sequel to The Paradise Project (which you can download for free up above - the original, I mean, not the as-yet-unwritten-sequel - and don't tell me you don't have time for a hilarious novel and a good laugh, because I'm well aware of all the places you can't be going and activities you can't be pursuing these days!), not to mention my bio of the teen Servants of God, Carlo Acutis and Charlene Richard.
And then there's the memoir I thought of the other day after having ordered everything we could possibly need and then some from the local grocery store and (wonder of wonders and miracle of miracles) succeeded at getting the whole order delivered, only to have a second delivery car drive up and park right behind the first (it was like a bad heist movie, only in reverse). So yes, my new memoir My Smart Life with my Dumb Phone will feature the time (Friday April 3, 2020) when I accidentally double ordered a trunkful - soon to be a kitchenful - of groceries - TWICE! - and had to restrain my laughter at the vivid image of delivery person #1, who got to the house first, but had to offer many replacement items, having unwittingly followed delivery person #2 (who got every single thing I ordered exactly right) through the store in the now-familiar scavenger hunt for basic unexciting items - only to find each item successively depleted ("Oh no! He took the last of the Sargento Provolone smoke flavored cheese slices too! What's with this guy!") . . .
You may not be having quite so much fun (and may not be supplied with quite so many red roses, for yes, those got doubled too, no doubt a gift from Therese before I babbled about her on zoom), so we want to share our joy! We can offer plenteous heavenly roses, and it all starts by clicking the name of my talk and listening to all the kind advice that little St. Therese and big St. Padre Pio have to offer to us during our coronavirus days . . .
Something New with St. Pio, St. Therese, and the Pandemic of Love
I did promise I would post here the links to the various books I HIGHLY recommended in the talk, and I even have a plan for purchasing - although my own books are free already, I thought I would entice you with a more irresistible offer than simply free.
You know how none of us can resist that irresistible BOGO offer? Well here are the books I suggest you BOGO - buy the first, and get the second (available above in the typewriter area, or directly on your kindle or nook, or at amazon, barnesandnoble, and smashwords, etc.) FOR ABSOLUTELY FREE! No, not even buy the first, and get half of my book for free. (Yes, technically, you are getting half of my currently published books for free, but I mean you have to thank your lucky stars that you are not getting merely half of each of the three books I'm offering for free for free - see, even the words know it's BOGO time!)
So here we go.....links: Buy the first one, get the second for free. And if you consider yourself very clever and have already figured out you can cheat and get the second for free without bothering with the first, I can only say you are cheating yourself and not us! You won't want to miss the paid items any more than you could afford to pass up on the free ones! Just click on the book to be magically transported to it where it is available for purchase (for $ or for Free)
MARCEL'S BOGO SALE OF GREAT BOOKS FOR CHEERING EVERY HEART IN PLAGUE TIME:
BUY: St. Conrad and the Wildfire by Maura Roan McKeegan, magnificently illustrated by Patti Borgman
GET FREE: Stations of the Cross with Our Sister St. Therese
BUY: Marcel Van's Conversations with Jesus, Mary, and St. Therese (best book ever and worth every penny)
GET FREE: Something New with St. Therese: Her Eucharistic Miracle (2nd best book ever and a good Pascal's wager since it's free!)
BUY: Padre Pio and I (memoir by Adolfo Afattato, spiritual son who knew Padre Pio in life and had continuing adventures after Padre Pio entered REAL life)
GET FREE: The Paradise Project (Padre Pio's Favorite Novel! Okay, after The Betrothed, and Leave it to Psmith . . . but those others of his faves are going to cost you 99 cents each!)
As I mentioned in the talk, I'm offering a money back guarantee. Since I'm sure you'll not only love St. Conrad and the Wildfire, (and I recommend the hardcover because it is SO BEAUTIFUL), but am betting that you'll also feel compelled to buy copies for godchildren, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and random stranger kids wearing masks as they bike around the neighborhood (I just bought two more hardcovers last night, one for each corona-time family household where we're hunkering, since I'd left my first copy in California)....and the same is true of Conversations, the Pio book, and even the 99 cent novels that I threw in at 99 cents each .... as I say, I'll be happy to refund you the cost if you are unsatisfied with any of your impulse purchases (although how you can only now be thinking of buying Conversations when I've been pushing it on you for years, I don't know. Hardly an impulse buy at this point. Maybe a harangued-into-it buy, but really, it is THE BEST!) - I only ask that you send me the books you don't want. Because personally, I can't get enough of any of these most essential books! (Okay, I'm doing fine without The Betrothed, but only because I'm not very deep, and I did read it once and loved it, but it is long, and I'd rather keep reading Conversations...) Or if you don't want to pay for shipping, or can't even safely go to the post office (my dilemma), you can simply give the unwanted (oooh, I shudder at the thought, but hey, each person has some defect or other, none of us being perfect!) book(s) to someone 6 feet away, and I'll still refund you - even though I'm not getting a dime. Haha, I am getting the eternal reward due to one who longs to hear Jesus say, "I was hungry (for a good book), and you fed me...I was thirsty (for souls), and you shared my Something New!"
If I forgot to include any links to things I mentioned in The Talk, please email me by clicking on the Contact Me button, and I'll be glad to add the forgotten resources here! In the meantime, you can also download any of my 3 free books by clicking on the links in the typewriter section at the very top of this page.
Have fun! And now, with gratitude and joy, let's pray together:
Draw me, meek Jesus, and we will run!!!
P.S. Fr. Dan, spiritual director to the Padre Pio Prayer Group of Nashville, asked us to begin (or keep up, if you already do this) the practice of saying the Divine Mercy Chaplet daily for all those who are dying, and we can pray it too for a return of the sacraments to us, as well as a return for all those we love to the sacraments. May the angels surround, protect, strengthen, and guide us! Amen!
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.