My friend Maura has a beautiful piece on Catholic Exchange called "When Your Heart is Troubled and Afraid." (If you click on the title of her article, you'll be there!) Guess what she said? Among other wonderful things, she quoted Our Lady's words to Marcel when Mary advised him to offer his worries as so many sacrifices to little Jesus - and then be at peace. Yay, Maura! Yay, Marcel! Yay, Blessed Mother! Could there be any more perfect advice?
Thanks to Maura's mention of Marcel, I received an invitation from the editor at Catholic Exchange. I've written for CE before, and he wondered if sometime I might like to write something about our dear little brother for them. Would I? O happy day! I love writing for CE, and I had a piece in the works, so I didn't waste a moment but polished it up, finished it off, and sent it in. When it appears, you can click HERE and see what I said.
Meanwhile, wouldn't you know that soon after I sent that piece in, I realized there was SO MUCH I hadn't said. It surely is a valley of tears! I was sad thinking of what I'd left out, but then I cheered right up when I remembered I had another place to write about Marcel, a place where I could remedy my omissions to my heart's content. That would be here at Miss Marcel's Musings. And so, for the record, here's what I forgot to say . . .
First and foremost, I forgot to say what Jesus told Marcel on November 4, 1945. Like Marcel, I forget a lot, and so I am constantly struck anew by the amazing things Jesus says to him. This particular sentence, though, is one I want to tattoo on my forearm. Well okay, I don't actually want to tattoo anything on myself, but if I did, this would be high on the list because it's spectacular and worth re-reading every couple of hours. For Jesus, He who cannot deceive nor be deceived, told Marcel that day:
"All the words that I have spoken to you from the beginning until the last one I speak to you in the future -- know that it is not to you alone that I am speaking, but to all souls. You see by this that I communicate with all of them. And if, like you, they are sincere in their relationship with Me, then I am speaking also to them. It is not necessary that you understand this." (58)
What blessings! What treasures! Every word that Jesus speaks to Marcel in Conversations is meant for us too! And that would include some words I need to hear so often that it's a good thing I have two forearms - thus leaving me another one on which to tattoo something else I forgot to say in the CE article, namely what Jesus said to Marcel (and hence to us) on April 13, 1946. I think these may be my absolute favorite words of all time, and to know Jesus meant them for us as well as for Marcel has me wanting to sing them from the rooftops. Or better yet, broadcast them during the Super Bowl! Or best of all, simply share them online where, God willing, they may remain until the Last Day when, suddenly, like everything else, the Internet appears for the small potatoes it really is. But enough of my blathering. Are you ready for my favorite words? They come on (437) in Conversations when Jesus tells Marcel and us:
"Do not worry any more, ever."
That's it. That's the whole shebang.
Not that this is news, exactly. After all, Jesus said the same thing, more or less, the night before He died, as Maura points out in her article. He tells us not to let our hearts be troubled or afraid. He says it twice, and you can read it for yourself in John 14. What I've learned from Conversations as well as from the Gospels is that Jesus does not hesitate to repeat Himself. Thank Heavens! Like Marcel, we forget what He's said. Or even when we remember (or hear it again), we can think it's too good to be true. And although I have no trouble taking what Jesus said in the Gospel as meant for me too, maybe you're thinking that when He said at the Last Supper, "Let not your hearts be troubled," and again a little later, "Let not your hearts be troubled or afraid," perhaps He was just speaking to the Apostles.
Nice try! You know how it works. The Gospels (in fact the whole Old and New Testaments) are God's love letters to us. There's no chance that He didn't mean what He says there for us!
But we are not only forgetful, we are also very, very poor. Our intellects are darkened by the Fall (not to mention winter!) and we have all been wounded not only by original sin, but by the sins of men (including our own sins). We are just a mess! There seems to be sooooooo much to worry about. And some of us have done a good job convincing ourselves that if we don't worry, we'll be in trouble. Isn't worrying how we get things done? If I'm not preoccupied with getting that bill paid, or whatever is next on my "to do" list, won't it be left undone?
You'd think we didn't have guardian angels to remind us of our daily tasks, and of Jesus' words . . . but we do, so let's give ourselves a rest and believe what Our Savior came to tell us, first 2000 years ago, and more recently through our little brother Marcel.
"Do not worry any more, ever."
But not only that . . .
One of the many things I cherish about Conversations is that Jesus insisted Marcel write down what he said as well as what He said, so that we'd all know how He loves our little stories, our digressions, diversions, distractions, and whatever we want to tell Him. We're like the 6-year-old who, when the teacher has finished explaining her lesson and asks if anyone has a question, wildly waves a hand in order to say, "Teacher we have a hamster but this morning it wasn't in the cage and my brother said it escaped and . . . " So, too, Marcel with his comments and interruptions.
Here, after Jesus tells him (and us) "Do not worry any more, ever," I must report that Marcel stays quite focused, but again, I'm so grateful for his part in the conversation. I can relate especially to his first sentence . . .and then I love hearing what Jesus says in reply.
Marcel: I do not understand why, I wish not to be troubled yet I always am. Yesterday, Jesus with the ginger beard [a Redemptorist in their house] repeated to me what he had said the other day: 'When one has Mary for a true Mother, it is not appropriate to worry.' And after having heard these words my anxiety dissolved. Little Jesus, at such times, are you pleased with me?
Jesus: I am always pleased with you, because whatever concerns you in no way offends Me. However I have one fear; it is that if you worry excessively, you will end up being angry, even with Me, which would be very dangerous. That is why I tell you that it is not appropriate to trouble yourself. Besides, everybody repeats the same thing to you: your Mother Mary, your sister Therese and, if St. Alphonsus spoke to you, he would only tell you not to worry, since it is a useless thing to do and often even harmful. That is enough little brother, go and rest; the time is up. (438)
I hope everybody repeats the same thing to you too. But in case no one has lately, let me add my voice to Mother Mary's, St. Therese's, and St. Alphonsus' (who, surely if they spoke to you, would say the same thing!) -- Do not worry any more, ever!
If you need one more reason not to worry, I have the best one of all. Remember how Jesus told Marcel that every word He spoke to him was not just to Marcel, but to all souls? That means that He is telling you now, "I am always pleased with you, because whatever concerns you in no way offends Me."
I'd say that's a good reason not to worry any more, ever! But of course, you may not understand how this can be true, that Jesus is always pleased with you. I know it's hard to get, and so I add Jesus' words: "It is not necessary that you understand this." Not yet, anyhow.
In the meantime, why not ask Marcel to help? He's where he understands everything now, and never forgets any of it. I'm sure he'd be glad to teach you what Jesus was at such pains to convey through him to us.
These are the things I forgot to say in my CE article, but then again, there's only so much room in one article . . . and to be completely honest, I wish I could have quoted the whole of Conversations. Yes, I know, much, much too long for one article. More like a book, and it's been written, and I did recommend it, so I think I must take Jesus' words to heart: That is enough, little sister, go and rest, the time is up.
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