First off, for those who don't read French, that title above says (entirely in English): "Why 54 in 2019 is very amusing, funny, entertaining, enjoyable, humorous, lovely, and spry".
Spry? Well, google translate and I are very thorough. We don't want to miss any possible nuances, and you know what they say. . . Try as we do to translate accurately, there's so often that je ne sais quoi - a quality that can't be described or named easily. (Not to mention accent marks. If you do read French, please imagine an accent mark above the "e" in Tres!)
In this case, universal merriment has again visited the earth in honor of my favorite feast of the year (bigger than Easter? bigger than Christmas? well, technically, no, but my fave nonetheless), which came on Sunday, which meant no mail on The Day, but happily, we're in the octave now, and yesterday Marcel's gift arrived!
It came from France, through Belgium, then by way of England, and finally through Van Nuys, California to Santa Paula where I live. What a journey!
Having completed my 54th year (what a journey too!), I have now entered my 55th year, but due to a glitch in the way these things are formulated (along the lines of the 13th century being the 1200's), I am now a spry 54 - hence the "54 in 2019" (2019 being the age of the world since Our Lord's merciful Incarnation) - and so far, so good! Tres amusant, as we might say in French.
And speaking French is a good idea because now that Marcel is in Heaven, he knows French perfectly. Merci beaucoup, petit frere Marcel! I love the book and CD and especially the children singing!! Thank you for the kiss, and please thank our sister Therese too!
So what did Marcel send? Here's a link (in the line below) where you can see for yourself:
Van: Dis-nous en qui tu crois! (1 CD audio, French) Hardcover
It's a children's book - the same one Marcel helped me find on my kindle e-reader one middle-of-the-night a while back when I couldn't sleep. I love this book on my kindle, but yesterday it materialized on my doorstep as a REAL book with beautiful and vivid pictures (pastels, I think they are) AND an accompanying audio CD so that I can listen - in French! - as I "read" along.
I put "read" in quotation marks because I'm like a little French pre-reader listening and following along as best I can. To say I'm reading along is only half true, but I'm having so much fun!
Best of all, though - better than the bright and beautiful pictures which I love, and better than the wonderful man who reads with such a gentle and perfectly French voice, and somehow even better than the marvelous background music that matches the mood of each part of the story - is that some of my favorite parts of the book, parts which I thought were poems since they're set off in special boxes and kind of look like poetry, well . . . they're actually songs! And the CD has French children singing them! And the music is so pretty, and the children so adorable! No wonder Jesus loves everything about children - how could He help it?
What's especially winsome about the book (besides the many wonderful things I've mentioned already) is the way the authors tell Marcel's story: lovingly, charmingly, humorously, poignantly, delicately, kindly, smilingly, and (in short) perfectly!
Take their section on Marcel's conversations with Jesus . . . the authors had so many conversations to choose from . . . Yet, wonderfully, they were so in tune with Divine Providence and my own friendship with Marcel (and, too, my personal calendar of feasts) that last night as I marveled over a full page illustration of Marcel with a banana, I realized - aha! They had taken Marcel and Jesus' banana conversation from April 8th, the very day the book arrived at my house, the very night I was enjoying again Marcel's and my mutual love of bananas! How about that for the Limitless Love of God reaching down to orchestrate the smallest details of creation, authorship - Divine and human - and worldwide shipping so that His littlest ones might smile in awe and delight!
If you don't remember the conversations of April 8, 1946, I recommend them to you, along with all the conversations of the first week of April. Every day for the past week I have wanted to quote for you here snippets of the beautiful colloquies between our little brother and our True Love and His mama and little Therese. Alas, God had other plans and kept me from posting until today, and I think I know why . . .
I'm guessing that He couldn't bear to have me choose some passages of Conversations to transcribe for you and not every word, every page, every day, the whole book! Which is His way of nudging you, His way of saying (I'm guessing here, but see what you think) that if you don't yet have your own copy of Conversations, it might be the perfect time to get one. Late Lent? Early Easter? Octave of Miss Marcel's birthday? Octave of the banana conversations?
Not to brag, but wasn't that restrained of me? It is Lent, a traditional time of moderation, so I'm not shouting at the top of my lungs, "WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR????? THE END IS NEAR!!! ORDER CONVERSATIONS NOW, BEFORE IT"S TOO LATE!!!"
Whew! Aren't you glad I didn't take that approach? It's terrible to be yelled at, even in such a good cause, so I'm going to simply whisper chummily: "Hullo! If you have the chance to procure Convos and haven't yet, please do, dear chappie. You won't regret it, and if you do, just "contact me" in the sidebar, and I'll buy your copy from you so you haven't wasted your money or - more importantly - a copy of the Best Book After The Gospels." Here's a link:
Conversations (with Jesus, Mary, and Therese) transcribed by our little brother Marcel Van
Little did I know that just by finding that link for you I would be tempted to buy another copy myself! Only $25 and it arrives tomorrow! Okay, just took it out of my cart so it will be there waiting for YOU!
Meanwhile, time for our little prayer, and lest I forget: Thank You, Jesus, for bananas! (Permission to all readers now given to eat TWO bananas - one for you and one for little Jesus, who explained on April 8, 1946 that He did not, in fact, eat bananas while on this earth, but is glad to enjoy one through us when we enjoy them now!)
Draw me, we will run!
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.