The family of Louis and Zelie – Letter #10
January 13, 2018
“Your father went to Nocturnal Adoration last night, although he was very tired when he left us at nine o’clock in the evening.” Saint Zelie, CF 110, to her daughters Marie and Pauline, November 1, 1873
Dear friends of the Family of Louis and Zelie,
From the depths of our hearts, we wish you a holy Year 2018. At the beginning of the year, let us pause and ponder a practice that Saints Louis and Zelie loved in a special way: Adoration. They were very fond of visiting the Blessed Sacrament. Louis was part of the men’s night Adoration group in Alençon. Zelie would also go adore the Lord. They thus would unite to the Lord to receive the strength for everything they had to undertake.
We can also rediscover the importance of Adoration and try to find the time to adore the Lord. Some examples from the lives of the saints could help us:
God remains amongst us
In the spring of the year 1916, the Angel of Portugal appeared to the three Little Shepherds of Fatima with the features of a young man immersed in a brilliant light.
His first words were an invitation to follow his example: “Pray with me!”
The Angel knelt, bowed his head to the ground and repeated this prayer three times:
“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee. I beg of you pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love Thee.”
It is very easy to create a personal relationship with God! Just enter a church and repeat the words of the angel: “He who created the whole world and whose Precious Blood has washed me of my sins is here in the Tabernacle. It is not a figure of the mind. The living God is truly present. I can understand the majesty of God, not his humility!” This is how Holy Mother Teresa expressed herself before the mystery of the presence of God under the species of this small Host. It is no wonder that the Saints fell in love with the Blessed Sacrament!
Saint Peter Julien Eymard (1811-1868), the founder of the Order of Priests of the Blessed Sacrament, found himself in a precarious situation at the beginning of his stay in Paris; indeed, he lacked everything. However, if one began to pity him on his fate, he replied energetically: “I have here the Blessed Sacrament; that is all I need!” And when asked for help or comfort, he returned to the Tabernacle: “You find everything in the Eucharist, the strength of the word, wisdom and miracle, yes even the miracle.” The Eucharist is the supreme revelation of the Love of Jesus. Only heaven surpasses it!”
That is why Saint Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510), to whom we owe a whole theology on purgatory, could say: “The time I spend in front of the Tabernacle is the one that I use the best in my life.” That is understandable, because when we pray, we allow God to act in our lives. For a Christian of today drawn by an active life and immersed in a world where performance prevails, it is not easy to believe that the time we spend before the Blessed Sacrament is indeed the one we use the most intelligently. It is a difficulty that even someone like Mother Teresa experienced. In his popular print book, ‘ « When Love Is there, God is there, » Father Brian Kolodiejchuk MC, postulator of the cause of beatification and canonization of Mother Teresa, relates that at the general chapter of 1973, one of the sisters made this request to Mother Teresa : “Mother, we would like to have an hour of Adoration per day,” to which mother Teresa replied: “It is impossible; We have too much work to do with the patients, the dying, the lepers, the children!”
However, the sisters tried it. Mother Teresa then recognized: “From that moment on, our love for Jesus became much greater, much more intimate and we have much more understanding of each other. In addition, Adoration has allowed us to deepen our charity towards the poor. We understand better their suffering and what they need and more still, we have so many wonderful vocations! I always say that it is the fruit of the Eucharist; it comes from the presence of Jesus, of our Adoration.”
Saint Pope John Paul II has left us with a striking testimony that Cardinal Andrzej Desker (1924-2011) reports. He had studied with Karol Wojtyla and kept this memory: “When Karol was in the chapel, he was heard talking as if he were speaking to another person.” As a priest, then bishop and Pope, he spent many hours on his knees before the Blessed Sacrament. He said: “To live from the Eucharist, we must spend long moments in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. I experience it every day. This is where I find the strength, consolation and support.”
These testimonies can help us to rekindle our fervor for Adoration. Let us pray above all to the Blessed Virgin Mary, model of Adoration, to take us by the hand and to teach us to adore Her Son.
I entrust to your prayers the jubilee year of Saints Louis and Zelie that we are going to open on July 7-8, 2018. For that occasion, we will have a great celebration in Alençon. We are already looking for volunteers: if some of you can help us in any way, do not hesitate to contact us.
I assure you of our prayers for your intentions. May the Lord bless you!
Father Jean-Marie Simar,
Rector of the Shrine of Alençon