The family of Louis and Zelie – Letter #18
October 13, 2018
“I know God is taking care of me. I experiment it so many times in my life.” C.F. 156 Zelie to her daughter Pauline.
Learn to sit and rest to enlarge our glance
Each of us need to take a break to reread his life and discern, to get rid of the unnecessary and to focus on what’s essential.
Activism is a threat: we run but we don’t know where. In Martin’s family, one pursued holiness ! The respect of sacred Sundays, the time Louis spent in his retreat place, the Pavilion in Alençon or the belvedere in Lisieux, great advices Zelie gave to her brother Isidore when he had to choose a job (CF1) or a wife (CF10), all those things are going in the same direction.
In the Gospel, Jesus invites his apostles to “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31).
“Together, let us be missionaries!”
That’s why, on September 19th, with Bishop Jacques Habert, the Shrine of Alençon organized an important forum meeting with priests, couples and people in position of responsibility in the Diocese, for a common reading of the past few years for the Shrine, and to think about its vocation as a witness of Louis and Zelie today and tomorrow.
The duty to “sit and rest” : it can only be good!
Everyone has to take a break to grow in unity and love. If we look to the life of Louis and Zelie, we can find inspiration in their different ways of resting.
Louis bought the Pavilion in Alençon to enjoy a place of retreat where he could rest and meditate. It’s the place where he extracted himself from his busy ordinary life.
Zelie took time to write letters. She thought about her behaviors, her planning and how she could grow in holiness.
For the couple
Louis and Zelie had a special care for one another, and sought dialogue, which both opened growth paths. They took the time to renew and strengthen their relationship. They fled routine and unspoken resentments.
For family life
Family correspondence is a fruit of the willingness of its members to communicate, to convey and to build. Some of the letters of Zelie to her brother Isidore are incredible of truth and wisdom. Zelie is the big sister who tells to her brother : “Ask yourself the right questions about the sense you want to give to your choices”.
For social life
Louis often met a group of friends with different jobs, politic opinions, life and social conditions. They reflected about a social organization which would take care of the poor. Zelie built personal and professional relationships that weren’t only just, but also compassionate.
I take a time during this month to sit and rest:
- Through prayer which is an excellent resting time in my bustling daily life.
- Facing myslef: am I a united person, I’m a coherent with my faith ?
- Through personal relationships: I seek to develop closer links with someone close to me that I am used to neglect.
- In family and social life: am I actor of unity and respect through dialogue?
Be assured of our prayers for your intentions through the intercession of Saints Louis and Zelie. May the Lord keep you in his peace.
A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.
You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.
Those who want to kill me
will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth.
They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals.
But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by God will glory in him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced.
Be assured of our prayers for all your intentions.
Guy Fournier, Deacon,
Administrator of the Shrine of Alençon
NB1: Thanks in advance for your help: could you encourage your friends to become members of the Family of Louis and Zelie by sending them this letter? It’s a way of being missionaries.
NB2: Wanted! We are urgently looking for someone that could freely translate this monthly letter from French into English. If you are interested or know someone that could do it, please write us back. Thank you.