The family of Louis and Zelie – Letter #22
February 13, 2019
« I know God takes care of me. I’ve noticed it many times in my life. How many memories I have of this that I’ll never forget.… » Zelie to her daughter Pauline, January 12, 1876, C.F. 156
« OPEN THE DOOR FOR JESUS CHRIST ! »
« OPEN THE DOOR FOR JESUS CHRIST ! »: The words of Saint Louis-Marie Grignon de Montfort – as he was knocking at the door of a monastery while carrying a poor man on his shoulders – say a lot about the place of welcome in the Christian faith.
As in the example of Saint Louis-Marie Grignon de Montfort, so also in the Martin home, the first welcome applies to oneself – to open one’s own heart and daily life to the “Good God” … and to the Virgin Mary because she leads us to his Son.
In the excerpt from the letter above, Zélie speaks of tangible graces obtained during her life. We cannot receive anything from whom we do not expect anything. The Martin family indeed teaches us that faith rhymes with trust (in French) and that trust rhymes with abandonment. Zélie had an independant spirit. Her daughter Céline confirms it in the book, « My Holy Parents, » as if reading the family correspondence did not convince us. This did not prevent her from letting the words of Jesus echo in her heart:
“Ask and you will receive …” Mt 7-7
There is in Zelie and Louis’ life a letting go that is akin to the journey of Emmaus: walking with Christ and being taught by him, feeding on his Bread of Life, then going out and speaking of his works and wonders.
As our teachers, Zélie and Louis are constantly witnessing to the faith. Their way of life is, for their children, a permanent invitation to open oneself to the presence of God. In a burst of wonder, during his great journey through Europe, Louis wrote to his daughter Marie, September 11, 1885: « I can see so many beautiful things, I could easily cry out: It’s too much, Lord, you are too good to me! »
Let us open our lives to Christ.
Let us continue with a reflection from Saint John Paul II
« Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ. To his saving power open the boundaries of States, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development. Do not be afraid. Christ knows « what is in man ». He alone knows it.
So often today man does not know what is within him, in the depths of his mind and heart. So often he is uncertain about the meaning of his life on this earth. He is assailed by doubt, a doubt which turns into despair. We ask you therefore, we beg you with humility and trust, let Christ speak to man. He alone has words of life, yes, of eternal life.»
Mass at the beginning of the Pontificate, October 22, 1978
To go further and put into practice
In the school of the saints, especially of Louis and Zélie, we ask ourselves the question: « In what way is our life open to Christ? »
The lives of the saints are consistent. They do what they say; they live what they believe. In his exhortation, Pope John Paul II asks that all aspects of life be touched by this faith in Christ: « Open the doors wide to Christ! Open the borders of the States, the economic and political systems, the immense domains of the culture, the civilization, the development. »
This is the case for Louis and Zélie that all dimensions of life, yes all, are open to « God. »
So where do we stand?
Guy Fournier, Deacon.
Administrator of the Shrine of Alençon
The sanctuary team is counting on your missionary spirit in distributing this letter.
Let us pray
The truth delivers us. The free man gives glory to God.
Come closer to Jesus Christ, open your eyes to his light!
Take strength in the Spirit, then go forth and tell your brothers.
The righteous shall be glad; they shall exult before God; they shall be jubilant with joy!
God settles the solitary in a home; he set prisoners free and lets them prosper.
The Lord has commanded you: « Be strong. »
Show your strength and your love, God, when you act on our behalf.