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Accueil > Family of Louis and Zelie > The family of Louis and Zelie – Letter #28

The family of Louis and Zelie – Letter #28

August 13, 2019

One Cannot Have a Moment of Rest Here

“I think I’m going to have to abandon my letter until this evening, when they’ve all gone to bed, since one can’t have a moment’s rest here.” Zélie to her daughter, Pauline, April 29, 1877, CF 198

Like Zélie, everyone experiences, at one time or another, the absence of « a moment’s rest » when one really needs it. Zélie, mother of a family, an active woman who watches over her household, a business owner with a job that never ends, seems to us very contemporary when her life becomes rushed and harried. It is notable that Zélie does not get off course despite her overworked schedule. In fact, she will continue, a little later, her letter to Pauline – a letter of considerable length. This communicates to us: make sure that your workload does not lead to you neglecting your responsibilities, in this case the writing of the letter. Zélie concludes: « Pauline, I anxiously await hearing from you. … It seems like it’s been a hundred years since I’ve seen you. »

Let us continue our reflection

Jesus himself is faced with this same situation when he says to his disciples:  » ‘Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.’ People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. … When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. » (Mark 6, 31.34)

To go further and put into practice

This is very paradoxical: Jesus invites us to rest and, in the resting place, the mission begins again. So, is it also paradoxical to speak of lack of time during the holidays? No; not at all, because many people do not go on vacation. Many others have, because of the holidays, more work, not to mention seasonal obligations. Then when it comes to our families, do not forget those who welcome and shelter in their homes, children, small children… for the happiness of their family members and their reunions… not to mention occasional visits to elderly parents who live far away from our places of residence. This list could be lengthened – to conclude that it is also a question of our growing circle of relationships and of our experience of being needed and available. Resting does not mean we do nothing but rather that we accept our plight and allow ourselves to be seized by the unseen God.

– Think about this: if I had to prioritize three things that give meaning to my life, particularly during these summer months, what would they be? And why ?

– What attention can I bring to a relationship that is difficult for me in the remaining months of this year?

– As for the place of rest, am I connected to the spirit of this mission: seized with pity towards those who are like sheep without a shepherd?

– And if « the moment of rest » I was given corresponded to a renewed path of prayer? What form of prayer would I adopt and offer to Him?

Then … what is practiced during the summer time… can it be partly preserved after we return to our regular routines?

Let us pray with Sister Emmanuelle

Our Lady, every day

“There was, indeed, Our Lady, the visit of the angel, the joy of Elizabeth, the shepherds, the Magi and the wine of Cana. But there was, Our Lady, and for so many years, the life of every day, the worries of all the mothers, the work of all the wives, in a small despised village … But there was, Our Lady, so much love: in so many humble services, in so many psalms incessantly repeated, in so many actions always to be redone: the real life, Our Lady … A life that prepared your offering to Calvary and your presence to the nascent Church: these great moments of your love, Our Lady, before the glory and the rest near your Son … Pray for us, Our Lady, from day to day of our little dailies, to the great day of our meeting! Amen!”

Sister Emmanuelle of Cairo (1908-2008)

Guy Fournier, Deacon
Administrator of the Shrine of Louis et Zélie in Alençon

Thank you for your missionary spirit by distributing this letter and by sending us addresses of people you think will appreciate receiving it. This letter can be distributed on paper, recommended to your friends and relatives, and your parish priest…