The ideas presented here come from the dialogues Bro Marcel Van had with the Lord Jesus, with the Blessed Mother, and with St Therese of the Child Jesus (it is indicated who is speaking or sending the message) with whom he enjoyed spiritual conversations. Brother Marcel’s holy life did not rest on these conversations but rather on his deep love for God, his obedience to his will, and his commitment and service to others. He died as a “confessor of the faith” – one who lived his faith heroically in the midst of trials – in a North Vietnamese Communist prison where he strived to bring joy and faith to his companions, Catholic or not.


6.3 our poverty is our only riches

Marcel, you must know that you have not the slightest virtue. If, in this circumstance, I had not spoken to you, I do not know when you would have ceased to have red eyes.

O little Marcel, you have not the slightest virtue. And, to speak frankly, in you is the complete void: there is absolutely nothing that represents some beauty. But do not be sad, you hear? Look at the flower, your sister Thérèse: she recognized that she did not own anything, but in reality she possessed everything because, having nothing, she got everything (Col 201-202) (see CJ 23.6 and 7.8). .4).

Why does the virtue of poverty force us to miss even the necessary? Do you understand that? Because I want you to become humble, I allow you to be deprived of the inner joys … so that you realize your real poverty. This knowledge of your poverty will inspire you with compassion for many other souls and this compassion for souls will naturally push you to give them alms of all your spiritual favors. That’s the real thing

poverty. In those moments when you are deprived of the favors that are necessary to you, if you accept this privation with joy so that the other souls can enjoy these same favors, it is there the true poverty of heart, the true poverty that I have practiced myself

Indeed, there is a difference between recognizing oneself as poor and needy and practicing true poverty. To recognize that one is poor and needy is a kind of poverty whose motive is the virtue of humility, while true poverty is an effect of the virtue of charity. The kingdom of heaven already belongs to you, but the power to give you this kingdom of heaven belongs to God your Father, so that you must recognize yourself as always being poor and lacking in everything. By this attitude you force your Father to have pity on you and, because he has pity on you, to grant you all things. This is poverty based on humility, and I must practice myself too.

As for the poverty of charity, I have already explained it to you above. Because you have recognized that you are poor and lacking everything, you have received everything. Then you must also practice poverty with respect to others because they, not yet knowing their true poverty, have not received everything