Elise and the joy

« Smile on everything and on everyone out of love for Jesus »

Homepage > Elise’s life > Her message > Elise and the joy

A specific charisma of Elise was that of joy. All of God's friends know joy; for Élise, however, joy was assumed in a very special way because it is the direct fruit of the love between her and Jesus.

Joy is thus omnipresent in the poems and songs of Elise. Two poems and a song are specifically dedicated to her and she is explicitly named in twenty others.

Her first biographer, Dominican Father Jourdain Bochin, first quoted this revealing verse from one of Elise's poems:

Joy entered my soul
With the beautiful secret of loving,
And when its flame falls asleep in me
I smile to revive her.

This verse is an extract from the poetry Joyful song, true revealing of what carried Élise to the total gift of herself to God and to others. In this same poem she reveals that joy was given to her when she was very small.

Joy entered my soul
I don't know when, it's so far! ...
I had, for this beautiful lady
Prepared the place with care ...

Joy entered my soul
No doubt, she is well there.
Nothing can drive her away, my lady
We believe she is dead, she is coming back.

Joy entered my life:
I was little back then!
Had I been looking for or following her?
She took me, and there you go!

Joy entered my life
She's with me - every day.
Otherwise I would have chased her
So that she always stays there!

Joy entered my life:
Jesus put it there, one fine day…
I understand that she delighted me
Since it comes from his Love!

Joy will thus be in Elise's life the main fruit of the Love that Jesus gave her.

The science of joy

During her life Élise developed a real science of joy.

On the one hand, joy explains Elise's attachment to the lark . In the fields surrounding the native farm Élise watched the lark singing as it flapped its wings to climb. It was for her a model to follow.

Stubble sprinkled with fresh violets
The lark comes up singing.
And my soul feels the lark's sister
And go up to God, at the same time.

On the other hand, joy is for Elise the only valid weapon in spiritual warfare, to rise up to God despite all the adversities of everyday life.

Listen up, raise your head
Distracted or bored peasant.
When a lark rises
Can we walk with lowered foreheads?

Our task, it is true, demands
This forehead tilted to the ground.
At least let's throw our souls towards heaven
Like a bird taking flight.

Finally, this inner joy explains Elise's permanent smile, so much so that it was her trademark that everyone noticed. His smile is so engraved in the memory of the catechism children that they still spontaneously remember it today as the first memory of his teaching. In a letter she says:

I am happy; we are happy when we try to put the love of God and his joy around you. I send you my best smile.

To her spiritual father, who had moved to Saint Florentin, and who had some difficulty establishing good relations with his new parishioners, Élise recommends smiling as the most effective means of creating the much sought-after union.

And I don't quite see what could keep the "Florentines” from you. As long as you can find the courage to smile at them. You probably won't want to ... But ... neither do I, and I do anyway. I think it's a matter of training: I believe a lot in the apostolate of smiling, and you?

And to a dear friend, a nurse by profession, Élise speaks of joy as a powerful radiance in the workplace:

May God grant you to possess the joy of Christmas and to communicate it to those, sick or colleagues, whom you will meet that day. Inner Joy and Peace can be felt in a person's gaze and smile, and it passes from one to another like radio waves, even without saying anything special.

Élise thus uses the space of the years to develop what she calls the science of joy where the challenge is to transmit joy to others:

But we don't have, to show you to others
That our clear eyes, of which you make your mirror ...
To those with closed hearts, how can we open ours
Burning with you, that they can catch a glimpse of you?

To teach the science of joy
It is enough for us to pass by loving:
Humble rays that God sends,
Where He wants, let's shine, quite simply! ...

Élise became one of those rays sent by God; she shone in her village, in her parish and in the hearts of children. She is, by the reception she has given to divine Love, a true doctor in the science of joy.

It is this state of mind of Elise which explains all her love for children and her relationship, also very unique, to nature.

In order to read the previous article click here.

In order to read the next article click here.