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RP6 08v

 A kingdom! Ah! I have it... This marvelous Child is the One Herod thinks he has wiped out... He is the King of the Jews, the Messiah they've been awaiting for so long.

THE BLESSED VIRGIN

Oh! The wonder of God's mercy that hides itself from the learned and the wise to make itself known to little ones, to lost sheep and unbelievers!....

ABRAMIN

Have I not spoken the truth? Don't hide from me anymore where you come from, you have nothing to fear from me. Far from betraying vou. I'm ready to defend you against those who'd like to attack you, and my men will stand with me at a sign from me.

THE TWO BANDITS get up together.

Yes, yes, we're ready. 

TORCOL

Never have we worked for so noble a cause. 

SAINT JOSEPH

My friends, thank vou. But this is not the time for combat: Jesus is the God of Peace, He comes to defend and to save.

ABRAMIN

Since your Son is God, why hasn't He shown His power by saving from death so many poor infants who've just been mas­sacred on His account? This miracle He's just performed for Dismas He could have done for the children of Bethlehem even more easily, since all He had to do was strike cruel Herod dead.

SAINT JOSEPH

God's thoughts are not like human thoughts; otherwise Jesus would have acted as you have just said. But His ways are high above human ways, as far as Heaven is above the earth. I cannot sound the depths of Divine thoughts and I adore them without understanding them.... Mary is more illuminated than I am by the light of the Holy Spirit and she can undoubt­edly explain to you why her Divine Son preferred to let those innocents be cut down, rather than strike Herod dead.

THE BLESSED VIRGIN

The Son of God did not come to earth to take away life  

 

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc

 
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RP6 09r

 

but to give it. I have told you that His kingdom is not of this world. If He has left the brilliant palace of the Heavens, it was not to conquer an earthly empire; what He wants, what He has come to earth to find, is friends. brothers, whom He might bring with Him into His Celestial Kingdom. If Jesus has let the happy infants of His own age be cut down in their innocence, it is to give them salvation and make them His court of honor. Even the longest life is no more than a dream in which — very often, alas! — people let themselves be led astray by an attachment to the vanities of this world and they forget that they have souls created in the image of God. So it was a great mercy of Jesus' to take from this world that legion of infants who now enjoy eternal rest.  

 
      ABRAMIN. thoughtfully
 
  A soul created in the image of God!... Deceased infants who rejoice in eternal rest!... What unheard of depths to me!.... So everything is not finished after life?... Ah! I'm all over­whelmed, I think I’m dreaming.
 
SAINT JOSEPH

 You are not dreaming. The sublime mysteries Man- has just revealed to you are the simple truth: if you knew how to grasp them, far from unjustly amassing perishable riches, you would esteem poverty as the greatest of treasures. You would seek -- only what would make your soul pleasing to God. 

 ABRAMIN

And why do you want me to seek to please God? How will He know? You say that poverty is more to be prized than trea­sures; explain this strange mystery to me.

SAINT JOSEPH

If this present life should last forever, you'd have some reason to accumulate wealth. But this life that flashes by like a bolt of lightning must be followed by an eternity of happiness for those who have served God faithfully during their pass­ing exile.
Then, this God of goodness and mercy will magnificently reward not on the striking things done for Him, but also the simple desires to serve Him and love Him, because He sees ev­erything; His eye pierces to the depths of hearts, the most secret thoughts are not hidden from Him and, as the prophet Isaiah says: "The Lord shall not judge by what His eyes see, or condemn
 

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc

 

 

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RP6 09v

 by what His ears hear; but He will judge the poor with jus­tice, and He will set Himself up as the just avenger of the humble oppressed on earth. God will Himself come and He will save them."  

ABRAMIN, getting up.

All! This is too much for me. I'm beside myself, I don't know myself anymore.... Friends, let's leave this place; we are not worthy to remain in the presence of these mysterious guests.

SUSANNA

Abramin, when truth shines into your eyes, don't flee from its light. I beg you, by Dismas whom the Savior has re­stored to life, don't go back to that criminal life where you would lose your soul. Display the gratitude you owe our bene­factors by'- guiding them across the desert, so they can take the road to Egypt tomorrow.

ABRAMIN

If I leave, it's not to go back to looting, but I need to breathe the night air; the atmosphere around here - is too pure for me. Rest easy, though. At dawn's first light. I'll show our guests a safe route, so they can continue their journey with­out any worry.

He starts toward the door, and the two other thieves get up.

TORCOL, approaching.

Speak of me sometimes to your Child that one day He ma}' remember old Torcol, when He's come into His kingdom.

THE BLESSED VIRGIN

If you want to enter into my Son's kingdom, never forget this blessed night when God took rest in your home. Then you may hope to see Him after this life, no longer as a weak little baby, but in all the magnificence of His glory.

IZARN, falling to his knees.

Ah! May He bless us, this Child who shall make us happy for eternity.

Together, the three bandits bow their heads. St. Joseph and Susanna also kneel down.

                      THE BLESSED VIRGIN", blessing them with Little Jesus.

 

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc

 

 

 

 
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RP6 10r

Jesus blesses you and thanks vou. In exchange for the hospitality He has received in your cavern, He will bring you into His Paradise.

ABRAMIN gets up, furtively wiping his eyes.

Who would have believed that Abramin, the chief of the bandits, would ever kneel before a child?... He must be God for me to do such a thing!...

The thieves cast a parting glance on Jesus and then exit.

[Scene 6]

SUSANNA, still kneeling, lifts her tearful eyes
to Mary and says in a beseeching voice:
 
O Mary ! How good you are to have promised an immortal kingdom to my husband. But, alas, don't you realize that - bandit life has become second nature to him, and I shiver at thought of his going back to his criminal ways. I tremble at thought that ray Dismas might follow his father's example. Then, what will become of them?...

THE BLESSED VIRGIN

No doubt, these people you love will offend God who has lowered them with blessings, but have confidence in the infinite mercy of the Good God; it is great enough to wipe away the worst crimes when it finds a mother's heart with complete trust in it.
Jesus does not desire the death of the sinner, but that he should convert and live forever. This child who has just cured your son of leprosy, effortlessly, will one day cure him of a far more dangerous leprosy... Then, a simple bath won't be enough; Dismas will have to be washed in the blood of the Redeemer.... Jesus will die to give Dismas life and, on the same day as the Son of God, your son will enter into the Celestial kingdom. 

SUSANNA

Your words are very comforting; I've never felt so deep a peace come into my soul. Without really understanding the meaning of what you say, I do understand the glory you have reserved for my child. Also, 1 will often tell my boy what he owes to your Son; I will teach him to know Him and love Him. I will say to him " that one day he will have to take his place in the honor guard of this great King.

Alas! How sad that your Jesus is so poor He has not even one servant who might come to us with news of Him, from time to time, and teach Dismas what he must do -" to be worthy one day to serve your Son. 

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc

 
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RP6 10v

THE BLESSED VIRGIN

It isn't just from time to time that a servant of Jesus' will come to guide the steps of your child. From birth, Dismas has always had with him a Celestial messenger and this messen­ger will never leave him. Like him, you, too, have an angel as­signed to guard you night and day. He's the one who inspires your good thoughts and the virtuous deeds you do.

SUSANNA

I assure you that no one but you yourself has ever in­spired good thoughts in me and that I've never seen the mes­senger of whom you speak.

THE BLESSED VIRGIN

I know you've never seen him, because the angel by your side is invisible; nonetheless, he is as real as I am. It is by grace of these celestial inspirations that you've felt the desire to know God and to see Him come to you. Through all your earthly exile, these things will be mysteries to you, but at the end of time you will see the Son of God come in His majesty on the clouds of Heaven, accompanied by all the legions of His angels.

SUSANNA

Ah! If I can't see an angel, at. least I would like to hear one's voice.

THE BLESSED VIRGIN seems to be hearing a melody; she says in a soft voice:

Listen.... It seems that one of the angels has undoubtedly heard your prayer. A rustling of wings tells me of his presence. 

[Scene 7]

The ANGEL sings to the tune of Credo from the opera Herculanum, while remaining invisible 

I come to sing of the Holy Family,
That Divine magnificence that brings me here.
In the desert, this sweet brightness glitters,
And charms me more than the glory of Heaven... .
All! Who will understand this mystery ?
Jesus is rejected among His very own.
He is wandering, a traveler on the earth, .
And no one can discern His beauty...

 © Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc

 

 

 

 

See the music score

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