talitha—koum:

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host - by the Divine Power of God - cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits, who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.

Just a quick image I’ve threw together, please reblog as much as possible with the tags #nun #sister #catholic nun #catholic sister #religious sister

talitha—koum:

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Amen.

Just a quick image I’ve threw together, please reblog as much as possible with the tags #nun #sister #catholic nun #catholic sister #religious sister

rcc-girl:

“As He (Jesus) walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea - for they were fishermen. And He said to them, “follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. As He went from there, He saw two brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and He called them. Immediately, they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.” - Matthew 4:18-22
In this passage, Jesus calls the first disciples to follow Him. Peter, Andrew, James, and John leave everything of their old lives behind to follow Jesus. Jesus also tells them that He will make them “fishers of men,” as it is commonly phrased. Today, Jesus calls us to do the same. We are all called to follow Jesus, to be His disciples, and to hand on the faith as He commanded us.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” - Matthew 28:19
The internet - despite its many faults - has proven to be an extremely useful tool in the New Evangelization and the spreading of the gospel in modern times. I hope and pray that my presence here will help me to grow spiritually.
It is wonderful to see Catholic and Christian communities on Tumblr, Facebook, YouTube, and various other social networking/social media websites. I feel like fellowship is a very essential part of spiritual growth.
Please feel free to follow me or ask me anything, whether you have questions about the Catholic faith (I will answer to the best of my ability, or redirect you to an accurate source if need be) or if you would just like to chat.
God bless!

rcc-girl:

“As He (Jesus) walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea - for they were fishermen. And He said to them, “follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. As He went from there, He saw two brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and He called them. Immediately, they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.”
 - Matthew 4:18-22

In this passage, Jesus calls the first disciples to follow Him. Peter, Andrew, James, and John leave everything of their old lives behind to follow Jesus. Jesus also tells them that He will make them “fishers of men,” as it is commonly phrased. Today, Jesus calls us to do the same. We are all called to follow Jesus, to be His disciples, and to hand on the faith as He commanded us.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.”
 - Matthew 28:19

The internet - despite its many faults - has proven to be an extremely useful tool in the New Evangelization and the spreading of the gospel in modern times. I hope and pray that my presence here will help me to grow spiritually.

It is wonderful to see Catholic and Christian communities on Tumblr, Facebook, YouTube, and various other social networking/social media websites. I feel like fellowship is a very essential part of spiritual growth.

Please feel free to follow me or ask me anything, whether you have questions about the Catholic faith (I will answer to the best of my ability, or redirect you to an accurate source if need be) or if you would just like to chat.

God bless!

(via rcc-girl-deactivated20121114)

pilgrimlog:

Happy Feast of St. Joseph the Worker!
Glorious St. Joseph, model of all who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in the spirit of penance in expiation of my many sins; to work conscientiously by placing love of duty above my inclinations; to gratefully and joyously deem it an honor to employ and to develop by labor the gifts I have received from God, to work methodically, peacefully, and in moderation and patience, without ever shrinking from it through weariness or difficulty to work; above all, with purity of intention and unselfishness, having unceasingly before my eyes death and the account I have to render of time lost, talents unused, good not done, and vain complacency in success, so baneful to the work of God. All for Jesus, all for Mary, all to imitate thee, O patriarch St. Joseph! This shall be my motto for life and eternity.

pilgrimlog:

Happy Feast of St. Joseph the Worker!

Glorious St. Joseph, model of all who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in the spirit of penance in expiation of my many sins; to work conscientiously by placing love of duty above my inclinations; to gratefully and joyously deem it an honor to employ and to develop by labor the gifts I have received from God, to work methodically, peacefully, and in moderation and patience, without ever shrinking from it through weariness or difficulty to work; above all, with purity of intention and unselfishness, having unceasingly before my eyes death and the account I have to render of time lost, talents unused, good not done, and vain complacency in success, so baneful to the work of God. All for Jesus, all for Mary, all to imitate thee, O patriarch St. Joseph! This shall be my motto for life and eternity.

pilgrimlog:

Stages of Ordination

Instituted Lector

Instituted Acolyte

Deacon

Priest

(See the traditional minor orders.)

[Photos:  from “The Ordination Series”  Nice Catholic art by Neilson Carlin]

pilgrimlog:

Here is an interesting visual representation of the First Glorious Mystery designed by the holy architect of the Basilica of Sagrada Familia, Servant of God Antoni Gaudí. 

What makes this a particularly engaging work of art is that you cannot see any of the faces of the holy women; it’s as if you are walking behind them and discovering the empty tomb on that first Easter.  Of the figures in the tomb, the only one that you can see is the angel. 

Another moving aspect about this depiction of the Resurrection is that you literally have to move in order to appreciate the entire narrative of Gaudí’s art work.  If you actually take a step back, you can see the reason for the Glorious Mystery:  the risen Christ in glory on the rock above the cave.

[Photos:  taken on the Rosary Walk during our pilgrimage to the Basilica of Santa Maria de Montserrat]

pilgrimlog:

SAGRADA FAMILIA:  PASSION FACADE

On the final day of our novena to St. Joseph, I reflected on the Basilica and Expiation Temple of the Holy Family (Sagrada Familia) in Barcelona.  I can honestly say with out hyperbole that it is one of the few places that literally took my breath away.  I also talked about its holy architect, Servant of God Antoni Gaudí. 

During his Apostolic Visit to Spain in which he consecrated La Sagrada Familia and raised it to the status of a minor basilica, Pope Benedict called this extraordinary sanctuary, “a hymn of praise to God carved in stone.”  He also noted that “Gaudí, through his work, sought to bring the Gospel to everyone.  For this reason he conceived of the three porticos of the exterior of the church as a catechesis on the life of Jesus Christ, a great Rosary, which is the prayer of ordinary people, a prayer in which are contemplated the joyful, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries of the Lord.”

Recently, I’ve been talking about signs and liturgy.  Here Pope Benedict and Antoni Gaudí present us with another aspect of our sacramental and liturgical, the church building itself which is discussed at length in the document, Built of Living Stones, by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  A church’s architecture, construction, and design play a significant role in the life of a Catholic because, it has the power to enhance the liturgy and inspire devotion to God and commitment to the Christian life.

Here is some pics that I took of one of those porticos, the Passion Façade which appears on the outside of the Basilica’s west transept.  Now, I wouldn’t say my personal aesthetic is modern, per se, but, Gaudí’s Passion Façade much like his entire Sagrada Familia, while although contemporary and groundbreaking, employs very traditional elements that are truly timeless.

I hope that these poor photos can do justice to the fruit of Gaudí’s prayer and skill, and that on this Good Friday, they fulfill the designs of this saintly architect:  to help people to meditate on the Passion of Our Lord and inspire greater appreciation for the sacrifice by which our ransom was paid and won for us eternal life.

pilgrimlog:

Sermon of St. Alphonsus Liguori on the Solemnity of the Annunciation (with my emphasis)
Behold, whilst this humble little Virgin was in her poor cottage, sighing and entreating the Lord…that He would send the world its Redeemer, the Archangel Gabriel came…and saluted her, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women” - Luke 1:28.
 …
What answer does the humble Mary give to a salutation so full of praises? She does not reply; but, astonished at them, is confounded and troubled, “Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be” - Luke 1:29. Why was she troubled? was it that she feared an illusion? No, for she was sure that it was a celestial spirit who spoke to her. Her modesty was perhaps troubled at the sight of an angel, under a human form, as some have thought? No, the text is clear, “She was troubled at his saying”, to which Eusebius Emissenus adds, “not at his appearance, but at what he said”. This trouble, then, proceeded entirely from her humility, and was caused by the great praises, which were so far from her own humble estimate of herself. Hence, the more she heard herself praised, the more deeply did she enter into the depth of her own nothingness. Saint Bernardine of Sienna writes, that “had the angel said, O Mary, thou art the greatest sinner in the world, her astonishment would not have been so great; the sound of such high praises filled her with fear”.
…
In the mean time the angel waits to know whether she is willing to be the Mother of God. Saint Bernard addresses her, saying, “The angel awaits thy reply, and we also, O Lady, on whom the sentence of condemnation weighs so heavily, await the word of mercy”. “Behold, O holy Virgin, the price of our salvation, which will be the blood of that Son now to be formed in thy womb. This price is offered to thee to pay for our sins, and deliver us from death; we shall be instantly delivered if thou consentest”. “Thy Lord Himself desires thy consent; for by it He has determined to save the world. He desires it with an ardor equal to the love with which He has loved thy beauty”. “Answer, O sacred Virgin”, says Saint Augustine, “why delayest thou the salvation of the world, which depends on thy consent?”
But see, Mary already replies to the angel, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word” - Luke 1:38. O admirable answer, which rejoiced Heaven, and brought an immense treasure of good things to the world. Answer which drew the only-begotten Son from the bosom of His Eternal Father into this world to become man; for these words had hardly fallen from the lips of Mary before “the Word was made flesh”; the Son of God became also the Son of Mary. “O powerful fiat!”, exclaims Saint Thomas of Villanova; “O efficacious fiat! O fiat to be venerated above every other fiat!”, for with that fiat, Heaven came on Earth, and the Earth was raised to Heaven.
Let us now examine Mary’s answer more closely, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord”. By this answer the humble Virgin meant: Behold the servant of the Lord, obliged to do that which her Lord commands; since He well sees my nothingness, and since all that I have is His, who can say that He has chosen me for any merit of my own? “Behold the handmaid of the Lord”. What merits can a servant have, for which she should be chosen to be the Mother of her Lord? Let not the servant , then, be praised, but the goodness alone of that Lord, Who is graciously pleased to regard so lowly a creature , and make her so great. “O humility”, exclaims the Abbot Guarric, “as nothing in its own eyes, yet sufficiently great for the Divinity. Insufficient for itself, sufficient in the eyes of God to contain Him in her womb, Whom the heavens cannot contain”. Let us also hear the exclamation of Saint Bernard on this subject. He says, “And how, O Lady, couldst thou unite in thy heart so humble an opinion of thyself with such great purity, with such innocence, and so great a plenitude of grace, as thou didst possess?” “Whence this humility”, continues the Saint, “and so great humility, O Blessed One?” Lucifer, seeing himself enriched by God with extraordinary beauty, aspired to exalt his throne above the stars, and make himself like God: “I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit in the mountain of the covenant … I will ascend above the height of the clouds, I will be like the most High” - Isaiah 14:13-14. O, what would that proud spirit have said, had he ever been adorned with the gifts of Mary? He being exalted by God, became proud, and was sent to Hell; but the more the humble Mary saw herself enriched, so much the more did she concentrate herself in her own nothingness; and therefore God raised her to the dignity of being His Mother, having made her so incomparably greater than all other creatures, that, as Saint Andrew of Crete says, “there is no one who is not God, who can be compared with Mary”. Hence Saint Anselm also says, “there is no one who is thy equal, O Lady, for all are either above or beneath thee; God alone is above thee, and all that is not God is inferior to thee”.
To what greater dignity could a creature be raised than that of Mother of her Creator? “To be the Mother of God”, Saint Bonaventure writes, “is the greatest grace which can be conferred on a creature. It is such that God could make a greater world, a greater Heaven, but He cannot exalt a creature more than by making her His Mother”. This the Blessed Virgin was pleased herself to express, when she said, “He that is mighty, hath done great things to me” - Luke 1:49. But here the Abbot of Celles reminds her, “God did not create thee for Himself only; He gave thee to the angels as their restorer, and to men as their repairer”. So that God did not create Mary for Himself only, but He created her for man also; that is to say, to repair the ruin entailed upon him by sin….
Our first father Adam sinned; for, ungrateful to God for the many gifts he had received from Him, he rebelled against Him by eating the forbidden fruit. God was therefore obliged to drive him from before His Face, and to condemn him and all his posterity to eternal death. But afterwards, pitying him, and moved by the bowels of His mercy, He was pleased to come on Earth to become man, and thus satisfy the Divine Justice, paying with His own sufferings the punishment which we deserved for our sins.
“He came down from Heaven, and was made man”. This we are taught by the Holy Church: “And He was made man”. O prodigy, O excess of the love of God; a God became man! Did a prince of this world, seeing a worm dead in its hole, wish to restore it to life; and were he told that to do so, it would be necessary that he should himself become a worm, enter its dwelling, and there at the price of his life make it a bath in his own blood, and that thus only could its life be restored, what would the reply of such a prince be? “No”, he would say, “what does it signify to me whether the worm comes to life again or not, that I should shed my life and die to restore its life”? Of what import was it to God that men should be lost, since they had merited it by their sins? Would His happiness have been diminished thereby?
No, indeed. It was because God’s love for men was so truly great that He came upon Earth and humbled Himself to take flesh from a Virgin; and taking the form of a servant, became man; that is, He made Himself a worm like us: “But emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man” - Philippians 2:7. He is God, as the Father, immense, omnipotent, sovereign, and in all things equal to the Father; but when He was made man in the womb of Mary, He became a creature, a servant, weak, and less than the Father. Behold Him thus humbled in the womb of Mary; there He accepted the command of His Father, Who willed that after three-and-thirty years of suffering, He should die cruelly executed on a Cross: “He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the Cross” - Philippians 2:8. Behold Him as a Child in the womb of His Mother. He there conformed Himself in all things to the will of His Father, and, inflamed with love for us, He offered Himself willingly: “He was offered because it was His own will, and He opened not His mouth: He shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer, and He shall not open His mouth” - Isaiah 53:7. He offered Himself, I say, to suffer all for our salvation. He then foresaw the scourging, and offered His body; He foresaw the thorns, and offered His head; He foresaw the nails, and offered His hands and feet; He foresaw the Cross, and offered His life. And why was He pleased to suffer so much for us ungrateful sinners? It was because He loved us; “Who hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood” - Apocalypse 1:5. He saw us soiled with sin, and prepared us a bath in His own blood, that we might thereby be cleansed, and become dear to God: “Christ also hath loved us, and hath delivered Himself for us” - Ephesians 5:2. He saw us condemned to death, and prepared to die Himself, that we might live; and seeing us cursed by God on account of our sins, He was pleased to charge Himself with the curses which we had deserved, that we might be saved: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us” - Galatians 3:13.
Saint Francis of Paul had, then, indeed reason, in considering the mystery of a God made man and dying through love for us, to exclaim, “O charity! O charity! O charity!” Did not faith assure us of all that the Son of God did and suffered for us, who could ever believe it? Ah Christians! the love which Jesus Christ had and has for us indeed drives and forces us to love Him, “For the charity of Christ presseth us” - 2Corinthians 5:14. Tender indeed are the sentiments expressed by Saint Francis de Sales on these words of Saint Paul; he says, “Knowing then, that Jesus, Who was truly God, has loved us, and loved us so much as to die, and to die on a Cross for us, is not this to have our hearts under a wine-press, and to feel them forced and so strongly pressed that love issues from them by the very violence with which they are pressed; and the greater this violence is with which they are pressed, the more sweet and amiable is it”.
But here came the tears of Saint John, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not” - John 1:11. Why did the only-begotten Son of God become man on Earth, suffer and die for us, if it was not that we might love Him? “God became man”, says Hugo of Saint Victor, “that man might love Him with greater freedom”. “Jesus Christ”, says Saint Augustine, “came on Earth principally that man might know how much He loved him”. And if a God loves us so much, He requires, with Justice, that we love Him. “He made known His love”, says Saint Bernard, “that He might experience thine”. He has shown us the greatness of the love He bears us, that He may obtain our love at least out of gratitude.
O Eternal Word, Thou camest from Heaven on Earth to become man and to die for man, that Thou mightest be loved by man; how is it, then, that among men there are so few who love thee? Ah, infinite Beauty, amiable Infinity, worthy of infinite love, behold me; I am one of those ungrateful creatures whom Thou hast loved so much, but have not yet known how to love Thee; nay even, instead of loving Thee, I have greatly offended Thee. But Thou becamest man and didst die to pardon sinners who detest their sins, and wish to love Thee. Lord, behold me; see, I am a sinner, it is true; but I repent of the crimes I have committed against Thee, and I desire to love Thee; pity me. And thou, O holy Virgin, who by thy humility becamest worthy to be the Mother of God, and as such art also our Mother, the Refuge, the Advocate of sinners, do thou pray for me, recommend me to this Son, Who loves thee so much, and refuses nothing that thou askest Him. Tell Him to pardon me; tell Him to give me His holy love; tell Him to save me; that with thee I may one day love Him face-to-face in Paradise.  Amen.

pilgrimlog:

Sermon of St. Alphonsus Liguori on the Solemnity of the Annunciation (with my emphasis)

Behold, whilst this humble little Virgin was in her poor cottage, sighing and entreating the Lord…that He would send the world its Redeemer, the Archangel Gabriel came…and saluted her, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women” - Luke 1:28.

 …

What answer does the humble Mary give to a salutation so full of praises? She does not reply; but, astonished at them, is confounded and troubled, “Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be” - Luke 1:29. Why was she troubled? was it that she feared an illusion? No, for she was sure that it was a celestial spirit who spoke to her. Her modesty was perhaps troubled at the sight of an angel, under a human form, as some have thought? No, the text is clear, “She was troubled at his saying”, to which Eusebius Emissenus adds, “not at his appearance, but at what he said”. This trouble, then, proceeded entirely from her humility, and was caused by the great praises, which were so far from her own humble estimate of herself. Hence, the more she heard herself praised, the more deeply did she enter into the depth of her own nothingness. Saint Bernardine of Sienna writes, that “had the angel said, O Mary, thou art the greatest sinner in the world, her astonishment would not have been so great; the sound of such high praises filled her with fear”.

In the mean time the angel waits to know whether she is willing to be the Mother of God. Saint Bernard addresses her, saying, “The angel awaits thy reply, and we also, O Lady, on whom the sentence of condemnation weighs so heavily, await the word of mercy”. “Behold, O holy Virgin, the price of our salvation, which will be the blood of that Son now to be formed in thy womb. This price is offered to thee to pay for our sins, and deliver us from death; we shall be instantly delivered if thou consentest”. “Thy Lord Himself desires thy consent; for by it He has determined to save the world. He desires it with an ardor equal to the love with which He has loved thy beauty”. “Answer, O sacred Virgin”, says Saint Augustine, “why delayest thou the salvation of the world, which depends on thy consent?”

But see, Mary already replies to the angel, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word” - Luke 1:38. O admirable answer, which rejoiced Heaven, and brought an immense treasure of good things to the world. Answer which drew the only-begotten Son from the bosom of His Eternal Father into this world to become man; for these words had hardly fallen from the lips of Mary before “the Word was made flesh”; the Son of God became also the Son of Mary. “O powerful fiat!”, exclaims Saint Thomas of Villanova; “O efficacious fiat! O fiat to be venerated above every other fiat!”, for with that fiat, Heaven came on Earth, and the Earth was raised to Heaven.

Let us now examine Mary’s answer more closely, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord”. By this answer the humble Virgin meant: Behold the servant of the Lord, obliged to do that which her Lord commands; since He well sees my nothingness, and since all that I have is His, who can say that He has chosen me for any merit of my own? “Behold the handmaid of the Lord”. What merits can a servant have, for which she should be chosen to be the Mother of her Lord? Let not the servant , then, be praised, but the goodness alone of that Lord, Who is graciously pleased to regard so lowly a creature , and make her so great. “O humility”, exclaims the Abbot Guarric, “as nothing in its own eyes, yet sufficiently great for the Divinity. Insufficient for itself, sufficient in the eyes of God to contain Him in her womb, Whom the heavens cannot contain”. Let us also hear the exclamation of Saint Bernard on this subject. He says, “And how, O Lady, couldst thou unite in thy heart so humble an opinion of thyself with such great purity, with such innocence, and so great a plenitude of grace, as thou didst possess?” “Whence this humility”, continues the Saint, “and so great humility, O Blessed One?” Lucifer, seeing himself enriched by God with extraordinary beauty, aspired to exalt his throne above the stars, and make himself like God: “I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit in the mountain of the covenant … I will ascend above the height of the clouds, I will be like the most High” - Isaiah 14:13-14. O, what would that proud spirit have said, had he ever been adorned with the gifts of Mary? He being exalted by God, became proud, and was sent to Hell; but the more the humble Mary saw herself enriched, so much the more did she concentrate herself in her own nothingness; and therefore God raised her to the dignity of being His Mother, having made her so incomparably greater than all other creatures, that, as Saint Andrew of Crete says, “there is no one who is not God, who can be compared with Mary”. Hence Saint Anselm also says, “there is no one who is thy equal, O Lady, for all are either above or beneath thee; God alone is above thee, and all that is not God is inferior to thee”.

To what greater dignity could a creature be raised than that of Mother of her Creator? “To be the Mother of God”, Saint Bonaventure writes, “is the greatest grace which can be conferred on a creature. It is such that God could make a greater world, a greater Heaven, but He cannot exalt a creature more than by making her His Mother”. This the Blessed Virgin was pleased herself to express, when she said, “He that is mighty, hath done great things to me” - Luke 1:49. But here the Abbot of Celles reminds her, “God did not create thee for Himself only; He gave thee to the angels as their restorer, and to men as their repairer”. So that God did not create Mary for Himself only, but He created her for man also; that is to say, to repair the ruin entailed upon him by sin….

Our first father Adam sinned; for, ungrateful to God for the many gifts he had received from Him, he rebelled against Him by eating the forbidden fruit. God was therefore obliged to drive him from before His Face, and to condemn him and all his posterity to eternal death. But afterwards, pitying him, and moved by the bowels of His mercy, He was pleased to come on Earth to become man, and thus satisfy the Divine Justice, paying with His own sufferings the punishment which we deserved for our sins.

“He came down from Heaven, and was made man”. This we are taught by the Holy Church: “And He was made man”. O prodigy, O excess of the love of God; a God became man! Did a prince of this world, seeing a worm dead in its hole, wish to restore it to life; and were he told that to do so, it would be necessary that he should himself become a worm, enter its dwelling, and there at the price of his life make it a bath in his own blood, and that thus only could its life be restored, what would the reply of such a prince be? “No”, he would say, “what does it signify to me whether the worm comes to life again or not, that I should shed my life and die to restore its life”? Of what import was it to God that men should be lost, since they had merited it by their sins? Would His happiness have been diminished thereby?

No, indeed. It was because God’s love for men was so truly great that He came upon Earth and humbled Himself to take flesh from a Virgin; and taking the form of a servant, became man; that is, He made Himself a worm like us: “But emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man” - Philippians 2:7. He is God, as the Father, immense, omnipotent, sovereign, and in all things equal to the Father; but when He was made man in the womb of Mary, He became a creature, a servant, weak, and less than the Father. Behold Him thus humbled in the womb of Mary; there He accepted the command of His Father, Who willed that after three-and-thirty years of suffering, He should die cruelly executed on a Cross: “He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the Cross” - Philippians 2:8. Behold Him as a Child in the womb of His Mother. He there conformed Himself in all things to the will of His Father, and, inflamed with love for us, He offered Himself willingly: “He was offered because it was His own will, and He opened not His mouth: He shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer, and He shall not open His mouth” - Isaiah 53:7. He offered Himself, I say, to suffer all for our salvation. He then foresaw the scourging, and offered His body; He foresaw the thorns, and offered His head; He foresaw the nails, and offered His hands and feet; He foresaw the Cross, and offered His life. And why was He pleased to suffer so much for us ungrateful sinners? It was because He loved us; “Who hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood” - Apocalypse 1:5. He saw us soiled with sin, and prepared us a bath in His own blood, that we might thereby be cleansed, and become dear to God: “Christ also hath loved us, and hath delivered Himself for us” - Ephesians 5:2. He saw us condemned to death, and prepared to die Himself, that we might live; and seeing us cursed by God on account of our sins, He was pleased to charge Himself with the curses which we had deserved, that we might be saved: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us” - Galatians 3:13.

Saint Francis of Paul had, then, indeed reason, in considering the mystery of a God made man and dying through love for us, to exclaim, “O charity! O charity! O charity!” Did not faith assure us of all that the Son of God did and suffered for us, who could ever believe it? Ah Christians! the love which Jesus Christ had and has for us indeed drives and forces us to love Him, “For the charity of Christ presseth us” - 2Corinthians 5:14. Tender indeed are the sentiments expressed by Saint Francis de Sales on these words of Saint Paul; he says, “Knowing then, that Jesus, Who was truly God, has loved us, and loved us so much as to die, and to die on a Cross for us, is not this to have our hearts under a wine-press, and to feel them forced and so strongly pressed that love issues from them by the very violence with which they are pressed; and the greater this violence is with which they are pressed, the more sweet and amiable is it”.

But here came the tears of Saint John, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not” - John 1:11. Why did the only-begotten Son of God become man on Earth, suffer and die for us, if it was not that we might love Him? “God became man”, says Hugo of Saint Victor, “that man might love Him with greater freedom”. “Jesus Christ”, says Saint Augustine, “came on Earth principally that man might know how much He loved him”. And if a God loves us so much, He requires, with Justice, that we love Him. “He made known His love”, says Saint Bernard, “that He might experience thine”. He has shown us the greatness of the love He bears us, that He may obtain our love at least out of gratitude.

O Eternal Word, Thou camest from Heaven on Earth to become man and to die for man, that Thou mightest be loved by man; how is it, then, that among men there are so few who love thee? Ah, infinite Beauty, amiable Infinity, worthy of infinite love, behold me; I am one of those ungrateful creatures whom Thou hast loved so much, but have not yet known how to love Thee; nay even, instead of loving Thee, I have greatly offended Thee. But Thou becamest man and didst die to pardon sinners who detest their sins, and wish to love Thee. Lord, behold me; see, I am a sinner, it is true; but I repent of the crimes I have committed against Thee, and I desire to love Thee; pity me. And thou, O holy Virgin, who by thy humility becamest worthy to be the Mother of God, and as such art also our Mother, the Refuge, the Advocate of sinners, do thou pray for me, recommend me to this Son, Who loves thee so much, and refuses nothing that thou askest Him. Tell Him to pardon me; tell Him to give me His holy love; tell Him to save me; that with thee I may one day love Him face-to-face in Paradise.  Amen.

pilgrimlog:

LADY’S NIGHT - Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary
HAPPY ST. JOSEPH’S DAY!!!
I hope that all of you had a wonderful day to feast and celebrate our glorious patron and father, the most chaste spouse of Mary and friend of the Sacred Heart, the holy St. Joseph!
I know that I recently moved my Lady’s Night posts to Sunday evenings, but, given this great Solemnity (and because I didn’t have time yesterday), I thought that tonight would be most fitting to post about Our Lady and her Joseph.
The Messiah, as you know, was prophesied to be a descendent of King David (cf. 2 Samuel 7:12).  Joseph was a Son of David and into his family would be born the Son of Man in David’s City, Bethlehem, literally, the House of Bread, which would become the house of the Bread of Life.
Thus, our Joseph was chosen by God to play this important role in salvation history, namely, to be the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and foster-father of the Son of God.
There is an ancient tradition that out of all of David’s descendents, Joseph was chosen to be Mary’s spouse when the dry, stick that he held in his hand miraculously sprouted blossoms.  Although, we don’t know exactly what flowers bloomed from the dead piece of wood, but lilies have always been associated with St. Joseph as a sign of his virtue and chastity; for the Gospels call him the just or righteous man (cf. Matthew 1:19).  In Joseph’s flowering staff, we see a sign that God can make use of any instrument, no matter how poor; no matter how seemingly dead and barren, God can bring forth life, gracious blossoms to honor Him.
Our Joseph, though he was resplendent with virtue, was far exceeded by his Immaculate Bride in holiness.  Ah, but who better to have as a spouse than the ever kind and compassionate Mother of God!  Joseph loved his Lady and sought to care for her needs, even feeling sorrow when, due to his poverty, he could not provide for her in a more fitting way.  Our Lady, most blessed among women, loved her Joseph, too, and sought to console him by her prayers and daily assisting his advance towards unity with God.  However, what Our Lady did to most bring joy to Joseph’s heart was to bear the Light of the World and present Him to to her faithful husband.
Again, please recall my previous discussion about the visions of the Holy Family by Sr. Maria Cecilia Baij, O.S.B. in her book, The Life of Saint Joseph, noting once more the difference between public and private revelation.
Here is a glimpse of the relationship between Mary and Joseph shortly after the Incarnation (but before Joseph noticed Mary’s pregnancy) that Sr. Maria Cecilia describes in her book.

While Joseph was at work, he felt himself irresistibly drawn to go see Mary.  He felt himself being possessed by an ardent, reverential, and always more holy love towards Her…It was actually the Incarnate Word, resting in Mary’s bosom that was attracting his soul.  Although he did not realize this fact, the power of love, nevertheless, accomplished its task and often brought Mary and Joseph together, so as to give them the mutual happiness of seeing and conversing with each other.  For Joseph, this was always an occasion of great delight.  It was also most pleasing to the Incarnate Word to see Joseph there present before Him in so reverential a spirit, and so the Divine Savior would bestow His graces upon him.  The most holy Mother discerning all this, experienced on Her part a similar happiness.
Joseph told Mary all that he felt within himself.  He asked Her to forgive him if he was making a nuisance of himself with his frequent visits and disturbing Her peace.  He declared that he simply felt himself forcibly drawn to see Her, and he had never experienced the degree of consolation he now experienced in Her presence.  Consequently, he could hardly do otherwise than he was doing.
Mary was most kind, and told him to come without any fear of being troublesome to Her, for ever time that he visited Her they would sing a hymn together to God so that God would be praised by them, and they in turn, would receive His grace and favor.  Thus encouraged, Joseph continued amid great consolations to make his visits to Mary.  She seemed to become more beautiful and more filled with grace every time that he sought out Her company, which produced in him an ever increasing veneration.

Then, when the Incarnate Word was born, it was Joseph’s great delight to hold the Infant Savior in his arms and to press Him close to his heart.  There, in such great intimacy, the Heart of God would speak to the poor heart of his servant and foster-father (cor ad cor loquitur) as Sr. Maria Cecilia describes,

Joseph frequently held the Divine Savior in his arms, but always after first preparing himself for it by his ardent desires.  Every time that he so received Him, he was filled afresh with grace and glowing love.  The fortunate Joseph realized this fact and rendered fervent thanks to his beloved Lord for it.  Mary, being likewise conscious of it, added Her own thanksgiving to the Savior in Joseph’s behalf.
Sometimes, the Divine Infant would look smilingly upon Joseph and would permit His divine Voice to be perceived within Joseph’s heart, saying to him:  “Oh my Joseph, how much do I love you!  How pleased I am to accept your service and your love!  After My beloved Mother, I love you most of all.”  This would cause Joseph to be overcome with love and gratitude to his God, and he would answer the Divine Infant in words that expressed his own ardent and heartfelt affection:  “Oh my Savior, You are the sole object of my love.  You are my entire good, my contentment, my life, my rest!  After You, I also love Your Mother, because She is Your Mother and the holiest of creatures, so full of grace and virtue.  I love Her as my spouse and most dear companion, whom You have given to me by virtue of Your immense goodness.  I also love all creatures as the work of Your hands, and I love them all in You and through You, Who are my very life and my only good!”

As the Infant Jesus grew, so did our Joseph’s love for Him and His Virgin Mother.  What must have it been like for St. Joseph to be the head of the Holy Household in Egypt and Nazareth.  For he was given the responsibility for guarding and providing for Jesus and Mary:  One was God Himself and the other was conceived without original sin.

Indeed, these most holy individuals [of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph] actually competed with each other in the practice of humility and the other virtues.  Joseph strove earnestly to be a faithful and precise imitator of Jesus and Mary.  Though already very virtuous, he recognized that he was, nevertheless, very much inferior to Them.  Hence, he often humbled himself and said to his holy spouse:  “Oh, how ashamed I feel of my wretchedness when I see You and Jesus so rich in virtue and merits.  I am indeed poor and miserable.  I ought to be a most perfect imitator of each one of You, but I realize that I am far from it.  Oh, my beloved spouse, obtain for me the graces I need.”  In this manner, Joseph advanced to an ever greater fullness in grace.
Whenever Joseph brought their food supplies home, which usually consisted of vegetables, podded grains, and a few fish, Mary asked Joseph how he liked to have his food prepared.  Such a request generally distressed the Saint because he preferred to satisfy the desires of his spouse rather than his own.  However, in order to comply with the divine will, he would answer Her request and would make known his wishes, but in reality he still attempted to accommodate himself to Her desires by having Her prepare things in a very simple manner.  He himself had a great longing, at times, for a more rare dish, but he would say nothing about this to Her.
Mary, however, discerned everything.  Hence, when on occasion he would come to eat after a strenuous day’s work, he would find that Mary had already prepared for him the particular dish he had secretly longed to have.  Sometimes he ate of it, but at other times he gave it to the poor, with Mary’s consent, denying himself all the enjoyment of it.  After Joseph had discovered that Mary was discerning all his secret wishes, he would immediately suppress any desire for some special fare, and by doing this he hoped to prevent Mary from detecting these incipient desires and from paying any attention to them.  Mary smiled to Herself at this idea of Her spouse.  In order to please him, She stopped paying attention to these urges, which She knew to be coming upon him.  She did so because She wanted to conceal the evidence of the gifts and graces which God had bestowed upon Her; this ability to discern what was going on in the mind of Her spouse was certainly one of them.
Joseph, on the other hand, would devote considerable thought to what he should provide on his part for Jesus and Mary in regard to Their welfare.  However, if he ventured to ask Them what they would like to have, They would merely express their gratitude for his inquiry, and then tell him not to burden himself with such deliberations, inasmuch as They could not deviate from their ordinary regimen, composed of bread and water, vegetables, legumes, fruit, and an occasional fried fish.  The Saint made no further rejoinder, but bowed his head and again abased himself.  They both assured him, however, that They were pleased with this good will and that he would be rewarded for it, just as if he had actually performed the deed.
Joseph’s love and reverence for Mary was continually being augmented, and he always desired to be with Her.  He regretted that when he went to work he had to be separated from Her, making it impossible for him either to see, hear, or speak with Her.  Even though he would have Jesus with him, he still longed to be with Mary also, for She was his most dear spouse, and a creature of such eminent dignity and extraordinary virtue.
Joseph never gave any external evidence that his feelings were in any way affected.  When he left Mary to go to work, he would do so in a fully resigned spirit.  He frequently conquered his impulses to go and see Her, offering this as a sacrifice to God.  Jesus, however, Who was aware of this holy longing of the ardent Joseph, often found ways and means whereby He could send him to Mary, and so provide consolation for his spirit.  He wanted Joseph to have this consolation in addition to that which He, Himself, was already granting to him by His own presence.  For upon seeing Mary, Joseph’s love for God would increase, and his heart would become animated with the desire for greater holiness.  It was a special prerogative of the Mother of God to cause anyone whose gaze rested upon Her with a true and chaste love, as was the case with Joseph, to become permeated with a holy enthusiasm and heavenly desires.

Ah, see how our beloved Joseph loves his foster-Son and his Bride!  And see how Our Lady and Jesus love their Joseph!
My brothers, as sons of God and sons Mary, give yourselves as well to the paternal care and most just heart of Joseph.  Be his faithful and obedient sons.  As guys, turn to St. Joseph and ask him to teach you how to be men, men like him.  Often sons try to be like their dads, imitating their habits both good and bad.  We want to make our fathers proud.  Let us, then, be imitators of St. Joseph, our beloved father, following his example of righteousness and love for Jesus and Mary.
The young Jesus willed to labor at Joseph’s side at his workbench.  Let us be also be Joseph’s apprentices in holiness, laboring tirelessly for our own sanctification and that of others.  He will teach us to serve Jesus, to identify with the poor, to practice humility and patience, to joyfully submit to the will of God in all things, to honor Mary:  the highest honor of our race, and to persevere in chastity.
He will teach us, too, how to treat women, by recognizing their special dignity as daughters of his Immaculate Spouse, and by purifying our thoughts and desires.  Our gracious father is often invoked as Joseph Most Strong, so it is definitely not weakness to be the guardian of a woman’s virtue rather than its taker.  God did not create us to be weak, imperfect though we are, so let us be strong like our father, Joseph, courageous in the pursuit of holiness and so honor our loving patron.
It is a challenge to be men like St. Joseph, for the world provides alternative examples of manhood.  Yet, take most any actor, musician, or mogul and compare them to St. Joseph—then see who is a real man.  But the challenge is worth the sacrifice and suffering, brothers!  The salvation of our souls is worth it.  The sanctification of the world is worth it.  Our future brides and daughters are worth it.
Will we meet this challenge?  See here the mountain; will we climb it?  See the ocean wide; will we swim it?  See the narrow gate; will we enter it?  See the road to Calvary; will we walk it?
Now, my sisters, O lovely daughters of Mary, entrust yourselves also to the mighty care and patronage of St. Joseph.  For he who loves Mary, his spouse and Queen, will surely also take you under the mantel of his protection.  Mary trusted Joseph with her life and that of her Son.  So, trust Joseph with the care for your soul.  As he was gentle and tender with the Child Jesus and his chosen Bride, he will be as tender and gentle with your soul—ever prompting you to imitate his Lady’s virtues, to pray with great fervor and devotion, and to love his Jesus with your whole being and desire above all to be united with Him forever.
And to my sisters who are called to the married life, I implore you, see Joseph as the model of the man you will marry.  Do not settle, my dear sisters!  Do not settle for less than a son of Joseph.  We need you to help us be men like him by encouraging us to be his faithful imitators.  Don’t settle.  Demand holiness from us!  Be patient, however, with our poor attempts.  Pray for us, that we may be men worthy of you.
In all things, in all trials and joys… 
Ite ad Ioseph (“Go to Joseph”, Genesis 41:55)

I need to get this book

pilgrimlog:

LADY’S NIGHT - Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary

HAPPY ST. JOSEPH’S DAY!!!

I hope that all of you had a wonderful day to feast and celebrate our glorious patron and father, the most chaste spouse of Mary and friend of the Sacred Heart, the holy St. Joseph!

I know that I recently moved my Lady’s Night posts to Sunday evenings, but, given this great Solemnity (and because I didn’t have time yesterday), I thought that tonight would be most fitting to post about Our Lady and her Joseph.

The Messiah, as you know, was prophesied to be a descendent of King David (cf. 2 Samuel 7:12).  Joseph was a Son of David and into his family would be born the Son of Man in David’s City, Bethlehem, literally, the House of Bread, which would become the house of the Bread of Life.

Thus, our Joseph was chosen by God to play this important role in salvation history, namely, to be the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and foster-father of the Son of God.

There is an ancient tradition that out of all of David’s descendents, Joseph was chosen to be Mary’s spouse when the dry, stick that he held in his hand miraculously sprouted blossoms.  Although, we don’t know exactly what flowers bloomed from the dead piece of wood, but lilies have always been associated with St. Joseph as a sign of his virtue and chastity; for the Gospels call him the just or righteous man (cf. Matthew 1:19).  In Joseph’s flowering staff, we see a sign that God can make use of any instrument, no matter how poor; no matter how seemingly dead and barren, God can bring forth life, gracious blossoms to honor Him.

Our Joseph, though he was resplendent with virtue, was far exceeded by his Immaculate Bride in holiness.  Ah, but who better to have as a spouse than the ever kind and compassionate Mother of God!  Joseph loved his Lady and sought to care for her needs, even feeling sorrow when, due to his poverty, he could not provide for her in a more fitting way.  Our Lady, most blessed among women, loved her Joseph, too, and sought to console him by her prayers and daily assisting his advance towards unity with God.  However, what Our Lady did to most bring joy to Joseph’s heart was to bear the Light of the World and present Him to to her faithful husband.

Again, please recall my previous discussion about the visions of the Holy Family by Sr. Maria Cecilia Baij, O.S.B. in her book, The Life of Saint Joseph, noting once more the difference between public and private revelation.

Here is a glimpse of the relationship between Mary and Joseph shortly after the Incarnation (but before Joseph noticed Mary’s pregnancy) that Sr. Maria Cecilia describes in her book.

While Joseph was at work, he felt himself irresistibly drawn to go see Mary.  He felt himself being possessed by an ardent, reverential, and always more holy love towards Her…It was actually the Incarnate Word, resting in Mary’s bosom that was attracting his soul.  Although he did not realize this fact, the power of love, nevertheless, accomplished its task and often brought Mary and Joseph together, so as to give them the mutual happiness of seeing and conversing with each other.  For Joseph, this was always an occasion of great delight.  It was also most pleasing to the Incarnate Word to see Joseph there present before Him in so reverential a spirit, and so the Divine Savior would bestow His graces upon him.  The most holy Mother discerning all this, experienced on Her part a similar happiness.

Joseph told Mary all that he felt within himself.  He asked Her to forgive him if he was making a nuisance of himself with his frequent visits and disturbing Her peace.  He declared that he simply felt himself forcibly drawn to see Her, and he had never experienced the degree of consolation he now experienced in Her presence.  Consequently, he could hardly do otherwise than he was doing.

Mary was most kind, and told him to come without any fear of being troublesome to Her, for ever time that he visited Her they would sing a hymn together to God so that God would be praised by them, and they in turn, would receive His grace and favor.  Thus encouraged, Joseph continued amid great consolations to make his visits to Mary.  She seemed to become more beautiful and more filled with grace every time that he sought out Her company, which produced in him an ever increasing veneration.

Then, when the Incarnate Word was born, it was Joseph’s great delight to hold the Infant Savior in his arms and to press Him close to his heart.  There, in such great intimacy, the Heart of God would speak to the poor heart of his servant and foster-father (cor ad cor loquitur) as Sr. Maria Cecilia describes,

Joseph frequently held the Divine Savior in his arms, but always after first preparing himself for it by his ardent desires.  Every time that he so received Him, he was filled afresh with grace and glowing love.  The fortunate Joseph realized this fact and rendered fervent thanks to his beloved Lord for it.  Mary, being likewise conscious of it, added Her own thanksgiving to the Savior in Joseph’s behalf.

Sometimes, the Divine Infant would look smilingly upon Joseph and would permit His divine Voice to be perceived within Joseph’s heart, saying to him:  “Oh my Joseph, how much do I love you!  How pleased I am to accept your service and your love!  After My beloved Mother, I love you most of all.”  This would cause Joseph to be overcome with love and gratitude to his God, and he would answer the Divine Infant in words that expressed his own ardent and heartfelt affection:  “Oh my Savior, You are the sole object of my love.  You are my entire good, my contentment, my life, my rest!  After You, I also love Your Mother, because She is Your Mother and the holiest of creatures, so full of grace and virtue.  I love Her as my spouse and most dear companion, whom You have given to me by virtue of Your immense goodness.  I also love all creatures as the work of Your hands, and I love them all in You and through You, Who are my very life and my only good!”

As the Infant Jesus grew, so did our Joseph’s love for Him and His Virgin Mother.  What must have it been like for St. Joseph to be the head of the Holy Household in Egypt and Nazareth.  For he was given the responsibility for guarding and providing for Jesus and Mary:  One was God Himself and the other was conceived without original sin.

Indeed, these most holy individuals [of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph] actually competed with each other in the practice of humility and the other virtues.  Joseph strove earnestly to be a faithful and precise imitator of Jesus and Mary.  Though already very virtuous, he recognized that he was, nevertheless, very much inferior to Them.  Hence, he often humbled himself and said to his holy spouse:  “Oh, how ashamed I feel of my wretchedness when I see You and Jesus so rich in virtue and merits.  I am indeed poor and miserable.  I ought to be a most perfect imitator of each one of You, but I realize that I am far from it.  Oh, my beloved spouse, obtain for me the graces I need.”  In this manner, Joseph advanced to an ever greater fullness in grace.

Whenever Joseph brought their food supplies home, which usually consisted of vegetables, podded grains, and a few fish, Mary asked Joseph how he liked to have his food prepared.  Such a request generally distressed the Saint because he preferred to satisfy the desires of his spouse rather than his own.  However, in order to comply with the divine will, he would answer Her request and would make known his wishes, but in reality he still attempted to accommodate himself to Her desires by having Her prepare things in a very simple manner.  He himself had a great longing, at times, for a more rare dish, but he would say nothing about this to Her.

Mary, however, discerned everything.  Hence, when on occasion he would come to eat after a strenuous day’s work, he would find that Mary had already prepared for him the particular dish he had secretly longed to have.  Sometimes he ate of it, but at other times he gave it to the poor, with Mary’s consent, denying himself all the enjoyment of it.  After Joseph had discovered that Mary was discerning all his secret wishes, he would immediately suppress any desire for some special fare, and by doing this he hoped to prevent Mary from detecting these incipient desires and from paying any attention to them.  Mary smiled to Herself at this idea of Her spouse.  In order to please him, She stopped paying attention to these urges, which She knew to be coming upon him.  She did so because She wanted to conceal the evidence of the gifts and graces which God had bestowed upon Her; this ability to discern what was going on in the mind of Her spouse was certainly one of them.

Joseph, on the other hand, would devote considerable thought to what he should provide on his part for Jesus and Mary in regard to Their welfare.  However, if he ventured to ask Them what they would like to have, They would merely express their gratitude for his inquiry, and then tell him not to burden himself with such deliberations, inasmuch as They could not deviate from their ordinary regimen, composed of bread and water, vegetables, legumes, fruit, and an occasional fried fish.  The Saint made no further rejoinder, but bowed his head and again abased himself.  They both assured him, however, that They were pleased with this good will and that he would be rewarded for it, just as if he had actually performed the deed.

Joseph’s love and reverence for Mary was continually being augmented, and he always desired to be with Her.  He regretted that when he went to work he had to be separated from Her, making it impossible for him either to see, hear, or speak with Her.  Even though he would have Jesus with him, he still longed to be with Mary also, for She was his most dear spouse, and a creature of such eminent dignity and extraordinary virtue.

Joseph never gave any external evidence that his feelings were in any way affected.  When he left Mary to go to work, he would do so in a fully resigned spirit.  He frequently conquered his impulses to go and see Her, offering this as a sacrifice to God.  Jesus, however, Who was aware of this holy longing of the ardent Joseph, often found ways and means whereby He could send him to Mary, and so provide consolation for his spirit.  He wanted Joseph to have this consolation in addition to that which He, Himself, was already granting to him by His own presence.  For upon seeing Mary, Joseph’s love for God would increase, and his heart would become animated with the desire for greater holiness.  It was a special prerogative of the Mother of God to cause anyone whose gaze rested upon Her with a true and chaste love, as was the case with Joseph, to become permeated with a holy enthusiasm and heavenly desires.

Ah, see how our beloved Joseph loves his foster-Son and his Bride!  And see how Our Lady and Jesus love their Joseph!

My brothers, as sons of God and sons Mary, give yourselves as well to the paternal care and most just heart of Joseph.  Be his faithful and obedient sons.  As guys, turn to St. Joseph and ask him to teach you how to be men, men like him.  Often sons try to be like their dads, imitating their habits both good and bad.  We want to make our fathers proud.  Let us, then, be imitators of St. Joseph, our beloved father, following his example of righteousness and love for Jesus and Mary.

The young Jesus willed to labor at Joseph’s side at his workbench.  Let us be also be Joseph’s apprentices in holiness, laboring tirelessly for our own sanctification and that of others.  He will teach us to serve Jesus, to identify with the poor, to practice humility and patience, to joyfully submit to the will of God in all things, to honor Mary:  the highest honor of our race, and to persevere in chastity.

He will teach us, too, how to treat women, by recognizing their special dignity as daughters of his Immaculate Spouse, and by purifying our thoughts and desires.  Our gracious father is often invoked as Joseph Most Strong, so it is definitely not weakness to be the guardian of a woman’s virtue rather than its taker.  God did not create us to be weak, imperfect though we are, so let us be strong like our father, Joseph, courageous in the pursuit of holiness and so honor our loving patron.

It is a challenge to be men like St. Joseph, for the world provides alternative examples of manhood.  Yet, take most any actor, musician, or mogul and compare them to St. Joseph—then see who is a real man.  But the challenge is worth the sacrifice and suffering, brothers!  The salvation of our souls is worth it.  The sanctification of the world is worth it.  Our future brides and daughters are worth it.

Will we meet this challenge?  See here the mountain; will we climb it?  See the ocean wide; will we swim it?  See the narrow gate; will we enter it?  See the road to Calvary; will we walk it?

Now, my sisters, O lovely daughters of Mary, entrust yourselves also to the mighty care and patronage of St. Joseph.  For he who loves Mary, his spouse and Queen, will surely also take you under the mantel of his protection.  Mary trusted Joseph with her life and that of her Son.  So, trust Joseph with the care for your soul.  As he was gentle and tender with the Child Jesus and his chosen Bride, he will be as tender and gentle with your soul—ever prompting you to imitate his Lady’s virtues, to pray with great fervor and devotion, and to love his Jesus with your whole being and desire above all to be united with Him forever.

And to my sisters who are called to the married life, I implore you, see Joseph as the model of the man you will marry.  Do not settle, my dear sisters!  Do not settle for less than a son of Joseph.  We need you to help us be men like him by encouraging us to be his faithful imitators.  Don’t settle.  Demand holiness from us!  Be patient, however, with our poor attempts.  Pray for us, that we may be men worthy of you.

In all things, in all trials and joys…

Ite ad Ioseph (“Go to Joseph”, Genesis 41:55)

I need to get this book

(via sword-meets-rose)

We wish to clarify what this debate is—and is not—about. This is not about access to contraception, which is ubiquitous and inexpensive, even when it is not provided by the Church’s hand and with the Church’s funds. This is not about the religious freedom of Catholics only, but also of those who recognize that their cherished beliefs may be next on the block. This is not about the Bishops’ somehow “banning contraception,” when the U.S. Supreme Court took that issue off the table two generations ago. Indeed, this is not about the Church wanting to force anybody to do anything; it is instead about the federal government forcing the Church—consisting of its faithful and all but a few of its institutions—to act against Church teachings. This is not a matter of opposition to universal health care, which has been a concern of the Bishops’ Conference since 1919, virtually at its founding. This is not a fight we want or asked for, but one forced upon us by government on its own timing. Finally, this is not a Republican or Democratic, a conservative or liberal issue; it is an American issue. — USCCB Administrative Committee (via bishopfeed)

(via bishopfeed)

Are you familiar with the ceramics of Saint Andrew’s Abbey ,The Monks of Valyermo, CA ?

I ordered a St. Charbel ceramic and it is beautiful. Their service is awesome. 

Here are some photos from their website…

fathershane:

A nationwide rally against the HHS mandate! Details here.

fathershane:

A nationwide rally against the HHS mandate! Details here.

XKit Extension for Tumblr!