Saturday, March 21, 2009

Prayer to St. Joseph Sung by Angelina



This should have been posted on Thursday! Beautiful song and beautifully sung by Angelina.



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Free Stuff - the Knights of Columbus Correspondence Catholic Course

...free Adult Catholic Correspondence Course - A home study course on the teachings of the Catholic Church and Faith Formation.

Fundamentals of Catholicism - Basic teachings of the Roman Catholic Church

Click here for details

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Feast of the Annunciation (2009) - Mass for the Preborn

Our Lady of Life

The following is from American Life League

The Feast of the Annunciation is the 25th of March, marking the nine months of Our Lord’s life before his birth at Christmas. On this day, we celebrate the angel Gabriel's appearance to the Virgin Mary, announcing to her that she has been chosen to become the mother of God.

American Life League is marking this day with a special Mass offered for the safe delivery of preborn children everywhere. We want to pray for as many children as possible, so if you are someone, or know someone, who is expecting the birth of that tiny new life, click the link below to send us the name of the baby and mother, who will be remembered during the Mass.

Please click here to add a mother and child to our Mass intention list!


Click here to find out how you can celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation on March 25th
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Photos of Father Duffy

Bday
Father Duffy Joking Around

98th B-day
Happy 98th Birthday

98th Bday Fr. Duffy
Fr. Duffy's 98th Birthday Party

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Fr. Duffy Funeral

A funeral Mass for Fr. Duffy is scheduled on Friday, April 3rd, at 10 a.m., St. Pius X Parish, Manoa. Details will be forthcoming.
Source: Diocese of Honolulu

The following is also from their website:
Fr. Duffy was born in Brooklyn, New York, on September 11, 1909. He was ordained a priest on February 2, 1961 at Our Lady of Angels Church in Brooklyn, New York by Bishop Broderick of the Diocese of Brooklyn.

After his ordination, Fr. Duffy traveled to the new State of Hawaii and spent three years working at Our Lady of Peace Cathedral of Honolulu. From 1964 – 1967, he was the personal secretary to Bishop James J. Sweeney, Hawaii’s first bishop, followed by three months as an associate pastor at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Pearl City. In 1968, Fr. Duffy was named Associate Pastor, and then a year later, pastor, of St. Pius X Church in Manoa, a post he held for 16 years, until his retirement in 1984.

In the years since his retirement, Fr. Duffy has kept active in the diocese as an advisor and as a regular columnist in the Hawaii Catholic Herald. He was instrumental in the establishment of Malulani Hale, a church-sponsored low-cost housing project for the elderly in Honolulu. Please join with me in praying for the repose of his soul and in thanksgiving for his priestly services to our Church.
- Fr. Marc Alexander - Vicar General

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The Way to Mortification

St. Anthony Mary Claret
I received the following in an email from Sue BTW, those of you who enjoy reading her shares, can find her on Twitter under Prazim. What struck me is the similarity of what I posted last evening. The first part is written by her. Then as I did, she turned to a saint for guidance:
I have been wracking my simple mind lately about how to restrain my love of comforts. I simply love comfort - my comfortable bed, favorite foods, good wine, computer games...you name it I seek it if its comfortable.

Trouble with this is, is hampers all my small efforts to grow in virtue. I have become a slave to my own desires for comfort and therefore am mired in this world. I am unsure if I even have the will to try to give up my comforts but turn instead to prayer asking and begging God to help me at least want to mortify my desires and senses. I came across this reading and plan to meditate upon it. I thought perhaps others may find it helpful as well.
Flower divider
"There is an old principle which goes: "Da mihi sanguinem et dabo tibi spiritum." Woe to those who are enemies of mortification and of the cross of Christ!

In one act of mortification one can practice many virtues, according to the different ends which one proposes in each act, as for example:

1. He who mortifies his body for the purpose of checking concupiscence, performs an act of the virtue of temperance.

2. If he does this, purposing thereby to regulate his life well, it will be an act of the virtue of prudence.

3. If he mortifies himself for the purpose of satisfying for the sins of his past life, it will be an act of justice.

4. If he does it with the intention of conquering the difficulties of the spiritual life, it will be an act of fortitude.

5. If he practices this virtue of mortification for the end of offering a sacrifice to God, depriving himself of what he likes, and doing that which is bitter and repugnant to nature, it will be an act of the virtue of religion.

6. If he intends by mortification to receive greater light to know the divine attributes, it will be an act of faith.

7. If he does it for the purpose of making his salvation more and more secure, it will be an act of hope.

8. If he denies himself in order to help in the conversion of sinners, and for the release of the poor souls in purgatory, it will be an act of charity towards his neighbor.

9. If he does it so as to help the poor, it will be an act of mercy.

10. If he mortifies himself for the sake of pleasing God more and more, it will be an act of love of God.

In other words, I shall be able to put all these virtues into practice in one act of mortification, according to the end I propose to myself while doing the said act.

Virtue has so much more merit, is more resplendent, charming and attractive, when accompanied by greater sacrifice.

Man, who is vile, weak, mean, cowardly, never makes a sacrifice, and is not even capable of doing so, for he never resists even one appetite or desire.

Everything that his concupiscence and passions demand, he concedes, if it is in his power to yield or reject, for he is base and cowardly, and lets himself be conquered and completely overcome, just as the braver of two fighters conquers the cowardly one. So it is with vice and the vicious -- the latter is crushed and the slave of his vices.

Continence and chastity are therefore worthy of the highest praise, because the man who practices purity refrains from the pleasure which proceeds from nature or passion. Thus, the greater merit will be his the greater the pleasure he has denied himself. His merit will be the greater in proportion to the amount of repugnance he will have in conquering himself, in proportion to the intense and prolonged suffering he will have to undergo, to the human respect he will have to vanquish, and to the sacrifices he will have to make. Let him do all this and suffer all for the love of virtue and for God's greater glory.

As to my exterior deportment, I proposed to myself modesty and recollection and in the interior of my soul my aim was continual and ardent occupation in God. In my work I aimed at patience, silence and suffering. The exact accomplishment of the law of God and of the Church, the obligations of my state of life as prescribed by God. I tried to do good to others, flee from sin, faults and imperfections, and to practice virtue."
~Autobiography of St. Anthony Mary Claret

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Penance and Reparation: A Lenten Meditation

Father John Hardon
I do not feel that I have been doing much fasting, praying or almsgiving this Lent.

Part of my problem is well, I am human and am weak in nature. I am not excusing myself though. I feel that with a little more prayer and fasting, I would be growing spiritually this Lent. Instead, it's been one battle after another with temptations, relationship misunderstandings and pride, among other misgivings, that come up which cause me to forget my resolutions this Lent.

Well, when I feel at my weakest spiritually, I pray from the heart. I don't actually pray my formal prayers, I really find myself beseeching God to help me.
Do not reprove me in your anger, LORD, nor punish me in your wrath.

Have pity on me, LORD, for I am weak; heal me, LORD, for my bones are trembling...
Psalm 6:2-4

And, God answers my plea. With His guidance, I found an article written by Fr. John Hardon on the topic of Penance and reparation.

Reading what Father Hardon has to teach us about penance and reparation for my sins and other sins that offend God, was what I needed to help me with the remainder of Lent.
by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Penance and reparation are the consequence of sin. Or again, penance and reparation are the price we have to pay for our own and other people's sin. Penance and reparation, finally, are what God requires from sinners as a condition for showing them His mercy.

In order to better understand the meaning of penance and reparation, we have to look for a moment at what happens whenever we sin. Two things happen:

- First: we incur guilt before God for the self-will that caused us to sin. We become more or less separated or estranged from God, depending on the gravity of our sin.

- Second: We deserve punishment for the disorder we cause by our sinful conduct. We become liable to suffering pain, again more or less pain, depending on how seriously we have done wrong.

Against this background, we can more easily see the meaning of penance and reparation.

- Penance is the repentance we must make to remove the guilt, or to reinstate ourselves in God's friendship.
- Reparation is the pain we must endure to make up for the harm we brought about by our self-indulgence when we sinned.

What then do penance and reparation have in common? They have this in common, that they are absolutely necessary if the justice of God is to be satisfied after we have offended the divine Majesty. They also have this in common, that God now has a right to demand more of us than He would have required had we not committed sin. The word more is basic to any correct understanding of penance and reparation.

But if penance and reparation have this in common, how do they differ? They differ, as we have seen, in the two different ways that we do wrong whenever we sin. Because we have failed in loving God, we now owe Him more love than He would have required had we not offended Him.

We did wrong by our willful love of self. So now we have to make up by our selfless love of God. This is Penance.

And because we have brought disorder into the world by our sins, we must undergo pain to undo this harm we have caused. This is reparation.

Why Penance and Reparation?

If we ask, why penance and reparation, the first answer is: Because God wants it.

But if we press the question: Why does God want it? Then we must say, because in His mysterious wisdom, His justice requires it. We may legitimately say, without really understanding it, that He has no choice. Having given us a free will, if we abuse liberty, we must use our freedom to repay to God the love we have stolen from Him (which is penance) and repair the damage we have done (which is reparation).

Notice, all along I have been using the first person plural, "we", because penance and reparation are owed to God not only because I have individually sinned, but because we human beings have sinned and are sinning, in our day, on a scale never before conceived in the annals of history.

We know better than Cain after he killed his brother, Abel. We are our brother's keepers. We are mysteriously co-responsible for what other people do wrong. There is a profound sense in which all of us are somehow to do penance and make reparation, not only for our sinful misdeeds, but for the sins of our country and, indeed, for the sins of the whole human race.

We return to our question: Why penance and reparation? Because, in Christ's words, "Unless you do penance, you shall all likewise perish".

Is it any wonder that on Pentecost Sunday, after Peter preached his sermon, and rebuked the people for their sins, and they asked him, "what must we do," his first word to the multitude was the imperative verb, "Repent!"

Is it any wonder that Our Lady of Fatima's message to a sinful world in our day, may be summarized in the same imperative, "Do penance."

Indeed, the calamities that we have so far seen in this present century: two world wars with more casualties than in all the previous wars of history, and the threat of a nuclear holocaust that hangs over us like a tornado cloud. All of this is God's warning to do penance and reparation. Why? Because God is not mocked.

You do not offend God with impunity. You do not sin without retribution. You do not ignore the will of the Almighty and expect the Almighty to ignore what you do.

What bears emphasis, however, is that this retribution is either to be paid willingly, with our penance and reparation, or will be paid unwillingly within the divine punishment.

The divine logic is simple, awfully simple, and all we have to do is learn what God is telling us. Either we do penance and reparation because we want to, or we shall suffer (against our will) the consequences of our sins in this life, and in the life to come.

But remember, this penance and reparation is to be done not only for what we have personally done wrong. It is for all the pride and lust, for all the cruelty and greed, for all the envy and laziness and gluttony of a sin-laden human family.

God is merciful and in fact as our Holy Father has told us, Jesus Christ is the Incarnation of divine mercy. But God's mercy is conditional. It is conditional on our practice of penance and reparation.


How to Practice Penance and Reparation

We come to the third and, in a way, most important part of our subject: How?

I say it is the most important because we could talk for hours about the theology of penance and reparation and end up, wiser perhaps, but not holier. We must take the next and final step, and ask ourselves, practically, what am to do about it?

In order to come to the point immediately, let me give you what I call seven rules, three for penance and four for reparation. They can be expressed in seven words, where each word is a divine command as follows:

1. Pray!
2. Share!
3. And forgive! - for penance, to make up for our failure in loving God.
4. Work!
5. Endure!
6. Deprive!
7. And sacrifice! - in reparation for the punishment that we and others have deserved for our sins.

Suppose we spend a moment on each of these seven rules, and ask Our Lord, to open our hearts to respond with generosity to His offended Sacred Heart.


Rule #1 - Pray
God expects more of us because we have sinned. And the first more that all of us can put into practice, is more prayer.

- Call it giving more time each day to prayer.
- Call it attending Mass more often.
- Call it reciting the Rosary more frequently.
- Call it being more attentive when we pray.
- Call it more fervor in our life of prayer.
- Call it getting more people to join us when we pray.
- No matter, the first rule of salutary penance is more prayer.


Rule #2 - Share
Remember what Christ told us the night before He died. "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you." If all sin is a failure in loving God, and we mainly show our love for God by loving one another, then we had better show our love for others by sharing with them what God has given to us.

Again the word more comes in. We are to examine our conscience and ask ourselves, what more can I share with those whom God has placed into my life?

- Can I give more of my time to others?
- Can I share more of my knowledge with others?
- Can I share more of my skill with others?
- Can I share more of my money with others?
- Can I share more of my Catholic faith with others?

Each of us is different in this matter of sharing because each of us is living a different life with different people whom God's Providence places in our path. The second rule for the practice of penance is more sharing.


Rule #3 - Forgive
Christ could not have been more explicit in urging us to forgive others who offend us. He gave us whole parables on the subject of forgiveness. He warned us that God will be as merciful to us as we are forgiving to others. He placed, in the center of The Lord's Prayer, a frightening invocation, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."

Once again, it behooves us to look to our practice of forgiveness of injuries, so to be more forgiving in the future than we have been in the past.

- Can I be more forgiving by forgetting what others have done to me?
- Can I be more forgiving by ignoring the unkindness and thoughtlessness and perhaps meanness that others commit against me?

No two of us are living the same lives. Each of us have different people saying or doing or failing to say or do things that hurt us and, perhaps, crush the very heart of our souls. The third rule of penance is to be more forgiving.


Rule #4 - Work
We now shift from penance to reparation, and our first directive is to work. How is work a form of reparation of sin? It is reparation because our fallen human nature dislikes to exert itself. Work is a form of mortification that all of us can look to see whether we could not work harder than we are doing - in performance of tasks that are part of our state in life.

By nature we are prone to first do what we like, then what is useful, and finally, what is necessary.

I cannot think of a more effective kind of reparation than to set our minds to reversing that order.

We should first do what is necessary, then what is useful, and only then what is pleasant or what we like.


Rule #5 - Endure
In some ways this is the keystone of reparation, the patient endurance of the sufferings and trials that God sends us.

God in His mercy sends us the Cross in order to try our patience that we might save our souls and the souls of many others besides.

The variety of these trials sent us by God defies classification and their intensity depends on a thousand factors that differ with different people. If we are to expiate sin we must resign ourselves to endure pain. But, as we know, there are degrees and degrees to this resignation.

- Can we accept misunderstanding from others with greater peace of mind?
- Can we be more generous in doing what we know God wants us to do, although doing it is painful?
- Can we suffer without pitying ourselves?
- Can we put up with discomfort, or distaste, or disability, without becoming bitter about what we are tempted to consider injustice on the part of God?

Yes, God's violations are blessings, and the crosses He sends us are tokens of His love. But how we need the light of faith to see this, and the strength of His grace to do this -- in reparation for sin, as the price we must pay to reach heaven, where every tear will be wiped away and all the past, which is now the present, will have passed away.


Rule #6 - Deprive
Our sixth rule is to practice reparation by depriving ourselves of something we now have that we could, if we wanted to, do without.

- It may be some luxury in the home,
- Or some delicacy at table,
- Or some comfort in our way of living,
- Or some trinket, or adult toy that we could just as well do without.

Call it mortification or self-denial; whatever the name, the basic idea is to expiate for sins of self-indulgence by giving up. When we sin we offend God by choosing some creature to which we have no right. When we practice mortification, we make reparation by choosing to deprive ourselves of some creature we have a right to -- why, in order to undo the harm caused by sin and thus propitiate the offended justice of God.


Rule #7 - Sacrifice
I have saved sacrifice for the end because it synthesizes everything we have so far said.

- What is sacrifice? Sacrifice is the surrender of something to God.
- Sacrifice is the heart of penance and reparation.

When we sacrifice, we let go with our wills of whatever we could legitimately possess and enjoy because we want to make up to God for having stupidly chosen some creature in preference to the Creator.

We return to where we began by stressing that when we sacrifice, we do more than we would have done; we give up more than we would have given up; we surrender more of what we like in order to -- in plain English -- prove to God that we love Him.

There is an episode in the Gospels that perfectly synthesizes this cardinal mystery of sin and penitential reparation.

Remember after the Resurrection when Christ asked Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than the others do?" Why the question? Because Peter had sinned; sinned more than the others who had remained faithful to the Master. Peter was expected to love Christ more. Why more? Because he had more to sacrifice in order to expiate more because he had so deeply sinned in denying the Saviour.


Conclusion

As we look into our hearts we must humbly confess that truly, we have sinned, sinned often, sinned deeply, sinned willfully.

But God is good. He gives us the privilege of not only expiating what we have done wrong, but actually becoming more pleasing to Him by our penance and reparation.

It was no pious statement that St. Paul gave us when he said, "Where sin abounded, grace has even more abounded." In other words, in God's providence, He allows us to sin so we might repent and become saints.

Copyright © 2003 by Inter Mirifica
Source: The Real Presence Association

For Catholic Youth - YOUNG KNIGHTS OF ERRANTRY

Knight
Sue emailed me about this site.

The following is from the website:

The Young Knights of Errantry is an organization for young men and women ages 7-17 who desire to be True and Chivalric Knights dedicated to the service of the Lord. Their purpose is to defend the lives of all people, born and unborn, to help and protect the innocent who are violated, abused, and neglected, to go to the aid of those in distress and despair, and to seek justice for all. They are a voice in defense of those who are ill, who have a disability, or who are defenseless. They are advocates of all those whose lives are threatened by others. With a spirit of love and concern, they are committed to this cause. Therefore, the Young Knights of Errantry possess a dedication that encourages them to pray;

"Lord, teach me to be generous,
to serve you as you desire,
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for any reward,
except to know I do your Will."

(Composed by Ignatius of Loyola)

This is the Quest of the Young Knights who venture into the known and unknown, to make possible what seems impossible, and to battle with courage the Dragons afflicting humanity.


On Dying One's Self

St. Josemaria Escriva
994 'My enthusiasm is gone', you write. You have to work not out of enthusiasm but out of Love: conscious of duty, which means self-denial.

The Works of St. Josemaría Escrivá

Father Edwin Joseph. Duffy R.I.P.

Fr. Duffy
Fr. Duffy on his 99th birthday September 11th


"How are the mosquitas in New Joisey"?

I am sure going to miss Fr. Duffy asking me that every year when I returned from New Jersey.

Our good friend and homeschooling spiritual director passed away last evening. God called his faithful servant home on the feast day of St. Joseph, the patron saint of the departing souls.

It was indeed a blessing that I along with many of his friends, including my old homeschooling group, were able to visit with Father Duffy yesterday and bid our aloha.

Father will be remembered for his Irish wit, his humor and most of all his love of the Catholic faith...of the priesthood. He was always encouraging the boys in our homeschooling group to become a priest. He even called my son "Pope Joey" and that is the name everyone in Fr. Duffy's circle of friends knew him as.

He was also a good confessor and spiritual director to many people. He was one of two priests who could make me laugh out loud literally, during Confession. Yet, I knew I had made a good confession with his gently promptings and guidance.
It didn't matter where you were when you need to go to confession. Father Duffy would always be happy to hear your confession. Many times, after picking Father up, Father Duffy would hear my confession, in the car before driving off to a homeschool meeting.

He had a late vocation. He had a career as a businessman and then the army before entering the Blessed John XXIII Seminary.

He was originally from Brooklyn, which explains why he referred to my home state as New Joisey, and was he proud of that! He never did forgive the Dodgers for moving to L.A., even though he did continue to watch them.

There is just so much to share with all of you about this very holy priest who helped bring so many people into the Church.

He wrote a few books based on his popular Father Duffy's Reflections which appeared regularly in the Hawaii Catholic Herald.

It always amused me how he was unfazed by the notables he knew. He had the privilege of riding in the car with Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen when Bishop Sheen visited the islands a long time ago. Instead of being impressed by this fact, Fr. Duffy wanted to know why the archbishop was so quiet. And, he didn't hesitate to ask. That was Father Duffy's point to the story he was telling.

He also told me the story of how he had a really nice conversation with actor Richard Harris when he was here filming the movie Hawaii.

A few months before Father Groeschel had that terrible accident, I had the opportunity to hear him speak. I also had a chance to say a few words to him. I mentioned I was from Hawaii. I don't know how Father Duffy popped into the conversation but he said "Tell Edwin, I said hello". I passed the message to Father Duffy who didn't seem at all surprised like I had been.

Father loved to hear jokes and he especially loved to tell them. One of his favorites was about a husband and wife were out driving in the car. They had been arguing. They pass a herd of swine. Husband remarks sarcastically, "Relatives of yours?" Yes, the wife replies "In-laws". Boy did he love this joke!

Well, I know Father is happy now. He is with his beloved family and his good friends like Fr. Turk and Fr. Mark Consalves.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and may Your perpetual light shine upon him. May Father Duffy rest in peace.





Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pope urges priests to wear smarter outfits

B16
Pope Benedict XVI, who is noted for his revival of strikingly colourful traditional papal vestments, has urged Catholic priests to shun casual or scruffy attire and return to wearing smart outfits which clearly mark them out as clergy.
Article

Mahalo to my friend Lois for emailing me the article.

For a Dying Friend

Prayer for the Dying

God of power and mercy,
you have made death itself
the gateway to eternal life.
Look with love on our dying brother,
and make him one with your Son in his suffering and death
that, sealed with the blood of Christ,
he may come before you free from sin.

Amen.

- New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book, Catholic Book Publishing Company

A Parent's Prayer to St. Joseph


O glorious St. Joseph,
to you God committed the care
of His only begotten Son
amid the many dangers of this world.
We come to you
and ask you to take under your special protection
the children God has given us.
Through holy baptism
they became children of God
and members of His holy Church.
We consecrate them to you today,
that through this consecration
they may become your foster children.
Guard them,
guide their steps in life,
form their hearts
after the hearts of Jesus and Mary.

St. Joseph,
who felt the tribulation and worry of a parent
when the child Jesus was lost,
protect our dear children for time and eternity.
May you be their father and counsellor.
Let them, like Jesus,
grow in age as well as in wisdom and grace
before God and men.
Preserve them from the corruption of his world,
and give us the grace one day to be united
with them in Heaven forever.

Amen.



Source : Catholic Online website
H/T to Melissa C.

Invocations to St. Joseph

St. Joseph

St. Joseph,
help us to lead an innocent life,
and keep it ever safe under your patronage.


St. Joseph,
foster father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and true spouse of the Virgin Mary,
pray for us.

- New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book, Catholic Book Publishing Company

Fr. R. reminded us of three of St. Joseph's virtues (as he referred to them):

- Protector
- Provider
- Guardian

Polish press reports John Paul II to be beatified on April 2, 2010

JPII

What wonderful news on this Feast of St. Joseph!
Pope John Paul II could be beatified on April 2, 2010, exactly five years after his death, according to a report in the Polish newspaper Dziennik, which claims the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints has already made the decision... CNA Article


H/T to A Catholic View

Feast of St. Joseph - Go to Joseph!

St. Joseph

GO TO JOSEPH !
St. Joseph’s Place in Our Lives

Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.

Given the prominence of his name in the history and geography of Christian society, St. Joseph naturally arouses our attention and commends our respect.

Since the feast of St. Joseph is celebrated on March 19 in the Church's liturgical calendar, March has traditionally been observed as the month of St. Joseph. May 1 we honor St. Joseph the Worker, a feast intended to highlight the dignity of every working person and the blessing of work as a means of improving the lives of all. These devotional observances remind us to recall the importance of Joseph's place in God's plan of salvation, and to renew our intercession for his assistance and protection. In reality the head of the Holy Family is a man for all seasons.

Joseph's Place in Christianity

Joseph of Nazareth shared like no other being except Mary in the mystery of the Incarnation, God becoming human. He was significantly involved in this sacred event of our salvation. Joseph was God's choice to be the husband of Mary and the guardian of Jesus.

Little is known of St. Joseph. The infancy narratives in the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke contain the only factual information about him in the Bible. Through Joseph's genealogy Jesus was heir to the Davidic promise. This established the Savior's Jewishness, his messianic character, his historic reality. Spiritually this indicates that Joseph shows us how we can receive the promised Savior, give him a place of dignity in our lives, offer him a family, and protect him.

The Gospel identifies Joseph as a carpenter. The Greek expression of the Gospel, techton, refers to a worker in wood, someone who made articles needed for village life, either domestic use or outdoor work, like frames for small buildings, simple furniture, and plows.

God manifested his will about the marriage of Joseph and Mary in a special way. Joseph was certainly not the physical father of Jesus. The virginal conception of the Savior was the cause of great anxiety for Joseph, but he was relieved of this upset by a mystical dream.

Catholic theologians and Biblical scholars have shown that Mary's vow or promise of virginity was not incompatible with the Jewish mentality and practice of the time. The mystery of the Incarnation also exalted Joseph's virginity.

In the second chapter of Luke's Gospel, Joseph is called a parent and father when the Temple mysteries are recorded. His fatherhood is restricted to a legal context since the Presentation and the Passover were legal obligations. Significantly he is not called father until the Child is born and the birth proclaimed by a heavenly sign.

As Mary cooperated by faith and obedience, so did Joseph, who "did as the angel of the Lord commanded him."

Since Joseph's death is not mentioned in the New Testament, Biblical scholars assume that he died before Jesus' public ministry, or before Jesus' passion and death. Otherwise why should Mary be entrusted to John?

Doctrine and Devotion Flourish

From the earliest centuries of Christianity, St. Augustine and other Fathers of the Church wrote of St. Joseph. But the theology of his vocation, dignity, holiness, and intercessory power began to flower in medieval times; and the seventeenth century was a golden age for the development of Josephology. The enthusiasm of St. Teresa of Avila for St. Joseph was remarkable, vividly expressed in her writings, and perpetuated in the twelve convents she founded in his honor.

All the popes of modern times, from Blessed Pius IX in the nineteenth century until our present Holy Father have issued substantial teaching about St. Joseph in their official documents.

The Popes Weigh In

Years before his passage to eternity Pope John Paul II added to this rich body of doctrine in 1989 with his inspirational letter, Guardian of the Redeemer (Redemptoris Custos). This instruction affords us another occasion to recall the importance of St. Joseph in God's plan of salvation and to review what makes him special, not only for us personally, but for the Universal Church. John Paul II's pastoral letter, an apostolic exhortation, deals with the person and mission of St. Joseph in the life of Christ and of the Church.

John Paul II opened Guardian of the Redeemer with this explanation:
"Inspired by the Gospel, the Fathers of the Church from earliest times stressed that just as St. Joseph took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus Christ's upbringing, he likewise watches over and protects Christ's Mystical Body, the Church, of which the Virgin Mary is the exemplar and model."
Consequently, he continued,
"On the centenary of Pope Leo XIII's encyclical letter Quamquam Pluries (1889) and in line with the veneration given to St. Joseph over the centuries, I wish to offer some…reflections concerning him to whose care God entrusted his most precious treasures."
This John Paul II does in an instruction of several dozen pages with a brief chapter devoted to each of the following topics: the Gospel portrait of Joseph, Joseph as guardian of the mystery of God, Joseph as just man and husband, work as an expression of love, the primacy of the interior life, and Joseph as the patron of the Church in our day. Thus he continued in the example of his distinguished papal predecessors.

By the decree Quemadmodum Deus (1870) Blessed Pius IX proclaimed Joseph Patron of the Church; and in his apostolic letter Inclytum Patriarcham he explained why and outlined a theology of Joseph.

The sketch of Pius IX was developed by his successor in Quamqaum Pluries, and that encyclical letter of Leo XIII is the most important document on St. Joseph up to Custos Redemptoris of John Paul II.

Pope St. Pius X (Joseph Sarto) acted pastorally by composing a prayer to his personal patron and by approving the Litany of St. Joseph.

In 1920 Pope Benedict XV issued a motu proprio to honor the golden jubilee of the proclamation of Joseph's universal patronage of the Church.

Pope Pius XI spoke often in his addresses of the merits, dignity, and power of St. Joseph, and invoked him as special protector against atheistic communism in the encyclical Divini Redemptoris (1937).

Pope Pius XII instituted the feast of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1, 1955, and composed a prayer about this title.

In his apostolic letter Le Voci (1961) Blessed John XXIII summarized the teachings of his predecessors and named St. Joseph "Protector of the Second Vatican Council." On his own initiative, during the first session of Vatican II, Pope John XXIII included Joseph's name in the Roman Canon (First Eucharistic Prayer) of the Mass.

In a similar vein Pope Paul VI extolled Joseph in the life of the Church in his teachings.

Conclusion: The Beat Goes On

Now, in our day, Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger) continues in his teaching and preaching to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors to enhance the centuries-old appreciation of St. Joseph. And we can expect more.
As a result of this honored tradition, the accommodated Biblical directive (Gn 41:55) still rings true for all God's people: "Go to Joseph!"

Reprinted with permission. Mahalo Brother John!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Saint Pio of Pietrelcina Counsels on Prayer

St. Padre Pio

"Let us pour out our whole soul to God in prayer. God is captivated by our prayers and will come to our aid."

"All prayers are good when they are accompanied by good intentions and good will."

"Pray with perseverance, trust, and a serene and calm mind."

Prayer is the best weapon we have; it is the key that opens God's heart."

"Pray, hope and don't worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer."


Source: Padre Pio Foundation of America

On Zeal for Worldly Things

St. Josemaria Escriva
317 What zeal people put into their earthly affairs: dreaming of honours, striving for riches, bent on sensuality. Men and women, rich and poor, old and middle— aged and young and even children: all of them the same.

When you and I put the same zeal into the affairs of our souls, we will have a living and operative faith: and there will be no obstacle that we cannot overcome in our apostolic undertakings.
The Works of St. Josemaría Escrivá

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Feast of St. Patrick



Lorica of Saint Patrick

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth and His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In preachings of the apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me;
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's hosts to save me
From snares of the devil,
From temptations of vices,
From every one who desires me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a mulitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and evil,
Against every cruel merciless power that opposes my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of women and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.
Christ shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that reward may come to me in abundance.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation

St. Patrick (ca. 377)


Source EWTN

Since We Are All Irish on St. Patrick's Day


Dana's Lady of Knock


Monday, March 16, 2009

Fr. Thomas Frederick Price and Philip Gerard Johnson

Fr. Thomas Frederick Price
In December of 2008, I read this post on Fr. Price.

Philip kindly sent me a few prayer cards and I promised to pray for him daily.

The back of the prayer card reads as follows:
"In Caritate Non Ficta"

Please pray daily for Philip Gerard Johnson who is battling a brain tumor:

Father Thomas Frederick Price, intercede for our brother, Philip Gerard Johnson. Heavenly Father, who desires that the faithful be drawn to the heroic virtues of Your priest, Fr. Thomas Frederick Price, grant Your healing gifts to Your son Philip Gerard Johnson. We ask this in the Holy Name of Your Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.

- Reverend Father Philip Tighe
Diocese of Raleigh, NC

Imprimatur:
+ Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge
Bishop of Raleigh, North Carolina
December 4, 2008

Father Price was born in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1860. He studied at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore and was ordained to the priesthood in 1886. Within a few years of ordination, Father Price, infused with a zeal for evangelism, took the teachings of the Catholic Church statewide. In 1899, he established an orphanage near Raleigh, and three years later began a preparatory school to train men for the North Carolina missions. In 1908, he began writing the Blessed Virgin Mary a daily letter, sharing with her the challenges and joys he encountered that day. In 1911, Father Price's vision of spreading Catholicism was moving beyond the border of North Carolina. He joined with Father James A. Walsh in founding the American Catholic Foreign Mission Society, popularly known as Maryknoll. In 1918, Father Price accompanied the first three Maryknoll missionaries on their assignment to China. One year later, he died of a ruptured appendix. His heart was removed and buried in Nevers, France, near the body of St. Bernadette Soubirous, to whom he was extremely devoted.

Diocese of Raleigh
Maybe I should have started praying the prayer on the back immediately (although I had been praying for Philip daily, asking the two Hawaii Blesseds to intercede and heal him), because then I would have known right away that Fr. Price was one of the Maryknoll founders! The Maryknoll Fathers hold a very dear place in my family's heart. One need only read a book like The Maryknoll Fathers by Glenn D. Kittler, to know Father Price was a saint.

The prayer card will be posted on the side bar. I would ask that you join me in praying the prayer daily for Philip's healing.

Mahalo!

Avoiding Idle Talk

My sister-in-law shared with me that although my father-in-law has many health problems, he seems to forget his pains and discomforts when she reads to him from Thomas a Kempis' Imitation of Christ. Today she read to him from uniting our sufferings to those of Christ's.

I pulled out our Imitation of Christ and opened the book randomly to Chapter 10 About Useless Gossiping.
Keep clear, as best you may, from the babel of human voices; it is wonderful what distraction is to be found in the discussion of worldly affairs, even when the motive for it is perfectly innocent. Frivolity is infectious, and makes easy prisoners of us. I wish I had kept silence, this many a time, instead of enjoying the society of my fellow men!

What is it that makes us so fond of talking, of gossiping with our friends? We hardly ever come away from it without a guilty conscience. What makes talkers of us, is that we find relaxation, on both sides, in the mere banding of words; we want an escape from the tedious whirligig of our thoughts. We like giving expression to what is in our minds, especially about the good things we enjoy, or would like to enjoy, and the difficulties we find in our way.

And the pity of it is that usually it does not good at all; we may get comfort from finding an outlet like that, but it interferes, more than a little, with that inward comfort which is the gift of God.

We need more watchfulness, more prayer; our time mustn't be frittered away in doing nothing. When you have leave and leisure of talking, let your talk be such as makes for spiritual profit. Victims as we are of bad habit, unambitious as we are about our souls' progress we speak so unguardedly! And, yet there is talk which can be a great spiritual help to us-I mean, the earnest exchange of ideas about things; especially when two souls, well matched in temper and disposition, find themselves drawn together in God.


Translated by Ronald Knox and Michael Oakley, Sheed and Ward - New York

Pontiff Proclaims Year for Priests

St. John Vianney
Benedict XVI is proclaiming a Year for Priests on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the death of St. Jean Marie Vianney, the Curé of Ars.
Zenit Article


On Detachments

St. Josemaria Escriva
631 Detach yourself from the goods of the world. Love and practise poverty of spirit: be content with what enables you to live a simple and sober life.

Otherwise, you will never be an apostle.
The Works of St. Josemaría Escrivá

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Marriage



On Visiting the Blessed Sacrament

St. Josemaria Escriva

554 Don't omit the visit to the Blessed Sacrament. After your usual vocal prayer, tell Jesus, really present in the Tabernacle, of the cares and worries of your day. And you will receive light and strength for your life as a Christian.

The Works of St. Josemaría Escrivá