“Do not fear, only believe.”

Gabriel_Max,_La_Résurrection_de_la_fille_de_Jaïre_(1878)This has been a hard week for our nation. Followers of Christ may be tempted to lose hope, despair even, as the death knell of Western civilization tolls loudly throughout the land.  What are we to do, living in a time when Truth is turned on its head, when men call good evil, and evil good?  We know that God is unchanging, His Truth is unchanging, but we live in a culture that believes truth is about as stable as shifting sand, that’s more like quicksand under our feet.  Our task is to keep our feet planted firmly on the Rock, Who is Christ, and remain faithful in all things, especially remaining faithful to the teaching of the Church, and faithful to His Vicar, the Pope, and the Bishops in union with him.   Continue reading

St. Joseph the Faithful

St-Joseph-Icon

Today we celebrate the feast day of the good and great Saint Joseph.

In a society that has such need of true father figures, Saint Joseph stands before us, strong, silent, unassuming, humble. He is a gentle protector of the most vulnerable and powerless, a man of honor, true to his word, faithful to the Word made flesh, his foster Son Jesus.

There are many films out about super heroes who come to the rescue, but Saint Joseph is the real thing! Powerful in his humility and faithfulness, he truly watches and waits to assist and help us by his intercession. Saint Teresa of Avila could not have said it better:

 “Would that I could persuade all men to be devoted to this [St. Joseph], for I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God.  I have never known anyone who was truly devoted to him and honored him by particular services who did not advance greatly in virtue: for he helps in a special way those souls who commend themselves to him. It is now very many years since I began asking him for something on his feast, and I have always received it. If the petition was in any way amiss, he rectified it for my greater good . . . I ask for the love of God that he who does not believe me will make the trial for himself-then he will find out by experience the great good that results from commending oneself to this glorious Patriarch and in being devoted to him . . .” Autobiography, VI, 11-12

Let us turn this day to Saint Joseph and ask his prayers for us. For if God himself chose him to protect and keep the two persons nearest to His heart, then surely we can entrust our petitions and needs to this great saint!

Prayer of Confidence in Saint Joseph 

With childlike confidence I present myself before thee, O holy Joseph, faithful foster-father of Jesus! I beg thy compassionate intercession and support in this, my present necessity: [name your petition]

I firmly believe that thou art most powerful near the throne of God, Who chose thee for the foster-father of His well-beloved Son, Jesus Christ. O blessed Saint, who saved that Treasure of Heaven, with His virginal Mother, from the fury of His enemies, who with untiring industry supplied His earthly wants and with paternal care accompanied and protected Him in all the journeys of His childhood, take me also, for the love of Jesus, as thy child.

Assist me in my present difficulty, with thy prayers before God, One word from thee will move Him by thy powerful intercession.

Good St. Joseph, I pray thee by the burning love thou hadst for Jesus and Mary upon earth, console me in my distress and present my petition, through Jesus and Mary, before the Throne of God!

Prayer of Saint Joseph 

Blessed Joseph, husband of Mary, be with us this day. You protected and cherished the Virgin; loving the Child Jesus as your son, you rescued Him from danger of death. Defend the Church, the household of God, purchased by the blood of Christ.

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

Back to the basics

Convent Thoughts by Charles Allston Collins

I remember as a young novice going to my Abbess, Mother Angelica, and enthusiastically telling her my plans for Lent.  It was quite a list! I had all sorts of things I was going to give up and do.  I was determined that this was going to be the best Lent yet!

She listened patiently as I reeled off a long list of all kinds of things.

Finally, after I finished my litany and waited for Reverend Mother’s permission to go ahead with my grand plan, she said, “Well, that’s all very nice, but how about just getting back to the basics?”

“The basics?” I said in bewilderment.  This wasn’t quite the answer I had hoped for or expected.

“Yes, the basics!  You know, how about all the things you are supposed to be doing and have let slip, or gotten sloppy with.  How about concentrating on a few key things, and really working at them.  Because what’s the point of doing this grand thing, if you’re lax on the essentials!”

At first I was a little crestfallen, but as I went away and reassessed my initial “program for perfection”, and thought and prayed about those wise words, I understood how right she was.

I began to see some pretty basic things that I had become a little shortsighted about – simple but important.

It was a good lesson for me, and one that I try to keep constantly in mind:  Be faithful to the small things; though seemingly unimportant, they are the very things upon which everything else hinges and rests.

I am reminded of the words of Dom Columba Marmion:  Fidelity in small things, is the most delicate flower of love, to which nothing is little.

While it is good and necessary to do extra things for Lent, it is always most important to remember those little things!