Friday, March 19, 2004

FEAST OF ST. JOSEPH

IN HONOR OF SAINT JOSEPH, SPOUSE OF MARY

by Saint Louis de Montfort

Let’s sing a hymn in honor
Of Saint Joseph, the protector
And spouse of Mary.
Humble Joseph is little known.
No one on earth truly understands him
But he ravishes the blessed.
May earth unite with heaven
May everything glorify him!

Great saint, God found only you
Worthy to be the spouse
Of His admirable Mother.
Spouse of the Queen of heaven,
This privilege is marvelous;
Witness of her holiness
Guardian of her purity,
O incomparable glory!

The Eternal Father chose you
To nourish His Son on earth,
To be His vicar.
You have carried in your arms
He who holds everything in His hands,
By a most special choice
You have been the nurturer
Of your own Father.

Oh! to have seen Him caress you
Smile at you and embrace you
With extraordinary love.
His smiles pierced your heart
And filled it with tenderness.
Embraced by His love.
You told Him, in your turn,
My dear Son, I love you.

If a word of Mary was able
To sanctify, by its power
Saint John with his mother,
What must have His holy and loving conversation
Wrought in you!
His words ravished you,
His presence filled you
With grace and light.

How great your humility!
It enabled you
To be silent,
To take the lowest place
To live as a poor carpenter
To appear ignorant,
Incapable, without talent,
Simple, imprudent.

The more you humbled yourself
The more God has exalted you
Close to Him in heaven.
Your merits are astounding
Your privileges are great
Heaven admires your splendor
The world is full of your favors
As is Purgatory.

No one ever prays to you in vain
Everyone trusts you
As Teresa said.
Your Son is the glorious God
Your Spouse is the Queen of heaven.
Praying, you command them
Everything is done, if you ask.
O power without limit!

SAINT JOSEPH:
Try to be the last in all things,
To hide yourself, and rejoice
In Jesus and Mary!
Seek what the world rejects
And flee from what it pursues.
Let faith alone govern you,
In order to be happy with me
By imitating my life.

PRAYER

Saint Joseph, be my patron
To obtain for me a great gift:
Divine Wisdom!
To glorify my Savior,
To convert sinners,
To help poor little ones,
To crush my enemies.
Love impels you!


GOD ALONE


Wednesday, March 17, 2004

ST. PATRICK'S BREASTPLATE

I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this today to me forever
By power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
His baptism in Jordan river,
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb,
His riding up the heavenly way,
His coming at the day of doom
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of cherubim;
The sweet ‘Well done’ in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors’ faith, Apostles’ word,
The Patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the star lit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart’s idolatry,
Against the wizard’s evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave, the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.
By Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

Monday, March 08, 2004

CHARITY

If we worry too much about ourselves, we won't have time for others...We should learn how to give, but we should not regard giving as an obligation, but as a desire.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
SAINT JOHN OF GOD

St. John of God was born on March 8, 1495 in a small village in the south of Portugal called Montemor-o-Novo. At the age of eight, he left home and was raised by a Spanish family in Oropesa. John spent most of his life as a wanderer, working as a shepherd, soldier, bookseller and laborer, travelling in Europe and North Africa.

When St. John of God finally settled in Granada around the age of forty he was so deeply moved by the preaching of Blessed John of Avila, that he gave away all his worldly possessions to the poor and went about the city beating his breast, begging for God’s mercy. His conversion experience was so dramatic in its intensity that he was placed in a psychiatric hospital.

His brief experience of this kind of treatment resulted in a deep compassion for the afflicted and gave him a personal and profound understanding of the real needs of the sick. He devoted the rest of his life to caring for those in need.

John's work was motivated by his great love of God and Our Blessed Mother. "Whatsoever you do to one of these the least of my brothers and sisters, you do to Me." This was the yardstick John used to measure his service to others.

John was a warm, loving person. In his hospital he created a peaceful and cordial environment. He was a great listener and had much empathy for others, which encouraged many to share their problems with him.

People were impressed by John's sincerity, his deep love for others, and his service to them. He was able, therefore, to tap their generosity and involve them in his work. They donated food and money and many volunteered to help him with his work. They called him John of God.

Because he believed that everyone was equal in the sight of God, John moved effortlessly across the social classes. He was as much at ease in the presence of royalty as he was with the sick and poor in his hospital. He created a family of St. John of God, which consisted of the nobility, the middle-class, the poor, his volunteers and his paid staff, all with the sole purpose of serving God by serving those in need.

John was a great advocate of the downtrodden. He used his influence with the nobility and those in powerful positions to educate them about the conditions and needs of the poor. He had an inquisitive mind, which was always searching for new ideas and better ways of doing things. He had a missionary spirit, traveling to beg for alms and then using what was collected to serve the people of the local area. Most importantly, John taught by his example.

St. John is the founder of the Order of Charity and the Order of Hospitaliers of St. John of God. He is the patron of: booksellers, printers, publishers; heart patients, hospitals, nurses, the sick, the dying, alcoholics (because a Dublin hospital for alcoholics was named after him.); Tultepec Mexico and firefighters.

His symbols include a Crown of thorns (brought to him by the Blessed Mother), an alms box, a crucifix, a rosary, holding a pomegranate.


Favorite Quotes -- St. John of God

If we look forward to receiving God's mercy, we can never fail to do good so long as we have the strength. For if we share with the poor, out of love for God, whatever he has given to us, we shall receive according to his promise a hundredfold in eternal happiness. What a fine profit, what a blessed reward! With outstretched arms he begs us to turn toward him, to weep for our sins, and to become the servants of love, first for ourselves, then for our neighbors. Just as water extinguishes a fire, so love wipes away sin.

So many poor people come here that I very often wonder how we can care for them all, but Jesus Christ provides all things and nourishes everyone. Many of them come to the house of God, because the city of Granada is large and very cold, especially now in winter. More than a hundred and ten are now living here, sick and healthy, servants and pilgrims. Since this house is open to everyone, it receives the sick of every type and condition: the crippled, the disabled, lepers, mutes, the insane, paralytics, those suffering from scurvy and those bearing the afflictions of old age, many children, and above all countless pilgrims and travelers, who come here, and for whom we furnish the fire, water, and salt, as well as the utensils to cook their food. And for all of this no payment is requested, yet Christ provides.

I work here on borrowed money, a prisoner for the sake of Jesus Christ. And often my debts are so pressing that I dare not go out of the house for fear of being seized by my creditors. Whenever I see so many poor brothers and neighbors of mine suffering beyond their strength and overwhelmed with so many physical or mental ills which I cannot alleviate, then I become exceedingly sorrowful; but I trust in Christ, who knows my heart. And so I say, "Woe to the man who trusts in men rather than in Christ."

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

St. Katherine Drexel

“The patient and humble endurance of the cross – whatever nature it may be – is the highest work we have to do.”