Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 03-04-14, OM, St. Casimir
Posted on 03/03/2014 11:04:09 PM PST by Salvation
March 4, 2014
Reading 1 1 Pt 1:10-16
Concerning the salvation of your souls
the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours
searched and investigated it
investigating the time and circumstances
that the Spirit of Christ within them indicated
when it testified in advance
to the sufferings destined for Christ
and the glories to follow them.
It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you
with regard to the things that have now been announced to you
by those who preached the Good News to you
through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven,
things into which angels longed to look.
Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, live soberly,
and set your hopes completely on the grace to be brought to you
at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Like obedient children,
do not act in compliance with the desires of your former ignorance
but, as he who called you is holy,
be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct,
for it is written, Be holy because I am holy.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4
R. (2a) The Lord has made known his salvation.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
Gospel Mk 10:28-31
Peter began to say to Jesus,
“We have given up everything and followed you.”
Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you,
there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters
or mother or father or children or lands
for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel
who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age:
houses and brothers and sisters
and mothers and children and lands,
with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.
But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
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From: 1 Peter 1:10-16
Praise and Thanksgiving to God (Continuation)
Christians Are Called To Be Saints
10-12. These verses of thanksgiving (vv. 3-12) end with a reference to the role of
the Holy Spirit in salvation: he acted in the Old Testament through the prophets
by announcing salvation, and now, through preachers of the Gospel, he reveals
that it has come about.
The passage is a clear acknowledgment of the unity and continuity of the Old and
New Testaments: in the Old the sufferings and subsequent glorification of Christ
are proclaimed, in such a way that “what the prophets predicted as future events,”
says St Thomas, “the Apostles preached as something which had come true”
(”Commentary on Eph” 2:4). “The economy of the Old Testament was deliberately
orientated to prepare for and declare in prophecy the coming of Christ, Redeemer
of all men, and of the messianic Kingdom (cf. Lk 24:44; Jn 5:39; 1 Pet 1:10) [...].
God, the inspirer and author of the books of both Testaments, in his wisdom has
so brought it about that the New should be hidden in the Old and that the Old
should be made manifest in the New. For although Christ founded the New Cove-
nant in his blood (cf. Lk 22:20; 1 Cor 11:25), still the books of the Old Testament,
all of them caught up into the Gospel message, attain and show forth their full
meaning in the New Testament (cf. Mt 5:17; Lk 24:27; Rom 16:25-26; 2 Cor 3:14-
16) and in their turn, shed light on it and explain it” (Vatican II, “Dei Verbum”, 15-
These verses show the Holy Spirit’s role as cause and guide of the evangelizing
activity of the Church. In the early days of the spread of Christianity, as described
in Acts, the action of the third Person of the Blessed Trinity was palpable.
12. The Greek word translated at the end of this verse as “look” contains the idea
of bending over carefully in order to get a better look. This metaphor, then, depicts
the angels in heaven contemplating with joy the mystery of salvation. St Francis
de Sales, referring to this passage, exclaims: “Now in this complacency we sati-
ate our soul with delights in such a manner that we do not yet cease to desire to
be satiated [...]. The fruition of a thing which always contents never lessens, but
is renewed and flourishes incessantly; it is ever agreeable, ever desirable. The
perpetual contentment of heavenly lovers produces a desire perpetually content”
(”Treatise on the Love of God”, 5, 3).
1:13-2:10. Having focused their attention on the sublimity of the Christian calling,
St Peter exhorts the faithful to a holiness in keeping with it. He provides some
reasons why they should strive for holiness—the holiness of God (vv. 13-16) and
the price paid for their salvation, the blood of Christ (w. 17-21). He then goes on
directly to refer to the importance of love (vv. 22-25); and he encourages them to
grow up in their new life (2:1-3) so that as “living stones” they can form part of
the spiritual building of the Church, which has Christ as its cornerstone (vv. 4-10).
13-16. Israel was chosen by God from all the peoples of the earth to implement
his plan of salvation: he set the people of Israel free from the slavery of Egypt,
established a covenant with them and gave them commandments about how to
live. These commandments in their highest form tell them to be holy as God is
holy (cf. Lev 19:2). However, those events in the life of Israel were only an imper-
fect foreshadowing of what would happen when Jesus Christ came: Christians
constitute the new chosen people; by Baptism they have been set free from sin
and have been called to live in a fully holy way, with God himself as their model.
The Second Vatican Council solemnly declared that all are called to holiness (cf.,
e.g., “Lumen Gentium”, 11, 40, 42). St. Escriva, who anticipated the Council’s
teaching on this and other points, had constantly preached about this universal
call to holiness: “Christ bids all without exception to be perfect as his heavenly
Father is perfect. For the vast majority of people, holiness means sanctifying
their work, sanctifying themselves in it, and sanctifying others through it — there-
by finding God as they go about their daily lives [...]. Since the foundation of the
Work in 1928, my teaching has been that sanctity is not the reserve of a privi-
leged few; all the ways of the earth, every state in life, every job, every honest
occupation, can be divine” (Bernal, “Monsignor Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer”,
13. “Gird up your minds”: a metaphor based on the custom of the Jews, and Mid-
dle Easterners in general, of gathering up their rather full garments prior to setting
out on a journey, to let them walk with greater ease. In the account of the Exodus
we are told that God laid it down that when the Israelites celebrated the Passover
they should do so with their loins girt, their sandals on and a staff in their hand (cf.
Ex 12:11), because they were about to start on the journey to the promised land.
St Peter evokes this image (which our Lord also used: cf. Lk 12:35ff), because
Baptism, the new Exodus, marks the start of the Christian pilgrimage to heaven,
our lasting home (cf. 1:17; 2:11); and he applies it to sobriety: we need to control
our feelings and inclinations if we are to walk with joy along the route which will
take us to the glorious coming of the Lord.
“The revelation of Jesus Christ”: this is a reference, above all, to his eschatologi-
cal coming at the end of time. The revelation of Jesus began with his incarnation
and will reach its climax at the end of this world. Therefore, the “grace” mentioned
should be understood not only as sanctifying grace but also the whole ensemble
of benefits the Christian receives at Baptism, which will find their full expression
14. “Your former ignorance”: the sacred writer contrasts his hearers’ present posi-
tion with their former one. He does not mean that prior to Baptism they were per-
verse and ignorant, but that the Christian vocation brings such clear knowledge of
God and so many aids to practise virtue that their previous position can be viewed
as one of concupiscence and ignorance. “The followers of Christ, called by God,
not in virtue of their works but by his design and grace, and justified in the Lord
Jesus, have been made sons of God in the baptism of faith and partakers of the
divine nature, and so are truly sanctified” (Vatican II, “Lumen Gentium”, 40).
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States
From: Mark 10:28-31
Poverty and Renunciation (Continuation)
28-30. Jesus Christ requires every Christian to practise the virtue of poverty: He
also requires us to practise real and effective austerity in the possession and use
of material things. But of those who have received a specific call to apostolate—as
in the case, here, of the Twelve—He requires absolute detachment from property,
time, family, etc. so that they can be fully available, imitating Jesus Himself who,
despite being Lord of the universe, became so poor that He had nowhere to lay
His head (cf. Mt 8:20). Giving up all these things for the sake of the Kingdom of
Heaven also relieves us of the burden they involve: like a soldier shedding some
encumbrance before going into action, to be able to move with more agility. This
gives one a certain lordship over all things: no longer the slave of things, one ex-
periences that feeling St. Paul referred to: “As having nothing, and yet posses-
sing everything” (2 Cor 6:10). A Christian who sheds his selfishness in this way
has acquired charity and, having charity, he has everything: “All are yours; you
are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s” (1 Cor 3:22-23).
The reward for investing completely in Christ will be fully obtained in eternal life:
but we will also get it in this life. Jesus says that anyone who generously leaves
behind his possessions will be rewarded a hundred times over in this life.
He adds “with persecutions” (v. 30) because opposition is part of the reward for
giving things up out of love for Jesus Christ: a Christian’s glory lies in becoming
like the Son of God, sharing in His cross so as later to share in His glory: “pro-
vided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him (Rom 8:
17); “all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted’ (2 Tim
29. These words of our Lord particularly apply to those who by divine vocation
embrace celibacy, giving up their right to form a family on earth. By saying “for
My sake and for the Gospel” Jesus indicates that His example and the demands
of His teaching give full meaning to this way of life: “This, then, is the mystery of
the newness of Christ, of all that He is and stands for; it is the sum of the highest
ideals of the Gospel and of the Kingdom; it is a particular manifestation of grace,
which springs from the paschal mystery of the Savior and renders the choice of
celibacy desirable and worthwhile on the part of those called by our Lord Jesus.
Thus, they intend not only to participate in Christ’s priestly office, but also to
share with Him His very condition of living” (Paul VI, “Sacerdotalis Coelibatus”,
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.
1 Peter 1:10-16 ©
It was this salvation that the prophets were looking and searching so hard for; their prophecies were about the grace which was to come to you. The Spirit of Christ which was in them foretold the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would come after them, and they tried to find out at what time and in what circumstances all this was to be expected. It was revealed to them that the news they brought of all the things which have now been announced to you, by those who preached to you the Good News through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, was for you and not for themselves. Even the angels long to catch a glimpse of these things.
Free your minds, then, of encumbrances; control them, and put your trust in nothing but the grace that will be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. Do not behave in the way that you liked to before you learnt the truth; make a habit of obedience: be holy in all you do, since it is the Holy One who has called you, and scripture says: Be holy, for I am holy.
Psalm 97:1-4 ©
The Lord has made known his salvation.
Sing a new song to the Lord
for he has worked wonders.
His right hand and his holy arm
have brought salvation.
The Lord has made known his salvation.
The Lord has made known his salvation;
has shown his justice to the nations.
He has remembered his truth and love
for the house of Israel.
The Lord has made known his salvation.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.
Shout to the Lord, all the earth,
ring out your joy.
The Lord has made known his salvation.
You will shine in the world like bright stars
because you are offering it the word of life.
Blessed are you, Father,
Lord of heaven and earth,
for revealing the mysteries of the kingdom
to mere children.
Mark 10:28-31 ©
‘What about us?’ Peter asked Jesus. ‘We have left everything and followed you.’ Jesus said, ‘I tell you solemnly, there is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, father, children or land for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not be repaid a hundred times over, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land – not without persecutions – now in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life.
‘Many who are first will be last, and the last first.’
We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.
Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.
Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.
Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.
Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.
Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.
O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.
Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests
This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.
The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.
The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.
Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem. He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.
St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.
1. Sign of the Cross: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
2. The Apostles Creed: II BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
3. The Lord's Prayer: OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
4. (3) Hail Mary: HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)
5. Glory Be: GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.
Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer. Repeat the process with each mystery.
End with the Hail Holy Queen:
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Final step -- The Sign of the Cross
St. 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 power of God,
Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:
"Pray for Obama. Psalm 109:8"
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FOR OUR WORK
Glorious Saint Joseph, pattern of all who are devoted to toil, obtain for me the grace to toil in the spirit of penance, in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to toil conscientiously, putting devotion to duty before my own inclinations; to labor with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and to develop, by my labor, the gifts I have received from Almighty God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill-spent, of talents unemployed, of good undone, and of my empty pride in success, which is so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of thee, 0 Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death. Amen.
FOR THE INTERCESSION OF SAINT JOSEPH
O Joseph, virgin-father of Jesus, most pure spouse of the Virgin Mary, pray every day for us to the same Jesus, the Son of God, that we, being defended by the power of His grace and striving dutifully in life, may be crowned by Him at the hour of death.
Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954
St. Joseph was an ordinary manual laborer although descended from the royal house of David. In the designs of Providence he was destined to become the spouse of the Mother of God. His high privilege is expressed in a single phrase, "Foster-father of Jesus." About him Sacred Scripture has little more to say than that he was a just man-an expression which indicates how faithfully he fulfilled his high trust of protecting and guarding God's greatest treasures upon earth, Jesus and Mary.
The darkest hours of his life may well have been those when he first learned of Mary's pregnancy; but precisely in this time of trial Joseph showed himself great. His suffering, which likewise formed a part of the work of the redemption, was not without great providential import: Joseph was to be, for all times, the trustworthy witness of the Messiah's virgin birth. After this, he modestly retires into the background of holy Scripture.
Of St. Joseph's death the Bible tells us nothing. There are indications, however, that he died before the beginning of Christ's public life. His was the most beautiful death that one could have, in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Humbly and unknown, he passed his years at Nazareth, silent and almost forgotten he remained in the background through centuries of Church history. Only in more recent times has he been accorded greater honor. Liturgical veneration of St. Joseph began in the fifteenth century, fostered by Sts. Brigid of Sweden and Bernadine of Siena. St. Teresa, too, did much to further his cult.
At present there are two major feasts in his honor. On March 19 our veneration is directed to him personally and to his part in the work of redemption, while on May 1 we honor him as the patron of workmen throughout the world and as our guide in the difficult matter of establishing equitable norms regarding obligations and rights in the social order.
Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.
St. Joseph is invoked as patron for many causes. He is the patron of the Universal Church. He is the patron of the dying because Jesus and Mary were at his death-bed. He is also the patron of fathers, of carpenters, and of social justice. Many religious orders and communities are placed under his patronage.
Patron: Against doubt; against hesitation; Americas; Austria; Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; California; Belgium; Bohemia; bursars; cabinetmakers; Canada; Carinthia; carpenters; China; Church; confectioners; craftsmen; Croatian people (in 1687 by decree of the Croatian parliament) dying people; emigrants; engineers; expectant mothers; families; fathers; Florence, Italy; happy death; holy death; house hunters; immigrants; interior souls; Korea; laborers; Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin; Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky; Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire; Mexico; Diocese of Nashville, Tennessee; New France; New World; Oblates of Saint Joseph; people in doubt; people who fight Communism; Peru; pioneers; pregnant women; protection of the Church; Diocese of San Jose, California; diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; social justice; Styria, Austria; travelers; Turin Italy; Tyrol Austria; unborn children Universal Church; Vatican II; Viet Nam; Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston West Virginia; wheelwrights; workers; working people.
Symbols: Bible; branch; capenter's square; carpenter's tools; chalice; cross; hand tools; infant Jesus; ladder; lamb; lily; monstrance; old man holding a lily and a carpenter's tool such as a square; old man holding the infant Jesus; plane; rod.
Pope Pius X composed this prayer to St. Joseph, patron of working people, that expresses concisely the Christian attitude toward labor. It summarizes also for us the lessons of the Holy Family's work at Nazareth.
Glorious St. Joseph, model of all who devote their lives to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in the spirit of penance in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to work conscientiously, setting devotion to duty in preference to my own whims; to work with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and to develop by my labor the gifts I have received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill spent, of talents wasted, of good omitted, and of vain complacency in success, which is so fatal to the work of God.
All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of you, O Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death, Amen.
Litany of Saint Joseph
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious Son of David, pray for us.
Light of the Patriarchs, pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.
Chaste Guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.
Foster-Father of the Son of God, pray for us.
Faithful Protector of Christ, pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.
Joseph most just, pray for us.
Joseph most chaste, pray for us.
Joseph most prudent, pray for us.
Joseph most courageous, pray for us.
Joseph most obedient, pray for us.
Joseph most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of patience, pray for us.
Lover of poverty, pray for us.
Model of working men, pray for us.
Ornament of the domestic life, pray for us.
Guardian of virgins, pray for us.
Pillar of the family, pray for us.
Consoler of the miserable, pray for us.
Hope of the sick, pray for us.
Patron of the dying, pray for us.
Terror of demons, pray for us.
Protector of the Holy Church, pray for us.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
V. He hath made him master of His house.
R. And ruler of all His possessions.
Let us pray.
O God, who in Thy ineffable providence didst vouchsafe to choose blessed Joseph to be the Spouse of Thy most holy Mother: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may have him for our intercessor in Heaven, whom on earth we venerate as out most holy Protector. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
Was St. Joseph a tzadik?
St. Joseph: Patron saint of three Popes [Catholic Caucus]
St. Joseph and the Staircase
St. Joseph, Foster Father, Novena [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Patron of a Happy Death A Special Role for St. Joseph [Catholic/Orhtodox Caucus]
Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: The 7 Sorrows and 7 Joys of St. Joseph
Catholic Group Blasts Pelosi For Invoking St. Joseph on Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill
THE SEVEN SORROWS AND SEVEN JOYS OF ST. JOSEPH
Joseph, Mary and Jesus: A Model Family
Season of Announcement - Revelation to Joseph
In hard times, don't forget about the humble carpenter Joseph
Saint Joseph: Complete submission to the will of God (Pope Benedict XVI) (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Joseph as Head of the Holy Family (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Joseph, Patron of a Peaceful Death [Catholic Caucus]
Octave: St. Joseph, A 'Mans Man', Calling Men to Jesus
St. Teresa de Avila's Devotion to St. Joseph (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Men's National Day of Prayer, MARCH 15, 2008, The Solemnity of St. Joseph (Catholic Caucus)
The Role and Responsibility of Fatherhood - St. Joseph as Model
St. Joseph - Foster Father of Jesus
Some divine intervention in real estate-[Bury St. Joseph Statues in Ground]
Many Turn To Higher Power For Home Sales
St. Joseph the Worker, Memorial, May 1
Catholic Devotions: St. Joseph the Worker
Nothing Will Be Denied Him (St. Joseph)
The Heart of a Father [St. Joseph]
St. Joseph's DAY
Quemadmodum Deus - Decree Under Blessed Pius IX, Making St. Joseph Patron of the Church
Father & Child (Preaching on St. Joseph)
March 19 - Feast of St. Joseph - Husband of Mary - Intercessor of civil leaders
St. Joseph's Spirit of Silence
St. Joseph's Humility (By St. Francis de Sales)
St. Joseph [Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary], Solemnity, March 19
St Josephs Paternal Love
The Heart of St. Joseph
MORE THAN PATRON OF HOMES, IT'S TIME FOR ST. JOSEPH TO GAIN HIGHEST OF RECOGNITION [Fatherhood]
The Importance of Devotion to St. Joseph
St. Francis de Sales on St. Joseph (Some Excerpts for St. Joseph's Day 2004)
St. Joseph: REDEMPTORIS CUSTOS (Guardian Of The Redeemer)
(Saint) Joseph the Patriarch: A Reflection on the Solemnity of St. Joseph
How I Rediscovered a "Neglected" Saint: Work of Art Inspires Young Man to Rediscover St. Joseph
Novena to Saint Joseph O Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. O Saint Joseph, assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers. O Saint Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me, and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath, Amen. O Saint Joseph, hear my prayers and obtain my petitions. O Saint Joseph, pray for me. (mention your intention) St. Joseph Novena O good father Joseph! I beg you, by all your sufferings, sorrows and joys, to obtain for me what I ask. (Here name your petition). Obtain for all those who have asked my prayers, everything that is useful to them in the plan of God. Be near to me in my last moments, that I may eternally sing the praises of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Amen. (Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be)
Novena to Saint Joseph
O Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.
O Saint Joseph, assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.
O Saint Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me, and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath, Amen.
O Saint Joseph, hear my prayers and obtain my petitions. O Saint Joseph, pray for me. (mention your intention)
St. Joseph Novena
O good father Joseph! I beg you, by all your sufferings, sorrows and joys, to obtain for me what I ask.
(Here name your petition).
Obtain for all those who have asked my prayers, everything that is useful to them in the plan of God. Be near to me in my last moments, that I may eternally sing the praises of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Amen.
(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be)
Universal: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
For Evangelization: That many young people may accept the Lords invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
Tuesday of the Eighth week in Ordinary Time
Commentary of the day
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997), founder of the Missionary Sisters of Charity
No Greater Love, p. 95-96
Leaving everything to follow him
Riches, both material and spiritual, can choke you if you do not use them fairly. For not even God can put anything in a heart that is already full. One day there springs up the desire for money and for all that money can provide - the superfluous, luxury in eating, luxury in dressing, trifles. Needs increase because one thing calls for another. The result is uncontrollable dissatisfaction. Let us remain as empty as possible so that God can fill us up.
Our Lord gives us a living example: From the very first day of His human existence He was brought up in a poverty which no human being will ever be able to experience, because "being rich He made Himself poor" (2Cor 8,9). Christ being rich emptied Himself. This is where the contradiction lies. If I want to be poor like Christ, who became poor even though He was rich, I must do the same. It would be a shame for us to be richer than Jesus, who for our sake endured poverty.
On the cross Christ was deprived of everything. The cross itself had been given Him by Pilate; nails and the crown, by the soldiers. He was naked. When He died He was stripped of the cross, the nails, and the crown. He was wrapped in a piece of canvas donated by a charitable soul, and He was buried in a tomb that did not belong to Him. Despite all that, Jesus could have died like a king and could even have been spared death. He chose poverty because He knew that it was the genuine means to possess God and to bring His love to the
| Tuesday, March 04, 2014
|Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.
The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:
Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us.
Tomorrow, our Lenten journey begins once more. May God bless all of us and send us grace.
1904 Holy Card - unknown artist
He was the son of King Casimir IV and Queen Elizabeth, monarchs of Poland and Lithuania. In contrast to the other members of the royal court, he was a shining example of faith, piety, humilty, and chasity. He had a great love for the Eucharist and for the Virgin Mary. He is the patron saint of Poland and Lithuania.
Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by the Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003
Almighty God, to serve you is to reign;
grant that, with the help of Saint Casimir's intercession,
we may constantly serve you in holiness and justice.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
First Reading: Philippians 3:8-14
Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Brethren, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Gospel Reading: John 15:9-17
As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
"This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what His master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give it to you. This I command you, to love one another.
Feast Day: March 4
Born: October 3, 1458(1458-10-03), Wawel, Kraków
Died: March 4, 1484, Hrodna, Belarus
Canonized: 1522, Rome by Pope Adrian VI
Major Shrine: Vilnius Cathedral
Patron of: patron saint of Poland and Lithuania
Feast Day: March 04
Born: 1458 : : Died: 1484
St. Casimir was born a Polish prince and was one of thirteen children. His father Casimir IV was king of Poland. With the help of his good and holy mother the queen and his loyal teacher; Casimir received a very good education.
When he was about fifteen years old noblemen from Hungary asked Casmir’s father to send his son to be their king. But Casimir refused. Instead, Casimir spent the rest of his life in prayer and study, trying to live as a good Christian.
He tried always to be cheerful and friendly with everybody. Under cover of his busy life, he did whatever he could to grow spiritually. He was very strict with himself and often fasted and slept on the floor of his room as penance.
He prayed daily, sometimes spending many hours of the night in prayer. He loved to think and pray about the passion of Jesus – this made his love for God grow strong. Casimir also loved the Blessed Virgin Mary with a special love. He showed his love by frequently singing a beautiful hymn named "Daily, Daily, Sing to Mary." His hand-written copy of it was buried with him.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, Casimir burned with a sincere and true love for God. So rich was his love and so abundantly did it fill his heart, that it flowed out from his inner spirit toward his fellow men.
As a result, nothing was more pleasant, nothing more desirable for him, than to share his belongings, and even to dedicate and give his entire self to Christ's poor, to strangers, to the sick, to those in captivity, and to all who suffer. To widows, orphans, and the afflicted, he was not only a guardian and patron but a father, son, and brother.
Casimir fell sick often, but he was brave and strong in character always doing what he knew was right. Sometimes, with great respect, he would advise his father, the king, to rule the people fairly and his father listened to him.
St. Casimir’s mother found a very beautiful and virtuous young woman who was the Emperor’s daughter, for her son to marry. But Casimir who had decided to give his heart to God alone, refused.
While in Lithuania on an assignment of service for that country, Casimir became ill with tuberculosis. He died at the age of twenty-six and is buried in the cathedral of Vilna
|English: Douay-Rheims||Latin: Vulgata Clementina||Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)|
|28.||And Peter began to say unto him: Behold, we have left all things, and have followed thee.||Et cpit ei Petrus dicere : Ecce nos dimisimus omnia, et secuti sumus te.||ηρξατο ο πετρος λεγειν αυτω ιδου ημεις αφηκαμεν παντα και ηκολουθησαμεν σοι|
|29.||Jesus answering, said: Amen I say to you, there is no man who hath left house or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or children, or lands, for my sake and for the gospel,||Respondens Jesus, ait : Amen dico vobis : Nemo est qui reliquerit domum, aut fratres, aut sorores, aut patrem, aut matrem, aut filios, aut agros propter me et propter Evangelium,||αποκριθεις [δε] ο ιησους ειπεν αμην λεγω υμιν ουδεις εστιν ος αφηκεν οικιαν η αδελφους η αδελφας η πατερα η μητερα η γυναικα η τεκνα η αγρους ενεκεν εμου και [ενεκεν] του ευαγγελιου|
|30.||Who shall not receive an hundred times as much, now in this time; houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions: and in the world to come life everlasting.||qui non accipiat centies tantum, nunc in tempore hoc : domos, et fratres, et sorores, et matres, et filios, et agros, cum persecutionibus, et in sæculo futuro vitam æternam.||εαν μη λαβη εκατονταπλασιονα νυν εν τω καιρω τουτω οικιας και αδελφους και αδελφας και μητερας και τεκνα και αγρους μετα διωγμων και εν τω αιωνι τω ερχομενω ζωην αιωνιον|
|31.||But many that are first, shall be last: and the last, first.||Multi autem erunt primi novissimi, et novissimi primi.||πολλοι δε εσονται πρωτοι εσχατοι και [οι] εσχατοι πρωτοι|
Tuesday, March 4
Liturgical Color: Violet
Today is the optional memorial of St.
Casimir. St. Casimir was a prince third in
line to the Polish throne. He gave up the
riches of royalty and lived a life deep in
prayer with a great devotion to the
Blessed Mother. He died in 1484.
What will it be like when the world comes to an end?
When the world comes to an end, Christ comes for all to see.
The dramatic upheavals (Lk 18:8; Mt 24:3-14) that are foretold in Sacred Scripture the wickedness that will be plainly manifest, the trials and persecutions that will put the faith of many to the test these are only the dark side of the new reality: God's definitive victory over evil will be visible. God's glory, truth, and justice will stand out brilliantly. With Christ's coming there will be "a new heaven and a new earth". "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away" (Rev 21:4).
What will it be like when Christ judges us and the whole world?
Even Christ cannot help someone who does not want to know anything about love; such a person judges himself.
Because Jesus Christ is "the way, and the truth, and the life" (Jn 14:6), he will show what is of lasting value in God's sight and what is not. Held up to the standard of his life, the full truth about all people, things, thoughts, and events will come to light. (YOUCAT questions 111 & 112)
Dig Deeper: CCC section (675-682) and other references here.
Part 1: The Profession of Faith (26 - 1065)
Section 2: The Profession of the Christian Faith (185 - 1065)
Chapter 2: I Believe in Jesus Christ, the Only Son of God (422 - 682)
Article 7: "From thence He will come again to judge the living and the dead" (668 - 682)
I. HE WILL COME AGAIN IN GLORY ⇡
The Church's ultimate trial ⇡
Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers.574 The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth575 will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.576
The Antichrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism,577 especially the "intrinsically perverse" political form of a secular messianism.578
Cf. DS 3839.
Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris, condemning the "false mysticism" of this "counterfeit of the redemption of the lowly"; cf. GS 20-21.
The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection.579 The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God's victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven.580 God's triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world.581
Cf. Rev 19:1-9.
II. TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD ⇡
Following in the steps of the prophets and John the Baptist, Jesus announced the judgment of the Last Day in his preaching.582 Then will the conduct of each one and the secrets of hearts be brought to light.583 Then will the culpable unbelief that counted the offer of God's grace as nothing be condemned.584 Our attitude to our neighbor will disclose acceptance or refusal of grace and divine love.585 On the Last Day Jesus will say: "Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me."586
Cf. Mt 5:22; 7:1-5.
Christ is Lord of eternal life. Full right to pass definitive judgment on the works and hearts of men belongs to him as redeemer of the world. He "acquired" this right by his cross. The Father has given "all judgment to the Son".587 Yet the Son did not come to judge, but to save and to give the life he has in himself.588 By rejecting grace in this life, one already judges oneself, receives according to one's works, and can even condemn oneself for all eternity by rejecting the Spirit of love.589
IN BRIEF ⇡
Christ the Lord already reigns through the Church, but all the things of this world are not yet subjected to him. The triumph of Christ's kingdom will not come about without one last assault by the powers of evil.
On Judgment Day at the end of the world, Christ will come in glory to achieve the definitive triumph of good over evil which, like the wheat and the tares, have grown up together in the course of history.
When he comes at the end of time to judge the living and the dead, the glorious Christ will reveal the secret disposition of hearts and will render to each man according to his works, and according to his acceptance or refusal of grace.
Daily Readings for:March 04, 2014
(Readings on USCCB website)
Collect: Almighty God, to serve you is to reign; grant that, with the help of Saint Casimir's intercession, we may constantly serve you in holiness and justice. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
· Ordinary Time: March 4th
· Optional Memorial of St. Casimir of Poland
Other Titles: Mardi Gras; Plentone; Carnival; Fastelaven; Collup Monday; Carnevale; Shrove Tuesday; Fat Tuesday
Today is the feast of St. Casimir who was born in 1458 and was the son of the King of Poland. At an early age he saw through the superficiality and corruption of court life. Throughout his short life—he died of consumption at the age of 26—he dedicated himself wholly to the service of God and of his fellow-men. His love for the poor was immense. He was also renowned for his devotion to the Eucharist and to the Blessed Virgin. It is also the feast of St. Lucius I, pope in the 3rd century reputed to be a martyr.
It is also the day before Ash Wednesday, called Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday. Traditionally, it is the last day for Christians to indulge before the sober weeks of fasting that come with Lent. Formally known as Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras has long been a time of extravagant fun for European Christians. In many southern states of the USA Mardi Gras is a traditional holiday. The most famous celebration takes place in New Orleans, Louisiana. It has been celebrated there on a grand scale, with masked balls and colorful parades, since French settlers arrived in the early 1700s.
On April 17th, 1958, His Holiness Pope Pius XII confirmed the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus on Shrove Tuesday (Tuesday before Ash Wednesday) for all the dioceses and religious orders who would ask for the Indult from Rome in order to celebrate it. You can learn more about this devotion at Holy Face Devotion and at the Holy Face Association.
St. Casimir, to whom the Poles gave the title of "The Peace-maker," was the third of the thirteen children of Casimir IV, King of Poland, and of Elizabeth of Austria, daughter of the Emperor Albert II. ...Devout from his infancy, the boy gave himself up to devotion and penance, and had a horror of anything approaching softness or self-indulgence. His bed was often the ground, and he was wont to spend a great part of the night in prayer and meditation, chiefly on the passion of our Saviour. His clothes were plain, and under them he wore a hairshirt. Living always in the presence of God, he was invariably serene and cheerful, and pleasant to all. The saint's love of God showed itself in his love of the poor who are Christ's members, and for the relief of these the young prince gave all he possessed, using in their behalf the influence he had with his father and with his brother Ladislaus when he became king of Bohemia. In honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Casimir frequently recited the long Latin hymn "Omni die dic Mariae," a copy of which was by his desire buried with him. This hymn, part of which is familiar to us through Bittleston's version, "Daily, daily sing to Mary," is not uncommonly called the Hymn of St Casimir, but it was certainly not composed by him; it is three centuries older than his time.
The nobles of Hungary, dissatisfied with their king, Matthias Corvinus, in 1471 begged the King of Poland to allow them to place his son Casimir on the throne. The saint, at that time not fifteen years old, was very unwilling to consent, but in obedience to his father he went to the frontier at the head of an army. There, hearing that Matthias had himself assembled a large body of troops, and finding that his own soldiers were deserting in large numbers because they could not get their pay, he decided upon the advice of his officers to return home. The knowledge that Pope Sixtus IV had sent an embassy to his father to deter him from the expedition made the young prince carry out his resolution with the firmer conviction that he was acting rightly. King Casimir, however, was greatly incensed at the failure of his ambitious projects and would not permit his son to return to Cracow, but relegated him to the castle of Dobzki. The young man obeyed and remained in confinement there for three months. Convinced of the injustice of the war upon which he had so nearly embarked, and determined to have no further part in these internecine conflicts which only facilitated the further progress into Europe of the Turks, St Casimir could never again be persuaded to take up arms though urged to do so by his father and invited once more by the disaffected Hungarian magnates. He returned to his studies and his prayers, though for a time he was viceroy in Poland during an absence of his father. An attempt was made to induce him to marry a daughter of the Emperor Frederick III, but he refused to relax the celibacy he had imposed on himself.
St Casimir's austerities did nothing to help the lung trouble from which he suffered, and he died at the age of twenty-six in 1484 and was buried at Vilna, where his relics still rest in the church of St Stanislaus. Miracles were reported at his tomb, and he was canonized in 1521.
Excerpted from Butler's Lives of the Saints
Patron: Poland, Lithuania, bachelors, kings, princes
Symbols: Lily (for purity)
Things to Do:
Preparing for Lent
No Lent is worthy of the name without a personal effort of self-reformation, of leading a life more in accordance with God's commands and an attempt by some kind of voluntary self-denial to make reparation for past negligence. But the Church, together with the personal effort which she requires of all of us, her children, sets up in the sight of God the cross of Christ, the Lamb of God who took upon Himself the sins of man and who is the price of our redemption. As Holy Week approaches the thought of the passion becomes increasingly predominant until it occupies our whole attention, but from the very beginning of Lent it is present, for it is in union with the sufferings of Christ that the whole army of Christians begins on the holy "forty days", setting out for Easter with the glad certitude of sharing in His resurrection.
"Behold, now is the acceptable time, behold, now is the day of salvation." The Church puts Lent before us in the very same terms that formerly she put it before the catechumens and public penitents who were preparing for the Easter graces of baptism and sacramental reconciliation. For us, as it was for them, Lent should be a long retreat, one in which under the guidance of the Church we are led to the practice of a more perfect Christian life. She shows us the example of Christ and by fasting and penance associates us with his sufferings that we may have a share in His redemption.
We should remember that Lent is not an isolated personal affair of our own. The Church avails herself of the whole of the mystery of redemption. We belong to an immense concourse, a great body in which we are united to the whole of humanity which has been redeemed by Christ. The liturgy of this season does not fail to remind us of it.
This, then, is the meaning of Lent for us: a season of deepening spirituality in union with the whole Church which thus prepares to celebrate the Paschal mystery. Each year, following Christ its Head, the whole Christian people takes up with renewed effort its struggle against evil, against Satan and the sinful man that each one of us bears within himself, in order at Easter to draw new life from the very springs of divine life and to continue its progress towards heaven.
Excerpted from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal
Here are a few suggestions to help you celebrate the final day before Lent.
Many that are first will be last, and the last will be first. (Mark 10:31)
Do you ever fish for compliments? When we have done something really admirable or we have an ability that we’re really proud of, it can be tempting to draw attention to it. Even when we fight the temptation, we can promote ourselves in our own minds, imagining the compliments we would like to receive.
After Jesus announced how difficult it is for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God in today’s Gospel reading, Peter piped up with some compliment fishing of his own: “We have given up everything and followed you” (Mark 10:28). It’s as if he were saying, “Give us some credit here!” But Jesus cut him off, maybe in an effort to save Peter from embarrassing himself. Yes, you have done well, he said, and you will be rewarded.
But then Jesus spoke a simple sentence, easy to repeat, easy even to understand, but hard to take in fully: “Many that are first will be last, and the last will be first” (Mark 10:31). Peter had learned the way of the gospel as far as giving up everything to follow the Lord. But he had not yet learned that Jesus calls us to give up even our desire to achieve, our striving to be first. He calls us, in fact, to follow him all the way to the cross.
As we stand on the cusp of Lent, let’s keep this verse in mind. God is calling you to free yourself from the world and your fallen nature a little bit more. He is calling you to devote yourself to him and his kingdom a little more. But it’s easy to become proud of your Lenten observances and, like Peter, want to promote yourself.
You don’t have to argue your case before God! He sees everything you do for him, and he delights in all of it—even the smallest act of self-giving. He loves you. He wants to draw you close to himself. He rejoices in everything you do that brings you one step closer to him. So stop trying to put yourself forward. Rather, imitate him by preferring the back of the line. Don’t worry; he’ll find you. And when he does, he will usher you right into his kingdom!
“Lord, draw me to yourself more completely during this season; help there to be more of you and less of me.”
1 Peter 1:10-16; Psalm 98:1-4
Daily Marriage Tip for March 4, 2014:
Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is about more than decadence and parades. Its a chance to let your lighter side play. If youre the serious type, lighten up for a day. If youre already lighter than air, take responsibility for humoring your spouse.
Look to Him and Be Radiant
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 07:45
I am fascinated by this 18th century tabernacle depicting the Holy Face of Christ. Looking closely, one sees that the tabernacle door frames Veronica’s Veil. Veronica herself holds the veil but turns away her own face. We are not meant to look at her face, but rather at the Face of Jesus concealed and revealed in the adorable mystery of the Eucharist.
Note: This is a homily that I preached seven years ago. I am posting it again today for those who may be celebrating the feast of the Most Holy Face of Jesus.
The last century saw, here and there, like so many points of light in the Church, men and women drawn by the Holy Spirit to the contemplation of the Face of Christ. In many cases this attraction to the Face of Christ was characterized by the prayer of reparation. The spiritual impulse to make reparation emerged in the aftermath of the French Revolution and, in the twentieth century, became in some way a response to the horrors of two World Wars. Violence, terrorism, and war continue to inspire a prayer of reparation that looks to the Face of Christ. We are most affected by acts of violence that disfigure the human face. Hear Isaiah’s prophecy of the Servant:
His appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the sons of men. . . . He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Is 52: 14; 53:3)
Face and Person
Face and Person are synonymous, not only by reason of the Greek etymology, but even more because there is nothing more personal, nothing more precious, nothing dearer than the face of a loved one. The psalmist’s cry, “I long to see Thy Face” (Ps 26:8), is the cry of every lover to his beloved, the cry of child to parent, of parent to child, and of friend to friend. The most poignant moment in the rites of death and burial comes when the face of the deceased is covered for the last time. We cherish photographs of those we love, but what is a photograph without a face? The relationships that we call “heart to heart” never tire of the “face to face.”
Sins Against the Holy Face
The Holocaust that took place during the Second World War was, at the deepest level, an attempt to erase the dignity and uniqueness of each person, a sin against the Face of Christ, the Holy Face mirrored in millions of Jewish faces. Every sin against the dignity of the human person is a sin against the Face of Christ. Every act of violence, irreverence, or scorn directed against the human person is a sin against the Face of Christ. The abortion that prevents a child’s face from seeing another human face in the light of day is a sin against the Face of Christ. Torture and cruel ridicule are sins against the Face of Christ. The hard, stony gaze that looks at a person without seeing him is a sin against the Face of Christ. The eyes that judge, the look that condemns, is a sin against the Face of Christ. The refusal to see Christ in the faces of the sick, the stranger, and the immigrant is a sin against his Holy Face.
Our Secret Sins in the Light of Thy Face
Reparation is the prayer that seeks to make whole what is fragmented by putting love where there is no love, by gazing with reverence upon what has been disdained, by allowing our eyes to rest on “One from whom men hide their faces” (Is 53:3). The extraordinary thing about the prayer of reparation is that it is healing not only for the one offended but for the offender as well. If by sin we offend the Face of Christ, by reparation to the Holy Face we are healed of our sins. “Thou has set our iniquities before thee,” says the psalmist, “our secret sins in the light of Thy Face” (Ps 89:8).
The Eucharistic Face of Christ
The prayer of reparation is most at home in the presence of the Most Blessed Sacrament. The light that shines from the Eucharistic Face of Christ heals us sinners, and heals those against whom we have sinned. The love we bring to the Eucharistic Face of Christ reaches every human face. The prayer of reparation is the veil of Veronica lifted to the face of Christ in His Passion; it is the hand that seeks to wipe away every disfiguring stain of filth, of blood, and of tears.
Held in His Gaze
Mother Marie-Thérèse Bonnin, a French Benedictine of Jesus Crucified, remarked that nothing “repaired” her soul like the contemplation of the Holy Face. In 1940 she wrote:
I have need of prayer in the same way one has need of recuperating physically. Time passes quickly close to Him. It is not that I feel anything, it is enough to know that I am held in His gaze, enough to believe in His love.
Reparation and Adoration
The beginning of Lent and today’s Mass of the Holy Face of Jesus invite us to a prayer of reparation and of adoration. “Look to him and be radiant; let your faces not be abashed” (Ps 33:6). The light that streams from the Face of Christ can make radiant every human face. Allow yourself to be held in His gaze. Believe in His love. Perseverance in the simple prayer of reparation means healing for ourselves and healing for the world.
|The Rewards of Self Denial|
Tuesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Peter began to say to Jesus, "We have given up everything and followed you." Jesus said, "Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come. But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first."
Introductory Prayer: Once again, Lord, I come to you to pray. Even though I cannot see you, I trust that you are present and want very much to instruct me in your teachings. In the same way that you demonstrate your love for me by spending this time with me, I want to express my love for you by dedicating this time to you with a spirit of faith, confidence and attention. Here I am, Lord, to listen to you and respond with love.
Petition: Lord, help me to have a pure intention in my acts of self-denial.
1. Peter’s Question: At first glance Peter seems to be selfish, as if he were saying, “We have given up everything, now what’s in it for us?” His question is not prompted by selfishness, but rather is a response to Jesus’ previous statement that it is very hard for a rich man to enter heaven. In light of the difficulty of riches, Peter wants to know what the chances of entering the kingdom of God will be for someone who has given up everything to follow Christ. How detached from material possessions must we be in order to be assured a place in heaven? Jesus does not give us a concrete answer to this question, but he does tell us that those who have given up everything will not only receive a reward of eternal life in the age to come, but also ample reward in this life.
2. The Real Motivation: Reward is not given only to those who simply give things up, but rather to those who give things up for the sake of Christ and for love of the Gospel. Sacrifice for the sake of sacrifice — or for that matter, sacrifice for a selfish reason — is worth nothing in God’s eyes. Sacrifice has value only when it is done for the sake of Christ and his Gospel, for love. Our intention in self-denial must be to glorify Christ or to witness to the Gospel message. Is this the real motivation of my self-denial?
3. Eternal Life: The reward for our self-denial begins in this life and has its culmination in the life to come. The difference between one and the other is that in this life there are also persecutions. In this life we enjoy both the love of Christ and suffering persecutions for his sake. This life is a life of purification of our love, purification of our intentions. By proving our love now, we will enjoy life with Christ for all eternity.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, you know how attached I am to myself, my possessions and my comforts. Help me to give up what I need to give up — out of love for you and your Gospel, not out of love for myself or what I might get out of it. Help me not to be afraid to deny myself for the sake of drawing nearer to you.
Resolution: I will give up something that keeps me from drawing closer to God.
March 4, 2014
In the first reading, St. Peter reminds us to be holy. Our salvation was brought about by the holy acts of our Savior. He gave us many spiritual discourses, performed supernatural miracles and offered his life as atonement for all our sins. This, then, is the reason for us to be holy. We must realize that the spiritual graces that we have received were meant to help us live holy lives. St. Paul in the letter to the Romans says, “The reward of sin is death while the reward of holiness is eternal life.” When we sin, we die, but when we do good to others, we live. Though it is not easy to be holy, we must be convinced that the path of holiness leads to eternal life. And our model of holiness is the Lord himself.
In the gospel, Jesus tells the apostles the reward of renunciation is eternal life. This gospel may seem to be directed solely to priests, nuns and missionaries. But it could also be applicable to us who decide to live a life according to the gospel, forsaking many pleasures and serving others in our work. There are many lay people such as teachers, doctors, catechists, domestic helpers, laborers, who offer their lives for their families, students, patients, etc. They live simply and their lives are not easy but God will reward them for their selflessness. He will give them inner happiness and bless their endeavors with a good family life and sometimes even financial success. The point is that God rewards his disciples who seek holiness in their lives.
The gospel ends with Jesus saying, “Many who are first will be last, and the last first.” We know that the apostles to whom Jesus said these words were all martyred (except for St. John) for preaching the gospel. The greatest renunciation a man can do is to renounce one’s own life for God. Jesus did this first, and the apostles followed. After them came countless martyrs who died for the faith.
How about you? What are you willing to renounce for the Lord’s sake?
It is Thy Face, O Lord, that I seek
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 10:21
Blessed John Paul II and the Holy Face
When the history of the pontificate of Blessed John Paul II is written by a generation to come, there is no doubt that his insistent and consistent focus on the Face of Christ will emerge as a grand spiritual theme, a recurrent motif, and a spiritual gift to the Church. Over the years of his long pontificate, Blessed John Paul II’s personal fascination with the Holy Face of Jesus became a pastoral imperative. Already in 2001, he drew the eyes of the Church to the Face of Christ. At the closing of the Holy Door on January 6th of that year he said: “Christianity is born, and continually draws new life from this contemplation of the glory of God shining on the face of Christ.”
Growth in Holiness
Linked to the mystery of the Face of Christ and, for Blessed John Paul II, inseparable from it, is growth in holiness: “May the Lord grant that in the new millennium, the Church will grow ever more in holiness, that she may become in history a true epiphany of the merciful and glorious face of Christ the Lord.”
Universal Call to Holiness
In Novo Millennio Ineunte, Blessed Pope John Paul II developed his teaching on the Face of Christ. Clearly, for Blessed John Paul II, this is more than another devotion proposed to the piety of the faithful. It is, rather, a way of presenting and living the whole of the Christian life, a way of responding to what the Second Vatican Council in Lumen Gentium presented forty years ago as “the universal call to holiness.” Karol Wojtyla was a bishop of the Second Vatican Council; as bishop of Rome, he sought to deepen and develop the central intuitions and core teachings of that Council. His call to contemplation of the Face of Christ is fully intelligible only within that context and in relation to the Council’s universal call to holiness. Holiness is a simple adhesion to the designs and desires of the Heart of Christ on us, a “yes” to what the Heart of Christ has reserved for us, a “yes” to what the Heart of Christ would give us at every moment.
The Holy Face and the Sacred Heart
The designs and desires of the Sacred Heart of Jesus are revealed on his Face. One who loves Christ learns to read on his Face the secrets of his Heart. Only in the seventeenth century did the iconography of the Sacred Heart begin to depict the physical organ of Jesus’ heart exposed, surrounded by thorns, and radiant with the flames of love. The more ancient depictions of the Heart of Christ honoured its hiddenness, its mystery, by showing only the wound opened by the soldier’s lance while leaving the Heart itself enclosed in the crucified or glorious flesh of Christ. The open wound was in itself an invitation to press beyond it, to cross its threshold as one would pass through a door, to make one’s dwelling in the inner sanctuary of the Sacred Heart, but the Heart itself remained hidden.
The secrets of the Heart of Christ were, in the older iconographic traditions, revealed on the Face of Christ. One discovered the “mystery” of the Heart by contemplating the Face. Mother Marie des Douleurs, foundress of the Benedictines of Jesus Crucified, said this clearly: “We must discover on this Face the revelation of the secrets of his Heart,” and in another place, “All the zeal of the Heart of Jesus, all his works, and all his agony can be read on his Face.” Blessed John Paul II’s invitation to become contemplatives of the Face of Christ, remains a graced opportunity to reclaim and retrieve another iconographic tradition of the Sacred Heart: that of the Face of Christ as the revelation of the secrets of his hidden Heart.
Seek His Face
In the light of Blessed John Paul II’s consistent and insistent focus on the “Face of Christ” we begin to understand that he was, in fact, proposing not a devotion, but a way of responding to the call to holiness that is wonderfully adapted to every state of life, but essential to monastic life. At the heart of every vocation lies the mystery of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, a relationship best described in terms of an encounter “face to face,” and of perseverance in seeking the Face that first sought us. “Of Thee my heart has spoken: ‘Seek his face.’ It is Thy face, O Lord, that I seek; hide not Thy face” (Ps 26:8-9). The Holy Face is the countenance of the Word Incarnate. Jesus calls souls in every state of life to live with their eyes fixed on Him, so as to discover on his Face the revelation of the secrets of his Heart.
There is in this focus on the Holy Face of Christ something that is distinctively Benedictine. Saint Benedict would have the newcomer to the monastery tested to see if he “sincerely seeks God” (RB LVIII:7). The search for God begins and ends in the mystery of the Holy Face of Christ.
Could this not be our Lenten program in this year 2010: to seek and contemplate the Face of Christ? The Face of Christ hidden and revealed in the Scriptures, the Face of Christ hidden and revealed in the Most Holy Eucharist, the Face of Christ hidden and revealed in one another; the Face of Christ in anyone who suffers. If in every event and circumstance we say instinctively, and from the heart, “It is Thy face, O Lord, that I seek” (Ps 26:8), we will find our own faces — and our hearts — transformed.
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