Posted in NOVENAS

Novena to St Joseph – Day Three – 13 March

Novena to St Joseph

Day Three
MAN CHOSEN BY THE BLESSED TRINITY

Saint Joseph, you were the man chosen by God the Father.   He selected you to be His representative on earth, hence He granted you all the graces and blessings you needed to be His worthy representative.

You were the man chosen by God the Son.   Desirous of a worthy foster-father, He added His own riches and gifts and above all, His love.   The true measure of your sanctity is to be judged by your imitation of Jesus.   You were entirely consecrated to Jesus, working always near Him, offering Him your virtues, your work, your sufferings, your very life.   Jesus lived in you perfectly so that you were transformed into Him.   In this lies your special glory and the keynote of your sanctity.   Hence, after Mary, you are the holiest of the saints.

You were chosen by the Holy Spirit.   He is the mutual Love of the Father and the Son — the heart of the Holy Trinity. In His wisdom He draws forth all creatures from nothing, guides them to their end in showing them their destiny and giving them the means to reach it.  Every vocation and every fulfillment of a vocation proceeds from the Holy Spirit. As a foster-father of Jesus and head of the Holy Family, you had an exalted and most responsible vocation — to open the way for the redemption of the world and to prepare for it by the education and guidance of the youth of the God-Man.   In this work you cooperated as the instrument of the Holy Spirit.   The Holy Spirit was the guide; you obeyed and carried out the works.   How perfectly you obeyed the guidance of the God of Love!

The words of the Old Testament which Pharaoh spoke concerning Joseph of Egypt can well be applied to you: “Can we find such another man, that is full of the spirit of God, or a wise man like to him?” (Gen. 41:38).   No less is your share in the divine work of God than was that of Egypt.   You now reign with your foster-Son and see reflected in the mirror of God’s Wisdom the Divine Will and what is of benefit to our souls.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for having made you the man specially chosen by Him.   As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to imitate your virtues so that I too may be pleasing to the Heart of God.   Help me to give myself entirely to His service and to the accomplishment of His Holy Will, that one day I may reach heaven and be eternally united to God as you are.

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*NOVENA PRAYER  *(prayer to be said at the end of each day’s devotion)

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you.  You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you.   You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants.   Therefore, I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession.   I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind and perfect resignation to the divine Will.   Be my guide, my father and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death and the special grace I now implore:

(Mention your request)

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

MEMORARE
Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer but graciously receive them. Amen.

 

 

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Posted in LENT

LENTEN REFLECTION – The Second Week – Monday 13 March

LENTEN REFLECTION – The Second Week – Monday 13 March

LENTEN REFLECTION MON 13 MARCH

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you.” —Luke 6:37–38

Our life is a constant exercise in judgment: in distinguishing what is good from what is bad, in deciding which course of action we would like to take, in discerning which kind of life we wish to create for ourselves.  From the day we are born to our last breath, we judge. It’s the way of life and survival.   Hence, Jesus’ exhortation in today’s gospel reading, that we should not judge, must not be understood to mean that every process of discernment should be abandoned.  If it did, our lives would fall into chaos.

Rather, He should be understood to mean that if we do judge, especially our brothers or sisters, we should see to it that the measure by which we gauge their acceptability is the same measure we would use on ourselves.

There are occasions when we do tend to be too demanding of others while too lax and undemanding of ourselves.  That would not only be unfair in Jesus’ mind, it would also be hypocritical.   For a hypocrite is one who judges himself with a standard far lower than what he would use in judging others.   And this is a very grave danger, not only to one’s faith but to the very integrity of one’s character. Justice and fairness after all, are the measure by which we shall all be judged in the end.

Blessed John Henry Newman says:
“Saint John the Baptist had a most difficult office to fulfill; that of rebuking a king…It is difficult to rebuke well, that is, at the right time, in a right spirit and a right manner. T  he holy Baptist rebuked Herod without making him angry;   therefore he must have rebuked him with gravity, temper, sincerity and an evident good-will towards him.   On the other hand, he spoke so firmly, sharply and faithfully, that his rebuke cost him his life.

We who now live have not that extreme duty put upon us with which Saint John was laden (namely, rebuking a king);   yet every one of us has a share in his office (of admonishing), inasmuch as we are all bound “to rebuke vice boldly,” when we have fit opportunities for so doing…

Aim at viewing all things in a plain and candid light and at calling them by their right names.   Be frank, do not keep your notions of right and wrong to yourselves, nor, conceit that the world is too bad to be taught the Truth, suffer it to sin in word or deed without rebuke.   Do not allow friend or stranger in the familiar intercourse of society to advance false opinions, nor shrink from stating your own and do this in singleness of mind and love…

…The single-hearted Christian will find fault, not austerely or gloomily but in love;   not stiffly, but naturally, gently, and as a matter of course, just as he would tell his friend of some obstacle in his path which was likely to throw him down but without any feeling of superiority over him…”

Great reflection – reread it a couple more times! It gives great advice on how we as Christians are obligated to charitably and meekly correct the sins of others and he also advises us on the way to go about it.   Always ask for the help of the Holy Spirit when you feel called to speak up, so that in careful prudence, you may discern what is the best manner to go about it.

JUDGING OTHERS JHNEWMAN

Posted in Uncategorized

Thought for the Day – 13 March

Thought for the Day – 13 March

As we pray the Nicene Creed every Sunday, we might reflect on the fact that that same prayer is not only being prayed by every Catholic.   Saint Leander introduced its recitation as a means of uniting the faithful.   Let’s pray that the recitation may enhance that unity today- each time you pray it, pray in your heart for total unity and solidarity of ALL Catholics – “let them be one.”

St Leander Pray for us!

ST LEANDER AND THE NICENE

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Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 13 March

One Minute Reflection – 13 March

I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
Whom shall I send?……
“Here I am”, I said, “send me!”……….Isaiah 6:8

REFLECTION – “This man of suave eloquence and eminent talent shone as brightly by his virtues as by his doctrine. By his faith and zeal the Gothic people have been converted from Arianism to the Catholic faith”…..St Isidore of Seville speaking of his brother St Leander, whom we celebrate today.

PRAYER – Help me to discern through prayer and meditation what You truly want of me. Then enable me to offer it to You – and indeed to offer myself and all I have to You. St Leander, you were and are an example to all around you, please pray for us, amen!

IS 6-8-ST LEANDER

THIS MAN-ST ISIDORE OF SEVILLE

Posted in LENT, MORNING Prayers

Our Morning Offering – 13 March

Our Morning Offering – 13 March

The Second Week of Lent
Monday

Lord,
Your commandment of love is so simple
and so challenging.
Help me to let go of my pride,
to be humble in my penance.
I want only to live the way You ask me to love,
to love the way You ask me to live.
To learn not to judge others
but in total humility to love all.
I ask this through Your Son, Jesus Christ,
our Lord, in unity with the Holy Spirit
who lives in me and stands at my side
today and always.
Amen

MONDAY OF 2ND WEEK 13 MARCH

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 13 March – St Leander of Seville

Saint of the Day – 13 March – St Leander of Seville (c 534-600/601) – BIshop/Confessor of the Faith/Teacher/Writer Apostle of Spain and Evangelisation – Patron of episcopal attire and liturgical garments.   Saint Leander, as bishop, instituted the practice of praying the Nicene Creed during Mass—a practice which continues today.  He viewed the Creed as a manner in which to proclaim the divinity of Christ at a time when the Church suffered attack from various heresies, as well as an opportunity to reinforce the faith of the people. Through his diligent work, Saint Leander saw Catholicism flourish in Spain at a time of great political and religious uncertainty.

Leander and Isidore and their siblings (all sainted) belonged to an elite family of Hispano-Roman stock of Carthago Nova.   Their father Severianus is claimed to be, according to their hagiographers, a dux or governor of Cartagena, though this seems more of a fanciful interpretation since Isidore simply states that he was a citizen.   The family moved to Seville around 554.   The children’s subsequent public careers reflect their distinguished origin: Leander and Isidore both became bishops of Seville and their sister Saint Florentina was an abbess who directed forty convents and one thousand nuns.   Even the third brother, Fulgentius, appointed Bishop of Écija at the first triumph of Catholicism over Arianism but of whom little is known, has been canonised as a saint.

The family as a matter of course were staunch Catholics, as were the great majority of the Romanised population, from top to bottom; only the Visigothic nobles and the kings were Arians.   It should be stated that there was less Visigothic persecution of Catholics than legend and hagiography have painted.   From a modern standpoint, the dangers of Catholic Christianity were more political.   Saint Leander, as bishop, instituted the practice of praying the Nicene Creed during Mass—a practice which continues today.   He viewed the Creed as a manner in which to proclaim the divinity of Christ at a time when the Church suffered attack from various heresies, as well as an opportunity to reinforce the faith of the people.   Through his diligent work, Saint Leander saw Catholicism flourish in Spain at a time of great political and religious uncertainty.

Leander, enjoying an elite position in the secure surroundings of tolerated Catholic culture in Seville, became at first a Benedictine monk and then in 579 he was appointed bishop of Seville.   In the meantime he founded a celebrated school, which soon became a centre of Catholic learning.   As Bishop he had access to the Catholic Merovingian Princess Ingunthis, who had come as a bride for the kingdom’s heir and he worked tirelessly with her to convert her husband St. Hermenegild, the eldest son of Liuvigild, an act of court intrigue that cannot honestly be divorced from a political context.   Leander defended the new convert even when he went to war with his father “against his father’s cruel reprisals,” the Catholic Encyclopedia puts it. “In endeavouring to save his country from Arianism, Leander showed himself an orthodox Christian and a far-sighted patriot.”

This action earned him the king’s wrath and exile to Constantinople, where he met and became close friends of the Papal Legate, the future Pope Gregory the Great.   Saint Leander served as a contemporary and advisor to Saint Gregory, encouraging him to write his famous commentary on the Book of Job entitled the “Moralia.”

After some time, King Leovigild summoned Leander back to Seville.   Having experienced a change of heart, he wished for Leander to instruct his son Reccared—who would inherit the throne—in the ways of the faith.   Through Leander’s instruction and model, the people of Spain were converted.   He presided over the third Council of Toledo, which upheld the consubstantiality of the Trinity and brought about many moral reforms in the Church. Saint Leader further wrote an influential Rule for Spanish nuns.  He introduced the practice of praying the Nicene Creed at Mass. A prolific writer, unfortunately most of his works have been lost to history, although much of the correspondence written by Gregory the Great to his attention remains extant.

After a long life of fighting heresies and preaching the truth, Saint Leander died around the year 600. He was succeeded by his brother, St Isidore of Seville, who is a Doctor of the Church.

Saint Isidore and Saint leander of Sevilla. Ignacio de Ries

Saint Isidore and Saint leander of Sevilla. Ignacio de Ries

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St Bonaventure & Leander

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