Novena to St Joseph
PATRON OF A HAPPY DEATH
Saint Joseph, how fitting it was that at the hour of your death Jesus should stand at your bedside with Mary, the sweetness and hope of all mankind. You gave your entire life to the service of Jesus and Mary; at death you enjoyed the consolation of dying in Their loving arms. You accepted death in the spirit of loving submission to the Will of God and this acceptance crowned your hidden life of virtue. Yours was a merciful judgment, for your foster-Son, for whom you had cared so lovingly, was your Judge and Mary was your advocate. The verdict of the Judge was a word of encouragement to wait for His coming to Limbo, where He would shower you with the choicest fruits of the Redemption and an embrace of grateful affection before you breathed forth your soul into eternity.
You looked into eternity and to your everlasting reward with confidence. If our Saviour blessed the shepherds, the Magi, Simeon, John the Baptist and others because they greeted His presence with devoted hearts for a brief passing hour, how much more did He bless you who have sanctified yourself for so many years in His company and that of His Mother? If Jesus regards every corporal and spiritual work of mercy, performed in behalf of our fellow men out of love for Him, as done to Himself, and promises heaven as a reward, what must have been the extent of His gratitude to you who in the truest sense of the word have received Him, given Him shelter, clothed, nourished and consoled Him at the sacrifice of your strength and rest and even your life, with a love which surpassed the love of all fathers.
God really and personally made Himself your debtor. Our Divine Saviour paid that debt of gratitude by granting you many graces in your lifetime, especially the grace of growing in love, which is the best and most perfect of all gifts. Thus at the end of your life your heart became filled with love, the fervour and longing of which your frail body could not resist. Your soul followed the triumphant impulse of your love and winged its flight from earth to bear the prophets and patriarchs in Limbo the glad tidings of the advent of the Redeemer.
Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being able to die in the arms of Jesus and Mary. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace of a happy death. Help me to spend each day in preparation for death. May I, too, accept death in the spirit of resignation to God’s Holy Will and die, as you did, in the arms of Jesus, strengthened by Holy Viaticum, and in the arms of Mary, with her rosary in my hand and her name on my lips!
*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.
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.
Quote of the Day – 14 March
“Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.”
~ St. Augustine
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!
LENTEN REFLECTION – THE SECOND WEEK – Sunday 12 March
A spontaneous question which can arise in our minds today is ‘why the scene of transfiguration’ – a scene which portrays the glory of Jesus – is inserted during the time of Len, which mainly focuses on the passion and death of Jesus?
The transfiguration scene is presented today to remove the fear and the despair of every believer. This presentation of the glory of Jesus urges us to live the remaining time of Lent with courage and conviction.
The transfiguration is a special and privileged moment, both for Jesus and for His disciples. For Jesus it was a moment of manifestation of His glory, divine confirmation of His status as the Son of God and an affirmation of His mission. With all these extraordinary events confirming Jesus’ true identity, the one true response demanded from us is to listen to Him.
The transfiguration beautifully portrays the effects of God-experience. God-experience reveals one’s true identity; Jesus heard the voice from the cloud confirming His Sonship. God-experience is an expererience of God’s love; Jesus experiences the love of the Father in the voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” God-experience transforms; Jesus’ Face shines like the sun and His clothes become bright as light.
For the disciples, the Divine experience was so awe-inspiring that they became ecstatic. The Divine experience was also so overwhelming that the disciples became terrified.
Though the disciples preferred to remain on the top of the mountain, Jesus leads them down. Thus Jesus offers us a lesson that contemplation and action should go hand in hand. The experience of the Lord should lead us to corresponding action – and our actions should receive their vitality and energy from our God-experience in prayer.
…..Fr Devasia Joseph SSP
Quote of the Day – 5 March
“A sacrifice to be real must cost, must hurt and must empty ourselves. Give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love than in your weakness.”
St Mother Teresa
“And so we begin a new spiritual journey today – a journey of preparation to rise with the Risen Lord on the day of Easter. As part of our preparation, the Gospel sets before us reflections on three cardinal works necessary for our spiritual life: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. These three works deal with three important areas of our life. Prayer is our relationship with God; fasting aims at our personal growth and almsgiving reveals our relationship with our neighbour and our responsibilities toward them.
During the Eucharistic celebration today we will be marked with ashes. By imposing ashes on our foreheads, we are reminded to repent of our sins, to believe in the Gospel and to aim at what is permanent – life with the Risen Lord.” Fr Devasia Joseph SSP
“What the Christian should be doing at all times
should be done now (during Lent) with greater care and devotion,
so that the Lenten fast enjoined by the apostles
may be fulfilled, not simply by abstinence from food
but above all by the renunciation of sin.” – St Pope Leo the Great