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Monday, March 20, 2017

Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.

Deuteronomy, Chapter 32, Verse 26-27
26 I said: I will make an end of them and blot out their name from human memory, 27 had I not feared the provocation by the enemy, that their foes might misunderstand, and say, “Our own hand won the victory; the LORD had nothing to do with any of it.”

Meditate on the humility of Saint Joseph this day; ask his assistance and special protection.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt. 5:3)

Saint Joseph[1]

ST. JOSEPH was descended from the kingly line of David, and was a kinsman of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Matt. i. 1-16). The Gospel gives him the praise of being just (Matt. i. 19), that is, a man distinguished for all virtues. And surely, as he was chosen from all other men by God to be the foster-father of His Son, he undoubtedly excelled, in virtues and sanctity, all saints then living. Of his youth nothing certain is known to us, and of his later life we know only what the Gospel relates. He was a carpenter (Matt. xiii. 55), and lived at Nazareth, in Galilee (Luke ii. 4). Being espoused to Mary, he was inclined, upon learning that she was with child, to put her away privately, not wishing to expose her to public reproach but being instructed by an angel, he took her to himself, in obedience to the command of God, went with her to Bethlehem, and afterwards, with Mary and the new-born child, fled, without timidity, to Egypt (Matt. ii. 13). At the command of the angel he returned thence, and again dwelt in Nazareth (Matt. ii. 23). From this place they went every year to the feast at Jerusalem, where it happened that Jesus, then twelve years old, remained behind them in the temple, and was anxiously sought for by them. More than this is not told us. At the time of the marriage at Cana it would seem that he was no longer living, since there is no mention made of him. Though little is said of him, that little is rich in profitable instruction. How worthy to be admired and imitated is his example his chastity, his tenderness towards Mary, his forbearing to pronounce a judgment in regard to her condition when he could not explain it, his quick and unreserved obedience towards God and the commands of authority, his love for Jesus, and his care for both the mother and the child. On account of his sanctity God has specially distinguished him by miracles, and the Church honors him in a particular manner. In the Litany of the Saints he is named among the patriarchs, and the feast of his patronage is celebrated on the third Sunday after Easter. Venerate, therefore, St. Joseph choose him for your protector in life and in death, and make yourself worthy of his protection by following his example.

Instruction

To encourage us to veneration for St. Joseph St. Teresa wrote “I do not remember to have asked St. Joseph for anything which he did not grant me. The great favors which God has granted me through him, and the many dangers of soul and body from which he has freed me, truly deserve admiration. It seems that God has granted to other saints the grace of assisting, in particular needs, those who invoke their intercession; but this glorious saint assists in all needs. The Lord seems thereby to indicate that, as He was subject to Joseph on earth, so now He grants him whatever he asks for. The same thing has been experienced by persons whom I have advised to recommend themselves to him.” “I would gladly advise every one,” says St. Alphonsus, to have a great devotion towards this saint, since I have experienced what graces he can obtain from God. For several years I have asked him, on his feast, for some particular grace, and every time my petition has been granted. As we all have to die, we should have a particular devotion towards St. Joseph, that he may obtain for us a happy death for all Catholic Christians consider him to be an intercessor for the dying, and that he assists, at the hour of death, those who venerate him; and this for three reasons 1. Because Jesus loves him, not only as a friend, but as a father, on which account his intercession is more powerful than that of any other saint. 2. Because St. Joseph obtained special power against the evil spirits who tempt us at the hour of death. 3. The assistance which Jesus and Mary gave to Joseph at the hour of his own death procured for him the right to obtain a holy and easy death for his dependents. If in their dying hour they invoke his aid, not only will he assist them, but he will obtain for them the assistance of Jesus and Mary. “Ought not these words of a great saint encourage you to venerate St. Joseph every day? Should not the hope of dying one day under the protection of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, move you to devotion to the foster-father of Jesus?”



My spring edition of Be Not Afraid is now available at my estore


Prayer to St. Joseph.

O most chaste Joseph, who, by thy purity and other exalted virtues, wast worthy to be chosen for the spouse of Mary and the foster-father of Jesus, I beseech thee, by the great graces of which thou wast made partaker, that thou wouldst, by thy intercession, obtain for all parents grace to rear their children piously; for all married persons who are distressed and afflicted through poverty and tribulations consolation and encouragement; for all unmarried persons who have devoted their chastity to God the grace of perseverance; and, finally, for all the dying the grace to come, after a happy death, to thy fosterchild, Jesus Christ, Who, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth one God, world without end. Amen.

Spring Begins Top Events and Things to Do[2]

·         Visit a nursery and purchase seeds or plants.
·         Start your spring cleaning.
·         Plan your flower beds and garden.
·         Put away winter clothes and prepare summer clothes.


International Day of Happiness[3]

The International Day of Happiness seeks to celebrate and promote world happiness as a fundamental human goal. It recognizes the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth, one that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and well-being of all people. At the UN Conference on Happiness in 2012, the United Nations proclaimed the International Day of Happiness. The day was celebrated for the first time on March 20, 2013 in an effort to highlight the importance of global happiness and its impact on world development and peace.

International Day of Happiness Facts & Quotes

·         The theme for International Day of Happiness 2016 was Climate Action for a Happy Planet.
·         In 2016, Red from the Angry Birds was appointed as Honorary Ambassador for International Day of Happiness in order to further promote the year's theme of addressing climate change.
·         There are currently about 1.8 billion young people in the world, more than ever before, creating an unprecedented opportunity for economic and social progress. Many studies have proved the link between happiness and productivity.
·         Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. - Mahatma Ghandi
·         At this time of grave injustices, devastating wars, mass displacement, grinding poverty and other manmade causes of suffering, the International Day of Happiness is a global chance to assert that peace, well-being and joy deserve primacy. — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon



International Day of Happiness Top Events and Things to Do

·         Print out and hang up posters of the Ten Keys to Happier Living. Research has proven that these ten keys have a positive impact on happiness and well-being.
·         Make the effort to cross an item off of your bucket list. We all have dreams and goals and fulfilling them creates happiness and a sense of accomplishment.
·         Give to others. Whether it's donating to a charity of your choice, volunteering or giving a thoughtful gift, studies have found that giving makes us happier.
·         Reduce the stress in your life. According to the American Psychological Association, these are the 5 best ways to manage stress:

1) Take a break from the stressor
2) Exercise
3) Smile and laugh
4) Get social support
5) Meditate

·         Watch a movie about happiness. Our suggestions: Hector and the Search for Happiness (2014), Eat, Pray, Love (2009), The Pursuit of Happiness (2008), Bruce Almighty (2003), Click (2006) and The Bucket List (2007).

True Happiness[4]

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- True happiness can be found by strengthening one's friendship with God through a love for sacred Scripture and the sacraments, Pope Benedict XVI said. Christians today can find many role models in the saintly men and women who lived throughout history. The pope described the life of the 13th-century Benedictine mystic, St. Gertrude the Great. Far from being a historical figure stuck in the past, this "exceptional woman" remains for today's faithful "a school of Christian life, a principled life, and she shows us that at the heart of a happy and real life is friendship with Jesus". St. Gertrude entered the monastery at a very young age and was an extremely talented student. She loved literature and music and was diligently devoted to her studies. However, when she was 24, she grew disgusted with her secular pursuits. She said the sense of turmoil and anxiety she felt was a gift from God, who was giving her a sign that she needed to "tear down that tower of vanity and curiosity." While her ardent love of learning helped bring her to religious life, the saint said it had gone too far and it was driven by pride. From that moment on, St. Gertrude began to intensify her relationship with God. She switched her studies from humanistic subjects to theological works, and in her monastic life, she went from living what she called being "negligent" to a life of intense prayer and missionary zeal. St. Gertrude represents one of the most famous female mystics in church history, and she's called "the Great" because of her "exceptional natural and supernatural gifts." She displayed "a very profound humility, an ardent zeal for the salvation of others, an intimate communion with God through contemplation and a readiness to come to the aid of the needy". "True happiness is the goal in our life," and the only way to find that kind of happiness is in forging a friendship with God. "This friendship you learn through a love for sacred Scripture, a love for the liturgy and (by cultivating) a deep faith and a love for Mary in order to truly get to know God better".

Daily Devotions/Prayers

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood



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