Monday, March 20, 2023

 Feast of St. Joseph

Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Solemnity OF ST. JOSEPH-spring begins happiness day 

Matthew, Chapter 1, verse 19-20:

19 Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. 20 Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be AFRAID to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. 

Even righteous people become afraid at times but Mark Shea a catholic writer points out that Joseph being a devote Jew may have had Holy fear as the basis of his being afraid. 

” Modernity assumes it was because he thought her guilty of adultery, but the typical view in antiquity understood the text to mean he was afraid of her sanctity — as a pious Jew would be afraid to touch the Ark of the Covenant. After all, think of what Mary told him about the angel's words: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the Child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God."[1] 

We should follow the example of Joseph and be not afraid to take Mary into our home! 

I know one small way I have taken Mary in my home is to silently say a Hail Mary when I wash my hands to eat-thinking Mary help me not to wash your son’s blood from my hands as Pilot did.  Help me to have no innocent blood on my hands. Let me not wash off responsibility for others. 

Saint Joseph[2]

 

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.

 

The Introit of the Mass is as follows: " The just shall flourish like the palm-tree; he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus, planted in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God. It is good to give praise to the Lord, and to sing to Thy name, O Most High." Amen.

 

Prayer. We beseech Thee, O Lord, that we may be assisted by the merits of the spouse of Thy most holy Mother, that what of our selves we are unable to obtain may be given to us by his intercession. Amen.

 

EPISTLE. Ecclus. xlv. 1-6.

 

He was beloved of God and men: whose memory is in benediction. He made him like the saints in glory, and magnified him in the fear of his enemies, and with his words he made prodigies to cease. He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him commandments in the sight of his people, and showed him His glory. He sanctified him in his faith and meekness, and chose him out of all flesh. For He heard him, and his voice, and brought him into a cloud. And He gave him commandments before his face, and a law of life and instruction.

 

GOSPEL. Matt. i. 18-21.

 

When Mary, the Mother of Jesus, was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost. Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her was minded to put her away privately. But while he thought on these things, be hold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost; and she shall bring forth a Son: and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.

 

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 everyone,” 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?”

 

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.

 

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

Things to Do:[3]

·        A table overflowing with good Italian food honoring St. Joseph is a traditional Sicilian custom. The feast of San Giuseppe began in the Middle Ages when Sicily was suffering from a severe drought and the desperate people begged St. Joseph for rain. When they received rainy weather in response, they held a huge "feste" in Saint Joseph's honor. Even today, Sicilians go to Mass before their St. Joseph's day dinner and then process to their festive tables, decked out in flowers, breads, and all sorts of Italian foods. The priest blesses the food, and everyone shouts, "Viva la tavola di San Giuse!" (which your children will readily do with great gusto). After the meal is done, everyone present is given something to take home, in the generous spirit of this day. Try some of our delicious recipes linked here. We especially recommend the traditional Minestrone. Italian sausage is always a favorite, as well. And you should have bread of all kinds — this recipe for Italian Decorative Breads can provide the traditional shape of your choice (St. Joseph's staff, his beard, etc). Also a traditional must with children is St. Joseph's Sfinge, (Cream Puffs). Plan a St. Joseph's potluck for this day with other Catholic families — invite a parish priest and ask his blessing over the food before you begin the meal. If you do not have the time or resources to do this, plan a smaller affair with your own family, complete with prayers to St. Joseph, a little procession with candles for the older children and your favorite hymns, and then the father of the family ought to say a special blessing over the food before you begin.

·        Check out this wonderful site that explains the St. Joseph Altar more in detail, includes recipes, history, and allows virtual offerings.

·        For further reading:

1.     Saint Joseph Altars by Kerri McCaffety (Photographer).

2.     A Table for Saint Joseph: Celebrating March 19th with Devotions, Authentic Italian Recipes, and Timeless Traditions by Mary Anne Scanlan Grasso.

3.     The Saint Joseph's Day Table Cookbook by Mary Ann Giordano.

4.     Read the section of Directory on Popular Piety and Liturgy on St. Joseph.

5.     Read Pope Leo XIII's encyclical on Devotion to St. Joseph.

6.     Interested in history? Read this article on the history of devotions to St. Joseph, Finding St. Joseph, by Sandra Miesel.

·        Pray this prayer and litany in honor of St. Joseph with your family rosary tonight.

·        Here is a link to several meditations on St. Joseph — choose the one that is perfect for you and your family!

·        Here are some ideas for teaching children about St. Joseph.

·        Young girls ought to pray to St. Joseph for their future spouse.

St Joseph Facts & Quotes[4]

·       Joseph is noted in the Bible for being a direct descendant of King David in the Old Testament, which gives him a royal lineage (Matthew 1:1-16, Luke 3:23-38).  

·       St. Joseph actually has two feast days in the Roman Catholic Church.  The March 19 date celebrates him as husband of Mary.  He is revered again on May 1 as a worker.  In the Orthodox tradition, Joseph is revered during the Great Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord in September.

·       St Joseph is the patron saint of the dying and of carpenters.

St Joseph Top Events and Things to Do[5]

·       Practice carpentry skills to build something.  Jesus is known as the son of a carpenter, or builder.  Saint Joseph is the patron saint of carpenters.

·       Investigate your lineage.  Genealogy can sometimes yield interesting information about where we came from.  Maybe you come from royal lineage, too!

·       Joseph raised a child that was not his own.  Thank a man who has served as a father for someone else's children.

·       Enjoy Italian food in St. Joseph's honor.  He is one of the most beloved saints in Italian-American communities.  

·       Visit an Italian Bakery and pick up some delicious St Joseph's bread (Pane di San Giuseppe).  St. Joseph's Bread is typically made with egg and has a thicker crust.  It is often marked or shaped in a cross.

·       30 Days with St. Joseph (Start on Feast of St. Joseph)

 

Spring Begins[6]

 

Spring traditionally marks the end of winter and the beginning of a season that signifies longer days and warmer temperatures.  The first day of Spring is also known as the Vernal Equinox.  This marks the day that the Sun's path is directly over the equator.  This day also contains equal amount of daytime and nighttime.  This day typically occurs each year on March 20, and on March 21 on some years.

 

The First Day of Spring is also called the Vernal Equinox.

 

·       The Vernal Equinox is the day of the year where there are exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of dark in the Northern Hemisphere.

·       On the vernal equinox, the Sun crosses the equator into the Northern Hemisphere.  This has the effect of making the days longer in the Northern Hemisphere until the Summer Solstice occurs.

·       The Egyptian Great Sphinx points directly at the Sun on this day.

 

Vernal Equinox-Spring Begins Top Events and Things to Do

 

·       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. 

Joseph the Warrior

https://stjosephnovena.com/day-22/

All of us have heard the phrase, “Nice guys finish last.” There is this idea in the world today that “Meekness equals weakness,” and humility so often implied that you will get walked on. Unfortunately, in many cases the meek and the humble do very well go unnoticed in their accomplishments and may not get the same attention, job opportunities or as many “likes” on their latest social media sites. Instead of encouraging men to be meek and humble, the world teaches men to go out into the world and dominate. We are encouraged to out-perform others so as to prove ourselves through our bank accounts, our possessions and our record of achievements. As someone once said, “Money is just a way of keeping score.” Many men are totally dedicated to winning the game, as if life were a game to begin with.

Nevertheless, Christian men are called to be meek and humble. “Far from being weak, however, the meek possess an inner strength to restrain anger and discouragement in the midst of adversity” (Ignatius Catholic Study Bible). We can practice these ideals in the simple ways in which we respond to the challenges of everyday life. Whether our wives snap at us at the end of a long and frustrating day, or a guy rudely cuts us off on the freeway, our responses define us. It is inevitable that life will provide us with major adversities in which to practice these difficult virtues! How you respond to God’s grace can truly make or break these experiences. We are called to be charitable, to love others and even pray for our enemies. It takes heroic strength and defining virtue!

Courage is also needed in order to withstand the storms of life that come our way. I can’t help but call to mind one of my favorite speeches from the classic movie, The Count of Monte Cristo:

Life is a storm my young friend, you will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into the storm as you shout as you did in Rome. Do your worst for I will do mine. Then the Fates will know you as we know you as Albert Mondego, the man.

There is something compelling in a man that seems to be calling us to fight and compete; but where is our ultimate battle? With whom are we fighting?

Joseph is our ultimate example of what it means to live authentic masculine Christianity. He was quite possibly the meekest and most humble of all. Yet at the same time, he was without question a warrior and a fighter. He participated in the greatest battle of all time. However, it was precisely his humility and meekness that allowed him to trample over the Evil One rather than faltering before him.

St. John Paul II proclaimed, “The family is placed at the heart of the great struggle between good and evil, between life and death, between love and all that is opposed to love” (Letter to Families, #23). Pope John Paul II insists that at the core and heart of Satan’s attack is the family. We see this vividly played out in the book of Revelation. “And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth; she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne” (Rev 12:4-5).

The Church understands this passage to have multiple meanings, but it is particularly clear that evil is attacking Our Lady and the Christ-child. This verse strikingly illustrates the attack of Satan at the very heart of the family. This is both a spiritual and a practical truth.

God chose Joseph for this battle because Joseph was a warrior for God. When Joseph said “Yes” to take Mary as his bride and Jesus as his Son, he was avowing “Yes” to engage in the most epic battle in human history. He was prepared to fight to the end to keep his family safe. From the beginning of Christ’s life, the powers of darkness wanted Joseph’s child dead and were willing to go to extreme lengths to accomplish their ambition. It’s incredibly ironic that Herod needed to take the life of an infant, the weakest and most helpless of mankind, in order for him to remain in a position of absolute power and strength. Herod represents an icon of what men who desire power over humility are willing to do and what men of humility are up against.

On the other hand, Joseph was willing to do whatever the Lord asked of him no matter what the personal cost. What strength! Most men lack the strength because most men lack the meekness.

 

International Day of Happiness[7]

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

 

·       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).

 

Don’t Worry Be Happy[8] 

Action for Happiness has developed the 10 Keys to Happier Living based on a review of the latest scientific research relating to happiness. Everyone’s path to happiness is different, but the research suggests these Ten Keys consistently tend to have a positive impact on people’s overall happiness and well-being. The first five (GREAT) relate to how we interact with the outside world in our daily activities*. The second five (DREAM) come more from inside us and depend on our attitude to life.

Giving-Do things for others

Relating-Connect with people

Exercising-Take care of your body

Awareness-Live life mindfully

Trying out-Keep learning new things

Direction-Have goals to look forward to

Resilience-Find ways to bounce back

Emotions-Focus on what’s good

Acceptance-Be comfortable with who you are

Meaning-Be part of something bigger

True Happiness[9]

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".

Litany of Humility[10]

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,

Refrain: Deliver me, Jesus

From the desire of being loved...
From the desire of being extolled ...
From the desire of being honored ...
From the desire of being praised ...
From the desire of being preferred to others...
From the desire of being consulted ...
From the desire of being approved ...
From the fear of being humiliated ...
From the fear of being despised...
From the fear of suffering rebukes ...
From the fear of being calumniated ...
From the fear of being forgotten ...
From the fear of being ridiculed ...
From the fear of being wronged ...
From the fear of being suspected ...

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I ...
That, in the opinion of the world, others may, increase and I may decrease ...
That others may be chosen and I set aside ...
That others may be praised and I unnoticed ...
That others may be preferred to me in everything...
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…

National Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C. 

The nation’s capital comes abloom every spring with the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival. See the famed cherry blossom trees, lining the Tidal Basin, while strolling by iconic sites like the Jefferson and Martin Luther King memorials.

Aids in Battle[11] Declarations of Victory from the Word of God

When you become weakened and the outcome of the war seems uncertain, recall in faith that God’s ultimate triumph is secure.

·       You are of God, dear children, and have overcome him, because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 1 Jn 4: 4

·       The LORD goes forth like a mighty man, like a man of war He stirs up His fury; He cries out, He shouts aloud; He shows Himself mighty against His foes. Is 42: 13

·       The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple. For He will hide me in His shelter in the day of trouble; He will conceal me under the cover of His tent, He will set me upon a high rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies round about me; and I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the LORD. .  .  . I believe that I shall see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the LORD! Ps 27: 1– 6, 13– 14

·       For, behold, your enemies, O LORD, for, behold, your enemies shall perish; all evildoers shall be scattered. Ps 92: 9

Plan ahead for next year: 

Skiing- Also known as downhill skiing, Alpine skiing began as a club sport in 1861 at Kiandra in Australia. Today, most alpine skiing occurs at ski resorts with ski lifts that transport skiers up the mountain.

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART FOUR: CHRISTIAN PRAYER

SECTION ONE-PRAYER IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

CHAPTER ONE-THE REVELATION OF PRAYER - THE UNIVERSAL CALL TO PRAYER

Article 1-IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

2568 In the Old Testament, the revelation of prayer comes between the fall and the restoration of man, that is, between God's sorrowful call to his first children: "Where are you? . . . What is this that you have done?" and the response of God's only Son on coming into the world: "Lo, I have come to do your will, O God." Prayer is bound up with human history, for it is the relationship with God in historical events.

Creation - source of prayer

2569 Prayer is lived in the first place beginning with the realities of creation. the first nine chapters of Genesis describe this relationship with God as an offering of the first-born of Abel's flock, as the invocation of the divine name at the time of Enosh, and as "walking with God. Noah's offering is pleasing to God, who blesses him and through him all creation, because his heart was upright and undivided; Noah, like Enoch before him, "walks with God." This kind of prayer is lived by many righteous people in all religions.


In his indefectible covenant with every living creature, God has always called people to prayer. But it is above all beginning with our father Abraham that prayer is revealed in the Old Testament.

God's promise and the prayer of Faith

2570 When God calls him, Abraham goes forth "as the Lord had told him"; Abraham's heart is entirely submissive to the Word and so he obeys. Such attentiveness of the heart, whose decisions are made according to God's will, is essential to prayer, while the words used count only in relation to it. Abraham's prayer is expressed first by deeds: a man of silence, he constructs an altar to the Lord at each stage of his journey. Only later does Abraham's first prayer in words appear: a veiled complaint reminding God of his promises which seem unfulfilled. Thus one aspect of the drama of prayer appears from the beginning: the test of faith in the fidelity of God.

2571 Because Abraham believed in God and walked in his presence and in covenant with him, The patriarch is ready to welcome a mysterious Guest into his tent. Abraham's remarkable hospitality at Mamre foreshadows the annunciation of the true Son of the promise. After that, once God had confided his plan, Abraham's heart is attuned to his Lord's compassion for men and he dares to intercede for them with bold confidence.

2572 As a final stage in the purification of his faith, Abraham, "who had received the promises," is asked to sacrifice the son God had given him. Abraham's faith does not weaken (“God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering."), for he "considered that God was able to raise men even from the dead." and so the father of believers is conformed to the likeness of the Father who will not spare his own Son but wiLl deliver him up for us all. Prayer restores man to God's likeness and enables him to share in the power of God's love that saves the multitude.

2573 God renews his promise to Jacob, the ancestor of the twelve tribes of Israel. Before confronting his elder brother Esau, Jacob wrestles all night with a mysterious figure who refuses to reveal his name, but he blesses him before leaving him at dawn. From this account, the spiritual tradition of the Church has retained the symbol of prayer as a battle of faith and as the triumph of perseverance.

Moses and the prayer of the mediator

2574 Once the promise begins to be fulfilled (Passover, the Exodus, the gift of the Law, and the ratification of the covenant), the prayer of Moses becomes the most striking example of intercessory prayer, which will be fulfilled in "the one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."

2575 Here again the initiative is God's. From the midst of the burning bush he calls Moses. This event will remain one of the primordial images of prayer in the spiritual tradition of Jews and Christians alike. When "the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob" calls Moses to be his servant, it is because he is the living God who wants men to live. God reveals himself in order to save them, though he does not do this alone or despite them: he caLls Moses to be his messenger, an associate in his compassion, his work of salvation. There is something of a divine plea in this mission, and only after long debate does Moses attune his own will to that of the Savior God. But in the dialogue in which God confides in him, Moses also learns how to pray: he balks, makes excuses, above all questions: and it is in response to his question that the Lord confides his ineffable name, which will be revealed through his mighty deeds.

2576 "Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend." Moses' prayer is characteristic of contemplative prayer by which God's servant remains faithful to his mission. Moses converses with God often and at length, climbing the mountain to hear and entreat him and coming down to the people to repeat the words of his God for their guidance. Moses "is entrusted with all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly, not in riddles," for "Moses was very humble, more so than anyone else on the face of the earth."

2577 From this intimacy with the faithful God, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, Moses drew strength and determination for his intercession. He does not pray for himself but for the people whom God made his own. Moses already intercedes for them during the battle with the Amalekites and prays to obtain healing for Miriam. But it is chiefly after their apostasy that Moses "stands in the breach" before God in order to save the people. The arguments of his prayer - for intercession is also a mysterious battle - will inspire the boldness of the great intercessors among the Jewish people and in the Church: God is love; he is therefore righteous and faithful; he cannot contradict himself; he must remember his marvellous deeds, since his glory is at stake, and he cannot forsake this people that bears his name.

David and the prayer of the king

2578 The prayer of the People of God flourishes in the shadow of God's dwelling place, first the ark of the covenant and later the Temple. At first the leaders of the people - the shepherds and the prophets - teach them to pray. the infant Samuel must have learned from his mother Hannah how "to stand before the LORD" and from the priest Eli how to listen to his word: "Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening." Later, he will also know the cost and consequence of intercession: "Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you; and I will instruct you in the good and the right way."

2579 David is par excellence the king "after God's own heart," the shepherd who prays for his people and prays in their name. His submission to the will of God, his praise, and his repentance, will be a model for the prayer of the people. His prayer, the prayer of God's Anointed, is a faithful adherence to the divine promise and expresses a loving and joyful trust in God, the only King and Lord. In the Psalms David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the first prophet of Jewish and Christian prayer. the prayer of Christ, the true Messiah and Son of David, will reveal and fulfill the meaning of this prayer.

2580 The Temple of Jerusalem, the house of prayer that David wanted to build, will be the work of his son, Solomon. the prayer at the dedication of the Temple relies on God's promise and covenant, on the active presence of his name among his People, recalling his mighty deeds at the Exodus. The king lifts his hands toward heaven and begs the Lord, on his own behalf, on behalf of the entire people, and of the generations yet to come, for the forgiveness of their sins and for their daily needs, so that the nations may know that He is the only God and that the heart of his people may belong wholly and entirely to him.

Elijah, the prophets and conversion of heart

2581 For the People of God, the Temple was to be the place of their education in prayer: pilgrimages, feasts and sacrifices, the evening offering, the incense, and the bread of the Presence (“shewbread") - all these signs of the holiness and glory of God Most High and Most Near were appeals to and ways of prayer. But ritualism often encouraged an excessively external worship. the people needed education in faith and conversion of heart; this was the mission of the prophets, both before and after the Exile.

2582 Elijah is the "father" of the prophets, "the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob." Elijah's name, "The Lord is my God," foretells the people's cry in response to his prayer on Mount Carmel. St. James refers to Elijah in order to encourage us to pray: "The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective."

2583 After Elijah had learned mercy during his retreat at the Wadi Cherith, he teaches the widow of Zarephath to believe in the Word of God and confirms her faith by his urgent prayer: God brings the widow's child back to life. The sacrifice on Mount Carmel is a decisive test for the faith of the People of God. In response to Elijah's plea, "Answer me, O LORD, answer me," the Lord's fire consumes the holocaust, at the time of the evening oblation. the Eastern liturgies repeat Elijah's plea in the Eucharistic epiclesis.


Finally, taking the desert road that leads to the place where the living and true God reveals himself to his people, Elijah, like Moses before him, hides "in a cleft of he rock" until the mysterious presence of God has passed by. But only on the mountain of the Transfiguration will Moses and Elijah behold the unveiled face of him whom they sought; "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God [shines] in the face of Christ," crucified and risen.

2584 In their "one to one" encounters with God, the prophets draw light and strength for their mission. Their prayer is not flight from this unfaithful world, but rather attentiveness to the Word of God. At times their prayer is an argument or a complaint, but it is always an intercession that awaits and prepares for the intervention of the Savior God, the Lord of history.

The Psalms, the prayer of the assembly

2585 From the time of David to the coming of the Messiah texts appearing in these sacred books show a deepening in prayer for oneself and in prayer for others. Thus the psalms were gradually collected into the five books of the Psalter (or "Praises"), the masterwork of prayer in the Old Testament.

2586 The Psalms both nourished and expressed the prayer of the People of God gathered during the great feasts at Jerusalem and each Sabbath in the synagogues. Their prayer is inseparably personal and communal; it concerns both those who are praying and all men. the Psalms arose from the communities of the Holy Land and the Diaspora, but embrace all creation. Their prayer recalls the saving events of the past, yet extends into the future, even to the end of history; it commemorates the promises God has already kept, and awaits the Messiah who will fulfill them definitively. Prayed by Christ and fulfilled in him, the Psalms remain essential to the prayer of the Church.

2587 The Psalter is the book in which the Word of God becomes man's prayer. In other books of the Old Testament, "the words proclaim [God's] works and bring to light the mystery they contain." The words of the Psalmist, sung for God, both express and acclaim the Lord's saving works; the same Spirit inspires both God's work and man's response. Christ will unite the two. In him, the psalms continue to teach us how to pray.

2588 The Psalter's many forms of prayer take shape both in the liturgy of the Temple and in the human heart. Whether hymns or prayers of lamentation or thanksgiving, whether individual or communal, whether royal chants, songs of pilgrimage or wisdom meditations, the Psalms are a mirror of God's marvelous deeds in the history of his people, as well as reflections of the human experiences of the Psalmist. Though a given psalm may reflect an event of the past, it still possesses such direct simplicity that it can be prayed in truth by men of all times and conditions.

2589 Certain constant characteristics appear throughout the Psalms: simplicity and spontaneity of prayer; the desire for God himself through and with all that is good in his creation; the distraught situation of the believer who, in his preferential love for the Lord, is exposed to a host of enemies and temptations, but who waits upon what the faithful God will do, in the certitude of his love and in submission to his will. the prayer of the psalms is always sustained by praise; that is why the title of this collection as handed down to us is so fitting: "The Praises." Collected for the assembly's worship, the Psalter both sounds the call to prayer and sings the response to that call: Hallelu-Yah! (“Alleluia"), "Praise the Lord!"

What is more pleasing than a psalm? David expresses it well: "Praise the Lord, for a psalm is good: let there be praise of our God with gladness and grace!" Yes, a psalm is a blessing on the lips of the people, praise of God, the assembly's homage, a general acclamation, a word that speaks for all, the voice of the Church, a confession of faith in song.

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Reparations for offenses and blasphemies against God and the Blessed Virgin Mary

·       Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face

·       30 Days with St. Joseph Day 1

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan



[2] Goffine’s Divine Instructions, 1896

[3]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2018-03-19

[8]http://www.actionforhappiness.org/media/80220/10_keys_summary.pdf

[10]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=914

[11]Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.


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