NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
Start March 12 to December 12

Tuesday, March 19, 2024




MARCH 19 Tuesday-Solemnity of St. Joseph

SPRING BEGINS 

John, Chapter 9, Verse 22

His parents said this because they were AFRAID of the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone acknowledged him as the Messiah, he would be expelled from the synagogue. 

Christ had healed a man born blind to these parents on the Sabbath and in this verse the Jews questioned them about it and they were frightened as to the outcome. 

The synagogue and the academy were the two institutions which preserved the essence of the Judaism of the Diaspora and saved it from annihilation. As the place of public worship, the synagogue became the pivot of each community, just as the Sanctuary at Jerusalem had been the center for the entire people. The synagogue, consequently, is the most important feature of the Jewish community, which is inconceivable without it.[1] 

This was the equivalent to a social and spiritual death. To be expelled was alike to being made a leper and having a life of living death. 

It was worse than being defriended on Facebook! 

“When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered and said, “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him and the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him. (John 9: 35-38). 

Do you belong to any human organizations that have blinded you to the truth? Are you afraid of being expelled by others if you truly believed? Walk into the light of Christ and “Be not afraid

Opus Dei[2]

Work, family life, and the ordinary events of each day are opportunities for drawing close to Christ and making Him known to others. As the Second Vatican Council taught, every baptized person is called to follow Christ closely, by living according to the Gospel and making its teachings known to others. The aim of Opus Dei is to contribute to that evangelizing mission of the Church, by fostering among Christians of all social classes a life fully consistent with their faith, in the middle of the ordinary circumstances of their lives and especially through the sanctification of their work. The following are some of the main features of the spirit of Opus Dei:

·         Divine filiation is the foundation of the spirit of Opus Dei,” said its founder, Saint Josemaría Escrivá. A Christian is a child of God by virtue of baptism. Thus, the formation provided by the Prelature seeks to foster among the Christian faithful a deep awareness of their being children of God, and helps them act accordingly. It fosters confidence in divine providence, simplicity in their dialogue with God, a deep awareness of the dignity of each human being and of the need for fraternity among all people, a truly Christian love for the world and for all human realities created by God, and a sense of calm and optimism.

·         Ordinary life. “It is in the midst of the most material things of the earth that we must sanctify ourselves, serving God and all mankind,” said Saint Josemaría. The family, marriage, work – all of our activities – are opportunities for drawing close to and imitating Jesus, trying to practice charity, patience, humility, diligence, integrity, cheerfulness, and all the other human and Christian virtues.

·         Sanctifying work means to work with the spirit of Christ, to work competently and ethically, with the aim of loving God and serving others, and thus to sanctify the world from within, making the Gospel present in all activities whether they be outstanding or humble and hidden. In the eyes of God what matters is the love that is put into work, not its human success.

·         Prayer and sacrifice. The formation given by Opus Dei encourages prayer and sacrifice in order to sustain the effort to sanctify one’s ordinary occupations. Thus, members strive to incorporate into their lives certain practices of Christian piety, such as prayer, daily Mass, sacramental confession, and reading and meditating on the Gospel. Devotion to our Lady occupies an important place in their hearts. Also, in striving to imitate Christ, they try to acquire a spirit of penance by offering up small sacrifices, particularly those that help them fulfill their duties faithfully and make life more pleasant for others, such as renouncing small pleasures, fasting, almsgiving, etc.

·         Unity of life. Saint Josemaría explained that Christians working in the world should not live “a kind of double life. On the one hand, an interior life, a life of union with God; and on the other, a separate and distinct professional, social and family life.” On the contrary: “There is just one life, made of flesh and spirit. And it is this life which has to become, in both soul and body, holy and filled with God.”

·         Freedom. The members of Opus Dei are ordinary citizens who enjoy the same rights and are subject to the same obligations as any other citizen. In their professional, family, political, financial or cultural activities, they act with freedom and personal responsibility, not involving the Church or Opus Dei in their decisions, nor presenting those decisions as the only Catholic solutions. This implies respecting the freedom and the opinions of others.

·         Charity. To meet Christ is to find a treasure that one cannot stop sharing. Christians are witnesses to Jesus and spread his message of hope among their companions, with their example and their words. “Side by side with our colleagues, friends and relatives and sharing their interests, we can help them come closer to Christ,” wrote Saint Josemaría. The wish to make others know Christ, which is a direct consequence of charity (that is, love of God above all things and of one’s neighbor as oneself), cannot be separated from the desire to contribute to finding solutions to the material needs and social problems of one’s surroundings. 

Solemnity of St. Joseph[3]

 

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:[4]

·         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[5]

·         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[6]

·         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)

 

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.

Spring Begins[7]

 


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.

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST

SECTION TWO-THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

CHAPTER TWO-YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF

Article 7-THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT

III. The Social Doctrine of the Church

2419 "Christian revelation . . . promotes deeper understanding of the laws of social living." The Church receives from the Gospel the full revelation of the truth about man. When she fulfills her mission of proclaiming the Gospel, she bears witness to man, in the name of Christ, to his dignity and his vocation to the communion of persons. She teaches him the demands of justice and peace in conformity with divine wisdom.

2420 The Church makes a moral judgment about economic and social matters, "when the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls requires it." In the moral order she bears a mission distinct from that of political authorities: the Church is concerned with the temporal aspects of the common good because they are ordered to the sovereign Good, our ultimate end. She strives to inspire right attitudes with respect to earthly goods and in socio-economic relationships.

2421 The social doctrine of the Church developed in the nineteenth century when the Gospel encountered modern industrial society with its new structures for the production of consumer goods, its new concept of society, the state and authority, and its new forms of labor and ownership. The development of the doctrine of the Church on economic and social matters attests the permanent value of the Church's teaching at the same time as it attests the true meaning of her Tradition, always living and active.

2422 The Church's social teaching comprises a body of doctrine, which is articulated as the Church interprets events in the course of history, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, in the light of the whole of what has been revealed by Jesus Christ. This teaching can be more easily accepted by men of good will, the more the faithful let themselves be guided by it.

2423 The Church's social teaching proposes principles for reflection; it provides criteria for judgment; it gives guidelines for action:

Any system in which social relationships are determined entirely by economic factors is contrary to the nature of the human person and his acts.

2424 A theory that makes profit the exclusive norm and ultimate end of economic activity is morally unacceptable. The disordered desire for money cannot but produce perverse effects. It is one of the causes of the many conflicts which disturb the social order.
A system that "subordinates the basic rights of individuals and of groups to the collective organization of production" is contrary to human dignity. Every practice that reduces persons to nothing more than a means of profit enslaves man, leads to idolizing money, and contributes to the spread of atheism. "You cannot serve God and mammon."

2425 The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modem times with "communism" or "socialism." She has likewise refused to accept, in the practice of "capitalism," individualism and the absolute primacy of the law of the marketplace over human labor. Regulating the economy solely by centralized planning perverts the basis of social bonds; regulating it solely by the law of the marketplace fails social justice, for "there are many human needs which cannot be satisfied by the market." Reasonable regulation of the marketplace and economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of values and a view to the common good, is to be commended.

Candace’s Corner

 

Coffee with Christ

Daily Devotions

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Conversion of Sinners

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face-Tuesday Devotion

·         Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel

·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan







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