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  • Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary: The Call of Light

    “we contemplate important aspects of the person of Christ as the definitive revelation of God” -Pope St. John Paul II Each Thursday, millions of Catholics around the world pull out their Rosaries to pray the Luminous Mysteries. Although these mysteries predate me in existence (and the events they recall probably predate even my great-great grandparents), historically speaking, they are a fairly new and beautiful addition to the original set (the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious). Pope St. John Paul II instituted them in 2002, just at the turn of the century, in his apostolic letter “Rosarium Virginis Mariae”. And just like the others, they have served as a well-spring of spiritual truth, life, and love, and an inexhaustible, ever-green field for contemplation. They shed light on the public ministry of Christ, parts people feel they may be very knowledgeable about, and place them in a new, well-deserved, and even more contemplative focus. Each of these mysteries bears a particular spiritual fruit, which I will get to in a minute. But apart from the light that these mysteries bring into our hearts through contemplation on them, there is another thread that intimately ties them together. And that is the radical call to obedience. Let’s see how this plays out in each mystery. The First Luminous Mystery: The Baptism in the Jordan Spiritual Fruit: Openness to the Holy Spirit Jesus Christ, in profound humility, was baptized by John in the Jordan River. As He was the spotless Lamb of God, this of course was not necessary. In fact, John says that he himself should be the one getting baptized by Christ! However, Jesus undergoes this Baptism, not so much for Himself, as for us. He is the type of the New Man we hope to become. And in being baptized, He set a pattern for us to, “go and do likewise”. To be baptized as He was, and so become the sons of God. And so that we might receive the Spirit (in which, as St. Paul writes, we cry “Abba! Father!”), He tells His Apostles to go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, all three Persons fully present at Jesus’ own baptism. In an age where Baptism is no longer seen by many Christians as essential, the light of this mystery shines on the importance of obedience to Christ’s command to be baptized, so that we may enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The Second Luminous Mystery: The Wedding Feast at Cana Spiritual Fruit: To Jesus through Mary Jesus performs his first miracle at the Wedding Feast at Cana. Here, he turns water into wine, gladdening the hearts of all at the feast. But He does so at the prompting of His Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, who notices that the newlyweds have run out of wine, and presents the situation to her Son. He, in turn, tells her His hour has not yet come. What follows is truly worthy of note. In an impeccable pronunciation of faith, she tells the servants, “Do whatever He tells you”. A profound call of faith to faith. Oh that these words would be etched into our hearts! For we run to Mary, and she brings us and our intentions to the throne of grace, and tells us the same thing. “Do whatever He tells you.” And these are her last words in all of Scripture. In one sentence, the Virgin’s life is encapsulated. A life of trust and obedience. The Third Luminous Mystery: The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God Spiritual Fruit: Repentance and Trust in God. Jesus Christ commences His ministry, preaching repentance and belief in the Gospel. This mystery was incredibly central to Christ's mission, as well as ours today. Christ’s call for the sinners to repent are actually His first recorded words in the Gospel of Mark (Mark 1:15). But He calls on sinners not to just turn from their evil ways, but to turn to God, a God who can be loved and trusted. In this mystery, Christ teaches us that belief in the Gospel, the good news of salvation, is an integral and essential step in the spiritual order. This seed of trust in God’s power to save us from the yoke of sin and death, in turn bears the fruit of wholehearted obedience, which is more pleasing to Him than numerous burnt offerings and sacrifices (1 Samuel 15). The Fourth Luminous Mystery: The Transfiguration Spiritual Fruit: Desire for Holiness Jesus ascends Mount Tabor with His disciples, Peter, James, and John, and is transfigured before them. The preface of the Transfiguration in the Roman Missal beautifully illustrates the significance of this mystery, “...For after He had told the disciples of His coming Death, on the holy mountain He manifested to them His glory, to show, even by the testimony of the law and the prophets, that the Passion leads to the glory of the Resurrection…” Prominent figures of the Old Covenant (Moses and Elijah) and the New Covenant (Peter, James, and John) are present in this mystery, foreshadowing a fulfillment of the former and an establishment of the latter in and through the person of Christ. But probably most prominent is the Father’s voice heard distinctly from the cloud above, telling the Apostles (and all reading this story) to listen to His beloved Son. In this command, we hear the echoes of the Virgin from John 2:5. In both scenarios, Christ is revealed in His divinity, and we are called to listen to Him and obey Him. And even when this obedience brings us to the most difficult of places, we can be encouraged by the glory of that reward that “eye has not seen and ear has not heard”(1 Corinthians 2:9). For indeed the trial of the Passion is always followed by the joy of the Resurrection. The Fifth Luminous Mystery: The Institution of the Eucharist Spiritual Fruit: Adoration Jesus shares the Last Supper with His disciples, giving them His body and blood. In the Institution of the Eucharist, that symbolized in the Transfiguration is made real at this meal. Christ offers Himself to the Father and to the disciples as the New Passover Lamb, which will fulfill all the sacrifices of old, and usher in the New Covenant. His Apostles seated at table with Him, will become the priests of this new covenant, having received from Christ the command to “do this in remembrance of Him” (Luke 22:19-20). While our minds are brought to the mystery of this supper, we are also taken back to John 6, where Christ commands His disciples to eat His flesh and drink His blood, promising eternal life unto them that do (John 6:58). It was certainly a very radical call, and many of His disciples ceased to follow Him thereafter. Save, of course, the Twelve Apostles. And their response to this is one that very well sums up the life of faith, a life that trusts in God and in His Word. Peter replies, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” And so in the narrative of the Institution, we come to heed Christ’s call to the Paschal banquet of His flesh and blood. The question remains for us, will we trust and obey, just as the Apostles did? Or will we, like the other disciples, also go away? And so these are the events of Christ’s life put forth in the Luminous mysteries. We see in them the inevitable and unmistakable call to obedience. And that is because Christ Himself stands at the center of each mystery as our own model for the faith. For He Himself was “obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). Are we?

  • The Chaplet of the Most Holy Hearts

    A prayer devotion to the Three Holy Heats of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph My dear reader, I present to you the corporal method of devotion to the Three Most Holy Hearts. In humility, I wish to explain and instruct on how to say this chaplet. In doing so, I will also provide meditations and short readings to arouse devotion in the soul, if Our Good Father in heaven were to allow it. What is the Chaplet? This Chaplet is modeled after the Beads of the Sacred Heart, for no greater foundation for devotion is there than Jesus. It is composed of five groups of beads, arranged in order of six in each group. We begin with a crucifix, leading to a Pater bead, three Ave beads preceding to a Pater bead, leading to the centerpiece and going around into the five groups of six beads. These beads add up to a total sum of thirty three, the number of years Our Lord lived on earth. As with the Most Holy Rosary, the chaplet is given five mysteries, to mediate upon while pronouncing the prayers. This chaplet is different than most, as each group present a different prayer to be said, but this is no cause for alarm, or concern that it is overbearing. They are indulgenced prayers approved by Holy Mother Church, from the Raccolta, with the exception of two prayers, but still approved by a priest who has reviewed it. They are short, and easily memorized. The Chaplet We shall now begin with the Inroit, and the preceding prayers: I: Begin with the Sign of the Cross+ and on the Crucifix pray: “Almighty and Blessed Trinity, I offer unto thee this day my life, and all my works, toils and sorrows, joys and every beat of my heart for thy glory, in reparation for all offenses committed against thy sovereign majesty, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Pure Heart of her most chaste spouse, St. Joseph, in union with the Eucharistic and Most Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ, as well as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered throughout the world and in communion with all thy Angels and Saints, for thy glory and thy praise. Amen.” II: Pray the ‘Golden Arrow’; “May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most mysterious and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in heaven, on earth and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the most Holy Sacrament of the altar.” III: On the three beads after, pray; “Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have Mercy on Us!” “Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!” “Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph, Pray for Us!” IV: Glory Be V: Announce The Mystery VI: Golden Arrow, before or after the brief meditation The Mysteries Mystery I: On the Love of the Most Holy Hearts for Souls and the Dying Meditation: “The loving Heart of Jesus loves us with a boundless love. The divine and uncreated love which possess that adorable Heart, is nothing else but God Himself. Now since God is unlimited, His love is also unlimited. Since God is everywhere, His love is everywhere, in all places and all things. Therefore the Sacred Heart of Jesus loves us not only in heaven, but He also loves us on earth. He loves us in the sun, in the stars and in all created things. He loves us in the hearts of all the denizens of heaven and in the hearts of all of all persons that have some measure of charity for us on earth.” (St. John Eudes, The Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pg 120.) “The fourth good office which Our Lady renders to her children and faithful servants is to protect and defend them. Rebecca, by her cares and artifices, delivered Jacob from all the dangers in which he found himself, and particularly from the death which his brother Esau would have inflicted upon him, because of the envy and hatred which he bore him; as cain did of old to his brother Abel. Mary, the good Mother of the predestinate, hides them under the wings of her protection, as a hen hides her chickens. She speaks, she humbles herself, she condescends to all their weaknesses, to secure them from the hawk and the vulture. She puts herself round about them, and she accompanies them, like an army on battle array, ut castrorum acies ordinata.” (True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, St.Louis De Montfort, Pg 151-152) “Where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.” (Lk 12:34). Saint Joseph has three treasures: Jesus, Mary and you. Nothing consumes the heart of St. Joseph other than these three treasures.” (Calloway, ‘Consecration to St.Joseph’, Pg 55) “Blessed Joseph! It is not without important reasons that you have been preferred to so many other saints, and honored as the special patron of dying persons, of those who are desirous of securing for themselves the greatest of all graces, that of a happy death.” (A Manual of Practical Devotion to St.Joseph Pg 104, Fr.Patrignani, S.J.) Considerations: How often do you tell Him; “I love you, Jesus.” Is it something that passes your lips every day? Do you consider how much He really loves those who have recourse to His Heart? Do you trust in Mary’s intercession and love for you? Do you believe that she wants you to be with Jesus more than you even do? Tell her; “My mother, if you wish, could you press a kiss to His fine head on my behalf?” Is St.Joseph frequently invoked during your day? How much do you think of this good father’s love for you as his own child? The Prayer for this Mystery: “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you! Save Souls!” End with a Glory Be Mystery II: On the Love of the Most Holy Hearts for Poor Sinners Golden Arrow Prayer: “The people stood looking on. They that passed by, shaking their heads, blasphemed me. But they that stood around mocked Me: in like manner also, the chiefs of the priests, with the scribes and elders, insulted Me by derisive gestures. The soldiers, too, jeered at Me, and, adding insults, they offered Me vinegar. All, in fine, sated me with reproaches. And amidst all this, what was I doing, Child? What My Heart? Father! I exclaimed, unfolding My Heart, Father! Forgive them; they know not what they do: they know not how enormous is the crime which they are committing.” (Imitation of the Sacred Heart, Pg 348, Rev. Peter J. Arnoudt S.J.) “Would you know in the further manner of divine mercy lives and reigns in the heart of the Mother of Mercy? Listen to Saint Bonaventure, “Great was Mary’s mercy towards the wretched while she was living in exile here below; but immeasurably greater still now that she happily reigning in Heaven. She manifests this greater mercy through innumerable benefits, now that she possesses a clear insight into the numberless woes of mankind. She does not require past merits, but grants the petitions of all men, out of charity, and opens the bosom of her clemency to everyone. She relieves every need and necessity with an incomparable affection and tenderness of heart.” (Admirable Heart of Mary, St.John Eudes, Pg 127-128) “St. Joseph may be compared to the good father in the Gospel, who loves those among his children who obey, and are an honor to him, but whose tender and compassionate heart also yearns for the return of that ungrateful child who had abandoned and dishonored the best of parents. The meaning of this is, that if he grants favors to the just to enable them to advance in perfection, neither does he withhold his paternal care and solicitude from poor sinners.” (A Manual of Practical Devotion to St.Joseph Pg 120, Fr.Patrignani, S.J) Considerations: How often have you fallen into grave sin, and came back to Him in the Tribunal of Mercy? Do you think of all the times you’ve grieved His Heart? What about the love He says to you with the words; “Ego te absolvo?”, “I absolve you of your sins!” I forgive you, wipe away the stains upon your baptismal robe and declare you mine once more! Behold my heart! It burns for you! I am in love with you, I suffered for you, I am waiting for you! What of Our Lady? Do you ignore the sparks from her Motherly Heart that fall upon your cold, dead one? What of the tears she cries for you, pleading her Divine Son to stay His judgement? My Son, though this soul has offended thee, please, for me, stay thy arm and have mercy! For I love this soul, as my own child, and do not wish to see it fall into perdition! Does not St.Joseph not worry in anxious hope for you? He does! Like a good father waiting on a rebellious child, he prays and hopes for your return, never resting until you do. My Son, you were once lost for three days, and your mother and I searched anxiously for you, spending many restless hours and tears waiting to see your face once more, I ask, My Son, can you wait a little longer for this soul? Prayer for this Mystery: “My Jesus, Mercy!+Mother of Mercy, pray for us!+St. Joseph, pray for us!” End with a Glory Be Mystery III: On the Crucible of Love and Mercy of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Especially in the Blessed Sacrament Golden Arrow Prayer: “Believe in My love and My mercy. You have sinned against me; I forgive you. You have persecuted me; I love you. You have wounded me both by word and deed; still I wish to do you good and let you share all my treasures. Do not imagine I am ignorant of your state of soul. I know that you have despised my grace, perhaps even profaned My Sacraments. Yet you have from Me a full pardon.” (Way of Divine Love, Sister Josefa Menendez, Pg 402) “Love gives itself as food to its own and this food is the substance which gives them life and sustains them. Love humbles itself before its own… and in doing psoriases them to the highest dignity. Love surrenders itself in totality, it gives an profusion and without reserve. With enthusiasm, with vehemence it is sacrificed, it is immolated, it is given for those it loves. … The Holy Eucharist is love to the extreme of folly.” (Way of Divine Love, Sister Josefa Menéndez, Pg 352) “We reminded you in our former chapters of the first duties which Christians owe to Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist: faith in His real presence, and the obligation to adore Him. It will be well before proceeding further to consider the principal reasons why Our Lord instituted this august sacrament. An acquaintance with these reasons will enable us to appreciate more fully the love of Jesus Christ for us shown in the Eucharist. The Savior instituted this sacrament in order to be the companion of our earthly pilgrimage, our food at the Holy Table, and the victim offered to God in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.” (Prisoner of Love, Fr Xavier Lasance, Pg 39) Considerations: When the Host is lifted to The Father, do you not say; “My Lord and My God!” Do you not hail that Precious Blood shed for you on the cruel, adorable wood of the Cross? Look at Him! He condescends to veil Himself, infinite majesty He is, under the sacred species. Every day He calls you, burning brighter and hotter than any star in all of the universe combined. I say to you, if you combined every star and supernovae, it would never equal one angstrom, one iota, one atom, of fiery love and brightness of the Sacred Host during Holy Mass! Behold, your Lord and God in the hands of the priest, why, do you not come to Me with all your woes, your sorrows, your tears? I can burn them away, I can heal you, I can help you! Yet you stay away from me? Oh, soul, if only you loved! Even worse, reader, think of the times you approached His Majesty, with a cold and unbelieving heart. Woe, sorrow! What of the times you approached with grave sin upon your soul? Why do you persecute me? You eat my flesh and drink my blood with the coldness of a robber. You receive My Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in a state of sin! Why do you crucify me again and again? Happily, think of all the times The Eucharist was received, and believed in, and loved! The angels veil themselves before me, hell and all its fallen angels tremble and fall down in horror at the presence of My love and holiness! The Saints adore Me profoundly, and My Father is pleased at the sacrifice… for it is Myself offered to Him. Oh, Soul, you approach, I come to meet you… we are united, in a tender embrace, I in you, you in Me, I make my dwelling in thy heart! Behold, soul! In my nail scarred hands, I hold the universe, the cosmos, the planets, all of existence… your heart. I give you mine, am I not a generous lover, friend and father? O, I am, and so I give you myself to be strengthened, inflamed and forgiven! I love you! Prayer for this Mystery: “Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, on fire with love of us, inflame our hearts with love of thee!” End with a Glory Be Mystery IV: On the Crucible of Motherly Tenderness of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Golden Arrow Prayer: “Thus does the Blessed Virgin love us with a most great and ardent love. In the first place, she loves us with the same love she has for God, seeing and loving God within us. The third theological virtue in Mary’s heart is not of another nature than the one in the hearts of the rest of the faithful which has as its sole object God and neighbor. It is true that this divine virtue is, in a sense, indescribably more ardent in the Blessed Virgin’s heart where its object is God instead of ourselves; nevertheless, it is substantially the same charity (though different in degree), and the Mother of Fair Love truly loves us with the same love wherewith she loves God Himself.” (Admirable Heart of Mary, St. John Eudes, Pg 215) “I maintain, in the second place, that the most glorious Virgin loves us with a supremely ardent love, because she loves us with the very same love with which she loves the God-Man, her divine son Jesus Christ, for she knows that He is our Head and we are His members, that we are therefore one with Him, as members are one with their head.” (Admirable Heart of Mary, Pg 215) “Mary’s charity is a love most zealous for the salvation of souls. This zeal gave the Blessed Virgin, from the beginning of her life, a most ardent desire to see the Son of God come into the world to save mankind from universal perdition of sin. This zeal made her offer many prayers, practice such mortifications and shed so many bitter tears to obtain the grace that the eternal Father might send His Son into the world to deliver us from the Considerations: When you pray the Rosary, do you not imagine yourself walking side by side with Our Lady? Are you not at her side, herself narrating the life of Jesus for you? My child, if only you truly knew how much God loves you, and how much I love you… you honor me with prayers and devotions, and I in return, laden the Divine Child with kisses on your behalf! If only you could see how much you’re loved! My Immaculate Heart burns for God, and for you! I am here, always a mother for you, always no matter what, ready to help you in affliction and temptation, always here… you are loved! Prayer for this Mystery: “Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation!” End with a Glory Be Mystery V: On the Crucible of Fatherly Love of the Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph Golden Arrow Prayer: “God wants you to rest in St. Joseph’s fatherhood. Saint Joseph will never abandon you. No matter what your experience of fatherhood has been, St. Joseph will always be there for you. He is your spiritual dad, and he loves you. He will never hurt you. He would give his life for you a million times over.” (Consecration to St. Jospeh, Fr.Calloway, Pg 78) “I cannot remember having asked Saint Joseph for anything which he did not obtain. I am quite amazed when I consider the favors our Lord has shown me through the intercession of this blessed saint, and the many dangers, both of body and soul, from which he has delivered me.” (The Truth about Saint Joseph, Fr. Maurice Meschler, S.J., on the autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila, Pg 144) “Inspired by the Gospel, the Fathers of the Church from the earliest centuries stressed that just as St. Joseph took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus Christ’s upbringing, he likewise watches over and protects Christ’s Mystical Body, that is, the Church, of which the Virgin Mary is the exemplar and model.” (St. John Paul II) Considerations: St. Joseph, O, Joseph… dear soul, how often do you have recourse to the Defender of Holy Church? Do you forget him at times? He never forgets you… My child, do you know my Chaste Heart yearns to see you in heaven? It does! I am a faithful father, loving… and caring. Even if you’ve never known the love of an earthly father… I’m here for you! I can help in all troubles, all anxieties, and sorrows. You have but to ask! When the enemy assails you, I can defend you, protect you! I only wish to see you with my Son, Jesus, as He wishes to be with you! Prayer for this Mystery: “Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph, crucible of chastity and purity, pray for us!” End with a Glory Be We have now come to the centerpiece, where that beautiful aspiration is now prayed; “Jesus Mary and Joseph, I give thee my heart and my soul, Jesus Mary and Joseph, assist me in my last agony, Jesus Mary and Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul out in peace with you.” Dear Reader, you may offer one Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, for the intentions of His Holiness, and the Bishop of your diocese if you so wish. This isn’t necessary, but it is completely optional. I also thank you for reading this little devotional, and if it but stirs up in your heart love for the Three Holy Hearts, I will consider myself the happiest of souls that another soul can love Jesus, Mary and Joseph more and more. Our Gentle Jesus, Mary and Joseph take care of you, and love you. +AMDG+ +JMJ+

  • Holy Hearts III: The Most Chaste Heart

    “Go to Joseph! Have recourse with special confidence to St. Joseph, for his protection is most powerful, as he is the patron of the universal Church.” ~Blessed Pope Pius IX The Silent Saint, The Patriarch of Patriarchs, The Terror of Demons and Guardian of Virgins, and Spouse of the Blessed Mary. Saint Joseph is rightly proclaimed the Patron of the Universal Church. For it was he who protected Jesus and Mary from the cruel Herod, from poverty, from famine… The Head of the Holy Family! How do we even begin to expound on the greatness of this saint? First, let’s say this; The saint who stands next to the Blessed Virgin in glory; is not a priest, not a martyr, not a deacon, not a confessor, not a doctor of the church, not a pontiff… Saint Joseph was a father, a husband and a workman! Ponder on this… the saint who sits next to Jesus and Mary is not a cleric, nor a martyr… but a husband and a father. If Mary was a walking adoration chapel, carrying the Bread of Eternal Life within her virginal womb, than Joseph was the first of adorers, next to the magi, the shepherds and the wise men and three kings! Actually, Joseph was the first to adore the Sacred Humanity of Jesus Christ, the Divinity of Jesus Christ, the God-Man made incarnate within the womb of Mary! He was the first to lead the First Eucharistic Processions to Egypt and Jerusalem during Mary’s pregnancy, and we can also say, when Jesus was but a little boy, holding both their hands as they traveled. Let me not get ahead of myself, for this Saint is so good to us, by his prayers and intercessions, we should love him because he loves us dearly. This Saint, born of the royal blood of King David, had the supreme privilege of being wed to Mary, and father to Jesus Christ on earth, until his natural death. He had his own Annunciation (Gospel of St.Matthew 1:18-25), just like his blessed wife, he, was given the supreme dignity of taking her hand in marriage, and raising the very Son of God. “A just man,” (St. Matthew 1:19) Scripture calls him. God’s word declares St. Joseph to be a just man, eminent in virtue. Well, sure! By virtue of his proclamation and very vocation, he has to be just! He has to be pure and holy to marry the Blessed Virgin, and to raise the Sinless Lamb of God! Let us rebuke the heresy that Joseph and Mary had other children, for this attacks the infallible dogma of the Immaculate Conception and the dogma of the Perpetual Virginity of Our Lady, and dishonors God greatly. It also takes away the title of Joseph Most Just and slanders his own virginity! Yes, dear reader, this most eminent Saint was a virgin before God, for His and Mary’s marriage was the heavenly model of marriage before God. Let me expound on this; Fr. Donald Calloway, in his book; “Consecration to St. Joseph,” speaks thus; “Your spiritual father is a gentleman. Saint Joseph is the first Christian gentleman; next to Jesus, he is the greatest example of masculine chastity. He was married to the most beautiful woman in the world, and he treated her with respect, dignity and reverence.” (Calloway, “Consecration to St. Joseph, Pg 46) The esteemed author says in the previous page; “Saint Joseph and Mary lived in what is called a “Josephite Marriage.” They were truly husband and wife, but they never engaged in sexual relations. Their vocation was to be untied in heart, mind, and soul, but never in body.” (Calloway, Pg 45) Joseph’s Most Chaste Heart, is at its core, a Crucible of Chastity. The marriage of Mary and Joseph was pure, spotless, full of superabundant love between two humans, that was the eminence of charity and chastity. As the dear author, Fr. Donald Calloway points out, that St. Joseph is a gentleman, the best example next to Jesus Christ, of masculine chastity. In Fr. Calloway’s work we continue to read; “”Where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.” (Lk 12:34). Saint Joseph has three treasures: Jesus, Mary and you. Nothing consumes the heart of St. Joseph other than these three treasures.” (Calloway, Pg 55) Did you think when we see these plaster statues of the Lily-Staffed saint, that he’s just as cold and unfeeling in heaven? No! He loves you! He protects you! He wants what is best for you because God wills the best for you, and St. Joseph does the will of God! Believe me, I say to you, that St. Joseph is your spiritual father if you so wish him to be, for all you have to do is ask this great saint and God will grant you him as a patron and he will embrace you as a client and child. Why, my beloved reader, do you think that his heart is titled ‘Most Chaste?’ Because he possess the supereminence of this virtue, next to Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary! Following Fr. Calloway, we read; “Saint Joseph will help you have a chaste heart. Lust is the predominant vice at work in the hearts of men today. The world is filled with immoral and lust filled actions. These actions greatly offend God, ruin families, and cry out to heaven for justice. Did not Our Lady warn St. Jacinta of Fatima that many souls go to hell because of sins of the flesh?” (Calloway, Pg 55) I gave the above statistic for a reason; to show the scourge of lust on this world. To show the absolute unholy, filthy scourge that Lucifer and his apostate angels have unleashed on man and woman to destroy chastity and purity. Lucifer hates chastity and purity, for the sole fact that it is the Virtue that combats lust and gluttony, lack of temperance and control. He hates it because Our Lady and St. Joseph possess it super-eminently, and perfectly. Well, Our Lady will crush his head! (Genesis 3:15) Eve gave into his wiles, and Our Lady, the New Eve, corrected this mistake. Eve brought sin into the world by one action, Mary brought salvation into the world through her womb in one God-Man. So, there’s a reason why the Rosary, and all devotion to Our Lady is so dreadful to that prideful apostate angel. Especially devotion to St. Joseph, either through his rosaries or, his Seven Sorrows and Joys. We can see through these devotions the virtues of this eminent saint shine through, but His Most Chaste Heart, the fiery Crucible of Chastity, is the burning, molten core of love for purity and God. His litany names him the ‘Terror of Demons,’ and for good reason. It was Herod that sent his wicked soldiers to slay the newborn Jesus, and to rid the world of the King of Kings. For Herod was prideful, just a Lucifer was. St. Joseph fled through the night with Mary and Jesus multiple times to safety. He thwarted the devil’s plans, several times. He wields the Lily Staff, symbolizing his purity, which he uses to impale that ancient serpent and protect the Children of God. In one hand he wields the Lily Staff symbolizing his eminent chastity and sublime purity, in the other, The Divine King rests gently in his father’s arms, hand raised in benediction, blessing those who love this good father and angelic saint of God. We know as the Church Militant, that we are not obliged to adhere to private revelation, though it would be unwise to ignore the consensus of saints and mystics, whom by a very august grace, were revealed the lives of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. We see in Blessed Ann Catherine Emmerich’s divinely inspired and, with the full approval of Holy Mother Church, the visions of The Life of Jesus Christ, but especially the hidden life at Nazareth. “After the conception of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin experienced a great desire to visit her cousin Elizabeth. I saw her traveling with Joseph toward the south.” (Life of Jesus Christ, Pg 196) St. Joseph is a gentleman! He is the role model for all husbands, and fathers. What husband and father would even comprehend letting their wife go on a journey by herself, with child, across the state or country itself, without any form of defense or solace should she find herself in peril? Not St. Joseph! He was right at her side, to and fro, and with the greatest of love, zealously defended the Unborn Jesus. “It may, perhaps, have been an hour after the birth when Mary called St. Joseph, who still lay prostrate in prayer. When he approached, he fell on his knees, his face to the ground, in a transport of joy, devotion, and humility. Mary again urged him to look upon the Sacred Gift from Heaven, and then did Joseph take the Child into his arms.” (Life of Jesus Christ, Pg 227) I cannot imagine, with all sensible human faculties the emotions this good father felt, when he took into his arms his Lord, his God, his King, his son, and saw that seraphic face, from his chubby cheeks, to his closed eyes resting in Sacred Humanity. What of the Circumcision? Who of the first was to behold the Precious Blood flow? St. Joseph was seen it before this own eyes. What of the fear and anxiety when Mary and Joseph lost the boy Jesus in the temple for three whole days? “And seeing him, they wondered. And his mother said to him: Son, why hast thou done so to us? Behold thy father and I have sought the sorrowing.” (St. Luke 2:48) Do we forget that even the Blessed Mother called Joseph, Jesus’ father? Truly he was. How is this important? Let me explain: St. Joseph, from Jesus’ infancy, taught Him how to be a true gentleman, a true man. Everything Joseph did, Jesus emulated. Think about it. Do sons not emulate their fathers? Do they not look up to them in love and affection? Jesus worked alongside Joseph in his workshop, Joseph taught the Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, the Author of the Law, how to work with His hands. Truly, this patriarch of patriarchs has a high place in paradise, and should be honored for the supreme and majestic grace he was privileged to be blessed with. Why a Patron of a Happy and Holy Death? “When Joseph was dying, Mary sat at the head of his bed, holding him in her arms. Jesus stood just below her near Joseph’s breast. The whole room was brilliant with light and full of angels. After his death, his hands were crossed on his breast, he was wrapped from head to foot in a white winding sheet, laid in an narrow casket, and placed in a very beautiful tomb, the gift of a good man.” (Life of Jesus Christ, Pg 330) How, in all good reasoning could the very picture presented to the imagination not cause the eyes of the soul to be wet with tears? There is no other human being who has ever lived, will live or is currently living, that will experience any death more sublime and full of divine charity than St. Joseph’s death. That is why Holy Mother Church proclaims him the patron of a holy death. What death could anyone reasonably ask for besides to die in the arms of Our Lady and Our Lord?

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Courses (6)

  • Coming Soon

    Coming Soon

  • Introduction

    Start off your program by giving some basic information about what participants can expect to learn. Introduce the topic and provide a basic outline of what's to come using videos, images, and text.

  • Monastic Lessons

    Michael Snellen and Fr. Michael co-founded a revolutionary new idea. At the oldest monastery in America, the Abbey of Gethsemani, after a big promotional campaign in the local area and throughout the entire Archdiocese, a group of around 15 or so people gathered to listen to a monk talk. The speech wasn't long, but the discussion afterward shined a light on the monastic life. A group of this nature not only has the chance to rejuvenate the faith of those who attend, attract outsiders, be a place of unity for a town, it also is a good way to make people aware of the monastic life, and thus assist vocations. If you would like to learn how to start a revival of Western Monasticism at your local monastery or convent, this is the course for you!

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Other (666)

  • O Key of David / Clavis David

    < Back to Collection O Key of David / Clavis David Category Christmas Composer ​ About Bringing Sacred Music to a new generation of listeners is our mission. Composed of independent musical talent, our team is producing renditions of ancient works while creating pieces for modern times. ​

  • Answering Objections Against the Real Presence

    < Heresy Tool Answering Objections Against the Real Presence 15. They object, first, the words of Christ: " It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing. These words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life" (John, vi, 64). See there, they say, the words which you make use of to prove the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist are figurative expressions, which signify the celestial food of life, which we receive by Faith. We answer, with St. John Chrysostom (1), that when Christ says the flesh profiteth nothing, he spoke not of his own flesh, God forbid ! but of those who carnally receive it, as the Apostle says: " The sensual man perceiveth not those things that are of the Spirit of God" (I. Cor. ii, 14), and those who carnally speak of the Divine Mysteries, and to this St. John refers when he says: " The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life" (John, vi, 64), meaning that these words refer not to carnal and perishable things, but to spiritual things and to eternal life. But even supposing these words to refer to the flesh of Christ itself, they only mean, as St. Athanasius and St. Augustine explain them, that the flesh of Christ, given to us as food, sanctifies us by the Spirit, or the Divinity united to it, but that the flesh alone would be of no avail. These are St. Augustine’s words (2): " Non prodest quidquam (Caro), sed quomodo; illi intellexerunt, carnem quippe sic intellexerunt, quomodo in cadavere dilaniatur, aut in macello venditur, non quomodo spiritu vegetatur. Caro non prodest quidquam, sed sola caro; accedat spiritus ad carnem, et prodest plurimum." 16. They object, secondly, that when Jesus Christ said: " This is my body," the word this in the sentence has reference to the bread alone, which he then held in his hand, but bread is only a figure of the body of Christ, but not the body itself. We answer that if we do not consider the proposition " This is my body" as complete in itself, that might be the case if he said, for example, this is, and did not say any more, then the word this would have reference to the bread alone, which he held in his hand; but taking the whole sentence together, there can be no doubt but that the word this refers to the body of Christ. When our Lord changed water into wine, if he had said, this is wine, every one would understand that the word this referred not to the water but to the wine, and in the same way in the Eucharist the word this, in the complete sense of the sentence, refers to the body, because the change is made when the whole sentence is completed. In fact the word this in the sentence has no meaning at all, till the latter part is pronounced, is my body then alone the sense is complete. (1) St. John Chrysos. Hom, in Joan. (2) St. Aug. Tract 27 in Joan, 17. They object, thirdly, that the sentence, " This is my body" is just as figurative as other passages in the Scriptures, as for example, when Christ says: " I am the true vine," " I am the gate," or when it is said that he is the Rock. We reply that it is a matter of course that these propositions should be taken figuratively, for that Christ should be literally a vine, a door, or a rock is repugnant to common sense, and the words " I am," therefore, are figurative. In the words of consecration, however, there is nothing repugnant to reason in joining the predicate with the subject, because, as we have remarked already, Christ did not say this bread is my body, but " This is my body;" this, that is what is contained under the appearance of this bread is my body; here there is nothing repugnant to reason. 18. They object, fourthly, that the Real Presence is opposed to the words of Christ himself, for he said (John xii, 8): " The poor you have always with you, but me you have not always." Our Saviour, therefore, after his ascension, is no longer on earth. Our Lord, we reply, then spoke of his visible presence as man receiving honour from Magdalen. When Judas, therefore, murmured against the waste of the ointment, our Lord reproves him, saying, you have not me always with you, that is, in the visible and natural form of man, but there is here nothing to prove that after his ascension into heaven he does not remain on earth in the Eucharist, under the appearance of bread and wine, invisibly, and in a supernatural manner. In this sense we must understand also, all similar passages, as, " I leave the world and go to my Father" (John, xvi, 18): "He was taken up into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God" (Mark, xvi, 19). 19. They object, fifthly, these words of the Apostle: " Our fathers were all under the cloud and did all eat the same spiritual food" (I. Cor. x, 1 3); therefore, they say, we only receive Christ in the Eucharist by Faith, just as the Hebrews received him. We answer, that the sense of the words is, that the Hebrews received spiritual food, the Manna, of which St. Paul speaks, the figure of the Eucharist, but did not receive the body of Christ in reality, as we receive it. The Hebrews received the figure, but we receive the real body, already prefigured. 20. Sixthly, they object that Christ said: " I will not drink from henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it with you new, in the kingdom of my Father" (Matt, xxvi, 29), and these words he expressed, after having previously said, " This is my blood of the New Testament, which shall be shed for many for the remission of sins" (ver. 28). Now, say they, take notice of the words, fruit of the vine, that is a proof that the wine remains after the consecration. We answer, first, that Christ might have called it wine, even after the consecration, not because the substance, but because the form of wine was retained, just as St. Paul calls the Eucharist bread after the consecration: " Whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord" (ver. 29). Secondly, we reply, with St. Fulgentius (3), who supposes that Christ took two chalices, one the Paschal chalice, according to the Jewish Rite, the other according to the Sacramental Rite. Our Lord then, he says, when using the words they found the objection on, spoke of the first chalice, and not of the second, and that he did so is clear from the words of another of the Evangelists, St. Luke (xxii, 17), who says that " having taken the chalice, he gave thanks, and said: Take and divide it among you. For I say to you that I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, till the kingdom of God come." Now, if we read on to the 20th verse of the same chapter, we find that Jesus took the chalice of wine and consecrated it: " In like manner the chalice also, after he had supped, saying: This is the chalice, the New Testament, in my blood which shall be shed for you." Hence it is manifest that the words, " I will not drink of the fruit of the vine," were expressed by our Redeemer previous to the consecration of the chalice. (3) St. Fulgen. ad Ferrand. Dial, do Zuing. quæest. ix, 5. 21. They object, seventhly, that the doctrine of the Real Presence cannot be true, for it is opposed to all our senses. But to this we reply, with the Apostle, that matters of faith are not manifest to the senses, for "Faith is the evidence of things that appear not" (Heb. xi, 1). And we have another text, also, which disposes of this feeble argument: " The sensual man perceiveth not the things that are of the Spirit of God, for it is foolishness to him" (I. Cor. ii, 14). All this will be answered more extensively farther on (sec. 3).

  • Assumption of Mary on the Papacy

    < Proof of the Papacy Tool Assumption of Mary St. Peter “And the Holy Spirit said to the apostles: Let all of you together, having come by the clouds from the ends of the world, be assembled to holy Bethlehem by a whirlwind, on account of the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ; Peter from Rome, Paul from Tiberia, Thomas from Hither India, James from Jerusalem. Andrew, Peter’s brother, and Philip, Luke, and Simon the Cananaean, and Thaddaeus who had fallen asleep, were raised by the Holy Spirit out of their tombs.” (Assumption of Mary [A.D. 400]). Proof of the Papacy Tool

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