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I’ve been back for a while from my monastic visit which occurred August 7th through the 10th; I only took two days off from work. While I had a nice time with the sisters and doing some of their work with them, I made the personal decision not to openly discuss things with the vast majority of my friends until I spoke with my spiritual director. Unfortunately, he cancelled last minute at 10pm on the Feast of the Assumption of the BVM. I view him as having made immature comments about the review of my vocational questionnaire prior to when I sent it to the sisters: he said that he put it off because it contains “personal” information and “you know us Mexicans, ‘manana'”. I may have to find a new spiritual director, which is unfortunate for me. If you have any suggestions for the Beach cities, Torrance, San Pedro area, &c please let me know.

I’m also thinking of posting my journal from the monastic visit here. These are just thoughts, nothing is decided just yet.

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Oh, St. Joseph!

Do you have an absolute favorite saint?

Perhaps you pray to him/her, wear their medal & frequently ask help.

And there’s the other saint who surprises you.

Seemingly out of nowhere.

My favorites are Ss. Anthony, Benedict & Michael

I ask help of some additional ones like St Dr Guiseppe Moscati

And, there’s St. Joseph.

He’s so quiet – literally in the Gospels; only sometimes being addressed in private devotions. Over the years, I’ve read many stories about the miraculous staircase to the nun’s choir loft, of real estate breakthroughs, jobs found, etc. I never really understood it, how do you get attached to a Saint of which you have no personal reflections? No writings? Almost no presence? Does it not strike anyone else of how funnily he’s absent from the Gospels and we know nothing after the Angel tells him the Child is in danger? Yet, there’s always a statue of him somewhere in every church? He’s hotly contended in tradition: old vs youthful, assumed into heaven or not; how he came to be Mary’s chaste Spouse; so forth.

Years ago, when I was trying to process the reality of my brother’s abortion (my sister & I were informed via her Confirmation letter), I sought the advice of a Christian leader of a student religious group and she wisely suggested naming my brother to make him “more real” and less abstract. The processing stopped there for several years, simply naming him Joseph. But that’s where I got to know St. Joseph. In the past 3-4 years in which I’ve been attending the TLM, I’ve been praying to St  Joseph, asking him help in the grieving and adapting process pertaining to the loss of my brother. I prayed his Litany every Sunday, without fail. Eventually, I came to reflect on more than just the loss of my brother, but on him who is Terror of Demons or Lover of Poverty, and Mirror of Patience. Holy cats, that’s what leaks through the silence surrounding him! There’s also the prayer at the end of the litany asking him to be our lord and protector on earth as he protected the Christ-Child & our Lady; to protect the Church from error.

Now, especially on Sundays, I’ve taken to adding on the prayer to St. Joseph after the Rosary, which is typically for October, but that’s been good overall. And finally, my spiritual director told me I should say a novena for my vocation. He didn’t to whom or any other restrictions. I figured, why create a new devotion when I already one. So I ventured down to the local massive Catholic store and got two prayer cards (size, plastic & weight of a gift card) one from Padre Pio & one from St. Joseph. The St. Joseph one had to be said for 9 mornings which is hard for me to manage because I’m a school-based therapist, my mornings are eat-wash up-drive; they’re not very leisurely. So I messed up, but I put in my nine mornings, and that day (actually about 12 days after starting) someone name-dropped a particular monastery. I put them on the list along with 4 other places that were attractive to me; and narrowed it down to just 2 places during my last meeting with my spiritual director. However, if I’m actually trusting St. Joseph to pick the place for me, why do I have two places listed? A plan b does not say trust!

Nope, just one place. I got impatient with sending Mother Superior an email, so I also sent a hand-written note.

Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God. I place in you all my interest and desires. Oh, St. Joseph, do help me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son and spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers. Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms, I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls – pray for us. Amen.

Birth Control Pill

The World Health Organization has been labelled oral birth contraceptives a Level I Carcinogen, as in it is in the top tier of causes for Cancer, thereby breast cancer. Furthermore, they (the WHO) have not retracted this statement.

Yet did your OB/GYN or GP/PCP tell you of this?

To clarify, you not only increase your chances of cancer, but breast cancer, and infertility via usage of birth control. That’s a nice price to pay for sexual freedom: unable to conceive children when you want them, and you can increase your chances of any form of cancer, but especially breast cancer.

Source: http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/ageing/cocs_hrt_statement.pdf

Are some people only able to learn experientially?

—Post Edited 7:20pm October 29 —
In looking at Jungian typology & the MBTI, I’ve noticed that there are people who cling to facts and figures, others to concepts and ‘the principle of the matter,’ and others yet to what they can get their hands on. Some people learn kinetically, visually, experientially, etc. So I had to wonder, after someone made an inane comment on Wednesday evening, if some people would have to be unfortunate enough to only really understand or ‘get it’ not by reading books or practicum but actual experience it in their own lives.