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.

Vocational Update II

Image

I received a letter on the weekend of my birthday in November.  This is the text of the letter:

+ JMJ

Praised be Jesus Christ!

Dear Megan:

May Our dear Lord reward you for your recent letter. We hope and pray that this note finds you well!

After much prayer, we wanted to let you know that we do not think it is Our dear Lord’s will that you have a vocation to our Carmel. We will always be keeping you + your dear family in our prayers. If we may suggest that to discover your vocation, to pray for + find a wise, holy Priest to direct you. And may Jesus, who described Himself as meek + humble of heart be your best model in all you do. You will be a great blessing to your family, trying to …

It goes on. I cried. I received the letter the day before my birthday, and thinking the letter was something nice, I saved it to read after morning Mass. Happy Birthday to me, I got another rejection! They hadn’t even spoken to me by phone or seen my face.

But I do have a spiritual director, and I’m okay with it. If they decided to not get to know me fully, then that’s their issue. My SD made an excellent point, that I may have answered all their questions, but they missed most of me; they may have cut off contact for various reasons that have nothing to do with me at all.

Letters

I sent a letter last week to a monastery in Colorado. These nuns have internet & email, but I don’t; hence, a letter.

I received a letter last week to a monastery in NorCal. I hope I don’t lose it in the move. Both are good, but I want more history on the one in Colorado.

Two is a good number to pick from, anymore and you’re just throwing yourself around. This is God, not a roll of dice.

Dress This Way, Look the Other Way?

Case in Point

Rant:

This past Saturday was the Feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven. It was also my 2nd cousin’s wedding. Before going to into the church building, I put on my shoulder wrap, covering up my nearly bare back and arms. Mom had a fit saying “God doesn’t judge! God doesn’t judge that way!” While I cannot bear Scriptural proof that God would or would not judge me for how I go dressed to Mass, I follow a few simple points. One of them being that when I enter the House of God, I’m literally standing before Him in the Tabernacle (albeit, Veiled in wheat). When I was working, I had to be dressed properly for the position. If you dress well for a mere mortal you call boss, how much more should you dress for the one you call Master and Saviour? You should give Him your best because He gave you His All.

I also dress formally for Mass (business casual or interview worthy) because I know how distracting casual and informal dress is: I don’t want to see tattoos or bikini tan lines, or g-string triangles. If others (men and women) are distracting to me, how more so am I for someone else? Chapel veils help shield my side vision from other distractions, and I can reasonably assume that I’m not contributing to someone’s near occasion of sin.

What’s your reaction / opinion?

Is the Novus Ordo Mass Actually the Indult Mass?

by Fr. Paul Kramer’

The following is taken from Fr. Paul Kramer’s article entitled, “The Legal Status of the Tridentine Mass” in which he argues that the “Mass of the Ages” is the official liturgical rite of the western Church.

Bishop Forester, in Fr. Brian Houghton’s book, MITRE AND CROOK observes: This has been the most puzzling history of all. May I remind you, Fathers, that we already have two documents of the highest conceivable authority: the Bull QUO PRIMUM and the Constitution SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM, which are, moreover, in line with each other. What happens next?

On April 3rd, 1969, a Papal Constitution entitled Missale Romanum was promulgated purporting to be the law governing the New Order of Mass, as yet unpublished. In this original version it is not a law at all but an explanatory introduction to a permission. Even the word ‘Constitutio’ is nowhere to be found in the text, merely in the title:

1) There is no abrogation of previous legislation and no clause ordering
the use of the new rite.

2) There is no sentence to show that it is obligatory, let alone
exclusive.

3) There is no dating clause to show when it should come into
effect.

This of course did not prevent the powers that be from saying that it was a binding law. To do so they had recourse to a mistranslation. What is so curious is that the mistranslation was common to all languages. I have read it myself in English, French and Italian I am told that it is the same in German and Spanish. How can this possibly come about? How can all these expert translators make the identical mistranslation? Your guess is as good as mine. Here is the sentence, the fourth before the end of the original version, the fifth in the Acta: Ad extremum, ex iis quae hactenus de novo Missale Romano exposuimus quiddam nunc cogere et efficere placet… I have underlined the mistranslated words. “Cogere et efficere” is a well known Ciceronian phrase to be found in most dictionaries. Even if the translators could not be bothered to look it up, it is perfectly clear that “quiddam cogere” breaks down into “agere quiddam con” = to work something together, which is in the context “to sum up.” Equally, “quiddam efficere” breaks down into “facere quiddam ex” = to make something out, which is in the context “to draw a conclusion.”

And what did all the translators make of it? “In conclusion, We now wish to give the force of law to all We have declared…”; and in French, “Pour terminer, Nous voulons donner force de loi a tout ce que Nous avons expose…”; and in Italian etc. It is strange, my dear Fathers, but such is the truth: “to sum up and draw a conclusion” becomes “to give the force of law.” And what did I do about it? Absolutely nothing for the simple reason that I did not bother to read the Latin until two or three years later. Do not judge me too severely. Have you read it?

But that is not the end. Worse is to come. The Acta for June, 1969, were published as usual about two months later. When it appeared, a brand new clause had been inserted into the original document as the penultimate paragraph. It reads: Quae Constitutione hac Nostra praescripsimus vigere incipient a XXX proximimensis Novembris hoc anno, id est a Dominica I Adventus. That is, “What we have ordered by this Our constitution will begin to take effect as from November of this year (1969), that is the first Sunday of Advent.” You will notice: 1) that for the first and only time the word “Constitutio” appears in the text. 2) For the first time, too, a word signifying “to order” is introduced – “praescripsimus.” 3) For the first time a date is given on which the order is to become effective. This is a permission turned into a law. Actually, there are a couple of snags even about this insertion. The word “praescripsimus” = We have ordered – is not the proper term in Latin, but I shall not bother you with refinements. More important, it is in the wrong tense. Up to this point the legislator has prescribed nothing at all. It is precisely in this clause that he claims to do so. The verb, therefore should be in the present tense: “praescribimus” = “what We are ordering by this our Constitution”: not in the past perfect, “what we have prescribed.” The only explanation I can think of for this howler is recognition by its author that he is tampering with a pre-existing text. Moreover, the logical conclusion from the use of the wrong tense can scarcely be what its author intended: since nothing was prescribed, nothing is prescribed; and the legislator, to boot, is still prescribing nothing. What a mess! I wonder how long a civil government would last which thus tampered with its own laws?

There is a last remark I wish to make about this strange document. It winds up with the usual clause de style: “We wish, moreover, that these decisions and ordinances of ours should be stable and effective now and in the future, notwithstanding – in so far as may be necessary – Constitutions and apostolic regulations published by Our predecessors and all other ordinances, even those requiring special mention and derogation.” At long last – indeed it is the last word – there is a “technical” term in the constitution, so we know exactly where we stand: “derogation”. The New Ordo is therefore only a permission after all. It is merely a licit exception, a derogation, to the previous laws which are still in force. They have not been abrogated…It is nonsense to claim that the bull Quo Primum has been abrogated.

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