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.

Prayer Request for the Dead [edit]

My former/old roommate’s father passed away this morning around 7:35am.

His name is Rodolfo Roldan (nickname, Rudy), and he died of cancer, which had spread to the bones in his spine, the tumors were pressing against his spinal cord. He was doing better, came out of a coma on Saturday after seven days. His wife was at his side.

Today’s Patron Saint is St. Margaret Mary Aloque, who is the patron of Rudy’s parish. He was active in the Holy Name Society, the Knights of Columbus; established First Friday Mass, Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. His children are/were active with youth ministry, teaching Confirmation and Baptismal courses, and in music ministry/choir.

Please pray for his Soul, and keep his family in your prayers as well.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have Mercy upon us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.

St. Gertrude the Great, pray for us.

St Joseph, Mainstay of Families, pray for us.

St. Peregrine, pray for us.

St. Lorenzo Ruiz, pray for us.

Vocational Update

I recently sent off a letter to a monastery in Northern California: Carmel of Jesus, Mary & Joseph out in Canyon. They are somewhere around Oakland, but away from the Raider freaks. I correspond directly with Mother Sylvia Gemma, which is nice and apprehensive at the same time.

I know a little bit about their community: They began first in Nebraska, then expanded to Pennsylvania, and now with the support of the Oakland bishop, have taken over a previously shutdown/about-to-shutdown monastery. The nuns use the Extraordinary form of the Mass with full permission, but at least once a week have the Novous Ordo; they have to offer it on a weekly basis, otherwise they would be in disobedience to the bishop. If they were to break from the bishop, they would be breaking their vows of obedience, and incidentally become an independent – in a sense, protesting against the Church …. which is what we call Protestant. If you’re protesting against the Church and Magestrium, we have a term for it, it’s called being a Protestant; outside of the full communion of the Church. [This would be excellent fodder for a separate post, but suffice it to say that Christ established one Church, and then men started thinking around 1500AD that they had better ideas and schismaticly knocked Christ out of the picture and the Church HE created.]

I spoke with another convent a few months ago who were in this exact position. They were very attractive because they offer the TLM on a daily basis and never offer the Novous Ordo (Vatican II), however once I began speaking with them, the nuns were very clear about being an “independent parish” in that they were in direct disobedience to their bishop, they don’t have apostolic permission nor protection. If there were to be a holy Soul in there, she wouldn’t be recognized. It’s very much the same picture as the SSPX (Society of St Pius X); whereas the FSSP (Fraternal Society of St Paul) is a religious order of Priests that is in full communion.

Anyway, the nuns in Canyon offer both Masses because they are in union with Rome/the Holy See/Apostolic Succession. I loathe the N.O. but I’m resolved to offer that up for one prayer intention or another. Besides a convent N.O. is usually a bit more reverent than your typical clown Mass (h/t Ted Brown). They make sacramentals to support themselves: altar linens, scapulars, etc. I’ll keep you updated as soon as I get a response.

In other letter-based news I’m concerned about a pen-pal because she’s ceased communication with me, and I don’t have many …okay, any vocation-discerning friends left (they’ve either entered and communication has fallen off; or they stopped and communication fell off). As you can see, I’m a bit possessive/concerned about this one remaining female vocation-discerning friend. As an introvert, I don’t need a lot of friends but I invest heavily into the close friends I do have, so losing one is … problematic.

In terms of literary word news, I submitted a short story to a Christian magazine called “Ruminations”. I’ve personally never heard of it, but my short has strong Christian and pro-life themes, so I thought that may be a good place to begin.

 

I’ve been struggling with this one thing:

Gripping

If I really trust in God, would I gripe as much as I do? Is it a sign of distrust if I tell someone that I’m struggling financially, or that I learned this weekend that a friend who does not have a college education or actively spend time through employment ensuring that others live, whereas I have sunk myself into debt to specifically do that? Am I being ungrateful, or just plainly (and painfully?) truthful? 

I have reached a point today to where I have been left with nothing other than to laugh because I cannot afford at this moment to feed me, let alone you, or purchase gas (which is why missing Mass this morning may not have been a terrible thing because I would have needed to cancel three different clients; a side note, need to write a post about my work one day), or pay bills. Despite knowing I will be paid tomorrow, it will go away, and I’m back to pinching pennies. I’m the person who pays $2.04 at the McD window knowing that I’ll get 95Cents.