On the Catholic Priesthood

Saturday June 15, 2019

Summer Ember Saturday

Hymns, readings and prayers for this Whit Embertide:

Hymns: Veni, Sancte Spiritus (Come, Thou Holy Spiritus, come) Veni, Creator Spiritus, (Come Holy Spirit, Creator Blest) Readings: Ember Saturday:

Joel, 2. 28-32

Leviticus, 23. 9-11, 15-17, 21

Deuteronomy, 26. 1-11

Leviticus, 26. 3-12

Saint Paul to the Romans, 5. 1-5

Saint Luke, 4.38-44

 

Prayers:

An excellent prayer for this purpose is the Litany of the Saints, in which so many bishops, priests, and levites are invoked; or the Rosary may be appropriately said, grouping those for whom we pray into five classes, corresponding to the five decades.

Seven Penitential Psalms

Litany of the Saints

Litany to Obtain Holy Priests

Hour of Reparation

 

Source: Ember Days (Curé d'Ars Prayer Group)

Friday June 14, 2019

Summer Ember Friday

Hymns, readings and prayers for this Whit Embertide:

Hymns: Veni, Sancte Spiritus (Come, Thou Holy Spiritus, come) Veni, Creator Spiritus, (Come Holy Spirit, Creator Blest) Readings: Ember Thursday:

Joel, 2.23-24; 26-27

St.Luke, 5.17-26

 

Prayers:

An excellent prayer for this purpose is the Litany of the Saints, in which so many bishops, priests, and levites are invoked; or the Rosary may be appropriately said, grouping those for whom we pray into five classes, corresponding to the five decades.

Seven Penitential Psalms

Litany of the Saints

Litany to Obtain Holy Priests

Hour of Reparation

 

Source: Ember Days (Cure d'Ars Prayer Group)

Thursday June 13, 2019

Prayer to St. Anthony of Padua



Saint Anthony, glory of the Church and hammer of heretics, pray for our Holy Father, our bishops, our priests, our Religious Orders, that, through their pious zeal and apostolic labors, infidels, heretics, and all those outside the true Church of Christ may be converted and, united in faith, give greater glory to God. Amen.


Source: Blessed Sacrament Book. Fr. Francis Xavier Lasance

Wednesday June 12, 2019

Summer Ember Wednesday

"On Ember days we pray and make sacrifices for ourselves, our families, the Church and the world."

We should never let these seasons pass without adding prayer to our fasts, or it may be compensating fast by prayer. Our prayer should be for the clergy, not only those ordained, though for them especially; but for the Sovereign Pontiff, the cardinals, bishops, parochial clergy, missionaries and religious orders, seminarians; and for the grace of vocation to the priesthood. Hymns, readings and prayers for this Whit Embertide:

Hymns: Veni, Sancte Spiritus (Come, Thou Holy Spiritus, come) Veni, Creator Spiritus, (Come Holy Spirit, Creator Blest) Readings: Ember Wednesday: Acts of the Apostles, 2. 1-21 Acts of the Apostles, 5. 12-16 St. John, 6. 44-52

Prayers:

An excellent prayer for this purpose is the Litany of the Saints, in which so many bishops, priests, and levites are invoked; or the Rosary may be appropriately said, grouping those for whom we pray into five classes, corresponding to the five decades.

Seven Penitential Psalms

Litany of the Saints

Litany to Obtain Holy Priests

Hour of Reparation

 

Source: Ember Days (Cure d'Ars Prayer Group)

Saturday June 08, 2019

For a Priest on His First Mass



O Holy Spirit, Your servant who is about to celebrate this Mass shares the holy priesthood of Jesus and Your apostolate. Enkindle in his heart the flames that transformed the disciples in the Upper Room. Let him be no longer an ordinary man but a man living to transfuse the divine life into the souls of others. Give him an ardent desire for the inner life as well as Your consolation and strength. Enable him to see that even here below there is no true happiness unless his life partakes of Yours and that of the Heart of Jesus in the bosom of the Father.
Amen.

Source: Curé d'Ars Prayer Group

Ordination to the Sacred Priesthood

Saturday June 01, 2019

Prayer to the Sacred Heart for Priests


(Picture Source: Google Books)


Remember, O most loving Heart of Jesus, that they for whom I pray are those for whom You prayed so earnestly the night before Your death. These are they to whom You look to continue with You in Your sorrows when others forsake You, who share Your griefs and have inherited your persecutions, according to Your word: That the servant is not greater than his Lord.

Remember, O Heart of Jesus, that they are the objects of the worldʼs hatred and Satanʼs deadliest snares. Keep them then, 0 Jesus, in the safe citadel of Your Sacred Heart and there let them be sanctified in truth.

May they be one with you and one among themselves, and grant that multitudes may be brought through their word to believe in You and love You. Amen.

Friday May 31, 2019

Novena for Priests for Pentecost (From May 31st to June 8th)

Jesus, Good Shepherd, You sent us the Holy Spirit to guide Your Church
and lead her faithful to You through the ministry of Your priests.

Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, grant to Your priests wisdom in leading,
faithfulness in teaching, and holiness in guarding Your sacred Mysteries.

As they cry out with all the faithful, "Abba, Father!" may Your priests be ever
more closely identified with You in Your divine Sonship and offer their own lives
 with You, the one saving Victim. Make them helpful brothers of one another,
and understanding fathers of all Your people.

On this Pentecost Sunday, renew in Your priests deeper faith, greater trust in You,
childlike reliance on our Mother Mary, and unwavering fidelity to the Holy Father and his bishops.

Holy Mary, intercede for your priests.
St. Joseph, protect them.
St. Michael, defend them.
St. John Vianney, pray for them.
Amen.


Source: Curé d'Ars Prayer Group


Thursday May 30, 2019

Novena for Those Preparing for Ordination to the Sacred Priesthood

Heavenly Father, source of all fatherhood on earth, we humbly beseech
you to abundantly bless David Miller and Noe Ramirez you have called
to the share in the sacred priesthood of Your Son.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, they will be configured to Christ the one
High Priest and thus be your instrument for the salvation of the world:
          “This is my body, which will be given up for you.”
Through their total gift of self in celibacy, inspire David Miller and Noe
Ramirez to perfectly imitate Jesus and to lay down their lives for His
Bride,the Church.Thus may they bear witness that God must be loved
above all  things.We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Holy Mary, Mother of priests, pray for us! 

Raleigh Diocese Candidates for 2019

Source: Curé d'Ars Prayer Group.

Wednesday May 29, 2019

Rogation Days, Prayer without Ceasing


Prescribed days of prayer and penance in spring. Two sets of rogation days were kept since early Christian times: the Major Rogation on April 25, the Feast of St. Mark; and the Minor Rogations on the last three days before Ascension Thursday. They were instituted to appease divine justice, ask for protection, and invoke Godʼs blessing on the harvest. (Catholic Dictionary, Catholic Culture)

Rogation is simply an English form of the Latin rogatio, which comes from the verb rogare, which means "to ask". The Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before Ascension day, were called Rogation days or days of solemn supplication and prayer. On these days the priest and people went in procession, singing the litanies, to beg God’s blessing upon the fruits of the earth, and be preserved from pestilence, famine, etc. (Right Rev. Dr. Challoner)


Litany of the Saints

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God,
pray for us.
Holy Virgin of Virgins, pray for us.
St. Michael, pray for us.
St. Gabriel, pray for us.
St. Raphael, pray for us.
All ye holy Angels and Archangels, pray for us.
All ye holy orders of blessed spirits,
St. John the Baptist, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
All holy Patriarchs and Prophets, pray for us.
St. Peter, pray for us.
St. Paul,  pray for us.
St. Andrew, pray for us.
St. James, pray for us.
St. John, pray for us.
St. Thomas, pray for us.
St. James, pray for us.
St. Philip, pray for us.
St. Bartholomew, pray for us.
St. Matthew, pray for us.
St. Simon, pray for us.
St. Thaddeus, pray for us.
St. Matthias, pray for us.
St. Barnabas, pray for us.
St. Luke, pray for us.
St. Mark, pray for us.
All holy Apostles and Evangelists, pray for us.
All holy Disciples of the Lord, pray for us.
All Holy Innocents, pray for us.
St. Stephen, pray for us.
St. Lawrence, pray for us.
St. Vincent, pray for us.
SS. Fabian and Sebastian, pray for us.
SS. John and Paul, pray for us.
SS. Cosmas and Damian, pray for us.
SS. Gervase and Protase, pray for us.
All holy Martyrs, pray for us.
St. Sylvester, pray for us.
St. Gregory, pray for us.
St. Ambrose, pray for us.
St. Augustine, pray for us.
St. Jerome, pray for us.
St. Martin, pray for us.
St. Nicholas,  pray for us.
All holy Bishops and Confessors, pray for us.
All holy Doctors, pray for us.
St. Anthony, pray for us.
St. Benedict, pray for us.
St. Bernard, pray for us.
St. Dominic, pray for us.
St. Francis, pray for us.
All holy Priests and Levites, pray for us.
All holy Monks and Hermits, pray for us.
St. Mary Magdalen, pray for us.
St. Agatha, pray for us.
St. Lucy, pray for us.
St. Agnes, pray for us.
St. Cecilia, pray for us.
St. Catherine, pray for us.
St. Anastasia, pray for us.
All holy Virgins and Widows,  pray for us.

All holy Saints of God, intercede for us.

Be merciful, spare us, O Lord.
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Lord.
From all evil, deliver us, O Lord.
From all sin, deliver us, O Lord.
From Thy wrath anger, deliver us, O Lord.
From sudden and unprovided death, deliver us, O Lord.
From the snares of the devil, deliver us, O Lord.
From anger, and hatred, and all ill will, deliver us, O Lord.
From the spirit of fornication, deliver us, O Lord.
From lightning and storms, deliver us, O Lord.
From the scourge of earthquake, deliver us, O Lord.
From plague, famine, and war, deliver us, O Lord.
From everlasting death, deliver us, O Lord.
Through the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation, deliver us, O Lord.
Through Thy Coming, deliver us, O Lord.
Through Thy Nativity, deliver us, O Lord.
Through Thy Baptism and holy Fasting, deliver us, O Lord.
Through Thy Cross and Passion, deliver us, O Lord.
Through Thy Death and Burial, deliver us, O Lord.
Through Thy holy Resurrection, deliver us, O Lord.
Through Thy admirable Ascension, deliver us, O Lord.
Through the coming of the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, deliver us, O Lord.
In the day of Judgment, deliver us, O Lord.


We sinners, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst spare us, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst pardon us, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst bring us to true penance,  we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst govern and preserve Thy holy Church, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst preserve our Holy Pope and all orders of the Church,
 in holy Religion, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst humble the enemies of holy Church, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst give peace and true concord to Christian kings and princes, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst grant peace and unity to all Christian people, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst recall all who have wandered from the unity of the Church,
 and lead all unbelievers to the light of the Gospel, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst confirm and preserve us in Thy holy service, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst lift up our minds to heavenly desires, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst give eternal blessings to all our benefactors, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst deliver our souls, and the souls of our brethren, relations,
 and benefactors from eternal damnation, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst give and preserve from harm the fruits of the earth, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst graciously hear us, Son of God, we beseech Thee, hear us.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us,
Christ, graciously hear us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.

Our Father, who art in heaven, ....

Psalm 69

O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me.
Let them be confounded and ashamed that seek my soul.
Let them be turned backward, and blush for shame that desire evils to me.
Let them be presently turned away blushing for shame that say to me: ‘tis well, ‘tis well.
Let all that seek Thee rejoice and be glad in Thee. And let such as love Thy salvation say always: The Lord be magnified.
But I am needy and poor; O God, help me.
Thou art my helper and my deliverer: O Lord, make no delay.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
V. Save thy servants.
R. Who hope in Thee, O my God.
V. Be unto us, O Lord, a tower of strength.
R. From the face of the enemy.
V. Let not the enemy prevail against us.
R. Nor the son of wickedness have power to hurt us.
V. O Lord, deal not with us according to our sins.
R. Neither requite us according to our iniquities.
V. Let us pray for our Sovereign Pontiff N....
R. The Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies.
V. Let us pray for our benefactors.
R. Vouchsafe, O Lord, for Thy Name’s sake, to reward with eternal life all those who do us good. Amen.

V. Let us pray for the faithful departed.
R. Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. May they rest in peace.
R. Amen.
V. For our absent brethren.
R. Save thy servants who hope in Thee, O my God.
V. Send them help, O Lord, from thy holy place.
R. And from Sion protect them.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Prayer

Let us pray.
O God, whose property is always to have mercy and to spare, receive our humble petition: that we, and all Thy servants who are bound by the chain of sin, may be the compassion of Thy goodness mercifully be absolved.
Graciously hear, we beseech Thee, O Lord the prayers of Thy suppliants, and forgive the sins of those that confess to Thee: that, in Thy bounty, Thou mayest grant us pardon and peace.
In Thy clemency, O Lord, show Thine unspeakable mercy to us: that Thou mayest both loose us from all the punishments which we deserve for them.
O God, who by sin art offended, and by penance pacified, mercifully regard the prayers of Thy people making supplication to Thee, and turn away the scourges of Thine anger, which we deserve for our sins.
Almighty, everlasting God, have mercy upon Thy servant N, Our Sovereign Pontiff, and direct him according to Thy clemency into the way of everlasting salvation, that by Thy grace he may both desire those things that are pleasant to Thee, and perform them with all his strength.
O God, from Whom are all holy desires, right counsels, and just works, give unto Thy servants that peace which the world cannot give: that both our hearts, given over to Thy commands, and our times, the fear of our foes removed, may by Thy protection be peaceful.
Inflame, O Lord, our reins and hearts with the fire of the Holy Ghost: that we may serve Thee with a chaste body and please Thee with a clean heart.
O God, the Creator and redeemer of all the faithful, grant to the souls of Thy servants departed the remission of all their sins: that through pious supplications they may obtain that pardon which they have always desired.
Prevent, we beseech Thee, O Lord, our actions by Thy inspirations, and further them by Thy assistance: that every word and work of ours may begin always from Thee, and by Thee be likewise ended.
Almighty, everlasting God, who hast dominion over the living and the dead, and art merciful to all, of whom Thou fore-knowest that they will be Thine by faith and good works: we humbly beseech Thee, that they for whom we intend to pour forth our prayers whether this present world still detain them in the flesh, or the world to come hath already received them out of their bodies, may, through the intercession of all Thy Saints, by the clemency of Thy goodness, obtain the remission of all their sins, Through our Lord Jesus Christ Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end.
May the almighty and merciful Lord graciously hear us. Amen
And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in Peace.

Source: Curé d'Ars Prayer Group

Monday May 27, 2019

Rogation Days

Today is the beginning of three days of prayers and fasting that were traditionally known as Rogation Days. Below you will find historical information I gathered from different sources:
"Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before Ascension Thursday were instituted by the Church to appease God's anger at man's transgressions, to ask protection in calamities.

These Rogation Days are of French origin, coming about in the 5th c., when St. Mamertus, Bishop of Vienne, Dauphiné instituted them after a series of natural calamities. Rogation is simply an English form of the Latin rogatio, which comes from the verb rogare, which means "to ask". The Rogation Days were marked by the recitation of the litany of the Saints which would normally begin in or at a church.
After Saint Mary was invoked, the congregation would proceed to walk the boundaries of the parish, while reciting the rest of the litany (and repeating it as necessary or supplementing it with some of the penitential or gradual Psalms). Thus, the entire parish would be blessed, and the boundaries of the parish would be marked. The procession would end with a Rogation Mass, in which all in the parish were expected to take part.

If your parish does not celebrate the Rogation Days, there's nothing to stop you from celebrating them yourself. You can mark the days by reciting the Litany of the saints.
We could also pray the Litany to obtain Holy Priests:
Finish it all off by attending daily Mass and praying for good weather and a fruitful harvest."

The Kingdom of Heaven: An Instruction in the Catholic Faith for Children
By Hazel Gillmore Alden Rogation Days


Thursday May 23, 2019

Heart of a Priest: Relic Pilgrimage of St. Jean Vianney's Incorrupt Heart

 St. Joseph Catholic Church, Raleigh NC

Sunday May 12, 2019

World Day of Prayer for Vocations



Litany to St. John Vianney for Vocations

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, pray for us.

Saint John Vianney, endowed with grace from thine infancy, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney., model of filial piety, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, devoted servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, spotless lily of purity, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney., faithful imitator of the sufferings of Christ, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, abyss of humility, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, seraphim in prayer, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, faithful adorer of the Most Blessed Sacrament, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, ardent lover of holy poverty, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, tender friend of the poor, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, penetrated with the fear of Godʼs judgment, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, fortified by Divine visions, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, who wast tormented by the evil spirit, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, perfect model of sacerdotal virtue, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, firm and prudent pastor, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, inflamed by zeal, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, faithful attendant on the sick, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, indefatigable catechist, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, who didst preach in words of fire, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, wise director of souls, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, specially gifted with the spirit of counsel, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, enlightened by light from Heaven, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, formidable to Satan, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, compassionate with every misery, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, providence of the orphans, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, favored with the gift of miracles, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, who didst reconcile so many sinners with God, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, who didst confirm so many of the just in the way of virtue, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, who didst taste the sweetness of death, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, who dost now rejoice in the glory of Heaven, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, helpful to all those who invoke thee, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, patron of the clergy, pray for us.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us, O Lord.

Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
V. Pray for us, Blessed John Marie,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:
Almighty and merciful God, who didst make Saint John Vianney admirable in his pastoral zeal and in his constant love of penance, grant us the grace, we implore Thee, to win for Christ, by his example and intercession, the souls of our brethren, and to attain with them everlasting glory.

O, Saint John Vianney, incomparable laborer in the field confided to thee, obtain for the Church the realization of Jesusʼ desire. The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few. Pray to the Master of the harvest to send faithful laborers into His vineyard. O, Saint John Vianney! Intercede for the clergy. May thy patronage, and thy prayer multiply the real vocations to the priesthood. May the Holy Ghost grant thee emulators; may He give us Saints! Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Source: Curé d'Ars Prayer Group

Saturday May 04, 2019

Priests' First Saturday

Divine Savior, Jesus Christ, Who hast entrusted the whole work of Thy redemption, the welfare and salvation of the world, to priests as Thy representatives, through the hands of Thy most holy Mother and for the sanctification of Thy priests and candidates for the priesthood I offer Thee this present day wholly and entirely, with all its prayers, works, sacrifices, joys, and sorrows.

Give truly holy priests who, inflamed with the fire of Thy divine love, seek nothing but Thy greater glory and the salvation of our souls.

And thou, Mary, good Mother of priests, protect all priests in the dangers of their holy vocation and, with the loving hand of a Mother, also lead back to the Good Shepherd those poor priests who have become unfaithful to their exalted vocation and have gone astray.

In addition to the above make it a point also to recite frequently the following:

Divine Savior, Jesus Christ, Who Hast entrusted the weal and woes of Thy Holy Church to priests, with all the fervor of my heart I recommend to Thee the wants of my pastor and all priests. Enrich them more and more with true priestly sanctity. Give them generous, all embracing, apostolic hearts, full of love for Thee and for all Thy souls, so that they, being themselves sanctified in Thee, may sanctify us who are confided to their care, and may lead us safely to heaven. Bestow upon them in rich abundance all Thy priestly graces!

Let them ever give us a glowing example of love and fidelity towards Holy Mother Church, towards the Pope, and bishops, and grant that by word and example they may shine as models of every virtue.

Most loving Jesus, bless all their priestly labors and sacrifices! Bless all their prayers and words at the altar and in the confessional, in the pulpit, and in school, in confraternities, and at the bedside of the sick!
Protect and preserve them in all dangers from within and from without.

Divine Savior, give to Thy Church priests who abound in true holiness! Call many good boys and young men to the priestly and religious state! Aid and sanctify all those who are to become Thy priests! And to the souls of departed priests grant everlasting rest.

But to me give a true spirit of faith and humble obedience, in order that in my pastor I may ever behold the representative of God and willingly follow all his teachings. Amen

Source: Curé d'Ars Prayer Group

Wednesday May 01, 2019

Prayer to Saint Joseph for the Church

Saint Joseph, God has appointed you patron of the Catholic Church because you were the head of the Holy Family, the starting-point of the Church. You were the father, protector, guide and support of the Holy Family. For that reason you belong in a particular way to the Church, which was the purpose of the Holy Familyʼs existence.

I believe that the Church is the family of God on earth. Its government is represented in priestly authority which consists above all in its power over the true Body of Christ, really present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, thus continuing Christʼs life in the Church. From this power, too, comes authority over the Mystical Body of Christ, the members of the Church -- the power to teach and govern souls, to reconcile them with God, to bless them, and to pray for them.

You have a special relationship to the priesthood because you possessed a wonderful power over our Savior Himself. Your life and office were of a priestly function and are especially connected with the Blessed Sacrament. To some extent you were the means of bringing the Redeemer to us -- as it is the priestʼs function to bring Him to us in the Mass -- for you reared Jesus, supported, nourished, protected and sheltered Him.

You were prefigured by the patriarch Joseph, who kept supplies of wheat for his people. But how much greater than he were you! Joseph of old gave the Egyptians mere bread for their bodies. You nourished, and with the most tender care, preserved for the Church Him who is the Bread of Heaven and who gives eternal life in Holy Communion.

God has appointed you patron of the Church because the glorious title of patriarch also falls by special right to you. The patriarchs were the heads of families of the Chosen People, and theirs was the honor to prepare for the Saviorʼs incarnation. You belonged to this line of patriarchs, for you were one of the last descendants of the family of David and one of the nearest forebears of Christ according to the flesh. As husband of Mary, the Mother of God, and as the foster-father of the Savior, you were directly connected with Christ. Your vocation was especially concerned with the Person of Jesus; your entire activity centered about Him. You are, therefore, the closing of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New, which took its rise with the Holy Family of Nazareth. Because the New Testament surpasses the Old in every respect, you are the patriarch of patriarchs, the most venerable, exalted, and amiable of all the patriarchs.

Through Mary, the Church received Christ, and therefore the Church is indebted to her. But the Church owes her debt of gratitude and veneration to you also, for you were the chosen one who enabled Christ to enter into the world according to the laws of order and fitness. It was by you that the patriarchs and the prophets and the faithful reaped the fruit of Godʼs promise. Alone among them all, you saw with your own eyes and possessed the Redeemer promised to the rest of men.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being the Patron of the Church. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to live always as a worthy member of this Church, so that through it I may save my soul. Bless the priests, the religious, and the laity of the Catholic Church, that they may ever grow in Godʼs love and faithfulness in His service. Protect the Church from the evils of our day and from the persecution of her enemies. Through your powerful intercession may the church successfully accomplish its mission in this world -- the glory of God and the salvation of souls! Amen.

 Source:Curé d'Ars Prayer Group

Tuesday March 19, 2019

Day 14 – March 19 -Catechism on Sin

Sin is the executioner of the good God, and the assassin of the soul. It snatches us away from Heaven to precipitate us into Hell. And we love it! What folly! If we thought seriously about it, we should have such a lively horror of sin that we could not commit it. O my children, how ungrateful we are! The good God wishes to make us happy; that is very certain; He gave us His Law for no other end. The Law of God is great; it is broad. King David said that he found his delight in it, and that it was a treasure more precious to him than the greatest riches. He said also that he walked well, because he had sought after the Commandments of the Lord. The good God wishes, then, to make us happy, and we do not wish to be so. We turn away from Him, and give ourselves to the devil! We fly from our Friend, and we seek after our murderer! We commit sin; we plunge ourselves into the mire. Once sunk in this mire, we know not how to get out. If our fortune were in the case, we should soon find out how to get out of the difficulty; but because it only concerns our soul, we stay where we are.
We come to confession quite preoccupied with the shame that we shall feel. We accuse ourselves with hot air. It is said that many confess, and few are converted. I believe it is so, my children, because few confess with tears of repentance. See, the misfortune is, that people do not reflect. If one said to those who work on Sundays, to a young person who had been dancing for two or three hours, to a man coming out of an alehouse drunk, "What have you been doing? You have been crucifying Our Lord!" they would be quite astonished, because they do not think of it. My children, if we thought of it, we should be seized with horror; it would be impossible for us to do evil. For what has the good God done to us that we should grieve Him thus, and put Him to death again – Him, who has redeemed us from Hell? It would be well if all sinners, when they are going to their guilty pleasures, could, like St. Peter, meet Our Lord on the way, who would say to them, "I am going to that place where you are going yourself, to be there crucified again." Perhaps that might make them reflect.
The saints understood how great an outrage sin is against God. Some of them passed their lives in weeping for their sins. St. Peter wept all his life; he was still weeping at his death. St. Bernard used to say, "Lord! Lord! it is I who fastened Youto the Cross!" By sin we despise the good God, we crucify the good God! What a pity it is to lose our souls, which have cost Our Lord so many sufferings! What harm has Our Lord done us, that we should treat Him so? If the poor lost souls could come back to the earth! if they were in our place! Oh, how senseless we are! the good God calls us to Him, and we fly from Him! He wishes to make us happy, and we will not have His happiness. He commands us to love Him, and we give our hearts to the devil. We employ in ruining ourselves the time He gives us to save our souls. We make war upon Him with the means He gave us to serve Him.


When we offend the good God, if we were to look at our crucifix, we should hear Our Lord saying to us in the depths of our soul, "Will you too, then, take the side of My enemies? Will you crucify Me again?" Cast your eyes on Our Lord fastened to the Cross, and say to yourself, "That is what it cost my Savior to repair the injury my sins have done to God!" A God coming down to earth to be the victim of our sins, a God suffering, a God dying, a God enduring every torment, because He would bear the weight of our crimes! At the sight of the Cross, let us understand the malice of sin, and the hatred we ought to feel for it. Let us enter into ourselves; let us see what we can do to make amends for our poor life.


"What a pity it is!" the good God will say to us at our death; "why have you offended Me – Me, who loved you so much?" To offend the good God, who has never done us anything but good; to please the devil, who can never do us anything but evil! What folly! Is it not real folly to choose to make ourselves worthy of Hell by attaching ourselves to the devil when we might taste the joys of Heaven, even in this life, by uniting ourselves to God by love? One cannot understand this folly; it cannot be enough lamented. Poor sinners seem as if they could not wait for the sentence which will condemn them to the society of the devils; they condemn themselves to it. There is a sort of foretaste in this life of Paradise, of Hell, and of Purgatory. Purgatory is in those souls that are not dead to themselves; Hell is in the heart of the impious; Paradise in that of the perfect, who are closely united to Our Lord.
He who lives in sin takes up the habits and the appearance of the beasts. The beast, which has not reason, knows nothing but its appetites. So the man who makes himself like the beasts loses his reason, and lets himself be guided by the inclinations of his body. He takes his pleasure in good eating and drinking, and in enjoying the vanities of the world, which pass away like the wind. I pity the poor wretches who run after that wind; they gain very little, they give a great deal for very little profit – they give their eternity for the miserable smoke of the world.
My children, how sad it is! when a soul is in a state of sin, it may die in that state; and even now, whatever it can do is without merit before God. That is the reason why the devil is so pleased when a soul is in sin, and perseveres in it, because he thinks that it is working for him, and if it were to die he would have possession of it. When we are in sin, our soul is all diseased, all rotten; it is pitiful. The thought that the good God sees it ought to make it enter into itself. And then, what pleasure is there in sin? None at all. We have frightful dreams that the devil is carrying us away, that we are falling over precipices. Put yourself on good terms with God; have recourse to the Sacrament of Penance; you will sleep as quietly as an angel. You will be glad to waken in the night, to pray to God; you will have nothing but thanksgivings on your lips; you will rise I towards Heaven with great facility, as an eagle soars through the air.


See, my children, how sin degrades man; of an angel created to love God, it makes a demon who will curse Him for eternity. Ah! if Adam, our first father, had not sinned, and if we did not sin every day, how happy we should be! we should be as happy as the saints in Heaven. There would be no more unhappy people on the earth. Oh, how beautiful it would be! In fact, my children, it is sin that brings upon us all calamities, all scourges, war, famine, pestilence, earthquakes, fires, frost, hail, storms – all that afflicts us, all that makes us miserable. See, my children, a person who is in a state of sin is always sad. Whatever he does, he is weary and disgusted with everything; while he who is at peace with God is always happy, always joyous.... Oh, beautiful life! Oh, beautiful death!
My children, we are afraid of death; I can well believe it. It is sin that makes us afraid of death; it is sin that renders death frightful, formidable; it is sin that terrifies the wicked at the hour of the fearful passage. Alas! O God! there is reason enough to be terrified, to think that one is accursed – accursed of God! It makes one tremble. Accursed of God! and why? for what do en expose themselves to be accursed of God? For a blasphemy, for a bad thought, for a bottle of wine, for two minutes of pleasure! For two minutes of pleasure to lose God, one's soul, Heaven forever! We shall see going up to Heaven, in body and soul, that father, that mother, that sister, that neighbor, who were here with us, with whom we have lived, but whom we have not imitated; while we shall go down body and soul to burn in Hell. The devils will rush to overwhelm us. All the devils whose advice we followed will come to torment us.
My children, if you saw a man prepare a great pile of wood, heaping up sticks one upon another, and when you asked him what he was doing, he were to answer you, "I am preparing the fire that is to burn me," what would you think? And if you saw this same man set fire to the pile, and when it was lighted throw himself upon it, what would you say? This is what we do when we commit sin. It is not God who casts us into Hell; we cast ourselves into it by our sins. The lost souls will say, "I have lost God, my soul, and Heaven; it is through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault!" He will raise himself out of the fire only to fall back into it. He will always feel the desire of rising because he was created for God, the greatest, the highest of beings, the Most High... as a bird shut up in a room flies to the ceiling, and falls down again, the justice of God is the ceiling which keeps down the lost.

There is no need to prove the existence of Hell. Our Lord Himself speaks of it, when He relates the history of the wicked rich man who cried out, "Lazarus! Lazarus!" We know very well that there is a Hell, but we live as if there were not; we sell our souls for a few pieces of money. We put off our conversion till the hour of death; but who can assure us that we shall have time or strength at that formidable moment, which has been feared by all the saints – when Hell will gather itself up for a last assault upon us, seeing that it is the decisive moment? There are many people who lose the faith, and never see Hell till they enter it. The Sacraments are administered to them; but ask them if they have committed such a sin, and they will answer you, "Oh! settle that as you please."
Some people offend the good God every moment; their heart is an anthill of sins: it is like a spoilt piece of meat, half-eaten by worms.... No, indeed; if sinners were to think of eternity – of that terrible forever – they would be converted instantly.

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