Meditation on the Joyful Mysteries on the Solemnity of Saint Joseph

“Behold a faithful and prudent steward, whom the Lord set over His whole household.”

Behold Saint Joseph, patron of the universal Church, guardian of Your whole Body, prince of the priesthood of the faithful – not immaculate, not sinless, but righteous all the same. He was the first to bring You to Your Father’s house, ransoming You from the Father to humanity so that You could ransom humanity for the Father. Fulfilling the precepts of the Old Law sacrifices, he presaged those of the New. This is why he could only lose You here, in the presence of the Father where You desire all of us to lose ourselves. The singular lapse of his constant watch occurred in the one place You – and we – would always be safe.

Years later, You would give Your servant Peter “the keys to the kingdom of heaven,” setting him up as the steward of your royal house on earth, the one who could be trusted even in frailty to guide and guard the new and eternal Israel of the Church. And in doing so it was as if You were saying, “Be for my sheep what Joseph was for the Shepherd; be the protector, be the guardian, be the father that even I needed on earth. Be, son of Jonah, a faithful one whom the members of my Body can be obedient to, just as the Head of the Body was obedient to a faithful son of David.” May Saint Joseph, in his turn, protect and guide his successors and all the members of Your Body in integrity and righteousness, and may Your Church remain a royal priesthood entire.

“He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them.”

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Meditation on the Glorious Mysteries after the Death of a Dear Friend, on the Feastday of the Guardian Angels

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, Whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a Price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.”

It is an amazing things to watch someone transform into a Saint before your very eyes. It is an amazing and glorious thing to witness a weak and dying body alive and alight with God and in God. It is a thing full of wonder and awe that the house of a sick woman be a place of peace and joy, a locus of mercy and compassion. The miracle of Resurrection, the mystery of the Ascension, and the sure hope of the Assumption were on full display as she worked to save soul after soul, including her own, during her own painful transition. In all things, she was a true dwelling of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit, as radiant and splendid as the Blessed Mother on Pentecost – truly, an earthly creature who did not know how not to be beautiful.

Now her Guardian Angel has led her from death to life, where she sees the Angels of her family and friends hover around them; where she sees the Queen of the Angels command them as her own heavenly host, the Queen of the May awaiting prayers to bring to her Son to aid them in their timely help; where she sees the Holy Spirit move where He will, dancing among souls, wafting around Angels, and bringing life to all things that have being. And she laughs a song.

Most holy Mother, Queen of the Angels, never let us tire of seeing the Holy Spirit at work in ourselves and each other. Remind us that we too are destined for assumption into royal glory, and resurrection into fullness of life. And guide us, along with our Angels, through the trials of this life that our faith gives us the grace to endure for the greater glory of God.

“I have reached the point of not being able to suffer any more, because all suffering is sweet to me.” – Saint Therese of Lisieux, Sept. 30, 1897

A Meditation on the Joyful Mysteries on the Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary

“In all my temptations, in all my needs, I shall never cease to call on thee, ever repeating thy sacred name: Mary, Mary.”

Hail, favored one! So spoke the angel to you, almost fearing to greet the Mother of his Lord by her name. Only once did he speak your most holy name, to bring you the same reassurance that your name now gives to all men. Simeon saw the sword pierce your heart, but did not know your name. Anna the prophetess told all the city of its coming redemption, but would not utter your name. Not even your divine Son would speak that sweet and wondrous name; obedient to you even in His Father’s house, He calls you Woman and Mother as long as He lives. Now, as His Father’s house, we are privileged to keep within our hearts the sweet name that showers awe upon the angels and solace upon men.

Help me, O Blessed Mary, never to lose the grace of the gift that is your most holy name, even as I ask, with your cousin Elizabeth, “How does this happen to me, that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?”

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Meditation on the Glorious Mysteries on the Morning of a Friend’s Episcopal Ordination, on the Feast of Saint Bartholomew the Apostle

“Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this! Amen, amen, I say to you: you will see the sky opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

What greater things indeed that Saint Bartholomew and all the Lord’s Apostles saw! What greater things you, gracious Lady, must have felt as you journeyed with them after His Passion! How Gabriel’s “Ave” must have resounded in your mind as you heard the news:

“They have taken His body!”

“The Lord has appeared to Simon!”

“This Jesus will return exactly as you saw Him go.”

And what you must have felt on that day of Pentecost, when you who were already full of grace were filled with the Spirit of the Power that overshadowed you so many years ago. How the fire of that primal Bond of Love must have kindled even that echo of your divine Son that remains, incarnate, within your womb. What an “Ave” that must have been! The Lord to Whom you gave earthly life continued to awaken life ever more within you on earth. But even such wondrous greetings must pale to the “Ave” that came from the mouth of your Son, as He came to take you to Himself and to His Father. Body and soul, “the Lord is with you,” now and for ever, as you stand at His right hand arrayed in gold.

O Ever-Virgin Mary, uniquely positioned in all creation to aid the brothers, sisters and friends of your Son, you are truly most blessed among all women, blessed as your holy Child. A comfort, an anchor and a guide to the Apostles in the days of the early Church, you have also become their Queen and ours, blessed even to be the first in all the earth to realize the fullness of our eternal happiness. You for whom all time is the “now” in which you pray for us sinners, a “now” that includes even “the hour of our death,” never cease to intercede for your children across all history.

Please, on this special day, continue to show your motherly care and guidance to those who follow in the Order of the Apostles, who continue the noble work of your Son’s friends in watching over and shepherding His Church on earth. May they, and we with them, always say “Ave” to you, gracious Lady, our Queen Mother for ever, that you may intercede with our Lord Brother for us, that we may be worthy of His promises. May He Who is our sole hope, of which you are the proof and guarantee, continuously enflame with love the hearts of these most reverend ones and kindle that fire within them, now and at the hour of death. And may they see every day greater things than on the day before.

“…meditating upon these Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, may we imitate what they contain, and obtain what they promise…”

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