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

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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Meditation on the Luminous Mysteries on the Feastday of Pope Saint John Paul II

Do whatever He tells you.

Holy Mother: your Son came forth from the Jordan whose waters, by His entry, He sanctified. Just so you, O Star of the Sea (maria), are the sanctified water which served as the source of the Incarnate Word. He is the good wine kept until the end, Who went shouting out into the world seeking new wineskins: us, called to be imitators of Christ. He Who comes down to us where we are desires that we rise up to where He is, not remaining an old wineskin that bursts but becoming a new skin, transfigured like Him. Then help us always, O source of the Divine Blood, to be made newer each day, to be conformed to His glorious body so that we may receive more strongly at each Mass that new wine, “the Blood of the new and eternal covenant” poured out for us to receive.

Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui Jesus.

Open, I say, open wide the doors for Christ!

Meditation on the Sorowful Mysteries on the Feastday of the Guardian Angels

Whoever wishes to come after Me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me.

O Mother: What claim should I wish to have on any of the crowns of this world, when I do not even merit the crown of thorns pressed upon my Savior? We are to be a kingdom and priests for You! Yet most of my life has been spent in the garden, begging the Father on my knees and in tears to let weakness and suffering pass me by and steeling myself for the moment He says “No.” Until now my scourging has been emotional and spiritual; only recently have I begun to feel the rough whips, though I am still a long way from 39. How can I expect the receive the reward of a crown, let alone the crown’s reward of the cross?

Father: it is Your graceful will that I should embrace my weakness and so see Your strength. Let my weakness be my boast, then, as was written to Corinth, “for it is when I am weak that I am strong.” Only my weakness can receive the cross that only Your strength can carry. And together we will walk uphill to the moment I can commit myself entirely to You, crucified to the world with Your Son – my Lord Brother. Perhaps then, at the last, I will love Him with more than a faithless brother’s love.

Sancta Maria Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus nunc et in hora mortis nostrae.

For to His angels He has given command about You, that they should guard you on all your ways.

“As She Labored to Give Birth” – A Private Revelation Made Public

Today has been, by all accounts, a lazy Saturday. I won’t say I deserve it, but it has been relaxing and much appreciated. Around 3:00 PM I was watching television, doing various tasks on the computer, and waiting for the rain to let up. I’d already been out twice in the morning, and I wasn’t keen about going back out into the rain. Quite unexpectedly I walked over to my bookcase and picked up my Rosary – my blue set – where it’s been sitting next to the clock for some time now. I’ve walked over to it several times in the last few weeks, anticipating using them, but for whatever reason I have simply walked away from them. Most of my praying tends to be spontaneous these days, anyway; perhaps I didn’t want to think I was forcing myself. But today I very impulsively walked over and picked them up and wandered into my spare room. In the three months since my increasingly inaccurately named Roommate left, it has stood vacant and aside from adding a few small items it is as he has left it. But I do like going in there and standing at the window; it gives me a lovely view of the commercial district at the bottom of my little hill and the tree-lined road leading off towards the southwest.

(No, there is no wardrobe in the spare room, but you get bonus points if you got that reference.) Continue reading