“It is only natural that the Church rejoice as it contemplates the modest home of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. We read in the hymn from Matins on the feast of the holy Family: ‘It is pleasing to recall the humble house of Nazareth and its slender resources. It is pleasing to tell again in son Jesus’ hidden life. Jesus grows up in hidden seclusion, to be trained in Joseph’s unpretentious trade. The loving mother sits beside her dear Son, the good wife by her husband, content if her loving attention can ease and comfort them in their weariness.’”—St Josemaria Escriva, “Marriage: a Christian Vocation”, Christ is Passing By.
“When the Blessed Virgin said yes, freely, to the plans revealed to her by the Creator, the divine Word assumed a human nature — a rational soul and a body — which was formed in the most pure womb of Mary. The divine nature and the human were united in a single Person: Jesus Christ, true God and, thenceforth, true man; the only-begotten and eternal Son of the Father and from that moment on, as man, the true Son of Mary. This is why our Lady is the mother of the Incarnate Word, of the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, who has united our human nature to himself for ever, without any confusion of the two natures. The greatest praise we can give to the Blessed Virgin is to address her loudly and clearly by the name that expresses her very highest dignity: ‘Mother of God‘.”—St Josemaria Escriva, Christ Passing By.
As we begin the month of May when our devotions turn to honouring our Lady, it is important to remember that by our Lady saying ‘Yes’, our salvation was set in motion. She willingly cooperated with God and we must willingly cooperate with God too to make our daily lives more holy, more in tune with His commandments. And while we remember our heavenly Mother, let us remember all earthly mothers who look after children both as children and as adults. Today, I particularly remember everyone whose own parents have left this world for the one hereafter.
Today in the church’s calendar we celebrate St Joseph the Worker or, as one friend has been known to put it, St Joseph the Small Businessman. How great it would be if we all decided to consecrate our daily work and tasks to God.
Our Lady, Mother of God, pray for us.
St Joseph, spouse of the BVM, pray for us.
Well, I wonder how you are doing in your preparation for Easter? I know that I have kept to my Lenten penance thus far, no alcohol for me – not even on St Patrick’s Day – but as we all know, it is not just about keeping off something that we enjoy. That is the physical aspect, but the internal, the Spiritual aspect is much more important. Have we been keeping in touch with our heavenly Father, with Our Lady?
As we find ourselves in Passiontide, let us renew, again, our resolve to keep saying our prayers and, more importantly, listening to God.
Today, I found myself approving the booklets for our Fraternity’s celebration of the Easter Triduum next week. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Thursday evening, the Solemn Liturgy of the Passion of the Lord on Friday afternoon, and the Easter Vigil on Saturday night are three long services, but they are important. They remind us, of what our Lord did for us on each day. I know that I am looking forward to celebrating this major Festival with my brother priests in the FSDM. In a week’s time, we will be together, and will probably have said Compline before bed after travelling from our different residences. I pray that God will watch over all travellers in the next week.
We give thanks for the election of the new Bishop of Rome, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina who has chosen the name Francis.
We will be praying for him in the hours, days, weeks, months and, God willing, years to come of his Pontificate.
Te Deum laudamus.
The Cardinals need our help; and a recent website has just been set up that allows users to log in and adopt a randomly-selected (one presumes!) Prince of the Church for the Conclave. It is a bit of fun, but has its serious side: we can be encouraged to focus prayer on one man as the Cardinals meet to choose the next Bishop of Rome.
Eternal Rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.
We begin the second set of the Mysteries of the Rosary today in our series of intentions for Priests using the Rosary. Today we use the first of the Sorrowful Mysteries: The Agony in the Garden.
- We pray that all priests who are suffering and on the way to Calvary may be comforted by God’s presence; those who have betrayed or denied the Faith through weakness may repent and return to the warmth of God’s love.
- We pray that all priests may live only to do our Father’s will, as Jesus always did.
The fifth in the series of intentions for Priests is for the fifth Joyful Mystery: The Finding of Jesus in the Temple.
- We pray that priests will always be found going about their Father’s business.
- We pray for all young priests that the love and dedication they experience in the first years of their priesthood may increase with time.
- We pray for all priests who teach the Faith to children and adults.
The fourth in the series of intentions for Priests begun yesterday is for the fourth Joyful Mystery: The Presentation in the Temple.
- We thank God for all priests who, like Simeon, have given decades of faithful service. We pray that they may be rewarded for their generosity and self-sacrifice.
- We pray also for all priests whose hearts are pierced by loneliness, depression, and rejection.
The third in the series of intentions for Priests is for the third Joyful Mystery: The Nativity.
- We pray that all seminarians grow in knowledge and love of God to become holy priests.
- We pray especially for those who will be ordained soon, that they may remain faithful all their lives to the sublime privilege of being “other Christs” among us.
- We pray that everyone will come to value the Eucharistic Feast and the Priesthood as among God’s greatest gifts to us.
- We pray that every priest will consider himself a member of the Holy Family, a true son of Mary and Joseph, and a brother-priest of Jesus, the great High Priest.