St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, pray for us and keep us close to Little Jesus, your Divine son!
Prayer to St Joseph in Every Difficulty
With childlike confidence I present myself before you, O holy Joseph, faithful foster father of Jesus! I beg your compassionate intercession and support in this, my present necessity. . .
I firmly believe that you are most powerful near the throne of God, who chose you for the foster father of His well-beloved son, Jesus Christ. O blessed Saint, who saved that treasure of heaven, with His virginal mother, from the fury of His enemies, who with untiring industry supplied His earthly wants and with paternal care accompanied and protected Him in all the journeys of His childhood, take me also, for the love of Jesus, as your child. Assist me in my present difficulty with your prayers before God. The infinite goodness of Our Savior, who loved and honored you as His father upon earth, cannot refuse you any request now in heaven.
How many pious souls have sought help from you in their needs and have experienced, to their joy, how good, how ready you are to assist. How quickly you turn to those who call upon you with confidence! How powerful you are in bringing help and restoring joy to anxious and dejected hearts! Therefore, do I fly to you, O most worthy father of Jesus, most chaste spouse of Mary! Good St. Joseph, I pray you by the burning love you had for Jesus and Mary upon earth, console me in my distress and present my petition, through Jesus and Mary, before the throne of God! One word from you will move Him to assist my afflicted soul. Then most joyfully shall I praise Him and you, and most earnest shall be my thanksgiving!
Prayer to St. Raphael
O Raphael, lead us toward those we are waiting for, those who are waiting for us: Raphael, Angel of happy meeting, lead us by the hand toward those we are looking for. May all our movements be guided by your Light and transfigured with your joy.
Angel, guide of Tobias, lay the request we now address to you at the feet of Him on whose unveiled Face you are privileged to gaze. Lonely and tired, crushed by the separations and sorrows of life, we feel the need of calling you and of pleading for the protection of your wings, so that we may not be as strangers in the province of joy, all ignorant of the concerns of our country. Remember the weak, you who are strong, you whose home lies beyond the region of thunder, in a land that is always peaceful, always serene and bright with the resplendent glory of God.
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Did we surprise you?
Happy St. Joseph Day!
Here is our spiritual father who is full of surprises!
One minute he's making apparently good decisions, the next he is taking a well-deserved nap, and finally, just when you thought you knew what was next again, VOILA! Good St. Joseph is ceasing to be afraid, taking Mary into his home as the angel bid him, naming our Savior - JESUS - and facilitating the calming of our every fear through the enactment (the original happening) of the rest of the Joyful Mysteries!
And before you know it, he's got us saying not just a confident prayer in his fatherly help, but a prayer to the great Archangel Raphael, who we need to guide us into each new uncertain day with the kind of angelic lead that God sent to this ultimate patriarch, St. Joseph, Spouse of Mary.
Happy St. Joseph Day!
Could we ever justly appreciate the just St. Joseph?
Happily, no! But what a joy to try!
Dear reader, I wonder where you are as I write.
This is a time of unprecedented (for us) grace, because on this very feast of the father of the Holy Family, we are being called to go home and stay there.
Where is your home?
I have 3 sons. Well 4, really. Or rather . . . once one becomes a mother, especially of sons, they do tend to multiply exponentially! If you are reading this now, do not be afraid to let those you love multiply exponentially!
For myself, though, the number increases like wildfire. You know, like the kind of wildfire that raged through my neck of the woods - or desert - in sunny southern California only a little more than 2 years ago almost exactly.
Take the day before yesterday, for instance. I was minding my own business trying to purchase a few groceries to hoard - haha, just kidding! I was buying only $256 of absolute necessities, except maybe those 4 banana cream pies, but honestly, they were mini ones, two to a box, BOGO (that's buy one, get one free, which really should be BOGOF, but BOGOF doesn't roll off the tongue quite as smoothly) - and believe me, I've become an expert at the grocery store lately, and there is NOT a run on banana cream pies, difficult as this may be to believe!
But let's get back into the checkout line in our little docudrama so you can see what I did.
I'm tempted to post here the photo I took (really, I did), but it was taken as a direct head shot of the three of us, and the day before yesterday that wasn't my best angle....So let it suffice for me to tell you in words (rather than in a picture is worth a thousand - ) about the two new sons I met.
Although I am, URL (that is, Under Relatively Legal adopted name, or URLan), MISS MARCEL, I think it is fair today to reveal that I am also URL/IRL as they say (or IRRLL, as we might say: In Remarkably Real Looking Life, though not exactly REAL LIFE which is Eternal Life), often called Suzie ANDRES.
I cap all those last letters of my surname, my married name, my treasured spousal name (St. Joseph's was "of the Blessed Virgin Mary" which I think may have been his favorite title too) because getting back to those banana cream pies, when I was in the checkout line at Publix the other day, I was kibbitzing with the checker and the bagger, as we love to so colloquially call them, when suddenly I noticed the checker's name tag. There in large capital letters on a pin on his chest (don't worry, it was stuck through his black Publix apron) I read ANDRES! Well, no exclamation point, but there was my name on his name tag!
I told him of our near relation, and though I forebore to hug him, which forebearance is my social distancing measure (for those of us who are unrepentant huggers, 6 feet = no hug, just barely), I couldn't help laughing and explaining that he should be my son: Andres Andres!
I turned to laughingly explain this to the bagger, who had perhaps missed my first explanation in his haste to hide my banana cream pies for me and save me the embarrassment of failing to hoard anything like masks or gloves (don't worry, I might have, but the store was out), when what to my wondering eyes did appear? No, silly, not reindeer but another nametag, this time on the baggers apron, and I KID YOU NOT - it said ANDRE!!!!! (again, sans the exclamation points, but otherwise clear as day: ANDRE).
I did, then, semi-legally adopt them on the spot (by taking a selfie, and I'm afraid we may not have been 6 feet apart, but then again, we were FAMILY!), and so I do confess that my sons are multiplying more rapidly than bottles of corona at a quinceanera!
Which brings me, however, to sons 1, 2, and 3 . . . (and I will need to check on 4 later today, but it is early yet as I write).
It is, as I mentioned at the outset, just under our prayers or in that general area of today's celebratory post, a time of unprecedented (for us) grace, because on this very feast of the father of the Holy Family, we are being called to go home and stay there.
I then asked, "Where is your home?" You can tell as you are reading this by checking on where you are standing, because most of us are standing, or sitting, or lounging hopefully in a comfortable chair with a good book or this blog post at present, at home.
My home looked like California, but the moment it occurred to me (along the rest of the nation) that we might be called to STAY PUT at home, I found myself magically transported by hollow metal tube high in the sky to my Real home, as it turns out, namely my in-laws house in south Florida.
Son #2 is winging his way here as we speak - though his home is as yet undetermined, being as he now suddenly is, a "rising freshmen," that is, the school year as we know it having abruptly changed beyond recognition even for homeschoolers, he's just as much ready for college (where he'll go in the fall) as he'll ever be!
Son #1 had to stay in Denver, so we are calling that his home for now.
But Son #3? He is on his surprised but obedient way home to Nigeria for the first time in 7 years, leaving today, under the protection and guidance of his father St. Joseph and the dear traveling companion St. Raphael who assists his own guardian angel in getting him across the world safely and smoothly.
My goodness won't his #2 mom give him the biggest hug anyone has seen in at least 2 weeks, what with all this social distancing, but once you are home in your mama's arms, who can stop you from being embraced by her loving arms, come what may?????
His mom #1, Our Blessed Mother the Immaculate Spouse of good St. Joseph, has never left his side these last 7 years (or the previous ones since his birth), just as she refuses to leave ours.
For myself, mom #3 or "American Mom" as we call me, I cannot help but rejoice with Moms #1 and #2 as our boy goes to his birth home and is encircled by his family. What a brilliant move on God's part to send him on the feast of his dear father and guardian (and His father and guardian, come to think of it), good St. Joseph.
Hooray for St. Joseph!
Hooray for little Jesus, God Himself, his son!
Hooray for unexpected changes in plans, hooray for homes, hooray for Moms, especially Mother Mary, and reunions, especially with sons, and hooray for this unprecedented time of grace.
Just when we thought St. Joseph was sleeping, he's wide awake and ready for action.
And remember how I promised to send you St. Joseph sleeping holy cards?
Well that is a project put on the back burner, you might say (since we're now in a virus, not a fire, I think that image is acceptable! Though my, how these crises do come and go! This too shall pass.......)
The cards got made all right, but darn if I haven't been packing, flying, seeking shelter, entering a retreat house, and finally settling in at my Florida home with my in-laws, God bless them, and I haven't found a moment to pick up those cards from Staples and pop them into the mail to those who requested them. I'm so sorry! Let's just make of it another sacrifice for the common good, and know that St. Joseph will do better than send you a card through me, he will bestow upon you his unique and irreplaceable fatherly hand and blessing! And who couldn't use that about right now? So if you haven't done so yet, request of him (and me too, if you like!) a gift of love from Heaven. The Saints, and especially one so universally in charge of us as good St. Joseph, guardian of the Heavenly Father's greatest treasure, never forget us and never let a single sigh go unanswered or rewarded. And I bet you've had your share of sighs lately like the rest of us!
Whether you've made it home yet or not then - and for all of us still firmly in this life of exile, I can tell you we haven't really made it HOME no matter what square inch of earth we currently inhabit! - I wish you the happiest and most blessed of St. Joseph Days ever!
And in his honor, let's quote the consoling words of his beloved and Immaculate Spouse, Our Lady of Guadalupe:
Hear and let it penetrate your heart, my dear little one:
Let nothing discourage you, nothing depress you.
Let nothing alter your heart or your countenance.
Am I not here who am your Mother?
Are you not under my shadow and protection?
Am I not your fountain of life?
Are you not in the folds of my mantle?
In the crossing of my arms?
Is there anything else that you need?
Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain.
Jesus bid us (you can find it in black and white in St. John's gospel, Chapter 14 and following):
Let not your hearts be troubled . . . Let not your hearts be troubled or afraid,
and this same Beloved Disciple St. John was the one to tell us, God is Love, and Perfect Love casts out all fear.
My prayer for you today and ongoing, as it has been for a long time, but all the more so on the day we rejoice in the guardianship, the love, the fatherly care and spousal wonder of St. Joseph, is that you BE NOT AFRAID, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the Kingdom.
If you can't find milk or eggs or Lysol at your local store, just grab a banana cream pie or whatever is handy and will put a smile on your sweet face, and be assured that the Kingdom is yours, if not various products we may or may not really need.
What comes next? Well, we may have to wait until May, but I'd say the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker comes next! And well before that we will be celebrating the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our adorable Jesus, so be not afraid, simply snuggle close to His merciful Heart (as He told St. Faustina to tell us), and let Him love you more than ever before. He is so good, so meek, so humble and gentle, just like His earthly father, St. Joseph, chaste spouse of His Only Mother, dear Mary, Immaculate spouse of Joseph.
Thank You, Jesus, for every single thing Your beautiful hands bestow upon us.
Please cover the world in Your love and cast out all fear.
Remind us, through each other's smiles and laughter, as well as through the gift of Your Saints and angels, of Your all-powerful protection, so beautifully imitated by and shared with our dear St. Joseph. May we rest in the peace of the Holy Family, a peace so joyful and true that it shone out from them to all they met, even amidst the greatest trials and unsettling times through which they lived together and traveled, first to Bethlehem, then to Egypt, and finally to Nazareth.
Draw me, Jesus, we shall run!!!
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