April 18 – Optional Memorial of Blessed Mary of the Incarnation, Religious

April 17th, 2024 by Gabriel McAuliffe

You may find the Carmelite Proper Offices for the Optional Memorial of Blessed Mary of the Incarnation, Religious, courtesy of the Discalced Carmelites of Canada.

Marie of the Incarnation

Wikimedia Commons – Public Domain

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April 17 – Optional Memorial of Blessed Baptist Spagnoli, Priest

April 16th, 2024 by Gabriel McAuliffe

You may find the Carmelite Proper Offices for the Optional Memorial of Blessed Baptist Spagnoli, Priest, courtesy of the Discalced Carmelites of Canada.

Paridi_Ceresar_Baptista_Mantovano

Wikimedia Commons – Public Domain

 

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Readings on Saint Joseph

March 19th, 2024 by Gabriel McAuliffe

Saint Joseph, Provident Protector

Saint Joseph Guido Reni

Wikimedia Commons – Public Domain

Below are stories and writings about Saint Joseph from the Gospel, the Life of Saint Teresa, and an homily by the Pope. These readings may aid in our meditation.

From the Gospel of Saint Matthew
Mt 1:16, 18-21, 24a

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.

From the Gospel of Saint Luke
Lk 2:41-51a

Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,
and when he was twelve years old,
they went up according to festival custom.
After they had completed its days, as they were returning,
the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem,
but his parents did not know it.
Thinking that he was in the caravan,
they journeyed for a day
and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
but not finding him,
they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.
After three days they found him in the temple,
sitting in the midst of the teachers,
listening to them and asking them questions,
and all who heard him were astounded
at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him,
they were astonished,
and his mother said to him,
“Son, why have you done this to us?
Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
And he said to them,
“Why were you looking for me?
Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
But they did not understand what he said to them.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth,
and was obedient to them.

From the Sixth Chapter of the Life of Saint Teresa of Jesus

6….
I took for my advocate and lord the glorious St. Joseph and earnestly recommended myself to him. I saw clearly that as in this need so in other greater ones concerning honor and loss of soul this father and lord of mine came to my rescue in better ways than I knew how to ask for. I don’t recall up to this day ever having petitioned him for anything that he failed to grant. It is an amazing thing the great many favors God has granted me through the mediation of this blessed saint, the dangers I was freed from both of body and soul. For with other saints it seems the Lord has given them grace to be of help in one need, whereas with this glorious saint I have experience that he helps in all our needs and that the Lord wants to us understand that just as He was subject to St. Joseph on earth –for since bearing the title of father, being the Lord’s tutor, Joseph could give the Child command –so in heaven God does whatever he commands.

This had been observed by other persons, also through experience, whom I have told to recommend themselves to him. And so there are many who in experiencing this truth renew their devotion to him.

7. I endeavored to celebrate his feast with all the solemnity possible. But, in my desire to do so very carefully and well, I was filled more with vanity than with spirituality, though my intention was good. This was a fault I had, that if the Lord gave me the grace to do something good, what I did was filled with imperfections and many failures. In wrongdoing, curiosity, and vanity, I was especially skilled and diligent. May the Lord pardon me.

8. Because of my impressive experience of the goods this glorious saint obtains from God, I had the desire to persuade all to be devoted to him. I have not known anyone truly devoted to him and rendering him special services who has not advanced more in virtue. For in a powerful way he benefits souls who recommend themselves to him. It seems to me that for some years now I have asked him for something on his feast day, and my petition is always granted. If the request is somewhat out of line, he rectifies it for my greater good. If I were a person who had authority for writing I would willingly and in a very detailed way enlarge upon what I am saying about the favors his glorious saint did for me and for others. But so as to do no more than what they gave me the command to do, I will be briefer in many matters than I desire, more extensive in others than necessary –in sum, like one who has little discretion in anything that is good. I only ask for the love of God anyone who do not believe me to try, and he will see through experience the great good that comes from recommending oneself to this glorious patriarch and being devoted to him. Especially persons of prayer should always be attached to him. For I don’t know how one can think about the Queen of Angels and about when she went through so much with the Infant Jesus without giving thanks to St. Joseph for the good assistance he then provided them both with. Anyone who cannot find a master to teach him prayer should take this glorious saint for his master, and he will not go astray. Please God I may not have erred in being so bold as to speak about him, for although publicly I am devoted to him, I have always been lacking in serving and imitating him. For he being who he is brought it about that I could rise and walk and not be crippled; and I being who I am used this favor badly.

From the Inaugural Mass of Pope Francis on the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, March 19, 2013

In the Gospel we heard that “Joseph did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary as his wife” (Mt 1:24). These words already point to the mission which God entrusts to Joseph: he is to be the custos, the protector. The protector of whom? Of Mary and Jesus; but this protection is then extended to the Church, as Blessed John Paul II pointed out: “Just as Saint Joseph took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus Christ’s upbringing, he likewise watches over and protects Christ’s Mystical Body, the Church, of which the Virgin Mary is the exemplar and model.”

How does Joseph exercise his role as protector? Discreetly, humbly and silently, but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand. From the time of his betrothal to Mary until the finding of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem, he is there at every moment with loving care. As the spouse of Mary, he is at her side in good times and bad, on the journey to Bethlehem for the census and in the anxious and joyful hours when she gave birth; amid the drama of the flight into Egypt and during the frantic search for their child in the Temple; and later in the day-to-day life of the home of Nazareth, in the workshop where he taught his trade to Jesus.

How does Joseph respond to his calling to be the protector of Mary, Jesus and the Church? By being constantly attentive to God, open to the signs of God’s presence and receptive to God’s plans, and not simply to his own. This is what God asked of David, as we heard in the first reading. God does not want a house built by men, but faithfulness to his word, to his plan. It is God himself who builds the house, but from living stones sealed by his Spirit. Joseph is a “protector” because he is able to hear God’s voice and be guided by his will; and for this reason he is all the more sensitive to the persons entrusted to his safekeeping. He can look at things realistically, he is in touch with his surroundings, he can make truly wise decisions. In him, dear friends, we learn how to respond to God’s call, readily and willingly, but we also see the core of the Christian vocation, which is Christ! Let us protect Christ in our lives, so that we can protect others, so that we can protect creation!

The vocation of being a “protector”, however, is not just something involving us Christians alone; it also has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live. It means protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about. It means caring for one another in our families: husbands and wives first protect one another, and then, as parents, they care for their children, and children themselves, in time, protect their parents. It means building sincere friendships in which we protect one another in trust, respect, and goodness. In the end, everything has been entrusted to our protection, and all of us are responsible for it. Be protectors of God’s gifts!

Whenever human beings fail to live up to this responsibility, whenever we fail to care for creation and for our brothers and sisters, the way is opened to destruction and hearts are hardened. Tragically, in every period of history there are “Herods” who plot death, wreak havoc, and mar the countenance of men and women.

Please, I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be “protectors” of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment. Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world! But to be “protectors”, we also have to keep watch over ourselves! Let us not forget that hatred, envy and pride defile our lives! Being protectors, then, also means keeping watch over our emotions, over our hearts, because they are the seat of good and evil intentions: intentions that build up and tear down! We must not be afraid of goodness or even tenderness!

Here I would add one more thing: caring, protecting, demands goodness, it calls for a certain tenderness. In the Gospels, Saint Joseph appears as a strong and courageous man, a working man, yet in his heart we see great tenderness, which is not the virtue of the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love. We must not be afraid of goodness, of tenderness!

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REDEMPTORIS CUSTOS – An Apolstolic Exhortation by Saint John Paul II

March 19th, 2024 by Gabriel McAuliffe

Saint John Paul II wrote an apolstolic exohortation in 1989 on the life and virtues of Saint Joseph and his place in the life of the Church. It may aid in our meditation for this week’s Solemnity on March 19, that of Saint Joseph.

Joseph with the Child and the Flowering Rod
Alonso Miguel de Tovar

Wikimedia Commons – Public Domain

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Solemnity of St. Joseph

March 18th, 2024 by Gabriel McAuliffe

Tonight we start celebrating the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Patron of the Discalced Carmelite order, the Universal Church, of workers, the family, and our province, among many others.

You may confirm the prayer for Evening Prayer I by accessing the Liturgies.net hyperlink: http://www.liturgies.net/saints/joseph/eveningprayeri.htm

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March 18 (Transferred from Sunday) – Morning Prayer for the Solemnity of Saint Patrick, Bishop and Co-Patron of the Diocese of Sacramento

March 17th, 2024 by Gabriel McAuliffe

 

Statue of St. Patrick
Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Sacramento
Photo used with permission.

INVITATORY

Lord, + open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Ant.  Come, let us worship Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

Psalm 95
A call to praise God

Encourage each other daily while it is still today (Hebrews 3:13).

Come, let us sing to the Lord *
and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.
Let us approach him with praise and thanksgiving *
and sing joyful songs to the Lord.

Ant.  Come, let us worship Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

The Lord is God, the mighty God, *
the great king over all the gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth *
and the highest mountains as well.
He made the sea; it belongs to him, *
the dry land, too, for it was formed by his hands.

Ant.  Come, let us worship Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

Come, then, let us bow down and worship, *
bending the knee before the Lord, our maker.
For he is our God and we are his people, *
the flock he shepherds.

Ant.  Come, let us worship Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

Today, listen to the voice of the Lord: †
Do not grow stubborn, as your fathers did
in the wilderness, *
when at Meriba and Massah
they challenged me and provoked me, *
Although they had seen all of my works.

Ant.  Come, let us worship Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

Forty years I endured that generation. *
I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray
and they do not know my ways.”
So I swore in my anger, *
“They shall not enter into my rest.”

Ant.  Come, let us worship Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant.  Come, let us worship Christ, chief shepherd of the flock.

If the Invitatory is not said, then the following is used:

God, + come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, will be for ever. Amen.

HYMN

The King of love my shepherd is,
Whose goodness fails me never;
I nothing lack if I am his
And he is mine forever.

Where streams of living water flow,
To rest my soul he leads me;
Where fresh and fertile pastures grow,
With heav’nly food he feeds me.

Perverse and foolish I have strayed,
But he with love has sought me,
And on his shoulder gently laid,
And home rejoicing brought me.

In death’s dark vale I fear no ill,
With you, dear Lord, beside me;
Your rod and staff my comfort still,
Your cross will ever guide me.

You spread a banquet in my sight,
My head with oil anointing,
And let me taste the sweet delight
From your pure chalice flowing.

And so through all my length of days
Your goodness fails me never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing your praise
Within your house for ever.

Tune: Saint Columba (Erin) 87.87
Music: Traditional Irish Melody
Text: Henry Williams Baker, 1821-1877, alt. by Anthony G. Petti

Or:

Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things.
Give heart, and soul, and mind, and strength
To serve the King of kings.

Rise up, O men of God!
His kingdom tarries long:
Bring in the day of brotherhood
And end the night of wrong.

Rise up, O men of God!
The Church for you does wait:
Sent forth to serve the needs of men;
In Christ, our strength is great.

Lift high the cross of Christ!
Tread where his feet have trod.
As brothers of the Son of Man,
Rise up, O men of God!

Tune: Festal Song S.M.
Music: William H. Walter, 1894
Text: William Pierson Merrill, 1911

PSALMODY

Ant. 1  You are the light of the world; a city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

Psalm 63:2-9
A soul thirsting for God

Whoever has left the darkness of sin yearns for God.

O God, you are my God, for you I long; *
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you *
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary *
to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life, *
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life, *
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet, *
my mouth shall praise you with joy.

On my bed I remember you. *
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help; *
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you; *
your right hand holds me fast.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

Father, creator of unfailing light, give that same light to those who call to you. May our lips praise you; our lives proclaim your goodness; our work give you honor, and our voices celebrate you for ever.

Ant. 1  You are the light of the world; a city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

Ant. 2 Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father.

Canticle: Daniel 3:57-88, 56
Let all creatures praise the Lord

All you servants of the Lord, sing praise to him (Revelation 19:5).

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
You heavens, bless the Lord.
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord. *
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord. *
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord. *
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord. *
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord. *
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord. *
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord. *
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

Let the earth bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord. *
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord. *
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord. *
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord. *
You sons of men, bless the Lord.

O Israel, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord. *
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.

Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. *
Let us praise and exalt him above all forever.
Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven. *
Praiseworthy and glorious and exalted above all forever.

Ant. 2 Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father.

Ant. 3 God’s word is alive; it strikes to the heart. It pierces more surely that a two-edged sword.

Psalm 149
The joy of God’s holy people

Let the sons of the Church, the children of the new people, rejoice in Christ, their King (Hesychius).

Sing a new song to the Lord, *
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker, *
let Zion’s sons exult in their king.
Let them praise his name with dancing *
and make music with timbrel and harp.

For the Lord takes delight in his people. *
He crowns the poor with salvation.
Let the faithful rejoice in their glory, *
shout for joy and take their rest.
Let the praise of God be on their lips *
and a two-edged sword in their hand,

to deal out vengeance to the nations *
and punishment on all the peoples;
to bind their kings in chains *
and their nobles in fetters of iron;
to carry out the sentence pre-ordained; *
this honor is for all his faithful.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

Let Israel rejoice in you, Lord, and acknowledge you as creator and redeemer. We put our trust in your faithfulness and proclaim the wonderful truths of salvation. May your loving kindness embrace us now and for ever.

Ant. 3  God’s word is alive; it strikes to the heart. It pierces more surely that a two-edged sword.

READING                                                                            Hebrews 13:7-9a

Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you; consider how their lives ended, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching.

RESPONSORY

On your walls, Jerusalem, I have set my watchmen to guard you.
On your walls, Jerusalem, I have set my watchmen to guard you.

Day or night, they will not cease to proclaim the name of the Lord.
I have set my watchmen to guard you.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
On your walls, Jerusalem, I have set my watchmen to guard you.

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH

Ant.  Go, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Luke 1:68-79
The Messiah and his forerunner

Blessed + be the Lord, the God of Israel; *
he has come to his people and set them free.

He has raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old †
that he would save us from our enemies, *
from the hands of all who hate us.

He promised to show mercy to our fathers *
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear, *
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation *
by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant.  Go, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

INTERCESSIONS

Christ is the Good Shepherd who laid down his life for his sheep. Let us praise and thank him as we pray:
Nourish your people, Lord.

Christ, you decided to show your merciful love through your holy shepherds,
let your mercy always reach us through them.
Nourish your people, Lord.

Through your vicars you continue to perform the ministry of shepherd of souls,
direct us always through our leaders.
Nourish your people, Lord.

Through your holy ones, the leaders of your people, you served as physician of our bodies and our spirits,
continue to fulfill your ministry of life and holiness in us.
Nourish your people, Lord.

You taught your flock through the prudence and love of your saints,
grant us continual growth in holiness under the direction of our pastors.
Nourish your people, Lord.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

(Gathering our prayer and praises into one, let us offer the prayer Christ himself taught us:)

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done on earth
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

God our Father,
you sent Saint Patrick
to preach your glory to the people of Ireland.
By the help of his prayers,
may all Christians proclaim your love to all men.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

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