Saint Joseph, you are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I come to you as an example of holiness, for you are especially close to God. Therefore, I humbly commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all for whom I pray, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death. Glorious Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, pray for me to have a pure, humble, charitable heart and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father and my model throughout life, that I may die as you did, in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore: …………….. (Mention your request) Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God St Joseph Most Just, Pray for us! Amen.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Thought for the Day – 10 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Hidden Life of Jesus
“Jesus chose to be an ordinary workman. He had power over the Angels of Heaven, over the sun and stars of the firmament, over the waves of the ocean and over all the elements, By a single act of His Divine Will , He could multiply loaves and change water into wine. Yet, He elected to earn His living by the sweat of His brow. In His times, the artisan was held in low esteem and was very often a slave. Manual labour was regarded as sordid and undignified. Christ wished to sanctify manual work by His own toil. He wished to teach men that, in the eyes of God, the hoe is as valuable as the pen. There is no difference between driving a plough and wielding a sceptre, as long as a man is fulfilling his duty for the love of God. The only thing in this regard which is displeasing to God, is laziness and inactivity. Anyone who leads an idle life at the expense of others, is breaking God’s law, which commands everyone to work.
Let us follow the example of Jesus the Worker. Let us avoid idleness, which is the father of vices and is opposed to the command of God (Cf Gen 3:19; 2 Thess 3:10). Let no-one claim that there is no need for him to work because he has enough money to last him all his life. There was far less need for Jesus to work in order to live, yet He chose to work as an ordinary labourer. If we do not have to work for our own sakes, let us reflect on how much need there is to work for others and for the glory of God. If justice does not compel us, charity does. It makes very little difference whether a man goes to hell for lack of justice or for lack of charity!”
Thursday of the First Week of Lent – 10 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – Ezechiel 18:1-9, Matthew 15:21-28
Keep me, O Lord, as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings. Psalm 16:8,2
“And behold, a Canaanite woman came out of that territory and cried out to Him, saying, ‘Have pity on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is sorely beset by a devil.’
“O WOMAN, YOUR FAITH IS GREAT. Let it be done to you as you wish” (Mt 15:28). Indeed, she had great enough faith, since she knew neither the ancient miracles, commands and promises of the prophets, nor the more recent ones of the Lord Himself.
IN ADDITION, as often as she was disregarded by the Lord, she persevered in her entreaties and she did not cease knocking by asking Him, although she knew only by popular opinion that He was the Saviour. On account of this, she secured the great object for which she implored…
IF ONE OF US has a conscience polluted by the stain of avarice, conceit, vain-glory, indignation, irascibility, or envy and the other vices, he has “a daughter badly troubled by a demon” like the Canaanite woman.
HE SHOULD HASTEN TO THE LORD, making supplication for her healing… Being submissive with due humility, [such a person] must not judge himself to be worthy of the company of the sheep of Israel (that is, souls that are pure) but instead, he must be of the opinion that he is unworthy of heavenly favours.
NEVERTHELESS, LET HIM NOT IN DESPAIR, rest from the earnestness of his entreaty but with his mind free of doubt, let him trust in the goodness of the supreme Benefactor, for the One who could make a confessor from a robber (Lk 23:39f.), an apostle from a persecutor (Acts 9:1-30, an evangelist from a publican (Mt 9:9-13) and who could make sons for Abraham out of stones, could turn even the most insignificant dog into an Israelite sheep.”…St Bede the Venerable (673-735) – Father & Doctor of the Church
Quote/s of the Day – 10 March –Thursday of the First Week of Lent – Ezechiel 18:1-9, Matthew 15:21-28
“You are rewarded, not according to your work, or your time but according to the measure of your love.”
St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church
“Then steer your ship with steady arm, Trust Me and rest your soul. Your little boat I’ll keep from harm, I’ll guide it toward its goal. … Be therefore, steadfast, calm and true, Your God is at your side. Through storm and night He’ll see you through With conscience as your guide.”
St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross OCD.(1891-1942 Edith Stein “At the Helm”
“I think He intends to try you like gold in the crucible, so as to number you amongst His most faithful servants. Therefore, you must lovingly embrace all occasions of suffering, considering them as precious tokens of His love. To suffer in silence and without complaint, is what He asks of you.”
“Go courageously to God, along the way He has traced out for you, steadfastly embracing the means He offers you.”
St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690)
“When the sister of St Thomas Aquinas asked him how to become holy, he replied that it needed only one thing – a firm act of the will, for God will certainly supply the necessary grace. The grace of God is the principal weapon upon which we must depend in order to gain our victory. We should pray for it humbly and perseveringly. There will be victors and losers in the battle for Heaven, as well as in earthly contests. We must make sure, that we are on the winning side! For this purpose, we should combine fervent and constant prayer with generous co-operation with the grace of God.”
One Minute Reflection – 10 March – Thursday of the First Week of Lent – Ezechiel 18:1-9, Matthew 15:21-28
“But she said, Yes, Lord; for even the dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” – Matthew 15:27
REFLECTION – “See her humility as well as her faith! For He had called the Jews “children” but she was not satisfied with this. She even called them “masters,” so far was she from grieving at the praises of others. She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Behold the woman’s wisdom! She did not venture so much as to say a word against anyone else. She was not stung to see others praised, nor was she indignant to be reproached. Behold her constancy! When He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs,” she said, “Yes, Lord.” He called them “children” but she called them “masters.” He used the name of a dog but she described the action of the dog. Do you see this woman’s humility?
Then compare her humility with the proud language of the Jews: “We are Abraham’s seed and were never in bondage to any man.” “We are born of God.” But not so this woman. Rather, she calls herself a dog and them masters. So for this reason, she became a child. For what does Christ then say? “O woman, great is your faith.”
So we might surmise that this is the reason He put her off, in order that He might proclaim aloud this saying and that He might crown the woman: “Be it done for you as you desire.” This means “Your faith, indeed, is able to effect even greater things than these. Nevertheless, be it unto you even as you wish.” This Voice was at one with the Voice that said, “Let the heaven be,” and it was. “And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”
Do you see how this woman, too, contributed not a little to the healing of her daughter? For note that Christ did not say, “Let your little daughter be made whole” but “Great is your faith, be it done for you as you desire.” These words were not uttered at random, nor were they flattering words,but great was the power of her faith and for our learning. He left the certain test and demonstration, however, to the issue of events. Her daughter accordingly was immediately healed.” – St John Chrysostom (347-407) Archbishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor (The Gospel of Matthew – Homily 52).
PRAYER – We beseech You, O Lord, look graciously upon the fervour of Your people, who mortify themselves in the flesh through abstinence: that they may be refreshed in mind by the fruit of these good works. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).
Saint of the Day – 10 March – Saint Macarius (Died c 335) Bishop of Jerusalem from 312 until his death, Defender of the Faith against Arianism, founder of the True Cross with St Helena, organiser and manager of the building of the Sacred Basilicas, including the Church of the Holy Sepuchre in Jerusalem, paid for by St Constantine the Great, St Helena’s son. Also of great import is the fact that Bishop Macarius was one of the two main authors of the Nicene Creed, that is, of the Creed that we still pronounce in Mass today, professing faith “In one God, the Father Almighty” and “In one Lord, Jesus Christ. .. True God from true God.” Died c 335 of natural causes. Also known as – Macario.
The Roman Martyrology states of him today: “The commemoration of St Macarius, Bishop of Jerusalem, on whose exhortation the holy places were brought to light by Constantine the Great and his mother, St Helena and ennobled with, the construction of the Sacred Basilicas.”
St Athanasius, in one of his orations against Arianism, refers to Macarius as an example of “the honest and simple style of apostolic men.” The date 312 for Macarius’s accession to the Episcopate is found in St Jerome’s version of Eusebius of Caesarea’s Chronicle. And Macarius is listed as one of the Bishops to whom St Alexander of Alexandria wrote warning against Arias.
Macarius accompanied St Helena Augusta, the mother of St Constantine I, in her search in Jerusalem for relics of the Passion of Jesus, including the Sacred Cross on which Jesus was Crucified.
According to Eusebius, he received a long letter from Constantine with reference to the building of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem: “Such is our Saviour’s grace, that no power of language seems adequate to describe the wondrous circumstance to which I am about to refer. For, that the monument of His most holy Passion, so long ago buried beneath the ground, should have remained unknown for so long a series of years, until its reappearance to His servants now set free through the removal of him who was the common enemy of all, is a fact, which truly surpasses all admiration … And as to the columns and marbles, whatever you shall judge, after actual inspection of the plan, to be especially precious and serviceable, be diligent to send information to us in writing, in order that whatever quantity or sort of materials we shall esteem from your letter to be needful, may be procured from every quarter, as required, for it is fitting that the most marvellous place in the world should be worthily decorated.”
Macarius took part in the Council of Nicaea (325), and two concl;usions as to the part he played there are worth mentioning. The first is that there was a passage of arms between him and his Archbishop, St Eusebius of Caesarea, concerning the rights of their respective Sees. The seventh Canon of the Council — “As custom and ancient tradition show that the Bishop of Ælia [Jerusalem] ought to be honoured, he shall have precedence; without prejudice, however, to the dignity which belongs to the Metropolis” — by its vagueness suggests that it was the result of a drawn battle. The second conclusion, is that Macarius, together with St Eustathius of Antioch, had a good deal to do with the drafting of the Nicene Creed finally adopted by the First Council of Nicæa in 325 and which was introduced into the Mass by St Leander (534-600).
The vigour of his opposition to the Arianists is suggested by the abusive manner in which Arias writes of him in his letter to Eusebius of Nicomedia. Macarius’s name appears first among those of the Bishops of Palestine who subscribed to the Council of Nicæa. Athanasius, in his encyclical letter to the Bishops of Egypt and Libya, places the name of Macarius (who had been long dead at that time) among those Bishops renowned for their orthodoxy. Macarius here at the Council, also appointed Maximus, who afterwards succeeded him, Bishop of Lydia and that the appointment did not take effect because the people of Jerusalem refused to part with Maximus. He also gives another version of the story, to the effect that Macarius himself changed his mind, fearing that, if Maximus was out of the way, an unorthodox Bishop would be appointed to succeed him. The fact that Macarius was then nearing his end would explain the reluctance, whether on his part or that of his flock, to be deprived of Maximus.
After the Council Constantine requested Macarius to search for the sites of the Resurrection and the Passion and the True Cross. It is likely that this is what happened, for excavations were begun very soon after the Council and, completely under the management of Macarius.
The huge mound and stonework with the temple of Venus on the top, which in the time of Hadrian had been piled up over the Holy Sepulchre, were demolished,and “when the original surface of the ground appeared, forthwith, contrary to all expectation, the hallowed monument of our Saviour’s Resurrection was discovered”. On hearing the news Constantine wrote to Macarius giving lavish orders for the erection of a Church on the site. Later on, he wrote another letter “To Macarius and the rest of the Bishops of Palestine” ordering a Church to be built at Mambre, which also had been defiled by a pagan shrine. St Macarius also oversaw and arranged the building of the Churches n the sites of the Nativity and Ascension.
St Alexander of Apema St Anastasia the Patrician St Andrew of Strumi St Attalas of Bobbio St Blanchard of Nesle-la-Réposte St Caius of Apema St Cordratus of Nicomedië St Droctoveus of Paris Bl Elias del Socorro Nieves St Emilian of Lagny St Failbhe the Little St Gustav the Hermit St Himelin Bl Jean-Marie Joseph Lataste