Prayers for all men today, to see the importance of St. Joseph in your lives.
Very important read we should all ponder today. From Saint John Paul II –
OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF
JOHN PAUL II
ON THE PERSON AND MISSION OF
IN THE LIFE OF CHRIST AND OF THE CHURCH
To Priests and Deacons
To Men and Women Religious
And to all the Lay Faithful
1. “Joseph did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took his wife” (cf. Mt 1 :24).
Inspired by the Gospel, the Fathers of the Church from the earliest centuries stressed that just as St. Joseph took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus Christ’s upbringing,(1) he likewise watches over and protects Christ’s Mystical Body, that is, the Church, of which the Virgin Mary is the exemplar and model.
On the occasion of the centenary of Pope Leo XIII’s Encyclical Epistle Quamquam Pluries,(2) and in line with the veneration given to St. Joseph over the centuries, I wish to offer for your consideration, dear brothers, and sisters, some reflections concerning him “into whose custody God entrusted his most precious treasures.”(3) I gladly fulfill this pastoral duty so that all may grow in devotion to the Patron of the Universal Church and in love for the Savior whom he served in such an exemplary manner.
In this way the whole Christian people not only will turn to St. Joseph with greater fervor and invoke his patronage with trust, but also will always keep before their eyes his humble, mature way of serving and of “taking part” in the plan of salvation.(4)
I am convinced that by reflection upon the way that Mary’s spouse shared in the divine mystery, the Church – on the road towards the future with all of humanity – will be enabled to discover ever anew her own identity within this redemptive plan, which is founded on the mystery of the Incarnation.
This is precisely the mystery in which Joseph of Nazareth “shared” like no other human being except Mary, the Mother of the Incarnate Word. He shared in it with her; he was involved in the same salvific event; he was the guardian of the same love, through the power of which the eternal Father “destined us to be his sons through Jesus Christ” (Eph 1:5).
Today being First Friday, along with the last School Mass before Summer Vacation, I attended the 9 AM Mass with my children and all their classmates. Following Mass, it was a day of FUN and no classes. I helped out getting lunches and with a few games and the entire time was nothing but a welcomed distraction away from the world. A distraction away from a lot of sadness I felt last night after attending a meeting, in which I will be a group leader for our Vacation Bible Study for children.
At the meeting last night, during the introductions, I couldn’t help but feel the worry from 90% of the other volunteers. Most of which are grandparents who are the ONLY source of religious activities in their grand children’s lives. Most of which mentioned that for most of the children who would be attending, the week long program was the ONLY TIME through the year, God was even mentioned in the children’s lives.
I couldn’t help but feel the secular world crushing down on these poor people as they watch with so much worry as another generation of children are growing up without any knowledge of God and the Catholic Faith. Where is the miscommunication? Where is the disconnect between them and the Catholic children THEY raised, who now refuse to give THEIR children the same gift of faith, their parents gave them?
I couldn’t help but think of how many baptisms are performed along with First Communions. How many people attend mass when there is a special occasion. Or even the amount of people who attend on Christmas & Easter. I wondered, where are all these couples were, who were so determined about having the big Catholic Wedding? When couples choose to get married in the Catholic Church, your swearing an oath to God, not just to each other, but also to the entire Church.
The Catholic spouse, if the other spouse is not Catholic, must promise to do all that he or she can to have the children baptized and raised in the Catholic faith. If your married in the Catholic Church its required to bring your children up Catholic. Where are all the parents? If more couples spent as much time preparing for that wedding day as they did ensuring their children know who God is, maybe our children could fix a lot of the problems we now have in today’s society. Never forget! The absence of God, is hell. If we can’t set aside at least some time each day to pray and learn about God with our children, ask yourself, who are you raising God’s children for?