Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Seven Sorrows and Joys of St. Joseph

"One has to suffer, in patience, the setbacks to our perfection, doing whatever we can to make progress in good spirit.  We hope with patience, and instead of getting frustrated at having done so little in the past, we try diligently to do more in the future." 
 ---St. Francis de Sales
I am very grateful to everyone who prayed for our family during these past weeks of illness.  Thankfully we are nearly recovered, and the sound of children playing is beginning to resound through our home again.  Deo gratias!  During all the days of sickness, many of my Lenten plans were put on hold.  While many times I may have grown frustrated at my inability to follow through with my Lenten resolutions, I believe the above quote by St. Francis de Sales is a more fitting response to the difficulties and slow progress we may face during our Lenten journey and, in fact, our entire spiritual journey.  St. Francis' quote is one I am currently contemplating and trying to remember as we work toward finishing the Lenten season with perseverance, devotion, and love of all the little crosses God chooses to give us.
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With the Feast of St. Joseph rapidly approaching, a fitting practice to add to our Lenten prayers would be to pray and meditate on the seven sorrows and joys of St. Joseph.  This holy figure is a shining example of complete surrender and trust in God's Divine Plan, a shining example of diligence and devotion lived in daily life, and a shining example of true love for our Lord and our Lady.  May we, upon meditating on the sorrows and joys of St. Joseph, imitate this great saint throughout Lent and our lives.
"The Dream of St. Joseph"

Seven Sorrows and Joys of St. Joseph
(***Recite one Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be after each number)

1. St. Joseph, Chaste Spouse of the Holy Mother of God, by the SORROW with which thy heart was pierced at the thought of a cruel separation from Mary, and by the deep JOY that thou didst feel when the angel revealed to thee the ineffable mystery of the Incarnation, obtain for us from Jesus and Mary the grace of surmounting all anxiety. Win for us from the Adorable Heart of Jesus the unspeakable peace of which He is the Eternal Source. ***

2. St. Joseph, Foster-Father of Jesus, by the bitter SORROW which thy heart experienced in seeing the Child Jesus lying in a manger, and by the JOY which thou didst feel in seeing the Wise men recognize and adore Him as their God, obtain by thy prayers that our heart, purified by thy protection, may become a living crib, where the Savior of the world may receive and bless our homage. ***

3. St. Joseph, by the SORROW with which thy heart was pierced at the sight of the Blood which flowed from the Infant Jesus in the Circumcision, and by the JOY that inundated thy soul at thy privilege of imposing the sacred and mysterious Name of Jesus, obtain for us that the merits of this Precious Blood may be applied to our souls, and that the Divine Name of Jesus may be engraved forever in our hearts. ***

4. St. Joseph, by the SORROW when the Lord declared that the soul of Mary would be pierced with a sword of sorrow, and by thy JOY when holy Simeon added that the Divine Infant was to be the resurrection of many, obtain for us the grace to have compassion on the sorrows of Mary and share in the salvation which Jesus brought to the earth. ***

5. St. Joseph, by thy SORROW when told to fly into Egypt, and by thy JOY in seeing the idols overthrown at the arrival of the living God, grant that no idol of earthly affection may any longer occupy our hearts, but being like thee entirely devoted to the service of Jesus and Mary, we may live and happily die for them alone. ***

6. St. Joseph, by the SORROW of thy heart caused by the fear of the tyrant Archelaus and by the JOY in sharing the company of Jesus and Mary at Nazareth, obtain for us, that disengaged from all fear, we may enjoy the peace of a good conscience and may live in security, in union with Jesus and Mary, experiencing the effect of thy salutary assistance at the hour of our death. ***

7. St. Joseph, by the bitter SORROW with which the loss of the Child Jesus crushed thy heart, and by the holy JOY which inundated thy soul in recovering thy Treasure on entering the Temple, we supplicate thee not to permit us to lose our Savior Jesus by sin. Yet, should this misfortune befall us, grant that we may share thy eagerness in seeking Him, and obtain for us the grace to find Him again, ready to show us His great mercy, especially at the hour of death; so that we may pass from this life to enjoy His presence in heaven, there to sing with thee His divine mercies forever. ***

Let Us Pray
O God, Who in Thine ineffable Providence has vouchsafed to choose Blessed Joseph to be the Spouse of Thy most holy Mother, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may deserve to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our holy protector, Who lives and reigns forever and ever.   Amen.

God bless!

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