Closing out the Year of St. Joseph

Jo-B from Pixabay

While November has just started, December is rushing towards us as Christmas commercial and store decorations want to remind us. I wanted to share with you and your family about a nice way to close out this Year of St. Joseph. I am not sure what (if anything) your family has done but don’t be discouraged or let up on the gas depending on where you are.

One suggestion? The program, Mother of Divine Grace https://modg.org/, is familiar with many of us who homeschool. They are a wonderful Catholic apostolate who has help for families beyond the classes they offer. A friend, whose children have been enrolled for years, was kind enough to send around the following message from Laura Berquist, the founder:

Dear Friends,

We are approaching the end of the Year of St. Joseph, and I have come across a beautiful prayer of consecration to the Holy Family. I encourage you to join us in praying the consecration on December 8th, as well as the daily preparation prayers that begin on Friday. Starting tomorrow, November 5th, we will be praying this prayer to the Holy Spirit daily:

“Come, O Holy Spirit, and kindle in our hearts the same fire of Love that burns in the hearts of the Holy Family. Help us to give all we are and all we have to Jesus through the hands of Mary and Joseph. Amen.”

Finally, on December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and the final day of the Year of St. Joseph, we conclude by consecrating ourselves, our families, our country, and the world to Jesus through Mary and Joseph. 

Holy Family of Nazareth, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, hear our prayers for ourselves, our country, and the whole world.O Sacred Heart of Jesus, we consecrate ourselves to you. May we belong entirely to you and do all things for love of you. You are the way, the truth, and the life, our hope in despair, our light in darkness, our refuge at the hour of death. Though we have merited just punishment, we entrust ourselves to your Divine Mercy. Annihilate in us all that displeases you, all that does not work for love of you. Imprint your love and mercy so deeply in our hearts that we may always act according to your holy will. Jesus, I trust in you!O Immaculate Heart of Mary, we consecrate ourselves to you. Set us ablaze with love for Jesus and the members of His Body. You are our mother and our teacher in the mysteries of Christ. Help us become perfect instruments of God’s grace. When we fall, pick us up; when we despair, hold us close; when we resist God, push us ever more toward Him. Mary, Mother of Hope, have pity on us. O Chaste Heart of Joseph, we consecrate ourselves to you. Accept us into your holy family, and be for us a father. As you once protected Jesus and Mary, so too protect us from all bodily and spiritual harm. In this life of difficulties, uncertainties, and fears, help us imitate your prayerful trust, so that we may never doubt that God is faithful and true. Help us to do all our work as you did, with full dedication to Jesus and Mary. St. Joseph, terror of demons, pray for us.Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, may our hearts be ever united to yours. Deliver us from the evils that beset us, and grant that by being totally united to you we may help extend as far as possible the blessed Kingdom of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Amen.

Please join the MODG Community in praying together, all of us, for each other. This is a time when we need to draw on the great graces available through the Mystical Body of Christ as we have access to it in our particular community.

With love and prayers, 
Laura

Perhaps your family wants to join in the effort. I know many of us are always in the middle of a novena or some other pray obligation, but this seems easy to add. I’m going to print out two copies and put one on the dining room table as well as put one by the TV as a reminder to say it before watching evening shows if we haven’t already.

You might consider sharing this with your club families as the world can certainly use more families consecrated to the protection, patronage and prayers of the Holy Family.

What is your “Battle of Leponto”?

The Battle of Lepanto by Paolo Veronese, public domain, wiki

With the Feast of the Our Lady of the Rosary just past, many of us know its history. As a quick refresher, this naval battle between the Holy League (a group of Catholics) and the Ottoman empire was a real David vs. Goliath. Catholics being David and Goliath was played by the Ottomans. Spoiler alert: ‘David’ wins again and the ‘stones’ that were used were all connected in the thousands of Rosaries that were said.

You can read more here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Lepanto

In talking about it with my kids during history and reading of GK Chesterton’s poem about it,

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/47917/lepanto

I was reminded that everyone has their own Battle of Lepanto, a fight that seems impossible to win. Each and everyone of us is David and each of us have our own Goliath.

What are you facing today? What struggle do you face that seems already a lost cause, an impossible victory?

Give it to Mary. Take some time to say a quiet Rosary and ask the Queen of Heaven and Earth to bring you the peace and confidence you need to continue the fight and ignore the smoke that billows around your heart, mind and soul.

I’ve got my own Lepantos and I’m always tempted to give up the ship but I remember this was a real, actual moment in history when the faithful overcame the enemy by keeping their beads in their hands, their heads bowed in prayer and their faces set for the fight. Domino Gloria!

Just had an idea, on this first Monday of October –

Blessed John Duns Scotus,
Justus van Gent, wiki

The first Monday of October always heralds the opening of our Supreme Court. This session seems to be more important than ever as it includes another case dealing with abortion. By God’s providence, while waiting for Mass this morning and flipping through my Magnificat, I came across Blessed John Duns Scotus (he is mentioned with Blessed Agnellus of Pisa, pg. 81, “Saints Who Transformed the Culture”).

Did you catch that? His last name is the acronym by which we call the Supreme Court – Supreme Court of the United States – SCOTUS! I was immediately struck with an idea.


I hereby put forth that we offer prayers for our Supreme Court and the very important cases it will hear this session to the intercession of Blessed John Duns Scotus.


From his wiki page we learn: 


“Duns the Scot”, was a Scottish Catholic priest and Franciscan friar, university professor, philosopher, and theologian. He is one of the four most important philosopher-theologians of Western Europe in the High Middle Ages, together with Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure, and William of Ockham.[10] Scotus has had considerable influence on both Catholic and secular thought.”

Who knew!!??? I had never heard of him but in reading of his intelligence, clear headedness and impact on philosophy and theology, he seems quite capable of the job, don’t you agree?


As a suggestion, here’s a prayer I adapted from the Aleteia website on him and the Franciscan Proper of Saints:


Lord God, source of all wisdom,
in Blessed John Duns Scotus,
priest and champion of the Immaculate Virgin,
you have given us a master of life and thought.

Grant that,
Enlightened by his example and nourished by his doctrine, our Supreme Court would make decisions founded in right judgement and Your divine will. Inspire the justices to align themselves and their thoughts to the wisdom of Blessed John Duns Scotus.


We may remain faithful followers of Christ,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Thanks for letting me share this idea and feel free to share it with others as well. It seems we are on the brink of ‘something’ and our country needs all the prayers it can get!

Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows

Adriaen Isenbrant – Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows
wikicommons.org

It is most appropriate that this feast follows the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross. We need to be reminded that no matter what sadness, trial or pain we are enduring, we are triumphant through Christ’s cross and resurrection.

But, today we remember our sorrows and give them the Mary for she is strong enough to carry them when we are not. From today’s Magnificat:

“Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, let us pray:

R: Have pity, Lord, have pity.

For all parents who bear and raise children in poverty and exile: R

For all parents who grieve the loss of a child before birth: R

For all parents who suffer over their children’s life choices: R

For all parents who mourn the death of a child: R

Our Father….

God, our Father, the Blessed Virgin Mary took part in her Son’s redemptive suffering for love of you and for the sake of the world. Through her intercession, may all your Church’s suffering bear saving fruit in Christ our Lord. Amen.

I do not know which of those sufferings listed above apply to you but some apply to me. How consoling it is knowing Mary and her Son, Jesus know of our broken hearts and are providing the grace to endure as we await the completion of God’s perfect plan.

Memorare Army from Benedictine College. A new campaign starts today!

Twice in one day!?! I know, you don’t hear from me in months and now 2x!

But, what I have to share is timely and important. As many of you know, our dear friend Joan Stromberg’s family are long time Ravens from Benedictine College. In honor of the Blessed Mother’s birthday, I wanted to share this important encouragement to join with the campus of Benedictine’s Memorae Army. “On Sept. 8, Benedictine College announces its new Transforming Culture in America strategic plan,” said President Stephen D. Minnis.”

They have been doing this campaign for many years and have been covered by the Nat’l Catholic Register and are even keeping track of Mary’s miracles.

https://www.benedictine.edu/press-room/news/2021/benedictine-launches-prayer-campaign

You can follow the link for more information and even print out a tracker for your use. (I think committing to this would make a lovely birthday present for our Lady Mother Mary, don’t you?)

Happy Birthday, Momma Mary!

How are you going to celebrate your Mother Mary’s birthday? Are you planning on having dessert after dinner tonight? Are you going to say a Rosary as a family?

This year’s celebration is more poignant for me as I lost my earthly mother, Anne Louise Blum VanDurme, on 12/18/2020. While thinking of both of my mothers watching over me fills me with joy, knowing my Mom is no longer on earth makes me sad.

My relationship with my mother was never easy (is anyone’s?). We had some things in common such as both having large families. I was one of 10; beating her with my own eleven. Her advice on cooking for a large crowd was spot on as was her advice on Christmas (3 gifts per child just like Jesus). But, we had a real distance between us. She was never really enthusiastic about our homeschooling and we didn’t always see eye to eye in some matters of faith.

As a result, I often turned to my Mother Mary when I felt let-down by my earthly Mom. I knew Mary would always listen, understood my feelings and never discounted my worries. Mary consoled me when my own mom could not.

Perhaps the same is true for you. Was/Is your own mother like my own? Trying her best but missing the mark? Or perhaps your mother wasn’t even trying. No matter what ‘type’ of mother you have/had, your Blessed Mother Mary is waiting for you.

This year, if you have real sadness about the relationship with your earthly mother, take it to Mother Mary. Let her know of your pain, disappointments and grief. If you have/had a great Mom, then celebrate that with Momma Mary. Rejoice with her that you have your own Anne as she did.

And, in the end, celebrate that we have the Queen of Heaven and Earth at our side. She is always ready to listen and always has the best advice (‘Do whatever He tells you.”). She is standing at her Son’s throne interceding on your behalf and ready to help you be the best mother you can be.

And that good news deserves a brownie for dessert (even if it has to be gluten-free).

Happy Summer! How have you been?

Happiness is secured by virtue, it is a good attained by man’s own will.

St. Thomas More

Happy Feast Day to this saintly husband, father, eloquent lawyer and defender of the Faith.

I know it’s been weeks since we’ve talked and it’s likely you haven’t even noticed I’ve been gone, but I want to let you all know that typing this right now is bringing me some real joy and a much needed sense of normalcy.

If 2020 wasn’t hard enough, 2021 was also a rough start here in the wonderful, world of Watkins’. I have faced some additional health issues, we suffered the loss of my dh Matt’s beloved Mom (Grammie) and have run over a few other bumps on our road of life, all of which have brought in some sadness in my home.

But things are changing, aren’t they? And, now, with the closing of the school year and the opening of the pool at my home, I am finally feeling uplifted and hopeful. How are you?

And did you know??? We have a LITTLE FLOWERS CAMP planned! Check out the link below and look into coming to ours or consider hosting your own.

http://www.beholdpublications.com/SummerCamps/

I hope this start of summer brings some joy and light to your home.

Happy Feast of St. Joseph – which St. Joseph do you need?

Terror of Demons, www.shopmercy.org

Free gift 🙂 included……

In finishing up the novena to St. Joseph, my family will be praying his litany tonight as a part of our family prayer such as you can find over at

https://www.ewtn.com/search

Just put in St. Joseph’s Litany and you’ll get right to the link.

As you read this litany you can’t help but be struck by his powerful titles – Diligent Protector of Christ, Hope of the Sick, and Glory of Home Life. My family’s current favorite? Terror of Demons

Where are you, how is your family? Which of St. Joseph’s titles speaks to what you need? Just as God, the Father sent St. Joseph to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and then as foster father to Jesus, St. Joseph patiently waits to watch over, protect and help you and your family travel safely through your struggles.

And that free gift? Check out this article:

https://www.ncregister.com/blog/growing-in-devotion-to-saint-joseph

Within the article, Fr. Roger Landry speaks of a great little book written in 1956 by Fr. Henri Rodent:

“Father Henri Rondet’s 1956 classic Saint Joseph, a translation of his 1953 French original Saint Joseph: Textes Anciens Avec Une Introduction. It’s the most helpful book on St. Joseph I have ever found.”

The best news? It can be found free on-line!

http://strobertbellarmine.net/books/Rondet–StJoseph.pdf

Maybe it can become a part of your efforts to better celebrate the Year of St. Joseph.

St. Joseph Novena

Looking for ways to increase devotion to St. Joseph during 2021? The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has assigned 2021 the “Year of St. Joseph.” This is the perfect opportunity to start the ancient form of prayer, the novena…nine consecutive days of prayer ending on a specific feast day…to St. Joseph. St. Joseph has two feasts days designated for him. The first is March 19. If you begin your novena today (March 10) you will finish the novena on the eve of the saint’s feast day. You may also begin tomorrow and end on the feast day itself.

St. Joseph’s other feast day is celebrated May 1st, the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. The novena for that feast day would begin April 22nd. You can use novena prayers from this website: praymorenovenas.com or use your own prayers to St. Joseph.

My favorite St. Joseph novena prayer comes from a little blue prayer book affectionately called “The Pieta Prayerbook” because it has an image of Michaelangelo’s Pieta on the cover. You can pick it up at Amazon, or any Catholic book seller very inexpensively.

This particular St. Joseph prayer is over 1900 years old. Our family has prayed this novena prayer to St. Joseph many times during difficult family times and decisions through the years. It has always brought comfort and peace. Please consider praying it with us during this special time.

over 1900 years old

Oh St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. Oh St. Joseph do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your divine son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, our Lord; so that having engaged here below your heavenly power I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of fathers. Oh St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while he reposes near your heart. Press him in my name and kiss his fine head for me, and ask him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for us.
Amen.

Looking for more ways to increase devotion to St. Joseph in your families or your Catholic Clubs? Earn our new Year of St. Joseph badge now!

Also: special for the month of March: all badges and awards are 25% OFF! Discount automatically applied at check-out. ORDER TODAY!