St. Martha – July 29
Fr. Paul Sretenovic
Today, July 29, is the Feast of St. Martha, sister of St. Mary Magdalene and St. Lazarus. We find her in the Scriptures three times, twice directly and once indirectly.
In the first instance, Martha questions Jesus about her sister, who was sitting listening at the Lord’s feet while Martha was busy preparing the meal in the Gospel of St. Luke:
“Martha was busy about much serving. She stood…Continue
This past Sunday, my son Eric was in a car accident. Thank God he wasn't hurt nor was the other driver, but the car was "totaled." He was driving his older brother's car, and carelessly pulled out in front of another driver in a four-way intersection on country roads.
When that brother first got this old car almost 5 years ago, I had sewn a large St. Benedict medal to the driver's side visor to ask the good saint to watch over him.
Yesterday I went to the…Continue
Great indeed will be the comfort of those, who, at the hour of death, will be protected by St. Joseph. For this great saint has received from God power to command the devils and to drive them away, lest they tempt his servants in their dying moments. Happy is the soul who shall be assisted by this great advocate, who, on account of having died with the assistance of Jesus and Mary, and because of having preserved the Infant Jesus from the danger of death by his flight into Egypt, has…Continue
"Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of His faithful ones" (Psalm 115:6). After having faithfully served Jesus and Mary, St. Joseph reached the end of his life in the house at Nazareth. There, surrounded by angels, assisted by Jesus Christ the King of the Angels, and by Mary, his spouse, who placed themselves at both sides of his poor bed, filled with the peace of paradise, he departed this miserable life. Who shall ever be able to understand the sweetness, the consolation, the…Continue
Consider the love which Joseph bore for Jesus. This love was not purely human, like the love of other fathers, but superhuman, for he loved Jesus not only as his Son but also as his God. Joseph knew from the angel that his child was the Divine Word Who had become man to save mankind. He realized too, that he himself had been chosen from among all men to be the protector and guardian of this Divine Infant. What a flame of holy love must then have been kindled in the heart of Joseph by…Continue
Consider the love which St. Joseph bore to Mary, his holy spouse. She was the most beautiful of all women. She was more humble, more meek, more pure, more obedient, more inflamed with love of God than all the angels and than all men that have been or shall be created. Hence she merited all of his love. Add to that his realization of the love that she bore for him, and the fact that God had chosen her as His beloved Mother.
St. Joseph, obtain for me a great love for Mary,…Continue
"He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them" (Luke 2:51). Reflect on the holy life which Joseph led in the company of Jesus and Mary. In that family there was no business except that which tended to the greater glory of God; there were no thoughts or desires except the thought and desire of pleasing God; there were no discourse except on the love which men owe to God and which God has shown to men, especially in sending His only begotten Son into the world to…Continue
"The boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem and his parents did not know it" (Luke 2:43). How great was the pain of St. Joseph when Jesus was lost in the temple! Joseph was accustomed to the enjoyment of the sweet presence of his beloved Savior. What then must have been his sorrow when he was deprived of it for three days. Without knowing whether he should evermore find Jesus, and most painful of all, without knowing why he had lost Him. How great, on the other hand, ws Joseph's joy when he…Continue
How much St. Joseph must have suffered on the journey into Egypt in seeing the sufferings of Jesus and Mary! Their food must have been a piece of hard bread. They could have slept only in some poor hut, or in the open air. Joseph was indeed conformed in all things to the will of the Eternal Father, but his tender and loving heart could not but feel pain in seeing the Son of God trembling and weeping from cold and the other hardships which He experienced.
St. Joseph, obtain…Continue
"An angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph, saying, 'Arise, and take the child and His mother and flee into Egypt.' " (Luke 2:13). Consider the ready obedience of St. Joseph, who raised no doubts about the time of the journey, nor about the manner of traveling, nor about the place in Egypt in which they were to stay, but immediately prepared to set out. He instantly makes known to Mary the command of the angel and on the same night sets out without guide on a journey of 400 miles…Continue
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men of good will" (Luke 2:14). Consider how great was the love and tenderness of St. Joseph when he beheld with his own eyes the Son of God become an infant, when he heard the angels singing around their newborn Lord, and saw the stable filled with light. Kneeling down and weeping with love and compassion, Joseph said, "I adore Thee, yes, I adore Thee, my Lord and my God. How great is my happiness to be the first, after Mary, to see…Continue
"And she brought forth her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger" (Luke 2:7). How great must have been the joy of St. Joseph when he heard Mary calling him and saying, "Joseph, come and adore our infant God, Who is just born in this cave. Behold how beautiful He is. Look at the King of the world in this manger, on this straw. See how He, Who makes the seraphs burn with love, trembles with cold. Behold how He Who is the joy of paradise, weeps!" …Continue
"And it came to pass while they were there, that the days for her to be delivered were fulfilled. And she brought forth her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn" (Luke 2:6-7). How great must have been the sorrow of St. Joseph when he could find no shelter for Mary on the night of the birth of the Divine Word, and was obliged to bring her to a stable! How his heart must have been pierced with anguish to…Continue
"And Joseph also went from Galilee out of the town of Nazareth into Judea to the town of David, which is called Bethlehem" (Luke 2:4). In response to the decree of Caesar Augustus, St. Joseph made the long journey across the hills from Galilee to Bethlehem with Mary, who bore beneath her heart the Incarnate Son of God. What sweet conversations must Mary and Joseph have held on this journey on the mercy of God in sending his Son into the world to redeem the human race, and on the love of…Continue
When Jesus lived in this world in the house of St. Joseph, could a sinner who desired to obtain forgiveness from Our Lord have found a more efficacious means of obtaining pardon than through St. Joseph? If then we desire to receive the forgiveness of our sins, let us have recourse to St. Joseph, who, now that he is in heaven, is more loved by Jesus Christ than he was loved by Him on earth.
St. Joseph, obtain from Jesus the pardon of my sins.
Let us ask St. Joseph for the grace to love Our Lord Jesus Christ . This is the particular grace which St. Joseph obtains for those who are devout to him -- a tender love for the Incarnate Word. The saint merited the power to bestow this grace upon his servants by the great love which he himself bore toward Jesus while he lived on earth.
St. Joseph, make me love Jesus with all my heart.
St. Teresa also writes: "I would wish to persuade all the world to be devoted to St. Joseph, because I have long experience of the great favors which he obtains from God. I have never known any soul especially devoted to him that did not always advance in virtue. I ask, for God's sake, that they who do not believe me will at least make a trial of this devotion. I cannot believe that favors are not granted to St. Joseph in return for the help which he gave on earth to Jesus and…Continue
St. Teresa says: "I do not remember to have asked any favor from St. Joseph which he did not grant. An account of the many graces which God has bestowed on me, and of the dangers, corporal and spiritual, from which He has delivered me through this saint would excite wonder. The Lord appears to have given power to the other saints to assist us in a single necessity; but experience shows that St. Joseph gives aid in all. The Lord gives us to understand that, as He was to be subject to St.…Continue
St. Bernard, speaking of St. Joseph's power of dispensing graces to his devout clients, makes use of the following remarkable words: "To some of the saints power is granted to succor us in particular necessities. But to St. Joseph power is granted to succor in all necessities, and to defend all those who, with devotion, have recourse to him." Let us then often say to him:
St. Joseph, help us when we are in need.
Most Holy Patriarch, now that thou are on a lofty throne in heaven near thy Beloved Jesus, Who was subject to thee on earth, have pity on me, who am exposed to the attacks of so many enemies, to the evil spirits, and the passions that continually strive to rob me of the grace of God. Through the grace given to thee on earth of enjoying the continual society of Jesus and Mary, obtain for me the grace of living during the remaining days of my life united to God, by resisting the attacks of…Continue