Sometimes, when it is most needed, the Holy Spirit inspires a new book just brimming with the capacity to effect great positive change, not only in the Catholic world, but even more important, in the world at large. The recently released Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father, by Father Donald Calloway, MIC, is just such a book. In circulation only since January 2020, it has produced a ripple effect for good, much needed for this troubled time in our Church and our world.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17).
“When they entered the city, they went to the upper room where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers” (Acts 1:13 – 14).
It’s probably safe to say that many Americans have been experiencing trouble sleeping in recent weeks, given the unprecedented circumstances we’ve been facing for quite some time. For anyone waking suddenly out of a deep sleep, a sensation of fear – that powerful emotion so very prominent in our national consciousness of late – would not be at all unusual.
Reflections and meditations written around the May 1st Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker generally tend to focus on the many sterling qualities of the carpenter of Nazareth. His closeness to God, upright character, and masculine strength as husband to Mary and foster father to Jesus often provide the lead-in to the main point of the writing as appropriate to the feast: Joseph’s role as breadwinner. As the sole support of the Holy Family, surely he worked diligently at his craft, passing it on to Jesus, father to son.
The Oratory of Saint Joseph at Mount Royal is a magnificent structure, its imposing dome dominating the highest point of the cosmopolitan city of Montreal. In the incomprehensible ways of God, this majestic basilica, the largest church in Canada, is named for and dedicated to one of His humblest creatures: the carpenter of Nazareth, whose feast day we celebrate on March 19th.
The connection between Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) and the first recorded Nativity re-enactment has been well documented by sources close to him. The year was 1223, and Francis enlisted the help of a friend to stage a reverent live rendering of the scene which had taken place in the stable at Bethlehem. The setting was Greccio, a small Italian town located about 55 miles north of Rome.
During the final days approaching the great feast of Christmas – of God’s dwelling among us as one of us – our time and attention often become distracted and fragmented at best. The multiple aspects of holiday preparation can descend upon us as an intimidating army of chores to be accomplished, duties to be fulfilled. We can so easily lose focus on the true meaning behind all the gift-wrapping and cookie-baking.
As the liturgical season of Advent gets underway, it is good to consider various ways to make this time of anticipation worthwhile and spiritually fulfilling. Daily meditations in print or electronic form certainly can be helpful, but nothing can outdo the efficacy of daily Mass.