You Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. Psalm 3:3
St. Joseph living in glory your work is not done but is different! Now you have tremendous ability to share that glory and love and fullness of joy with us as well. And so we entrust ourselves to you as an understanding father who is also the terror of demons, the tender protector, the universal teacher and master of prayer and the Christian life. We want what you have. We want to live and work and laugh with Jesus and Mary every day. We want to die in their arms. We want to be with you and with them in Heaven. We are so happy it is your Solemnity; the Solemnity of your beautiful life, of you in your heavenly glory and you as amazing intercessor. We bless you St. Joseph and we thank God for you and so does all of Heaven. You have our love as small as our hearts are sometimes. May God make our hearts mighty to love as you did, as you continue to do. Intercede for us with your Son. Remain with us today in a special way. Amen.
Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones. (Psalm 116:15)
St. Joseph, your death was beautiful and tender. Your passing filled the room with love; your love, the love of your family, the love of God.
Joseph the dreamer, the worker, the father, the husband, the prophet, the protector, the meaning of your life settled with intense clarity on those who kept watch at your side and on everyone who ever knew you, flooding the hearts of them all. Help us when our time comes to leave this world, to have fulfilled our purpose, to have loved God and every human being he sent our way, to have lived with Jesus and Mary daily that we may also die in their arms and ultimately reach heaven in the company of the angels and saints, to be forever in the Heart of the Father, inhabiting his House filled with wonder. St. Joseph, Patron of a holy death, pray for us as we honor you. Pray for us always.
“Orare est Laborare, Laborare est Orare—to pray is to work, to work is to pray” – St. Benedict
St. Joseph you knew this and it was your way of life, your “skin religion” to pray by hand, to instill love into all you did. For you concentration on your work was consecration of your work as you lived continually aware of the presence of your God, and of Jesus and Mary’s physical presence with you.
You taught Jesus your trade and way of life and prayer, the dignity love and beauty of work.
Teach us your special brand of the practice of the presence of God, of the holiness of work and how it changes the world as we dedicate it to you in ways we can’t imagine. Be with us in our daily work and help us to bless our fellow human beings with our work and prayer, our ora et labora. We pray with you for all who work, especially those who do hard labor. May their burdens be lightened today. May they find joy in their prayer and work. Amen.
“12 So Jesse sent for him. He had a healthy complexion, attractive eyes, and a handsome appearance. The Lord said, “Go ahead, anoint him. He is the one.” 13 Samuel took the flask of olive oil and anointed David in the presence of his brothers. The Lord’s Spirit came over David and stayed with him from that day on. Then Samuel left for Ramah.”
St. Joseph, Son of David, I bet when you were growing up the stories from the Torah you loved best were the stories of King David your ancestor. God told the Prophet Samuel that God does not choose as we do but sees the heart. You were poor but descended from a humanly unlikely king who was nevertheless after God’s own heart. He was little and yet mighty. His greatest gifts were from within. You could relate to that. Your boyish heart must have longed for adventure. Little did you know what adventure and danger and helping to save the world you were in for, and what joy you would find in ordinary life and the work of your hands, the love that surrounded you, the privilege you alone were given. You really were royalty. 👑 Help us to keep in mind our beautiful crowns as children of God and to love this day in quiet joy.
“Our most important task consists in remaining silent before this great God, silent with our desires as well as with our tongue. For the language he hears best is silent love.”
– St. John of the Cross in a letter to a Carmelite nun
St. Joseph we have no recorded words from you. What we do see in the Gospel is you hearing and responding to God. Maybe this is why St. Teresa of Avila called you a “Master of Prayer.” Teach us to let silence descend on all the scurrying and scratching at worries in our minds, all the ways we fill our lives with pointless noise and distracting information we don’t need. Be at our sides before this great God and help us to connect to his presence; not to clamber for our wants and needs but to notice him, to look at him, to be with him, to let him engage with us in silent love. ♥️
1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. (From Psalm 1)
St. Joseph you would have heard and read and studied this Scripture. How beautifully you embodied it as you went about your daily work, took part in your community, served and loved Mary and Jesus. And to this day you are a beautiful tree planted by streams of water, shading and protecting us, giving us the fruit of your meditations and your labors and your love. Do us the honor of walking with us during this novena, giving us your blessing, teaching us your way. Pray with us the prayer you prayed daily all of your life.
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength (Dt. 6) Amen
It’s a bit of a struggle. Some days are better than others. I noticed this summer that I was more emotionally fragile than I normally am. The anniversary of my brother’s death causes me grief but it hit me harder than usual this August. After it was over I didn’t feel all that much better. I had days I wondered what was going on with me this summer. When I start to feel alienated, withdrawn and broken I have to stop and sort out what it could be.
It could be regular old depression. It could be a stressor in my life. Or ten stressors. It could be that weird wiring I have from my Complex PTSS (formerly called PTSD). It could be grief issues coming up again for some reason. It could be more traumatic memories trying to surface – a process I particularly hate.
In any case I try to accept myself as God accepts me. Someone I like asked on social media whether God is with us in depression. It’s one thing to know the truth of his presence intellectually and quite another for our hearts, for our souls to know it. Of course he is with us.
Over the years when I am in this state that sometimes feels like a darkness and exhaustion, sometimes like broken-ness, sometimes like a crushing weight, I know he is with me, taking care of me, helping me bear this little cross of mine until I feel better.
It’s hard not to feel guilty when I’m depressed. Sometimes I need a walk or to pray. Other times I just need to hide in my room with a book. That last feels like I am being lazy and I feel bad. Jesus doesn’t want me to feel bad about what I need to do to get through depression. It’s hard for me to take care of myself when I am like this. It’s something I have to do for Jesus. “Eat a sandwich for me. Drink some water.” I tend to not only forget to eat when I am running rough, sometimes I feel angry about having to eat. So he says sweetly, “Eat something for me because I love you and I want you to.” And I will for him.
I’m so tired. I have this feeling of wanting to go home but I don’t know where I’m supposed to go. Even Heaven sounds exhausting.
Some afternoons are crushingly tough. Depression can be gray and tiring. Other times it can be a ferocious attack tearing me apart.
I’m impatient with my family, or irritable and I have to apologize.
This time around my depression seems like an agitated depression I have never had before. That scares me because my brother got like that before his suicide, though his was certainly more extreme. I think of this as a mild depression in comparison to what I saw my brother go through and not make it out of.
I am doing all the things I need to do. That in itself is a good sign. I even talked to my doctor; something I tend to avoid if at all possible. I try everything else first that I know to try. I look at my diet, stress, circumstances. I start taking B-Complex at my hardest time of day which tends to be the afternoon.
I look at the roses in the catalog. (I love looking at roses). I blow bubbles. I pet my cat.
I tell God, “I am depressed right now and I’m not sure what to do anymore. I’m so glad you are with me.”
Always I know it is temporary. I will get better. I imagine feeling better, sun on my face, feeling peaceful.
Now it is the holidays which are hard for my family and me, and maybe for you too. However I also know we will get through it, we all will.
If you are wondering if you should be “too blessed to be stressed” or something, (what nonsense), or if you are like me during depression and feel guilty about everything all the time every day, if you don’t know why your heart feels like it’s bleeding, and why you don’t have more faith, (you have plenty!) well I welcome you, and God does too.
Every second, love surrounds you, helping you along. This too shall pass, and once you have done all you can, and gotten the help you need, (I did, please don’t be ashamed about that) the rest is up to the Lord. Your job is to get through the day with his help.
Another thing I do is offer up my anguish to God with Mary, as she asked at Fatima, for the souls of others.
Oh Jesus, it is for love of you, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against your Sacred Heart and against the Immaculate Heart of Mary and, (I add), for everyone who suffers sorrow anywhere in the world today.”
I say to Jesus and Mary at the end of the day that I made it and thank you and also I add that I love sleeping and I’m comfortable and thank you for sleep.
The message of my book, Come to Mary’s House; Spending Time with Our Blessed Mother, is that Mary is real, accessible, and relatable. She is our companion in the life of prayer and in our whole life with Jesus.
I filled this little book with reflections on Mary and her life to help you form a connection with a Mary you can be themselves with and feel seen by. At the end of each reflection are brief imaginative sequences. Come to Mary’s House invites you to imagine you are with the Blessed Virgin – hanging out in her living room, working in her garden, or catching up over coffee. The goal is to encourage your encounter Mary as a friend, sister, and mother – in a comfortable, gentle way. By developing a personal relationship with her, you’ll let her lead you closer to Jesus. No one knows him better!
So come to Mary’s house. Help her with her housework, travel with her to hear the cries of the world, fold laundry, make bread, and enter into deepest prayer in her presence and with her help. She will even let you pick the roses in her garden. She makes the most amazing soup!
This book is for all who long for Mary and want to live in spiritual companionship with her. If you want to pray more deeply, love Jesus profoundly, and serve authentically from the heart, you couldn’t choose a better master of the spiritual life than Our Lady.
Here are some reviews from readers so far.
What a gem! The author provides a unique perspective into the life of Mary and how she may be looked upon not only as a mother, but as a sister and friend. Each chapter invites the reader to an intimate encounter with Mary while weaving in humor and personal storytelling.
If you are interested in furthering your relationship with Mary, read this. If you have difficulty understanding Mary, read this. If you know nothing about Mary, read this. If you know all there is to know about Mary, read this. Whatever your history with Mary is, this book will be sure to draw you closer to Mary in a new and unique way. – “M”
This book is extremely well-written. The author uses her own experiences to bring the reader closer to the Blessed Virgin. The writer skillfully balances Mary’s humanity with her spiritual uniqueness. This is an excellent book to give the reader a better understanding of who Mary was during her life, and who she is to us now. – Francis
Just last week I was really struggling with prayer and this morning I had tears in my eyes while “ruffling the little Jesus’ curls”. Since starting this book I have taken Mary everywhere. It’s really full of love. I highly recommend it to anyone. – Latisha
This is a beautiful book reminding each of us of the beauty of having a relationship with the Holy Mother, and how that relationship deepens our relationship with her son. I highly recommend it , it’s very beautiful book. -Anne
This book represents such a warm invitation to build a relationship with Mary, the mother of Jesus. Inventive and imaginative, this work soothes the soul and encourages greater mental prayer. Reading this book has helped me to grow in my love and appreciation for the Holy Family. -Maria
First of all, I do not come from the Catholic tradition. I didn’t learn a lot about Mother Mary, either good or bad. She was just the mother of Jesus, but she held no particularly high place. I always seemed to, from my many Catholic friends, get the sense that she was almost untouchable, unreachable, and certainly from my standpoint, unrelatable. It likely was my lack of understanding or experience of her than it was about the Catholic faith.
Over the years that has for many reasons changed and evolved. One of them was reading the beautiful writings of the author of this fine book.
Her unique style and vision puts real flesh, bone, humanity, and yes, humor to her Catholic faith. It breathes. And I find myself feeling I am walking amongst humans that I can not only learn from but truly relate.
This book does all of that to Mary- we revere her, but also walk beside her, she is our mother, but also our friend.
I recommend this book not only for lifetime Catholics but for converts and Protestants who may yet to experience the richness and yes, tragic loss and challenges of her life.
You will likely leave sensing you have gotten to know someone who you can have a cup of coffee with and perhaps see in a whole new way, or this book may re-affirm the way you’ve always known her.
I found it best to read it a little at a time, and go about your day and sit with it. It will stay with you. Shawn’s vivid stories and various ways of offering encounters with Mary will feed your soul. And make you laugh. Or perhaps cry. But chances are it will move you. – Mark
Come to Mary’s House; Spending Time with Our Blessed Mother is available wherever books are sold.
Have you ever wanted to witness a living miracle? The miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is in Mexico City and is one of the most-visited holy sites in the world. This is an opportunity to visit with others from the Diocese of Austin and led by clergy that knows the story and culture… [Read More]
JOIN US FOR A 9-DAY PILGRIMAGE (SEPT. 12-20,2021) TO THE SHRINES OF MEXICO! The pilgrimage will be led by Fr Juan Carlos López and Deacon Guadalupe Rodriguez Lady of Guadalupe also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe is a Roman Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary associated with a venerated image enshrined within the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City…. [Read More]
Excerpts on St. Michael the Archangel, Conductor of Souls were taken from the messages from a Soul in Purgatory [Sister M.G.] to Sister M. de L. C. who was under the care of a spiritual director (priest) when receiving the messages. The messages were published in a book called: AN UNPUBLISHED MANUSCRIPT ON PURGATORY The… [Read More]
One of my favorite sections in the book “CONSECRATION TO ST. JOSEPH, THE WONDERS OF OUR SPIRITUAL FATHER” by Fr. Donald Calloway is Day 21 – St. Joseph Most Faithful, Pray for Us. This section and meditation show St. Joseph’s faithfulness in rescuing Jesus and Mary in different life and death circumstances (Mat. 2:13 &… [Read More]
One of my favorite parts in the book Consecration to St. Joseph, The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father by Fr. Donald Calloway is Day 29 – St. Joseph, Hope of the Sick, Pray for Us. This is and was a powerful part of the book during the consecration because it covers the miraculous physical healings… [Read More]