Ubi caritas et amor Deus ibi est
Where charity and love are, there is God
The Lord again presents us today with a timing that causes contemplation. Today being both Holy Thursday and April 1, the month whose devotion is dedicated to the Most Holy Eucharist. The True Presence of Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist is a devotion which swells in our hearts today as we celebrate both the Institution of the Eucharist and the conferral of the Holy Priesthood.
St. Joseph is also a particular model for our religious community. We are, by the essential elements of our charism, a Marian, Ecclesial, and Eucharistic community. These facets of our spirit find expression in, among other areas: our total consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary, daily Eucharistic Adoration, and praying for priests, respectively. In each of these, we can look to St. Joseph to learn how to live our consecrated lives in a way most pleasing to Our Beloved Jesus.
Hail Joseph, guardian of all those who have embraced holy virginity ...
St. Joseph as the Model of Religious
It is our great pleasure and privilege to honor our beloved spiritual father, St. Joseph, in this, his month (and his year!). He, with Our Blessed Mother and St. Louis Marie de Montfort, is a principal patron of our community. But surely, it is only right and just that he has a certain pride of place in patronage for any religious house; he is, after all, the “protector of virgins”—as he is acclaimed in his litany.
"The Church invokes St. Joseph as her Patron and Protector through her unshakable trust that he to whom Christ willed to confide the care and protection of his own frail human childhood, will continue from heaven to perform his protective task in order to guide and defend the Mystical Body of Christ himself, which is always weak, always under attack, always in a state of peril." - St. Pope Paul VI
"Embrace, then, Jesus crucified, raising to Him the eyes of your desire!
Consider His burning love for you,
which made Jesus pour out His blood from every part of His body!
Embrace Jesus crucified, loving and beloved and in Him,
you will find true life because He is God made man.
Let your heart and your soul burn with the fire of love drawn from Jesus on the Cross!
… You will have no other desire than to follow Jesus!
Run, … do not stay asleep because time flies and does not wait one moment!
Dwell in God’s sweet love!”
- St. Catherine of Sienna
A 12th century hymn attributed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Jesu Dulcis Memoria extols the Most Holy Name of Jesus. It's text has inspired centuries of composers, from Palestrina, to Victoria, even until today.
In an effort to "close out" the month of the Holy Name - or rather give it back to heaven - the text of this beloved hymn is below, as well as links to a few more well-known renditions.
“The name of Jesus, is in fact, the great foundation of the faith
that turns people into children of God."
- St. Bernardine of Siena
"At the name of Jesus let every knee bow of those that are in heaven,
on earth and under the earth; and let every tongue confess that
the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father."
Philippians 2: 10 - 11
As the Advent season begins and the gaze of our hearts turn towards the coming of the Messiah, Holy Mother Church centers this month's devotion on the Divine Infant Jesus.
"All confess that they must die, and die only once and that nothing is of greater importance than to die well; because on death depends whether we shall be forever in bliss or forever in despair. All know that our eternal happiness or our eternal unhappiness depends on leading a good or a bad life. How then does it happy that the greater part of Christians live as if there were never to die, or as if to die well or ill were of little moment! ...
'Remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin.' (Eccl. 7:40)"
- St. Alphonsus Liguori: Preparation for Death