>Happy Bday to My Baby Bro!

>Today is my Baby Brother’s Bday!!
Yup.  Let’s see, he’s….um…we are all SO old that I can only remember how old we all are by tallying us up in relation to each other.  Does that make sense?  Maybe not, but it does to me!  So, let’s see, John is 44.  Whoa.  Yeah, and he’s my BABY brother.  Yipes.

Anyhow my wonderful dear funny kind fantastico brilliant brother, John is celebrating his bday today in his brand new locale: Micronesia.

Yup, read that again: Micronesia.

Yup.  Sounds like a state of mind, no?  And, one could argue, with John, that it could apply quite well, somehow, if it was an actual state of mind.  Does that make sense? No? Well, maybe not, but it does to me and I KNOW it does to him too!

John makes me laugh.  He is a gift because he is crazy kind, but he is more so because no one else can make me laugh so very hard.  Til I cry.  Of course, it’s all lies and twisted memories… but they can make my sister and I just howl with laughs.

And today I want to tip my hat to my little dear brother.
Because it’s  his birthday.
Because I love him so much.
Because I love his gorgeous family: his beautiful Parisian wife and his stunning brilliant daughters (my nieces!).
Because he has bravely grabbed a brass ring that flew by and just moved, radically, to Micronesia.
Because he is now a grand poohbah in Micronesia: a muckety-muck in the Attorney General’s office…either the Assistant Attorney General of Micronesia or the de facto Attorney General or the Gofer Attorney General or something of that sort.
But I know it’s a big deal because they sent a cargo container to move his family’s stuff over the ocean to live in Micronesia and work.
He’s an old pro at this, having lived and loved living in Vanuatu years ago.
Because he’s a surf rat and tennis pro at heart, under that pin striped suit.
So I think he will fit right in and be immediately at home.

And I am wishing him a happy happy paradise of a birthday, with foofy tropical drinks, sparkling sun, and great waves to surf today.
Because he’s my baby brother.
And I break into tears whenever I see him (because it’s never often enough).
And then we both laugh.
And I hug him tight.

Happy Happy Birthday John!
We love you!
Catch a wave, surf’s up!

>Novena to St. Joseph, Day 8


Novena to St. Joseph, Day 8

Eighth Day

Saint Joseph, your share of suffering was very great because of your close union with the Divine Savior. All the mysteries of His life were more or less mysteries of suffering. Poverty pressed upon you, and the cross of labor followed you everywhere. Nor were you spared domestic crosses, owing to misunderstandings in regard to the holiest and most cherished of all beings, Jesus and Mary, who were all to you. Keen must have been the suffering caused by the uncertainty regarding Mary’s virginity; by the bestowal of the name of Jesus, which pointed to future misfortune. Deeply painful must have been the prophecy of Simeon, the flight into Egypt, the disappearance of Jesus at the Paschal feast. To these sufferings were surely added interior sorrow at the sight of the sins of your own people.

You bore all this suffering in a truly Christ-like manner, and in this you are our example. No sound of complaint or impatience escaped you — you were, indeed, the silent saint! You submitted to all in the spirit of faith, humility, confidence, and love. You cheerfully bore all in union with and for the Savior and His Mother, knowing well that true love is a crucified love. But God never forsook you in your trials. The trials, too, disappeared and were changed at last into consolation and joy.

It seems that God had purposely intended your life to be filled with suffering as well as consolation to keep before my eyes the truth that my life on earth is but a succession of joys and sorrows, and that I must gratefully accept whatever God sends me, and during the time of consolation prepare for suffering. Teach me to bear my cross in the spirit of faith, of confidence, and of gratitude toward God. In a happy eternity, I shall thank God fervently for the sufferings which He deigned to send me during my pilgrimage on earth, and which after your example I endured with patience and heartfelt love for Jesus and Mary.

You were truly the martyr of the hidden life. This was God’s Will, for the holier a person is, the more he is tried for the love and glory of God. If suffering is the flowering of God’s grace in a soul and the triumph of the soul’s love for God, being the greatest of saints after Mary, you suffered more than any of the martyrs.

Because you have experienced the sufferings of this valley of tears, you are most kind and sympathetic toward those in need. Down through the ages souls have turned to you in distress and have always found you a faithful friend in suffering. You have graciously heard their prayers in their needs even though it demanded a miracle. Having been so intimately united with Jesus and Mary in life, your intercession with Them is most powerful.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being able to suffer for Jesus and Mary. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to bear my suffering patiently for love of Jesus and Mary. Grant that I may unite the sufferings, works and disappointments of life with the sacrifice of Jesus in the Mass, and share like you in Mary’s spirit of sacrifice.

*(prayer to be said at the end of each day’s devotion)

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

(Mention your request).

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

MEMORARERemember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen