>My Baby Bro, Happy Bday!


The quintessential John as a boy

 Happy Happy Birthday and St. Patrick’s Day to my dearest baby brother!
John is 45 today, which means I’m getting old.
But so is he and for the record, he is grayer than I am!
But even so, he is still cuter and has those eyes that sparkle and laugh, to go along with his crooked goofy grin and his razor sharp wit.

I miss him so, but I know he’s having a great day surrounded by his gorgeous wonderful wife and two beautiful brilliant daughters, not to mention sparkling blue water, tropical palms and no doubt some great breaks as he heads out to surf this morning.
He’s in Micronesia, still.  But to our great familial joy, and my parents relief and giddy exhales, he is coming home.  His family returns for good in only a few days and we are all counting down to the moment they get to go hug on them at the airport.

John and I were always partners in crime, play, you name it.  We were “the little kids,” which we now lord over our older siblings with relentless pleasure.
I was terribly jealous of him while I was young, because he was the baby and ridiculously cute and was terribly spoiled and I couldn’t stand it.

 I was spoiled too, as the  youngest girl, but I didn’t understand that then.  Now, having many kids of my own, I get it.  It’s the baby thing.
And John was and is the baby and favorite in the family.

 It can’t be helped, we all accept it now..and admit it’s just true.
Even though I was terribly jealous and imagined great suffering because of him, he could and still can make me laugh harder than anyone I know.  He makes me laugh until I cry and one of my favorite things is when all of us kids can get together and reminisce around the kitchen table, start telling stories which get bigger and more um, vivid, with every telling.  Soon enough we are hooting and wiping tears.  Great stuff.

So, today he’s on my mind and in  my prayers and I wish him a last tropical blast of a birthday.
I love you so much John, I miss you and wish you safe swift travels home.
Catch some great waves and I can’t wait to see  you soon.

My new favorite pic of him, ever.
 Happy Happy Birthday Little Bro!
I love you!

>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.

Remember, 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.