Holiness

 Pope Benedict XVI says about holiness, “The first and most necessary act is charity, by which we love God above all things and our neighbor through the love of Him. But if charity, like a good seed, is to grow and bear fruit in the soul, each of the faithful must willingly hear the word of God and carry out His will with deeds, with the help of His grace. One must frequently receive the sacraments, mainly the Eucharist, and take part in the holy liturgy; he must constantly apply himself to prayer, self-denial, active brotherly service, and exercise all the virtues. This is because love, as the bond of perfection and fullness of the law governs, gives meaning to, and perfects all the means of sanctification” (General audience, April 13, 2011).

Sanctity of St. Joseph

 Holy Scripture reference leads us to think that St. Joseph sought holiness. St. Joseph’s sanctity flows logically from his privileges. Since he enjoyed the unique favor of spending his life in the intimate company of Jesus and Mary, his holiness necessarily took on a unique character also. Specially chosen for his special task, he was chosen by God to be the husband of the Blessed Virgin and a “foster-father of Jesus”, Joseph received from God all the graces he needed to perform it worthily. Evidently he attained a high degree of sanctity before he married our Lady, for the inspired writer explicitly pays tribute to his justice and perfection, “Joseph her husband, … was a righteous man” (Mt 1:19).
  • As a true Israelite, he recited psalms and prayed to God several times a day.
  • He kept God’s Law given to Israelites through Moses. “Since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly” (Mt 1:19). With Mary, he “took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord” (Lk 2:22).
  • He went to Jerusalem for feast days, “when Jesus was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom” (Lk 2:42).
  • He was completely obedient to God. “When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commended him” (Mt 1:24).
  • After his marriage and particularly after the birth of Jesus Christ, Joseph lived constantly in the actual presence of God.
  • He, who was a man after the heart of his foster son, the company of his two charges (Jesus and Mary) led him to the heights of union with God.
  • He was self-effacing and generous guardian to Jesus. He was a man wearing himself out in the personal service of Christ Himself.
  • He selflessly served the Blessed Virgin.
  • He carried out the exacting duties of the head of the Holy Family in the virtues of faith, obedience, chastity, and humility.
  • He cooperated in the work of redemption by offering his sorrows for the sins of the world in union with the sufferings of Jesus and Mary.
  • When eight days were completed for his [Jesus’] circumcision“ (Lk 2:21), Joseph saw that Jesus shed His precious Blood for the first time. This was a “foretaste” of the future of Jesus’ agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, where His sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground, and of His further passion of the scourging, crowning with thorns, carrying the cross and finally crucifixion, and after His death, of the piercing of His side by a soldier. Joseph silently united himself with the redemptive suffering of Christ.
  • While presenting Jesus in the temple, he heard from the mouth of the elderly man, Simeon, a prophesy that this child “is to be a sign that will be contradicted” and the soul of his wife, whom he loved dearly, “a sword will pierce” (cf. Lk 2:27-35). Thus he already participated on Jesus’ suffering.
  • At the workbench where he plied his trade together with Jesus, Joseph brought human work closer to the mystery of the Redemption.
                      

Holiness of Bl. Alphonse Marie

According to her “Biography”, for Blessed Alphonse Marie, holiness was the most important in her life since her early childhood. She says: “I want to become a saint. How can I do it? I do not know what to do to become a saint. I do not want to receive what my parents give me (namely, little presents) I would rather become a saint.” Her great desire for holiness made her use all means offered by Church.
  • She prayed and constantly turned to God and the Blessed Mother as a child.
  • She liked to listen to talks and readings about God and God’s Mother asking her parents or relatives, “to talk as long as they could about them”.
  • She often listened to the Life of Saints and thus her desire for holiness deepened.
  • She was deeply touched, especially, by talking of Jesus’ Passion thinking why Jesus suffered so terribly.
  • When she knew that sins are the cause of it, she did not only avoid sin but everything that could lead to sin because she did not want to offend her beloved God.
  • She started each day with prayer, “O my Jesus, preserve me today from every sin.”
  • When she failed, she humbled herself and confessed her sins asking God and others for forgiveness. Hoping in God’s mercy, she even prayed for others to avoid sins.
  • She was completely obedient to her parents and her confessor.
  • She understood that the Eucharist is the source of grace.
  • In the suffering of Christ, she found the meaning of the Eucharist which became the source of her life. She completely devoted herself to the suffering of Christ and His presence in the Eucharist.
  • She was looking only for God’s will. “In everything I did, I wanted to be pleased by God.
  • She prayed, meditated on the sufferings of Jesus, and adored Jesus in the Eucharist which led her to serve actively to Christ in His brothers and sisters.
  • From the love of God, she practiced self-denial and all the virtues. “I practiced especially interior prayer, in which I asked God to let me progress in virtue.”
  • God perfected His loved one by suffering and prepared her for great work, to found a new congregation. She left her followers heritage: “Those souls who desire perfection and sanctity should do the will of God in all things, and submit themselves to it without reserve.” 

                       Let us ask St. Joseph and Blessed Alphonse Marie for their intercessions.

                                      In our trials, let us remember Alphonse Marie's words:
Do not think that the saints always and immediately received the graces for which they prayed. Often, God tried them with apparent refusal through long years of petitioning. Yet they persevered in their prayers.”
 
Saint of the Day
We Remember
September
Merciful Jesus, grant them eternal rest.
4Sister M. Rose Timko 1973
9Sister M. Bernadette Hircsu 1953
10Sister M. Frederick Mikuska 1953
10Sister M. Admirabilis Lang 2012
14Sister M. Maurine Taraba 1979
16Sister M. Cecilia Toth 1982
16Sister M. Innocence Opalko 1999
19Sister M. Philomena Jakab 1992
24Sister M. Hirlanda Farnade 1977
26Sister M. Consolata Toth 1995
27Sister Dorthy Ruth Varga 2018
28Sister M. Dominic Gabriel 1957
30Sister M. Eugenia Takacs 2001


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