"Clearly, what God wants above all is our will which we received as a free gift from God in creation and possess as though our own. When a man trains himself to acts of virtue, it is with the help of grace from God from whom all good things come that he does this. The will is what man has as his unique possession."
Today, September 18, we celebrate the feast of Saint Joseph of Cupertino (1603-1663), Franciscan brother, spiritual mystic, and patron saint of aviation due to his tendency to levitate in spiritual ecstasy. Known as “the reluctant saint,” Saint Joseph’s spiritual connection to the Lord oftentimes caused him great difficulty on earth, leading him before the Inquisition, forcing him to be shuttled from monastery to monastery, convent to convent so as not to disrupt his brothers. Throughout his struggles, Saint Joseph maintained a faithful focus on the Lord, offering prayer and penance in perpetual Lent.
“I complained a lot to God about God. I had left everything for Him, and He, instead of consoling me, delivered me to mortal anguish.”
He continued: “One day, when I was weeping and wailing in my cell, a religious knocked on my door. I did not answer, but he entered my room and said: ‘Friar Joseph, how are you?’
‘I am here to serve you,’ I answered.
‘I thought you did not have a habit,’ he continued.
‘Yes, I have one, but it is falling apart,’ I responded.
Then, the unknown religious gave me a habit, and when I put it on, all my despair disappeared immediately. No one ever knew who that religious was.”
"Impious hypocrite, it is not you, but the religious habit you wear that I respect and because of it, I trust that if you make the sign of the Cross on my wound, it will heal."
Cheerfully, Saint Joseph humbly agreed, continuing that the nobleman’s words were absolutely true and wise. He then blessed his wound, whereupon it was completely healed.
"The jackass has now begun to climb the mountain!" (referring to himself, of course). After receiving the last sacraments, a papal blessing, and reciting the Litany of Our Lady, Joseph peacefully died. He was buried two days later in the chapel of the Immaculate Conception before great crowds of people. His body is venerated today at a marble alter in the Church of Saint Francis is Osimo.
God, our Father, your wisdom disposed that your only-begotten Son, when lifted above the earth, should draw all things to himself. May the merits and example of Saint Joseph help us to rise above earthly desires and become perfectly conformable to your Son. Amen.
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."