Tag Archives: Prayer

St. Jude Novena @ PrayMoreNovenas.com

Pray the St. Jude NovenaJoin me and over 5,000 other Catholics in praying the St. Jude Novena beginning on October 19th. Sign up at PrayMoreNovenas.com – St. Jude Novena.

Saint Jude is the patron of Hopeless Causes and Desperate Situations.

“Pray these novena prayers to Saint Jude with confidence. Catholics have relied on his intercession in times of extreme need for centuries.

This Apostle and Martyr has helped countless souls through his epistle in the New Testament and his intercessions on behalf of those who seek his aid in times of trial.

Pray this novena for your intentions asking St. Jude to intercede to God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit on your behalf.”

PrayMoreNovenas.com is worth checking out. I think this is a fantastic way to bring Catholics together in prayer.

St. Jude pray for us!


Do I Really Have Time For Prayer?

Do I Really Have Time For Prayer?Life can be quite busy.

As a family, we stay in a constant state of motion – meals, dishes, laundry, work, homeschooling, meetings, cleaning, yard work, bath-time, story-time, bedtime…

Sometimes it seems like we hardly have time to just enjoy life.

Time seems to be a scarce commodity.

So how in the world do I have time for prayer? Is taking time out of my busy day to pray even practical?

I know that seems like a silly question, but I have to think about…how much time do I spend in prayer each day?

Sure there are those “fox-hole” prayers I offer up:

Jesus, please don’t let me get stuck in traffic…God, please get me out of this mess…Jesus, let me get that promotion.

Sure, God hears these prayers, but in truth they are all about me and my will.

The question then becomes – What is prayer?

Prayer is that raising of my heart and mind to God, seeking His Will in all things, desiring to grow closer to Him. It is a “vital and personal relationship with the living and true God” (CCC paragraph 2558).

This is where prayer becomes practical. Allow me to explain.

I married my wife because I fell in love with her. I desired to know her, to be one with her. In order for that love to grow I have to spend time with her, talk to her, ask of her, and share with her. I have to praise her for all the joy and good she brings into my life. The same is even more true of my relationship with God.

I am Catholic because I believe that Jesus Christ is God, sent by God the Father, one with the Holy Spirit. Biblically and historically I know that He founded the Catholic Church. I believe that He made me. If He made me then He must know why I’m here, more importantly, He must love me.

How could I not want to know Him?

So all those things that were true with my wife, must also be true with God. I am so grateful for my life and I want to know why God put me here. I want to do what He wants. In order for that to happen I MUST be in a personal relationship with Him…that is prayer.

I haven’t always cared about that relationship. God hasn’t always been that one Priority above all other priorities in my life. Personal experience has shown me that when I don’t pray I get lost. My life becomes unmanageable.

My motto has become FIRST THINGS FIRST.

I’m only “here” for a little while. If God Is then the most important part of my day will be those times spent in prayer, those times when I’m in communion with God.

With that in mind, the answer to the question Do I really have time for prayer? is simple…

I don’t have time “not” to pray.

In my next post, I’ll share some practical prayer tools that have been extremely useful to this busy, working, kid-raising husband~father.

May God bless you and keep you.


Send Me An Angel

Guardian AngelsEnchantment with the supernatural is not something new to our modern age.

The human person remains in a state of conflict, of turmoil. Within each person there is a unity but a separateness. Each person is part material, part immaterial; part visible, part invisible; part flesh, part spirit.

The spirit longs to know and to be known; it seeks to love and to be loved. Human beings, by our very nature, are social beings. We seek communication and relationship.

So what does all this have to do with angels?

Everything.

Angels, as “servants and messengers of God,” aid us on a daily basis. We live in communion with them through the common “Object” of our knowing and loving, namely God Himself.

336 From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession.202 “Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.”203 Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God.

202 Cf. Mt 18:10; Lk 16:22; Ps 34:7; 91:10-13; Job 33:23-24; Zech 1:12; Tob 12:12.
203 St. Basil, Adv. Eunomium III, I: PG 29,656B.

God sends each of us an angel. They are our companions in this life and will remain so in the next.

Many of us seek “signs” of God’s presence in our lives. We want to know that we are loved, that God cares.

The fact is God, in His love for us, has never allowed us to be alone. In addition to His awesome presence in the Eucharist and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit; God has sent each of us an angel to protect us, to guide us, to be our friend.

Today let us call to mind the words of the Guardian Angel Prayer:

Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
To whom God’s love
commits me here,
Ever this day,
be at my side,
To light and guard,
Rule and guide.
Amen.

May God bless you and keep you.


All Things St. Joseph

Solemnity of Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin MaryOn the Solemnity of St. Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary I thought it appropriate to pay tribute to my patron saint and the patron of this Average “Catholic” Joe blog.

Joseph passes through the Gospel without our hearing him utter as much as a single word. He is not on record as having written a single line. None of the things he did seem to have exceeded the limits of the most common actions. He appears to have been – to use an overworked modern expression – a man without a message….

His figure could, in a certain sense then, appear to the eyes or in the estimation of some as that of the man-in-the-street, so ordinary that little could usefully be said of him tho those who would come after. Those who think in this way are perhaps to be found among the regrettably too many who nowadays employ in their judgment inadequate criteria having only short term values. They make their assessments by following some conventional guidelines which are based more on appearance than on reality, more on popular opinion than on absolute and true values. In other words, more importance is placed on worldly rankings than on supernatural criteria. People are in consequence judged not for what they are, not even for what good they have done but only by certain ‘achievements’ which, it has been previously decided, are to be classified as meritorious or worth recognizing with acclaim.

It is not surprising then, that using such fashionable criteria with little or no supernatural dimension to them and in general lacking in any depth, the figure of Joseph is a little hazy and indistinct, and apparently deficient in personality. Men of our time do not see the figure of Joseph as sufficiently interesting to consider it worth a more detailed examination. With such criteria an unexciting man, a village craftsman who never seems to have made an utterance of any importance, who never made anything worth preserving, could be quite respectable and a good man. But life is too short for us to reflect on all the good men there have been in the world. There are more urgent, more useful, more necessary and more important things to get on with.

By the world’s standards, that God chose this man to take custody of the two greatest treasures – Jesus and Mary – who have ever been on earth, does not count for much. This can certainly be one of the reasons which allows one confidently to assert that such criteria are of this world and consequently superficial. For this very reason such criteria will always fall short of practical usefulness for a christian who really is what his name indicates – a disciple of Christ. A disciple of Christ can never accept anything at its face value….

For a christian who believes in Jesus Christ, who believes that Jesus is true God and true Man, that God choose Joseph as Our Lady’s spouse and the legal father of Jesus, is sufficient reason for him to feel that perhaps Joseph was not, after all, such an ordinary man as he seems.

- Joseph of Nazareth, pgs 13-16

Thus Fr. Federico Suarez begins his masterful work on the life of our beloved patron, St. Joseph.

My mother, from an early age, instilled in me a great love for and devotion to St. Joseph. Being the son of a craftsman, and a craftsman myself, I quickly grew to love St. Joseph the Worker, an attribute of St. Joseph of such importance that it merits a feast day of its own on May 1.

Unlike my patron, I am not the model of “few words” nor have I been, even remotely, as ready to do what the Father asks of me. Yet, at least now, I try to imitate him, to learn from him.

Here are 7 things St. Joseph is teaching me:

  1. The extraordinary is found in the ordinary – I have to make the best of what abilities God has given me. It is not necessary for me to “shine” before men, but to be able to give an account to God for the talents He has given me.
  2. Silence is golden – St. Joseph shows me that there is a silence which is beneficial. It is a silence that is not preoccupied with self or “other” things, but rather a silence fully occupied with God and His will, a silence that is focused on the interior life, a silence that listens.
  3. Authenticity is found in acceptance – I’m just another “bozo” on the bus. I don’t have to strive to be more important than I am. I shouldn’t wish to be, or appear to be, other than who I am. I must strive to avoid being fake and accept who I am.
  4. Pursue “true” justice – St. Joseph is called in Scripture a just man, i.e. he acted with justice. I have to give to each person what is his due, this includes God. Therefore, I strive to acknowledge that all I have, all I am, I have received from God. Strive becomes the active word here, I fall short daily, but I strive.
  5. Before I act I should reflect – Right solutions are not arrived at “on impulse, on a hunch, or on an instinctive or precipitate reaction…He reflects who really wants to find a solution or longs to do what he ought” (pgs 60-61).
  6. Chastity is necessary, especially in marriage – The Catechism of Catholic Church states:

    2337 Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man’s belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman.

    The virtue of chastity therefore involves the integrity of the person and the integrality of the gift.

    In marriage, the sexual instinct is not given free rein. Too many in this modern age are of the opinion that “all is fair game” in the bedroom of the married couple. St. Joseph, and the Church, teaches me that respect for my wife, makes necessary the proper use of our sexuality. It cannot become a means of purely selfish gratification.

    If respect is lost, both for oneself and for one’s spouse, love will begin to die at the hands of an egoism which seeks only personal gratification. A man, even when married, has always to be master of his instincts and not ever at their mercy. – Joseph of Nazereth, pg. 74

  7. Fatherhood demands the complete gift of self – This is never easy for me, but necessary. St. Joseph is the model. He shows me that fatherhood doesn’t mean just making sure the bills are paid, the kids have college funds, nor that the family is best-dressed, best-fed, best-housed. He shows me that fatherhood, first and foremost, entails spiritual headship. I have to strive to be a virtuous man. I have to be the living, breathing model of faith, hope, and charity for my family. I have to show them that true happiness is found in self-denial rather than self-assertion. Again, this isn’t easy for me. It can become “all about me” rather quickly. What is important, in those moments, is that I am able to admit that I was wrong and make amends. I must be in the business of trying.

In closing, I’d like to share a prayer to St. Joseph that is important to me.

Act of Consecration to St. Joseph
O dearest St. Joseph, I consecrate myself to your honor and give myself to you, that you may always be my father, my protector and my guide in the way of salvation. Obtain for me a greater purity of heart and fervent love of the interior life. After your example may I do all my actions for the greater glory of God, in union with the Divine Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. O Blessed St. Joseph; pray for me, that I may share in the peace and joy of your holy death. Amen.

May St. Joseph be with you and your family and lead you ever closer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.


Act of Consecration to St. Joseph

St. Joseph, Pray For UsA key part on the daily, practical application of my Catholic faith is my prayer routine. Here’s a prayer that I say during my morning prayer time.

O dearest St. Joseph, I consecrate myself to your honor and give myself to you, that you may always be my father, my protector and my guide in the way of salvation. Obtain for me a greater purity of heart and fervent love of the interior life. After your example may I do all my actions for the greater glory of God, in union with the Divine Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. O Blessed St. Joseph; pray for me, that I may share in the peace and joy of your holy death. Amen.


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