Monday, April 27, 2009

Novena for Fr. Jaki - Seventh Day

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

... unlike many stalwarts of the "new theology," Newman was biblical in the sense in which Saint Paul wanted Christians to be such who not only heard the word, but also implemented with deeds what they heard. In this age, when so many say so much about a "deepened" and "fuller" notion of the Church, there are so few among them who enthusiastically recommend devotion to Saint Joseph. And this in an age during which popes, from Blessed Pope Pius IX, through Leo XIII, Saint Pius X, Pius XI, Pius XII, Paul VI to John Paul II have acclaimed Saint Joseph as Patron of the Church. There is practically nothing on Saint Joseph in the Sacramentum mundi, this multivolume flagship of the "new" theology, a most un-Newmanite product. For that work is much more about this world of mere nature, than about the world to come in its supernatural splendor and effulgence.

The contrast is brought out by a brief look at that finest gem of modern prayer books, which is Newman's Meditations and Devotions .... in which Newman offers a page which is perhaps the most beautiful ever penned in English about the holiness of Joseph as a holiness most intimately connected with that of Mary. Both owed their holiness to their intimate proximity to Jesus, the infinitely Holy Incarnate Son of God. And, as Newman states, intercessory power is always proportional to the holiness of the one who is invoked to intercede. About Mary, it has been the teaching of the Church, especially since the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, that her holiness is the greatest conceivable holiness available for a created being. A women who carried under her heart for nine months the Son of God, and therefore was in the most intimate biological symbiosis with God who took body in her womb, had to be absolutely free of the merest trace of sin or even of sinful inclinations. This is why she is to be believed to have been so free of any trace of sin as to have been exempt even from that most tragic consequence of sin, which is bodily death. She merely fell asleep just before her body was taken up to Heaven.
Now a Doctor of the Church, Saint Francis of Sales, held that in view of Joseph's intimate proximity to Jesus and Mary, he had to have an extraordinary degree of holiness. So extraordinary, indeed, as to imply that he was not only one of those who rose from their graves when Christ died (Mt 27:53), but also among those the only one, who was eventually lifted to heaven in a glorious body. It is not necessary to agree with Saint Francis de Sales, and with other theologians, like Suarez, who held a similar view. But it is necessary to be impressed that such a view was held by great figures of the Christian theological past. So much in a way of introduction to this commentary on the Litany of Saint Joseph, which begins with two exclamations:
Holy Mary, pray for us!
Saint Joseph, pray for us!
Let us therefore exclaim: "Holy Mary, Saint Joseph, pray for us, and do so together!" No combined voice can be stronger than the united voice of those two. The two are so united that whenever we invoke Joseph, Mary also hears our voice, and so does the Child of theirs, who as the Savior of the world is the greatest treasure which a marital union could conceivably guard. This should be uppermost in our mind as we recite one after another the twenty-five invocations that form the Litany of Saint Joseph.
[Jaki, The Litany of St. Joseph]
I thnk that is one of Jaki's most important insights:
Holy Mary, Saint Joseph, pray for us, and do so together!
Please make a note of it.


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