St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

What's new for St Joseph and St Mary Parishes!


Leave a comment

Final Consecration (August 15)

00.Final Consecration-Aug. 15

Instructions:

On the day of consecration, either (1) fast, give alms, or offer a votive candle for the good of another (or all of the above);
(2) do some spiritual penance and approach consecration in the spirit of mortification.
(3) Now go to Confession (or, if that is not possible, go during the 8 days prior) and then receive Communion with the intention of giving yourself to Jesus, as a slave of love, by the hands of Mary. Try to receive Communion per the method described in the Supplement of the book, “True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary” above.
(4) Now pray the words of the consecration. Copy them and have them with you at church, read them after the Mass (in front of the tabernacle would be nice), and sign your copy of the Act of Consecration. Continue reading


Leave a comment

TOTAL CONSECRATION: Day 33 of 33 days (August 14)

Day 33 of 33

Imitation of Christ, by Thomas á Kempis: Book 4, Chapter 11
That the Blood of Christ and the Holy Scriptures
Are Most Necessary unto a Faithful Soul
O most sweet Lord Jesus, how great is the pleasure of the devout soul that feasteth with Thee in Thy banquet; where there is set for her no other food to be eaten but Thyself, her only Beloved, and most to be desired above all the desires of her heart! To me also it would be indeed sweet, in Thy presence to pour forth tears from the very bottom of my heart, and with the grateful Magdalene to wash Thy feet with tears (Luke 7:38). But where is that devotion? Where that bountiful flowing of holy tears? Surely in the sight of Thee and Thy holy Angels, my whole heart ought to burn, and to weep for joy. For in this Sacrament I have Thee mystically present, hidden under another shape. For to look upon Thee in Thine own Divine brightness, mine eyes would not be able to endure; nor could even the whole world stand in the splendor of the glory of Thy majesty. Herein then Thou hast regard to my weakness, that Thou dost hide Thyself under this Sacrament.

From True Devotion To the Blessed Virgin Mary, Nos. 261-265
In Mary
261. We must do everything in Mary. To understand this we must realise that the Blessed Virgin is the true earthly paradise of the new Adam and that the ancient paradise was only a symbol of her. There are in this earthly paradise untold riches, beauties, rarities and delights, which the new Adam, Jesus Christ, has left there. It is in this paradise that he “took his delights” for nine months, worked his wonders and displayed his riches with the magnificence of God himself.In this earthly paradise grows the real Tree of Life which bore our Lord, the fruit of Life, the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which bore the Light of the world. In this divine place there are trees planted by the hand of God and watered by his divine unction which have borne and continue to bear fruit that is pleasing to him. Only the Holy Spirit can teach us the truths that these material objects symbolise. 262. The Holy Spirit speaking through the Fathers of the Church, also calls our Lady the Eastern Gate, through which the High Priest, Jesus Christ, enters and goes out into the world. Through this gate he entered the world the first time and through this same gate he will come the second time.

For Mary
265. Finally, we must do everything for Mary. We take Mary for our proximate end, our mysterious intermediary and the easiest way of reaching him. Relying on her protection, we should undertake and carry out great things for our noble Queen. We must defend her privileges when they are questioned and uphold her good name when it is under attack. We must attract everyone, if possible, to her service and to this true and sound devotion. As a reward for these little services, we should expect nothing in return save the honour of belonging to such a lovable Queen and the joy of being united through her to Jesus, her Son, by a bond that is indissoluble in time and in eternity. Continue reading


Leave a comment

TOTAL CONSECRATION: Day 32 of 33 days (August 13)

Day 32 of 33

Imitation of Christ, by Thomas á Kempis: Book 2, Chapter 7
Of the Love of Jesus above All Things 

Blessed is he that understandeth (Psalm 119:1,2) what it is to love Jesus, and to despise himself for Jesus’ sake. Thou oughtest to leave thy beloved, for thy beloved (Deut. 6:5; Matt. 22:37; Cant. 2:16); for that Jesus will be loved alone above all things.

The love of things created is deceitful and inconstant; the love of Jesus is faithful and persevering. He that cleaveth unto a creature, shall fall with that which is subject to fall; he that embraceth Jesus shall be made strong forever.

2. Love Him, and keep Him for thy friend, who, when all go away, will not forsake thee, nor suffer thee to perish in the end. Some time or other thou must be separated from all, whether thou wilt or no. Keep close to Jesus both in life and in death, and commit thyself unto His faithfulness, who, when all fail, can alone help thee.

Thy Beloved is of that nature, that He will admit of no rival; but will have thy heart alone, and sit on His throne as King. If thou couldest empty thyself perfectly from all creatures, Jesus would willingly dwell with thee.

From True Devotion To the Blessed Virgin Mary, Nos. 257-260

There are some very sanctifying interior practices for those souls who feel called by the Holy Spirit to a high degree of perfection. They may be expressed in four words, doing everything through Mary, with Mary, in Mary, and for Mary, in order to do it more perfectly through Jesus, with Jesus, in Jesus, and for Jesus. Continue reading


Leave a comment

TOTAL CONSECRATION: Day 31 of 33 days (August 12)

Day 31 of 33

Imitation of Christ, by Thomas á Kempis: Book 4, Chapter 2
That the Great Goodness and Love of God
Is Exhibited to Man in This Sacrament
In confidence of Thy goodness and great mercy, O Lord, I draw near, sick to the Healer, hungry and thirsty to the Fountain of Life, needy to the King of Heaven, a servant to his Lord, a creature to the Creator, desolate to my own tender Comforter. “But whence is this to me,” that Thou comest unto me (Luke 1:43)? What am I, that Thou shouldest grant me Thine own self?  How dare a sinner appear before Thee?
And how is it that Thou dost vouchsafe to come unto a sinner? Thou knowest Thy servant, and art well aware that he hath in him no good thing, for which Thou shouldest grant him this. I confess therefore mine own vileness, I acknowledge Thy goodness, I praise Thy tender mercy, and give Thee thanks for Thy transcendent love.

From True Devotion To the Blessed Virgin Mary, Nos. 243-254 243

Loving slaves of Jesus in Mary should hold in high esteem devotion to Jesus, the Word of God, in the great mystery of the Incarnation, March 25th, which is the mystery proper to this devotion, because it was inspired by the Holy Spirit for the following reasons: a) That we might honour and imitate the wondrous dependence which God the Son chose to have on Mary, for the glory of his Father and for the redemption of man. This dependence is revealed especially in this mystery where Jesus becomes a captive and slave in the womb of his Blessed Mother, depending on her for everything. b) That we might thank God for the incomparable graces he has conferred upon Mary and especially that of choosing her to be his most worthy Mother. This choice was made in the mystery of the incarnation. These are the two principal ends of the slavery of Jesus in Mary.

245. a) Since we live in an age of pride when a great number of haughty scholars, with proud and critical minds, find fault even with long-established and sound devotions, it is better to speak of “slavery of Jesus in Mary” and to call oneself “slave of Jesus” rather than “slave of Mary”. We then avoid giving any pretext for criticism. In this way, we name this devotion after its ultimate end which is Jesus, rather than after the way and the means to arrive there, which is Mary. However, we can very well use either term without any scruple, as I myself do.

246. b) Since the principal mystery celebrated and honoured in this devotion is the mystery of the Incarnation where we find Jesus only in Mary, having become incarnate in her womb, it is appropriate for us to say, “slavery of Jesus in Mary”, of Jesus dwelling enthroned in Mary, according to the beautiful prayer, recited by so many great souls, “O Jesus living in Mary”.

249. Those who accept this devotion should have a great love for the Hail Mary, or, as it is called, the Angelic Salutation. Few Christians, however enlightened, understand the value, merit, excellence and necessity of the Hail Mary. Our Blessed Lady herself had to appear on several occasions to men of great holiness and insight, such as St. Dominic, St. John Capistran and Blessed Alan de Rupe, to convince them of the richness of this prayer. Continue reading


Leave a comment

TOTAL CONSECRATION: Day 30 of 33 days (August 11)

Day 30 of 33

Matthew 27:36-44

And they sat and watched him. And they put over his head his cause written: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then were crucified with him two thieves: one on the right hand, and one on the left. And they that passed by, blasphemed him, wagging their heads, And saying: Vah, thou that destroyest the temple of God, and in three days dost rebuild it: save thy own self: if thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. In like manner also the chief priests, with the scribes and ancients, mocking, said: He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the king of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him now deliver him if he will have him; for he said: I am the Son of God. And the selfsame thing the thieves also, that were crucified with him, reproached him with.

Imitation of Christ, by Thomas á Kempis: Book 2, Chapter 12
Of the King’s High Way of the Holy Cross

Unto many this seemeth an hard saying, “Deny thyself, take up thy cross, and follow Jesus” (Matt. 16:24). But much harder will it be to hear that last word, “Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire” (Matt. 25:41). For they who now willingly hear and follow the word of the Cross, shall not then fear (Psalm 112:7) to hear the sentence of everlasting damnation. This sign of the Cross shall be in the heaven, when the Lord shall come to judgment (Matt. 24:30). Then all the servants of the Cross, who in their life-time conformed themselves unto Christ crucified, shall draw near unto Christ the Judge with great confidence.

Why therefore fearest thou to take up the Cross which leadeth thee to a kingdom? In the Cross is salvation, in the Cross is life, in the Cross is protection against our enemies, in the Cross is infusion of heavenly sweetness, in the Cross is strength of mind, in the Cross joy of spirit, in the Cross the height of virtue, in the Cross the perfection of holiness.

Take up therefore thy Cross and follow Jesus (Luke 14:27), and thou shalt go into life everlasting. Continue reading


Leave a comment

TOTAL CONSECRATION: Day 29 of 33 days (August 10)

Day 29 of 33

Imitation of Christ, by Thomas á Kempis: Book 1, Chapter 1
Of the Imitation of Christ, and Contempt of all the Vanities of the World

“He that followeth Me walketh not in darkness” (John 8:12), saith the Lord. These are the words of Christ by which we are admonished how we ought to imitate His life and manners, if we would truly be enlightened and delivered from all blindness of heart.  Let therefore our chiefest endeavour be to meditate upon the life of Jesus Christ.

The doctrine of Christ exceedeth all the doctrine of holy men; and he that hath the Spirit will find therein the hidden manna (Apocalypse. 2:17). But it falleth out that many who often hear the Gospel of Christ, feel little desire after it because they have not the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9). But whosoever will fully and with relish understand the words of Christ, must endeavor to conform his life wholly to the life of Christ.

What doth it avail thee to discourse profoundly of the Trinity, if thou be void of humility and art thereby displeasing to the Trinity? Surely profound words do not make a man holy and just, but a virtuous life maketh him dear to God. I had rather feel contrition than know the definition thereof. If thou didst know the whole Bible by heart and the sayings of all the philosophers, what would all that profit thee without the love of God (1 Cor. 13:2), and without His grace?

Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity (Eccles. 1:2), except to love God, and to serve Him only. This is the highest wisdom, by contempt of the world to press forward towards heavenly kingdoms. Continue reading


Leave a comment

TOTAL CONSECRATION: Day 28 of 33 days (August 9)

Day 28 of 33

Matthew 26:1, 26-29, 36-46

And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended all these words, he said to his disciples: You know that after two days shall be the Pasch, and the son of man shall be delivered up to be crucified…

…And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. This is my body. And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins. And I say to you, I will not drink from henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father…

…Then Jesus came with them into a country place which is called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples: Sit you here, till I go yonder and pray. And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to grow sorrowful and to be sad. Then he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death: stay you here, and watch with me. And going a little further, he fell upon his face, praying, and saying: My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh to his disciples, and findeth them asleep, and he saith to Peter: What? Could you not watch one hour with me? Watch ye, and pray that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh weak. Again the second time, he went and prayed, saying: My Father, if this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, thy will be done. And he cometh again and findeth them sleeping: for their eyes were heavy. And leaving them, he went again: and he prayed the third time, saying the selfsame word. Then he cometh to his disciples, and saith to them: Sleep ye now and take your rest; behold the hour is at hand, and the Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go: behold he is at hand that will betray me. Continue reading