23 April: Blessed Teresa Maria of the Cross

April 23
BLESSED TERESA MARIA OF THE CROSS
Virgin

Optional Memorial

Teresa Manetti was born at Campi Bisenzio, Florence, where she founded in 1874 the Congregation of Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa, who she also sent to Lebanon and the Holy Land. She lived joyfully, body and soul, the mystery of the Cross in full conformity to the will of God and she was outstanding for her love for the Eucharist and her maternal care for children and for the poor. She died at Campi Bisenzio on April 23, 1910. She was beatified by St. John Paul II in 1986.

From the Common of Virgins or the Common of Holy Women (Religious)

Office of Readings

Second Reading
From the works of Saint Teresa of Avila
(Interior Castle VII, 4; 4, 58. Way of Perfection 26,7, Interior Castle 11,1,11.)

Fix your gaze on the Crucified and everything becomes easy

His Majesty could not grant us a greater favor than to give us a life that would be an imitation of the life that His beloved Son lived. For this reason, I hold it certain that these favors are meant to fortify our weakness so that we may be able to imitate Him in his great sufferings.

Fix your eyes on the Crucified and everything will become easy for you. If His Majesty showed us His love by means of such works and frightful torments, how is it you want to please Him only with words?

Do you know what it means to be truly spiritual? It means becoming the slaves of God. Marked with His brand, which is that of the Cross, spiritual persons, because now they have given Him their liberty, can be sold by Him as slaves of everyone, as He was. In acting this way, He doesn’t do us any harm but rather He grants us a not insignificant grace.

We have always seen that those who were closest to Christ our Lord were those with the greatest trials. Let us look at what His glorious Mother suffered and the glorious apostles.
Take up the Cross of Jesus. Help your Spouse to carry the burden that weighs Him down and pay no attention to what they may say about you. If you should happen to stumble and fall like your Spouse, do not withdraw from the Cross or abandon it. No matter how great your trials may be, you will see that they are quite small in comparison to His.

If we never look at Him or reflect on what we owe Him and the death He suffered for us, I don’t know how we’ll be able to know Him or serve Him. And without these works in His service, what value will our faith have? And what value will our works have if they are separated from the inestimable merits of Jesus Christ, our Good? And then who will bring us to love this Lord?

Responsory

I rejoice in the trials I bear and make up in my flesh that which is lacking in the sufferings of Christ
for the sake of His body which is the Church (alleluia).
I have been crucified with Christ, and now no longer live but Christ lives in me:
for the sake of His body which is the Church (alleluia).

Prayer

O God,
by the inexhaustible grace of the Eucharist,
you enabled the virgin Blessed Teresa Maria
to walk the way of the Cross,
and filled her with maternal concern
for the weak and the poor.
Through her intercession
may we too be strengthened by the bread of angels
to share joyfully in the suffering of Christ
and to participate in works of love
for the establishment of your kingdom.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Teresa-Maria-Manetti_beatif-banner
Blessed Teresa Maria of the Cross (1846-1910)

St. Joseph Novena 2019 – Day 9

On the last day of the novena let us praise God for the gift of St. Joseph to Jesus as his foster father, to Mary a loving husband, to the church a faithful guardian and to us a powerful intercessor.

Reading
Psalm 150

1 Praise God in his holy place,
praise him in his mighty heavens.
2 Praise him for his powerful deeds,
praise his surpassing greatness.

3 O praise him with sound of trumpet,
praise him with lute and harp.
4 Praise him with timbrel and dance,
praise him with strings and pipes.

5 O praise him with resounding cymbals,
praise him with clashing of cymbals.
6 Let everything that lives and that breathes
give praise to the Lord.

Reflection

The Carmelites look to Saint Joseph as a guide and father, just like Mary and Jesus did. Devotion to St. Joseph isn’t just something to save for once a year, they turn to him for every need.

How can you make St. Joseph your constant guide and companion in prayer?

Prayer

Grant,
we pray, almighty God,
that by Saint Joseph’s intercession
your Church may constantly watch over
the unfolding of the mysteries of human salvation,
whose beginnings you entrusted to his faithful care.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
— Amen.

Hymn to St. Joseph 

All praise to God the Father,
Whose hidden, loving plan
Has come to sweet fruition
In Jesus, God made Man!
To them and to the Spirit
We raise our song of joy!
With Joseph and with Mary
Our hymns we now employ

J. Michael Thompson
Copyright © 2010, World Library Publications
76 76 D
AURELIATHAXTED

Source: Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa 
Hymn used with the kind permission of the composer

St. Joseph Novena 2019 – Day 8

Today we continue the novena to St. Joseph. Joseph is so silent in the Gospels, so ordinary, that it took many years for the Church to give him due importance. St. Joseph is special because he reflects in a unique way the love of the Eternal Father for his only begotten Son.

Reading
1 Peter 3:8-12

8 Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called — that you might inherit a blessing. 10 For

“Those who desire life
and desire to see good days,
let them keep their tongues from evil
and their lips from speaking deceit;
11 let them turn away from evil and do good;
let them seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Reflection

The Gospels summarize the life of St. Joseph in a single statement — Joseph was a just man. Being just meant living an upright, integrated, and authentic life.

Am I transparent in my dealings, accounts, rules, etc.?

Prayer

Holy Joseph, Man according to the Heart of God you whose heart was afire with ardent charity and whose life was a constant prayer and continual contemplation, direct us in the way of perfection. Obtain for us the grace of which we stand in need, in order to arrive at the sanctity to which we are called particularly, a spirit of prayer, humility, and surrender to God’s will, of which you were the model.

Hymn to St. Joseph 

So let your Church, thus mentored
By faithful, humble life,
See Joseph as a model
For all in daily strife:
To trust your Word whenever
We seem to be distressed,
To do our work with gladness,
To know our love is blessed.

J. Michael Thompson
Copyright © 2010, World Library Publications
76 76 D
AURELIATHAXTED

Source: Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa 
Hymn used with the kind permission of the composer

St. Joseph Novena 2019 – Day 7

Today we continue the novena to St. Joseph. Joseph is so silent in the Gospels, so ordinary, that it took many years for the Church to give him due importance. St. Joseph is special because he reflects in a unique way the love of the Eternal Father for his only begotten Son.

Reading
Matthew 2:13-15

13 Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, “Out of Egypt I have called my son.”

Reflection

Jesus must live in exile and anguish. Persecution begins with his birth and will follow him until his death. Mary and Joseph are partners with Jesus’ sufferings and saving mission.

What is my contribution to make Jesus known?

Prayer

Lord God, in your loving providence you chose St. Joseph to be the spouse of your holy Mother, grant that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our holy patron, Amen.

Hymn to St. Joseph 

In Joseph’s care were Jesus
And Mary guarded well,
Provided for and cherished,
As all the stories tell;
And when he died, his spirit
Went forth from them in peace;
Within their arms so loving,
He found his soul’s release.

J. Michael Thompson
Copyright © 2010, World Library Publications
76 76 D
AURELIATHAXTED

Source: Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa 
Hymn used with the kind permission of the composer

St. Joseph Novena 2019 – Day 6

Today we continue the novena to St. Joseph. Joseph is so silent in the Gospels, so ordinary, that it took many years for the Church to give him due importance. St. Joseph is special because he reflects in a unique way the love of the Eternal Father for his only begotten Son.

Reading
Luke 2:1-7

1 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All went to their own towns to be registered. 4 Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger because there was no place for them in the inn.

Reflection

On account of the census, Joseph and Mary had to leave their Nazareth home at a time the child was to be born. A long tedious journey would have certainly caused much trouble and pain to Joseph and Mary.

How should we express our commitment to obedience and compassion in the socio-cultural context in which we live?

Prayer

Holy Joseph, Man according to the Heart of God you whose heart was afire with ardent charity and whose life was a constant prayer and continual contemplation, direct us in the way of perfection. Obtain for us the grace of which we stand in need, in order to arrive at the sanctity to which we are called particularly, a spirit of prayer, humility, and surrender to God’s will, of which you were the model.

Hymn to St. Joseph 

From David’s line came Joseph,
A just and upright man,
Engaged to Virgin Mary,
And startled by God’s plan.
An angel came and told him
What God’s love had in mind;
Obedient, he trusted,
Left all mistrust behind.

J. Michael Thompson
Copyright © 2010, World Library Publications
76 76 D
AURELIATHAXTED

Source: Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa 
Hymn used with the kind permission of the composer

St. Joseph Novena 2019 – Day 5

Today we continue the novena to St. Joseph. Joseph is so silent in the Gospels, so ordinary, that it took many years for the Church to give him due importance. St. Joseph is special because he reflects in a unique way the love of the Eternal Father for his only begotten Son.

Reading
Matthew 1:18-25

18 This is how Jesus Christ was born. A young woman named Mary was engaged to Joseph from King David’s family. But before they were married, she learned that she was going to have a baby by God’s Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph was a good man and did not want to embarrass Mary in front of everyone. So he decided to quietly call off the wedding.

20 While Joseph was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord came to him in a dream. The angel said, “Joseph, the baby that Mary will have is from the Holy Spirit. Go ahead and marry her. 21 Then after her baby is born, name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 So the Lord’s promise came true, just as the prophet had said, 23 “A virgin will have a baby boy, and he will be called Immanuel,” which means “God is with us.”

24 After Joseph woke up, he and Mary were soon married, just as the Lord’s angel had told him to do. 25 But they did not sleep together before her baby was born. Then Joseph named him Jesus.

Reflection

The intervention of the angel in the Gospel is not only to reassure Joseph but to inform him of his role in the plan of God. You shall call him Jesus and you will receive him as your Son. How deep is my faith to see the hand of God in the daily events of my life?

Prayer

Lord God, in your loving providence you chose St. Joseph to be the spouse of your holy Mother, grant that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our holy patron, Amen.

Hymn to St. Joseph 

In Joseph’s care were Jesus
And Mary guarded well,
Provided for and cherished,
As all the stories tell;
And when he died, his spirit
Went forth from them in peace;
Within their arms so loving,
He found his soul’s release

J. Michael Thompson
Copyright © 2010, World Library Publications
76 76 D
AURELIATHAXTED

Source: Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa 
Hymn used with the kind permission of the composer

St. Joseph Novena 2019 – Day 4

Today we continue the novena to St. Joseph. Joseph is so silent in the Gospels, so ordinary, that it took many years for the Church to give him due importance. St. Joseph is special because he reflects in a unique way the love of the Eternal Father for his only begotten Son.

Reading
Jude 20-23

20 But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; 21 keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on some who are wavering; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; and have mercy on still others with fear, hating even the tunic defiled by their bodies.

Reflection

Jude exhorts us to build our lives on the foundation of our faith by praying in the Holy Spirit and to remain firm in the love of God. St. Joseph was a person of unshakeable faith and ardent love.

As love is from above, let us pray:
Lord, furnace of love, set our hearts on fire with divine love. (Thrice)

Prayer

Holy Joseph, Man according to the Heart of God you whose heart was afire with ardent charity and whose life was a constant prayer and continual contemplation, direct us in the way of perfection. Obtain for us the grace of which we stand in need, in order to arrive at the sanctity to which we are called particularly, a spirit of prayer, humility, and surrender to God’s will, of which you were the model.

Hymn to St. Joseph 

From David’s line came Joseph,
A just and upright man,
Engaged to Virgin Mary,
And startled by God’s plan.
An angel came and told him
What God’s love had in mind;
Obedient, he trusted,
Left all mistrust behind.

J. Michael Thompson
Copyright © 2010, World Library Publications
76 76 D
AURELIATHAXTED

Source: Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa 
Hymn used with the kind permission of the composer

St. Joseph Novena 2019 – Day 3

Today we continue the novena to St. Joseph. Joseph is so silent in the Gospels, so ordinary, that it took many years for the Church to give him due importance. St. Joseph is special because he reflects in a unique way the love of the Eternal Father for his only begotten Son.

Reading
Psalm 15

1 Lord, who shall be admitted to your tent
and dwell on your holy mountain?

2 He who walks without fault;
he who acts with justice
and speaks the truth from his heart;
3 he who does not slander with his tongue;

He who does no wrong to his brother,
who casts no slur on his neighbor,
4 who holds the godless in disdain,
but honors those who fear the Lord;

he who keeps his pledge, come what may;
5 who takes no interest on a loan
and accepts no bribes against the innocent.
Such a man will stand firm forever.

Reflection

In imitation of the silence of Saint Joseph, spend three to five minutes (or more!) in silent prayer before the Lord. If you don’t think you can calm yourself for that long, set a timer and let the timer tell you when the time is up. If you need an image to meditate on, imitate St. Teresa of Avila’s method of prayer and picture St. Joseph with the Child Jesus.

Prayer

Lord God, in your loving providence you chose St. Joseph to be the spouse of your holy Mother, grant that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our holy patron, Amen.

Hymn to St. Joseph 

Your love I’ll sing for ever
Through ev’ry age, O Lord!
Your love endures for ever,
Your covenant and word.
For you have sworn to David:
“His throne shall e’er endure!
My covenant is endless,
My promises are sure!”

J. Michael Thompson
Copyright © 2010, World Library Publications
76 76 D
AURELIATHAXTED

Source: Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa 
Hymn used with the kind permission of the composer

St. Joseph Novena 2019 – Day 2

Today we continue the novena to St. Joseph. Joseph is so silent in the Gospels, so ordinary, that it took many years for the Church to give him due importance. St. Joseph is special because he reflects in a unique way the love of the Eternal Father for his only begotten Son.

Reading
Sirach 1:1-2

1 All wisdom is from the Lord,
and with him it remains forever.
2 The sand of the sea, the drops of rain,
and the days of eternity—who can count them?

Reflection

God is more present to us than we are to ourselves. How can we express the nearness of the Holy God?

Prayer

Lord God, in your loving providence you chose St. Joseph to be the spouse of your holy Mother, grant that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our holy patron, Amen.

Hymn to St. Joseph 

From David’s line came Joseph,
A just and upright man,
Engaged to Virgin Mary,
And startled by God’s plan.
An angel came and told him
What God’s love had in mind;
Obedient, he trusted,
Left all mistrust behind.

J. Michael Thompson
Copyright © 2010, World Library Publications
76 76 D
AURELIATHAXTED

Source: Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa 
Hymn used with the kind permission of the composer

St. Joseph Novena 2019 – Day 1

Today begins the novena to St. Joseph. Joseph is so silent in the Gospels, so ordinary, that it took many years for the Church to give him due importance. St. Joseph is special because he reflects in a unique way the love of the Eternal Father for his only begotten Son.

Reading
Proverbs 3:3-8

3 Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 So you will find favor and good repute
in the sight of God and of people.

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own insight.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
8 It will be a healing for your flesh
and a refreshment for your body.

 

Reflection

This reading deals with the attitudes leading to wisdom. We see in the life of St. Joseph readiness to sacrifice his own will in order to fulfill God’s plan. Do I seek God’s will in all things?

Prayer

Holy Joseph, Man according to the Heart of God you whose heart was afire with ardent charity and whose life was a constant prayer and continual contemplation, direct us in the way of perfection. Obtain for us the grace of which we stand in need, in order to arrive at the sanctity to which we are called particularly, a spirit of prayer, humility, and surrender to God’s will, of which you were the model.

Hymn to St. Joseph 

Your love I’ll sing for ever
Through ev’ry age, O Lord!
Your love endures for ever,
Your covenant and word.
For you have sworn to David:
“His throne shall e’er endure!
My covenant is endless,
My promises are sure!”

J. Michael Thompson
Copyright © 2010, World Library Publications
76 76 D
AURELIA, THAXTED

Source: Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa 
Hymn used with the kind permission of the composer

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