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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas!

No, you won't have to watch you little sister tear apart the snow man family in the middle of the night because she doesn't want to move.  It's Little Christmas!  The Feast of the Epiphany!

I've talked about the "Wise Men" before.  But what is the significance of these fellows of unknown origin and numbers?  (I, for one, am happy that we've settled on the manageable number of three, because they are the heaviest statues to lug up out of the church basement. Two on still on their camels and on is off his camel, so we have to lug up his camel, too.)  They are here to continue the narrative of Jesus, that He is here for everyone, the poor and the mighty both.

I also particularly enjoy this feast day because we get to visit with St. Joseph again.  We don't hear much about him in the New Testament, although we now keep him busy with patronages from workers to real estate, from a happy death, to the entire country of Italy.

You know, Italy has more exorcisms than any other country?  What's that about?

I digress.

This is the point where St. Joseph is at his best, getting the information that his family is in grave danger and taking swift and decisive, and very loving, action.  He made his way with them to Egypt on foot with no GPS  or Triple A.  It seems that everything went fine for them from then on, except for one small glitch when the Mary and Joseph lost track of Jesus for a bit, which turned out to be no big deal in the lost child department.

St. Joseph gives us such a sense of peace, doesn't he?  He did everything that was asked of him and he made it look easy.  My dad was kind of like that.

I was tickled to find out that today is the feast day of the newly minted St. Andre, formerly known as Blessed Brother Andre of Montreal.  What a good match to put his feast day on this day! He was devoted to St. Joseph.

St. Andre is famous for having built the Oratory of St. Joseph with his simple devotion and persistence.  “It is with the smallest brushes that the artist paints the most exquisitely beautiful pictures,” he once said.  But in his lifetime, the reason he was able to accomplish so much is because he had become a rather famous healer, rubbing the sick with oil from the lamps in the chapel at the rectory.  St. Joseph's oil is on sale at the Oratory gift shop. I have some!  Because so many people knew him, people also came to know his cause.

Of course people thought the oil was miraculous, but St. Andre was careful to remind them that it was not the oil the healed, but St. Joseph.

And now, we have to be careful to remind people that when he said that, we, as Catholics, know that is short hand for  'it is not the oil that healed, but the intercessory prayer of St. Joseph'.  The separated brethren are confused enough.  I know it's cumbersome to go around saying, "Pray for the intercessory prayer of St. Anthony" but I think we should consider it.  At least boil it down to "Ask St. Anthony to pray for you"  instead of "Pray to St. Anthony."

Enjoy the day!


Soutenus said...

Great post!
I agree, our separated brethren are confused enough! LOL

St. Joseph, St. Anthony, and St. Andre, please pray for us!
And, Merry Little Christmas to you, Sister (and all in your convent, too).

Maureen said...

Do you think I could ask St Joseph to pray for healing for my son? - The Archangel Raphael is wonderful,but perhaps as a wise, calm - (which I am most certainly NOT at present) -and loving father himself, St Joseph would understand.
He has already answered my prayers for the quick sale of our previous house

Mrs. deSouza said...

St. Joseph is also the patron saint of Canada! That would explain why St. Brother Andre was so devoted. It always bothers me that most Canadians will celebrate St. Patrick's day on March 15, but not celebrate St. Joseph's on March 19. Ah well. :)

Kathy (not the other one) said...

Was mine the only family that didn't put the Wise Men in the Christmas manger scene until Epiphany? There were some years when we set up the manger sans Wise Men, but instead put the Wise Men across the room and moved them forward a little every day of Christmas, replaying the journey they made once Jesus was born and they saw the start.

Dual Role Grandma said...

No Kathy, our wise men didn't arrive at the creche until Epiphany. Of course, when I was very small, the wise men were glued down to the small plastic Nativity scene and didn't go any place. But once we got a bigger set, with free-standing wise men, they and their camels made the journey following various routes through the living room , until 3 Kings day. This caused them to sometimes spend a day or two on top of the television, or even take a side route to the room divider, and even once of twice they ventured to the mantle in the girls' room.

elfin said...

I didn't know what the Epiphany was until Mass this past Sunday.
I am like a child, learning so many new things!