St. Joseph of Cupertino
Joseph is most famous for levitating at prayer.
Already as a child, Joseph showed a fondness for prayer. After a short career with the Capuchins, he joined the Conventuals. Following a brief assignment caring for the friary mule, Joseph began his studies for the priesthood. Though studies were very difficult for him, Joseph gained a great deal of knowledge from prayer. He was ordained in 1628.
Joseph's tendency to levitate during prayer was sometimes a cross; some people came to see this much as they might have gone to a circus sideshow. Joseph's gift led him to be humble, patient and obedient, even though at times he was greatly tempted and felt forsaken by God. He fasted and wore iron chains for much of his life.
The friars transferred Joseph several times for his own good and for the good of the rest of the community. He was reported to and investigated by the Inquisition; the examiners exonerated him.
Joseph was canonized in 1767. In the investigation preceding the canonization, 70 incidents of levitation are recorded.
While levitation is an extraordinary sign of holiness, Joseph is also remembered for the ordinary signs he showed. He prayed even in times of inner darkness, and he lived out the Sermon on the Mount. He used his "unique possession" (his free will) to praise God and to serve God's creation.
"Clearly, what God wants above all is our will which we received as a free gift from God in creation and possess as though our own. When a man trains himself to acts of virtue, it is with the help of grace from God from whom all good things come that he does this. The will is what man has as his unique possession" (St. Joseph of Cupertino, from the reading for his feast in the Franciscan breviary).
Patron Saint of:
Daily Prayer - 2015-09-18
I remind myself that, as I sit here now,
I try to let go of concerns and worries
Where do I sense hope, encouragement, and growth areas in my life? By looking back over the last few months, I may be able to see which activities and occasions have produced rich fruit. If I do notice such areas, I will determine to give those areas both time and space in the future.
The Word of God
Reading 1 1 Tm 6:2c-12
Responsorial Psalm PS 49:6-7, 8-10, 17-18, 19-20
R. Blessed the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!
Alleluia See Mt 11:25
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 8:1-3
Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another,
Some thoughts on today's scripture
Do I notice myself reacting as I pray with the Word of God?
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
24th Week in Ordinary Time
Compete well for the faith. (1 Timothy 6:12)
Is it good to be competitive?
Early in this passage, Paul warns Timothy against those who are always spoiling for a fight. Insisting on fine points of doctrine, such people have "a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes" (1 Timothy 6:4). They believe that they are the only ones who have all the answers. They ignore and suppress any evidence to the contrary, and paint those who disagree as "dissenters" or even "heretics." Zealous to criticize other people, they are alert for every misstep, but are often blind to their own needs or deficits.
People who think this way are like the proverbial blind men, each describing the whole elephant according to the part he has touched. ("It's like a wall." "No, it's like a rope.") The more argumentative among them may "win" whatever dispute they are caught up in, but at the price of narrowing his vision, missing the big glorious picture that comes to those who consider more than one perspective.
Those who engage in such arguments are competing against each other as if only one person could win. However, in the kingdom of God, we are all on the same team; we are all in the same family. One of us can never win at the expense of another. Rather, we become more like God when we value each other and help each other along.
Paul urges Timothy to change his focus. Rather than competing against people, he should compete for something. "Compete well for the faith," he writes (1 Timothy 6:12). Throw in all you have to advance God's kingdom in God's way. It's wonderful to pursue personal righteousness and devotion to God, but your brother and sister's growth is essential to your well-being. So try to develop the qualities that will enable you to live in fellowship: love, patience, generosity, and gentleness.
We can't cultivate these qualities in isolation. Patience comes as you wait for someone to make up his or her mind. Awed by another person's kindness, you can be motivated to set aside your own toughness. Only by being committed to other people's best interests can you grow in love.
"Jesus, thank you for the brothers and sisters you have given me. Help us to encourage each other."
Psalm 49:6-10, 17-20