Tuesday, 30 September 2014


To survive I suckle her breasts
and cling to her hand after my birth
I am calm in the fold of her arms
Her heartbeat resonates from the womb
Always the comforting rhythm of my life
Wherever I go - how bleak the event
Her heartbeat repeats 'I love you' my child;
'I love you' my darling; 'I love you' forever
and ever and never forget 'I love you'.

What's broken is forged by her mysterious power to unite and shape and form a body from fractured pieces of egos smashed to the floor by other more damaged egos.  She heals my body and the bruises of my soul; the dreams that are shattered find a new place to emerge and ever so fragile are nurtured by her 'til they survive as I did from her womb.  What for me is unable to be spoken is given words by her and I wonder, 'How did she know?' 'How did she know?'

What is this connection between my soul and hers, my body and hers, my heart and hers?  What do you say my soul about my mother?

From breast and womb, from heart to tomb, she is my reason for being here.  She carried me hidden in her body and agonized through my birth.  She suckled me to life and nurtured me to independence; to live for Love; to live for Life; to live for Good; to live for Joy; to live to Give and to love to Give and to give for Love.
My father loved my mother and his loving of her made him unite with her body to give me life. His strong arms upheld me in my fragile infancy.  He upheld me, protected me and procured all I needed in my fragile little humanity unable to sustain itself.  He rejoiced to be my father and that I was his son/daughter.  He love my mother for giving him his own child to reflect back to him himself.  He was happy to work, to plan, to build and provide for my future that I may be the human person I was intended to be. 
Her heart and love inspires him,
sowing seeds of possibilities in his mind,
to grow confidence in his heart,
to be the husband and father he needs to be.
He shields hers from deception and flattery,
from the predators of her beauty,
her innocent loveliness and her maternal dreams.
He does this by providing her with all the love he can create around her from within himself and their children.  He builds a kingdom in which she is queen.  His stability and love gives her confidence.
Her womb for cradling their conceptions,
His work for feeding their children,
Her heart for nurturing their dreams,
His mind for materializing her desires,
Her spirit uplifting him - giving him wings
His spirit strengthening hers for flight.
Together they nourish each other
Together they love their children
Together they gather the rays of dreams and untangle the knots of disappointments
and weave ever more beautiful aspirations;
and with vision create more beautiful landscapes
of wonder for their children to explore. 
The adventure of attempting something is more important to them than the possibility of failure.
And above all they listen
beyond the words to the heart's rhythms
And above all they read the body's language
of their beloved's desires unspoken
And threads become tapestries
And words become poems
And actions a collage of 'I love you's'
And all in all a symphony of love.
Who is there who can describe what Love is and what Love does; what Love hears and what Love sees and knows.  Not I - for Love is not about me but about Thee!

Fatherhood is scripted in every male as Motherhood is scripted in every female.  This is written in the body.  To state the obvious the woman has a womb for conceiving children and giving birth; she has breasts for breastfeeding her child and sustaining its infant life; the man has semen for sowing the seed of his child in his wife's womb.  His has a strong upper body for lifting and upholding, for toting and building to provide shelter for his family.  Everything is written in the flesh and blood, bone and sinew of the human being as to the function of each gender and the beautiful complementarity of the two genders. 

Science reveals the beauty of the DNA molecule and at its core is a 'laminin' which is in the shape of a cross.  Every cell of our humanity is perfected by the sufferings of our beloved Saviour in every cell of His Humanity.  Every regenerated part of us in the divine version of ourselves owes its divine beauty to the crucifixion of Jesus upon the cross of the human will divorced from the Divine.  In this crucifixion we were recreated male and female as originally intended healing the great divorce.
All this is most excellently spelled out by the late Saint Pope John Paul II in his Theology of the Body - a recommended reading for those who are readers.  But for those fortunate souls who observe with eloquent silence and reverence what is written in the script of Nature, in the bodies of male and female, the truth is obvious.  Yet, how it is so often overlooked.

The union of bodies is not overlooked however, but rather subverted into a search for how one can grasp at gratification of the other - the spirit of lust.  What is overlooked is "the nuptial meaning of the body" in which the gift of life is given to reflect the love of the two spouses and to smile back at them this love in the beautiful face of their baby.  When the gratification of sex is separated willfully from the responsibilities of this life giving power; it degrades the one who abuses the privilege given by the creative power of God.

The great privilege of sharing in the Fatherhood of God is so often divorced from the gift of sexual union and so mankind experiences the fruits of this divorce.  He becomes divorced in fact from himself - his own true identity; becoming lost in the maze of his sensual desires, obsessions and addictions.

Jesus is the remedy for all these divorces; but He uses his parents Joseph and Mary as the antidote for this great crime - a crime which sees so many of our children fatherless, homeless, abused in a myriad of ways and longing for the father who had them but they never had.  The demise of fatherhood is crying out for its remedy.  Motherhood will be thereby given its best chance of restoration also.  For without a true and holy fatherhood no mother and child can survive and thrive.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

The United Scapulars of Carmel and Saint Joseph


(1 Kings 19:19)
The Scapular Devotion has its origins in the paternal blessing of the cloak.  This is the foundational truth behind the scapular devotion.  The scapular is usually the miniature habit of an Order of the Church.  The brown scapular e.g. is the miniature version of the large scapular of the Carmelites, worn over their habit to protect it from soiling during work. Gifted in the 13th century to accommodate the large numbers who wanted affiliation with the Carmelite monasteries it has grown in the Church to become, after the blessing of a priest, the most highly indulgenced sacramental of the Church and recommended to be worn by all who aspire to be for their Mother, “Totus tuus, ego sum” – like Saint Pope John Paul II.  This habit when blest is thereby impregnated with Her Spirit.  So when we kiss our scapular with faith and love we are, in a certain sense, kissing Her and invoking Her Spirit, even as the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment with faith, invoked His Spirit and through It’s Power was healed.  When the Spirit of Her Carmelite charism is truly lived then the fullness of Her virtues envelope us and we become Her true children.  Likewise the paternal spirit of Abba Joseph envelops us when we wear his scapular and live its spirit.

PATERNAL INHERITANCE OF THE CLOAK:  Elijah, the wonderful prophet of Old Testament fame, showed the power of God on Mt Carmel to the 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah.  After exposing their lies and impotence, he annihilated them all to prove that there is but one God and He alone is “the Truth, the Way and the Life”. This story also shows how when one is not afraid to speak the truth and challenge those who distort the truth, that God gives that person the strength and power of His own Spirit.  This prophet is the patron of all who follow his way of intimacy with the Lord and, through prayer and fasting, become spiritual warriors for the Truth.    Now Elijah had a spiritual son (disciple), Elisha!  Elisha asked his master could he have a double portion of his spirit when he died.  Elijah told him he had asked something very difficult, but he would pray to discover God’s Will in the matter. When, at the end of Elijah’s life on earth, he was drawn into heaven in a fiery chariot, he dropped his cloak to his disciple as the symbol that his prayer had been answered, because Elisha was permitted by God to witness his assumption. 
We see here that the spiritual father showed his favor by passing on his cloak to his spiritual child, and, more importantly that a double portion of the spirit of the father is impregnated into the cloak. (1 Kings 19:19) 
In the case of Jesus, this reminds us of the faith of the woman who said, “If I can but touch the hem of his garment, I will be healed.”  Though Jesus had many people jostling around Him for attention, and was being touched by many, He felt this woman’s touch in a particular manner, because it was impregnated with faith. “Who touched Me?” He cried, “For I felt Power go out of Me.”  Now, Jesus is teaching us here an astounding fact that even the garments that clothed Him and are in contact with His Sacred Body are impregnated with the Spiritual Power of His Divine Humanity.  He is saying that His Cloak, when touched with faith, will impart His healing power.  As our scapulars are the ‘cloak’ of the charism of the one they represent, when we kiss them or touch them with faith we invoke the grace of the persons they signify – namely Mary and Joseph, from whose Virginal Nuptial Union “all holiness spreads throughout the earth.”  (Custodian of the Redeemer, JP II – para 7)

Israel loved Joseph more than he loved his other sons – for he was the son of his old age, and he had a long sleeved coat made for him.  But his brothers, seeing how his father loved him more than all his other sons, came to hate him so much that they could not say a civil word to him.”  (Genesis 37:3)

The Scapular of St Joseph originated in the diocese of St Claude, France, in the year 1880, being introduced to the faithful by a Franciscan nun, flourishing in the evidence of many miraculous healings.  On August 23rd, 1883, at the solicitation of the Procurator General of the Capuchin Franciscan Order, it received also the approbation of Pope Leo XIII and was enriched with many blessings.  Its propagation was stipulated by the Pope to be the special privilege of the Capuchin Franciscans.  Permission was also given to join this scapular to the Scapular of Our Lady of Mt Carmel as long as the cords were white and the scapulars were only joined on the top. The colors of this scapular of St Joseph are also very significant to the spirit they imply and its introduction to the Church on the threshold of the 20th century indicates the desire of God for the faithful to demonstrate their dedication to Saint Joseph in a more visible and specific manner. 
“Whoever hears you, hears Me!” Jesus said of His apostles.  Should we therefore reject these simple yet efficacious means of sanctification offered us by God through His Church, we make our journey to sanctification that much the harder, without the blessed protective mantle of our Mother and cloak of our father Joseph.

Once again the wool scapular represents the protective fleece of the Lamb of God and its purple color signifies the Royalty of His House, in the line of David from which He, His father Joseph and Mother Mary are descended and to whom ‘the entire heritage of the Old Covenant’ is given. (Redemptoris Custos by St Pope John Paul II)  The colour purple signifies the Kingship of Christ over souls and the Kingship He shares above all with His Mother and father, the first fruits of His Redemptive Fiat.  These three Virgins form the Order of the Hypostatic Union, the highest Order of all orders, since “All the other orders, comprising even the angelic, are subordinate and subject to it; for this reason, that Jesus is the beginning, the author, and the Head of this Order and on Jesus, as Sovereign Prince, depends every hierarchy, every sacred princedom in Heaven and on earth …” (Chapter 1 “The Life and Glories of Saint Joseph” by Edward Healy Thompson M.A.) 

As Joseph of Old was designated Administrator of the Kingdom of Pharaoh, our Abba Joseph is given by God the Father his vocation to be Head of the Holy Family, whose directions both Jesus and Mary obeyed.  In such a reflection we see the colour purple as signifying the Humility of Jesus and Mary and the Virtue so prized by Them.  The night before Jesus died He gave the apostles His great lesson on humility, ‘washing their feet’ and said, ‘I stand among you as one who serves’.  Then deepening His lesson He scandalizes them even more by submitting to a horrible torturous death as a criminal.  The mock cloak put on Him then was of the colour purple to signify the humility required by us in order to enter His Kingdom.

signifies Abba Joseph’s Justice, Sanctity and Love, ‘purified in the furnace of humiliations’ and trials of all kinds in which the ‘gold’ of his Love for Jesus and Mary shines resplendently.   It also signifies his authority as Head of the Holy Family - the Trinitarian Love enfleshed. “In this way eschatological reality will become the source of the perfect realization of the ‘Trinitarian Order’ in the created world of persons”.  (The Theology of the Body – Pope John Paul II)   It is the gold of goodness in a true father and spouse who enriches his wife and child with all that he has, all that he does and all who he is: “the nuptial gift of himself.” (ibid)  
Jesus said, “I do all that I see my Father doing” – meaning not only His Eternal Father but his earthly father Joseph, whose ‘golden’ example of paternal and spousal Love nourished Jesus in His Humanity to grow to His Manhood in the “fullness of wisdom, stature, grace and favor with God and man”.  Such a father we all hunger for.  Such a father, from Heaven, is now available to us all, for we are all in Christ and He is in us, the Son Who ever honors His Father.
signifies the purity of Heart, Mind, Soul and Body of Abba Joseph as the only one worthy to marry The Immaculate Conception and the only one worthy to father God, The Divine Innocence.  His chastity defies all description.  He was not less of a man but more alike to his Son and his Spouse than any man who lived.  By the absence of lust, greed and concupiscence in him, he is the man who can be trusted with the most delicate secrets and divine treasures.  He is the man who can be trusted with the secrets of the Incarnation Mystery, the Word made Flesh Himself and His Mother Mary.  He is ‘the veil’ that is drawn over the ‘holy of holies’ to obscure it from the profane eyes of the world.  St Joseph is truly ‘pure of heart’ and received what Jesus promised to the pure of heart - he sees God in the reality of His Divine Humanity.  The cords which unite the two scapulars the Church designates must be white; and this is most important as the cords of love between Mary and Joseph are what bring about Their Nuptial Unity – Nuptials which are Virgin.  The original meaning of the word ‘virgin’ is one who is wholly integrated in her/his parts.  There is no divorce in Them between God and Man, Spirit and matter, Soul and body, Heaven and earth, man and woman, spirituality and sexuality.  In Joseph and Mary all these ‘divorces’ were healed and God once again found a home on earth He could dwell in – a new Garden of Eden – Pure, Integrated, Virgin.   Our Abba may well instruct us with these words of the Holy Spirit,
Give your shoulder to Her Yoke
My child, from your earliest years choose instruction

And till your hair is white you will keep finding wisdom

Cultivate Her like the ploughman and the sower

And wait for her fine harvest

For in tilling Her you will toil only a little while, but very soon you will be eating Her crops.

How very harsh she is to the undisciplined

She is not accessible to many.

Listen, son, and take my warning, do not reject my advice. 

Put your feet into Her fetters!

Your neck into Her harness!

Give your shoulder to Her yoke!

Do not be restive in Her reins!

Court Her with all your soul and

With all your might keep Her ways!

Go after Her and seek Her!

She will reveal Herself to you!

Once you hold Her do not let Her go!

For in the end you will find rest in Her

And She will take the form of Joy for you.

Her fetters you will find are a strong defence.

Her harness, a robe of honor.

Her yoke will be a golden ornament.

Her reins, purple ribbons.

You will wear Her like a robe of honor.

You will put Her on like a crown of honor.

The Scapular of Saint Joseph – His Cloak.  It is the symbol of his cloak, impregnated with the power of his paternal blessing, a blessing of the father of the Order of the Hypostatic Union (The Holy Family) which the Church ratified at the Council of Constance as the Highest Order of all the Orders of the Church whether human or angelic and cannot be superseded.  In fact it is THE ORDER from which all the other Orders have sprung as little children from their parents.  In respect of the Guardian Patriarch of the Church, Saint Joseph excels all the patriarchs before him in the Old Testament and all the apostles after him as the new patriarchs of the Church. 
    1.    Abba Joseph excels Enoch in his purity of soul that won for Enoch the blessing of bodily assumption – our Abba Joseph was first to be taken to heaven by Jesus at His Ascension to the Father’s embrace, ahead of all the other saints.
    2.  Abba Joseph excels Noah because, while Noah made an ark of wood through faith in the promises of the Lord, Joseph ‘made a roof for the Ark of Mary by providing Her with shelter from the assaults and intrusions of a degraded humanity.  While Noah, despite numerous humiliations and ridicule, kept faith with the building of the Ark and guided two of each kind of animal on board, Joseph guides aboard the Living Ark of Flesh, Mary all those the Lord appoints as worthy to enter Her for the sake of their salvation.  The ‘door high up on the side’ through which all entered the Ark of wood symbolizes the open door of Mary’s Immaculate Heart through which all enter the kingdom of Heaven; and above all the pierced Heart of Jesus from which all Mercy flows. Joseph is thereby the custodian of the New Ark, Mary, who saves us from the flood of Justice and brings us to sail on the Seas of Her Son’s Divine Mercy and Compassion.
    3. Abba Joseph excels the patriarch Abraham, who was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac, by offering his beloved Son, Jesus, as ‘the Sacrifice that takes away our sins’, when he presents his Beloved Son to the knife of Circumcision and with Mary offers Him as the Sacrificial Lamb, being first to pronounce the Sacred Name of Jesus, meaning ‘God saves.
    4.  Abba Joseph excels Moses in that love and intimate conversation with the Lord that enveloped him with the Shekinah, requiring that he veil his face from the eyes of men.  And as custodian of the Ark of gold Moses is excelled by Saint Joseph who is the Guardian of the Living Ark of Flesh, Who bears the Word made Flesh inside Her rather than the Law on tablets of stone.  Like Moses, Joseph saw the face of God yet lived and, like Moses, had to ‘veil’ his own face (conceal his identity) in order to hide the evidence of many mysteries.  This is the reason for his silence and hiddenness.
    5.  Abba Joseph excels Joseph of Genesis, son of Jacob, in that he, also, rejected by his brothers, is forced to live in Egypt among a people whose ways are foreign to him, but survives none the less, preserving the Bread of Life, so as to feed those starving for the spiritual nourishment of the Word of the Father.  As Joseph of Genesis is appointed by Pharaoh as custodian of the wealth of the whole land, our Joseph is appointed by God the Father as custodian of the Treasures of Heaven - Jesus and Mary - and placed in authority over them.  It is he also who, like Joseph of Old, will negotiate the reconciliation of his brothers with their Father.  It is he who weeps as Joseph of Old wept to see his brothers unable to recognize him and thereby access his power.  It is he who weeps for every soul separated from God and every family that is divided.   (Genesis 42 to 46)
    6.  Abba Joseph excels the Apostles, Martyrs and Saints of the New Testament for while they are appointed as custodians of the Sacramental Life of the Church and Its Mission, Joseph was appointed Father of the Living Substance of that Life – Jesus Himself and as Virgin Spouse of Mary, the Immaculate Spouse of God and embodiment of the Church – Joseph being her true and virgin husband is the exemplar for all priests of the Church.  It is obvious he excels them because his very office is higher than theirs as father of Jesus, the Living Word made Flesh and Guardian of Mary, “the Virgin made Church” and true tabernacle of the Lord.
For these reasons and many more our dear Abba’s glories will be seen and exalted in the Church at the end of Time in order that the Cloak of his obedience to the Will of the Eternal Father may spread its mantle over the whole world.  Pope John Paul II in “Guardian of the Redeemer”, says,
This just man, who bore within himself the entire heritage of the Old Covenant, was also brought into the ‘beginning’ of the New and Eternal Covenant in Jesus Christ.  May he show us the paths of this saving Covenant as we stand at the threshold of the next millennium, in which there must be a continuation and further development of the ‘fullness of time’ that belongs to the ineffable mystery of the Incarnation of the Word.
It is in this light that the Holy Spirit saw fit to introduce into the Church in the in the year 1880, on the threshold of the 20th century, the scapular of Saint Joseph through a Franciscan nun of the diocese of St Claude, France; who had it made and wearing it invoking St Joseph was miraculously cured. We may well see it as the sacramental representing his holy Cloak.  The holy Cloak of Saint Joseph many times provided warmth and shelter for Jesus and Mary on the arduous journeys when they had often to sleep under the stars.  This Cloak, so sacred to Jesus and Mary because it was Their shelter when they had none, has now found, in his scapular, the form by which Joseph may cloak all of his children against Satan’s buffeting, since it bears the blessing of the Church through Her Popes, Cardinals and Bishops and especially, Pope Leo XIII.  Pope Leo gave his approval on August 23, 1883 with authority to invest in this scapular to the Capuchin Order of St Francis - by a singular privilege,.  Bearing in mind the Holy Father’s words above, we may see that investiture in the Scapular of Saint Joseph cloaks us with all that it represents.
It is the Cloak of the one God chose to father Jesus and therefore is embedded with ‘the whole heritage of the Old Covenant’ as well as the New and Eternal Covenant in Christ.  It is the Cloak of inheritance because it is the Cloak of the legal father of Christ, the head of the Order of the Hypostatic Union.
The Scapular of Carmel, was given by Our Lady Herself to Saint Simon Stock and was woven on the ‘looms’ of Heaven by Her holy hands.  As She Herself wove the clothing of Jesus and Abba Joseph and impregnated every stitch and thread with the Ardors of Her Immaculate Heart, She impregnates also this mantle of Her Love for us with the same Divine Power.  Our scapulars when blest by the priest take on this same Divine Power!  Indeed it is a triple blessing we receive as we wear and kiss them – the blessing of Jesus, Mary and Joseph - the blessing of the Order of the Hypostatic Union which is the House of the Divine Will.  For, in the blessing of the priest who invests us is Jesus’ own blessing, and then each scapular enfolds the blessings of Mary and Joseph.  As Joseph’s labors procured all the materials for holy Mother to weave and sew the garments for Jesus which clothes His Divine Humanity, he procures still for Her, all the provisions for Her children still on earth.  (See the prophecy made to St Teresa of Avila at the end of this book.)
The color brown which was chosen by the Divine Will is notably the color most associated with Abba Joseph, the greatest servant of Jesus and Mary. It is a humble color which symbolizes the earth from which Adam was formed - ‘Remember man that you are dust and unto dust you shall return.’   In such a way we are reminded of our humble origins and also of the humble earth upon which we walk and which gives nourishment to the crops that feed us, and the beauties of nature that heal and refresh us.  Our humble Mother chose well the color brown.  She wanted to honor the humility and renunciation of Her children who came from their hermitages on Mount Carmel where they had dug out their caves in the walls of the mountain to enter ‘the darkness of God’ and pray for their brothers and sisters.  They followed in the footsteps of their ‘father’ Elijah, who on this mountain dispelled all the false gods and prophets of his time.  In this humble color “brown” is all the significance of these cave dwellers and a call from our Mother to remember our lives are to be ones of prayer, penance and service, all done in the Spirit of humility and renunciation of worldly pursuits.  These first Christian contemplatives were instructed by our heavenly Mother Herself, as the Mother and Teacher of the infant church.
Naturally then, She claimed as Her own this first monastic order and we, who gladly wrap ourselves in Her mantle, are reminded continually of the first servant of Jesus and Mary, Joseph, with whom the color brown is most usually associated.  We know, through Saint Teresa of Avila, that St Joseph is the Guardian of all her Carmels and guardian of that contemplative charism which she nurtured into renewal that is ‘the Heart’ of the Church – even as Mary is the ‘Heart of the Church’, being It’s Mother.  Mother, enrich us with Your Holy Spirit.  Abba pour forth your paternal love on us all.   Fiat!

The Brown Scapular of Our Mother is integral to the spirit of Saint Joseph, which is Consecration to Mary clothing ourselves in Jesus own ‘swaddling clothes’, the Divine Will.   It is to cloak ourselves in His Acts for the sake of all and His most sublime Act of Humility in entrusting His vulnerable little self to His creatures Mary and Joseph calling them Mother and Father.
“The Marriage of Mary and Joseph
brings to realization in full freedom
the “Spousal Gift of Self”
Joseph and Mary are the summit
from which Holiness spreads all over the earth”

Pope John Paul II – “Guardian of the Redeemer”  
para  7 quoting Pope Paul VI
“She it was I loved and
searched for from my youth. 
I resolved to have Her as my Bride. 
I fell in love with her Beauty.”

(Wisdom 8:1)
The one who served Her more devoutly than any other, of course, was Saint Joseph, who is the patron saint of Carmel and of the founder of Carmel’s reform, Saint Teresa of Avila.  The story at the end of this article will demonstrate how it is God’s Will that all souls devoted to Mary, should also be consecrated to Saint Joseph, as the one who best models for us how to be a true child of Mary.  For, indeed, there was no other soul more truly consecrated to Mary than Saint Joseph.  And no one can teach us better how to live out our life of consecration to Her and in Her better than he, except Jesus.
“From Her blossoming to the ripening of Her grape my heart has taken its delight in Her … I have been following Her steps ever since my youth.  By bowing my ear a little I have received Her and have found much instruction.  Thanks to Her I have advanced.  All glory be to Him who has given me Wisdom … My soul has fought to possess Her.  I have been scrupulous in keeping the Law.  I have stretched out my hands to Heaven and bewailed my ignorance of Her.  I have directed my soul towards Her and in Purity have found Her; having my heart fixed on Her from the outset, I shall never be deserted; my very core having yearned to discover Her I have now acquired a good possession.  In reward the Lord has given me a tongue with which I shall sing his praises. 

(Ecclesiasticus 13)

We cannot hope to write here all the wonders of the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, woven on the looms of Heaven, and given to Her beloved son, St Simon Stock in the year 1251 with the promise, The soul who dies clothed in this scapular shall not suffer eternal flames.  As an habitual sinner would not persevere in the wearing of the scapular, we can be sure this promise is only fulfilled in those who persevere in devotion to their Eternal Mother, by filial consecration, that is a daily love and imitation of Mary - entering Her Acts to live them in union with Her, like Saint Joseph.  In addition the “Sabbatine privilege” is traditionally believed to have been given by Pope John XXII on 3rd March, 1322, which promises us that we shall be delivered from Purgatory the First Saturday after we die, if we persevere in this devotion.  When this privilege was questioned Pope Paul VI made an official statement saying, “It is permitted to preach … that the Blessed Virgin will aid the souls of the Brothers and Sisters of the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel after their death by Her continual intercession, by Her suffrages and merits and by Her special protection, especially on the day of Saturday, which is the day especially dedicated by the Church to the same Blessed Virgin Mary.”
1.    Wear the Scapular faithfully around one’s neck, as with the larger scapular of the Carmelites, which serves to cover and protect their habit from getting dirty during their daily labours.  Our scapular habit is to remind us to “pray continuously” to protect our souls from the infection of worldliness and attachments that would turn us away from Christ, our Beloved Lord and our beloved Mother.
2.    Observe Chastity according to one’s state of life.  Only through deep prayer bringing us to union with our Immaculate Mother can we ever hope to understand the beauty of this Chastity, which prepares us to be the ‘bride’ of Christ, dressed for our heavenly wedding.
3.    Recite daily the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin, which may be substituted by those who cannot do this with fasting on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  And if the Office is too difficult, any priest with the faculty to enroll in the Scapular may change it for something else.  The usual commutation is the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be, etc., seven times each day or the recitation of the Holy Rosary. (These are the 3 requirements)
4.    Needless to say one should wear one’s scapular or scapulars with reverence, kissing them as often as possible, as this has been given a special indulgence from the Pope.  In doing this it is as if we are kissing our Mother and for St Joseph’s scapular, our Abba – even as Jesus would have done frequently in His home life on earth.  Being clothed as He was by Holy Mother's hands and the paternal labours of St Joseph, we too wish to be clothed in their virtues which pleased the Blessed Trinity more than any other; above all we want to be clothed in the Light of Their Acts done in the Divine Will as they did them in union with Jesus.
5.    We also wish to imitate Her maternal love for Jesus and Abba Joseph's paternal love for Jesus and not forget that he is the one chosen to protect and nurture us with all that we need for our earthly pilgrimage – even as he did for Jesus and Mary. Dear Abba protect us, love us, nourish us with the Divine Will always.
This is the greatest of all the benefits of the Scapular Devotion, excepting the essential benefit of the close bond which the Scapular devotion creates between our hearts and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.   Remember that Saint Therese said, “It is possible through the scapular for two to become one soul.”  If this be so, we become one soul with Our Mother even as did Abba Joseph through this Virginal Fiat of Love with Her.
Many saints, Popes and theologians have strongly declared their acceptance of the Scapular Devotion:  Saints Robert Bellarmine, John Eudes, Peter Claver, Alphonsus Ligouri, John Vianney, John Bosco, Popes Gregory X, Leo XIII, Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI, Pius XII, Paul VI and the great Saint Pope John Paul II whose motto for his papacy was “Totus Tuus ego sum”.  Of course all the seers of Our Mother’s special apparitions, among whom are Saint Bernadette, Jacinta, Francesco and Lucia – the holy Martin family of the great Saint Therese of Lisieux – not to forget the great Saint Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross and all the Carmelite saints.  We ask all these wonderful saints including the great St Elijah to cloak us in the mantle of the Divine Will as we continue with our baby steps to do our rounds in It.  May they intercede to increase the numbers of souls who will consecrate themselves to Mary and Joseph in the Spirit of the Child Jesus and His Divine Love for His parents.


The great Saint Augustine, doctor of the Church spoke wonderful words regarding the Marriage of Mary and Joseph and in particular the power of Joseph's 'Fiat' so rarely considered.

"St Augustine believed that because of the sublimity of the Marriage which united Mary and St Joseph, the Holy Spirit made their Virginity produce a single moral entity, and, of their individual Persons, a single moral Person, based upon their individually perfect virginities, and that Jesus was, therefore, given to BOTH of them though Mary conceived and generated Jesus from her Virginal state, it was nevertheless under the circumstances, only thanks to Joseph that it was possible for Him to be born."  (St Augustine's Sermon 51 de Concord - mat et Luc - Chapter 20 n. 30)

"In view of the uniqueness of the Mystery of the Incarnation it is easily forgotten that there was here a superior and transcendent fecundity with which the Holy Spirit blessed St Joseph because of the latter's admirable virginity."

"Joseph's Fatherhood is Virginal just as Mary's Motherhood is Virginal - and finally he (St Augustine) goes on to say that he was more definitely a father as he was a chaste father." (Serm 51., Chap 16, 20)

"Therewith Jesus filled Joseph's heart with paternal Love so that from the depths of His otherwise tranquil soul there now bust forth an ocean of most tender and humble love, a Love like that of the Heavenly Father."

Father! Father! Why have you abandoned me.


Jesus cried out from the Cross, "Father! Father! Why have You abandoned Me?"  In this cry from the depths of His Heart He incorporated the cry of all humanity who felt the same torturous ache, which is now reaching its climax.  Within Jesus' Heart crucified however this cry reached explosive proportions since they reverberated throughout all Creation and especially within the Heart of His Eternal Father.  The Eternal Father's response was to flood the world with His Divine Mercy and Its Grace to enable "fathers to turn their hearts towards their children and children towards their fathers." (Malachi) 

There is a global cry of "Father! Father! Why have you abandoned me?" from every abused child, every abandoned and or desolate soul, everyone who feels betrayed by the religious, political, scientific and biological fathers of the world.  This cry is all the more desolate because men themselves are crying it from deep within their own beings longing to rediscover the fullness of their masculinity - longing to rediscover what was in Adam in his state of Original Innocence - in the fullness of that integrity in which the Blessed Trinity breathed into him Their Life. 

Awaking to himself Adam looked into the face of his Father and knew himself as Son of God.  In this first realization of his humanity, he experienced being loved in a divine way.  This Divine Father gifted Adam with a unique gift which the other creatures did not have  - a free will.  He was free to return to His Divine Father the love which animated him and could do so because within himself was the flaming love of His Father's own Spirit.  So Love unfolded upon Love and the reciprocal undulations of Love were unceasing; the Joy never ending moved in a continuous innovation of creative acts that are only possible with a Divine Love and Will.  So Adam became a just custodian of the universe, and when Eve was created from his own body - a faithful spouse.  He saw in her not only "bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh" but the reflection of his own soul.  Hence this reflection of his innermost desires was truly beautiful to him and formed a perfect union of heart and mind with him.  She could reciprocate him in a way the other creatures could not because she was a kindred spirit.
The five offices of Man gifted first to Adam need to be restored in men today that they may once again live in the happiness originally intended for them - the Divine Will.  As a consequence all women and children will be the beneficiaries of this restoration of the Essence of God in Man. The surest way of obtaining this great gift is through consecration to  Abba Joseph and in him to the Immaculate Mother of God.  Consecration means to surrender all of oneself to the intended other to enable that 'other' to do for oneself what one cannot otherwise do alone.  It is a covenant of love with a unique kind of abandonment.  So then, the Five Offices of Man which Adam lost are:-
May all these Offices of Man be restored to him within the Original Innocence and Divine Love with which they were originally gifted Adam and above all as they excelled in Saint Joseph

Man as "Son of God" recognizes first and foremost that he is son of a Divine Father who created him out of nothing.  He is able to recognize this in himself because the Father's own Spirit and Will is in him giving him the wisdom to do so.  In this he wants only to live in the Will of his Father so that they will always be united and at peace with each other.  In this union with His Father's Will he achieves the Divine Fecundity of his Father Who instructs him to "Be fruitful and multiply".  His Son sees in all the other creatures the evidence of his Father's fecundity, as all the creatures are multiplying their own kind.  Everything around him is crying out in one chorus, "Your  Father's Love for you generates this life in us and He wants to generate His Life in You, but in an altogether superior manner.  If you do this we all will be the beneficiaries of your life lived in the Eternal Creator's Will." 

This command to 'be fruitful and multiply' has often been thought of in terms only of biological generation.  The Divine Persons when giving Their command to 'be fruitful and multiply' want so much more from Their beloved sons and daughters.  They want above all spiritual fecundity, because in Their Will, this fecundity creates eternal generations of Love that multiply to the infinite and create happiness for all.  The Eternal Trinity did not want only the limited form of physical generation; but, the infinite dimensions of Their own Creative Act to abide in their sons and daughters.  However Man could only practice this fecundity if he lived within the Single Creative Act of God - that is in His Divine Will.  Separating from this Will he lost the infinite and eternal dimensions of Divine Fecundity and was left only with the limited fecundity of biological generation.  Man was to remain in this limited fecundity until it was to be restored to the earth once more through Jesus Christ and in a unique prerogative gifted to His Mother Mary and father Joseph before He, Himself, was born.  Hence the exquisite Joy of the Trinity to see the Advent of Joseph and Mary - for in them they could experience once more the Joy of giving birth to a true Son and Daughter of God as with Adam and Eve.
Seeing so much fruitfulness and diversity of beauty around him Man cannot fail to admire this and wants to be part of this ongoing fecundity.  He delights in the other creatures and becomes brother to them.  As St Francis' great hymn of praise of Creation proclaims ... "Brother Sun, Sister Moon" and so on.  The deep interior knowledge planted in him by the Holy Spirit, Who breathed in him His Life; tells him that his life on earth depends on the wellbeing of these other beautiful creatures and he must be their faithful custodian; reverencing them and learning from them the script written in their nature.  Learning this script he is able to live in harmony with all creatures.  They in turn seeing Man as a true custodian of Life are willing to respond to him since the Spirit of God dwells in him; and what keeps them alive - the Will of God - is also in him and safeguarded by his fidelity to It.  Mankind's unfaithfulness to this covenant has brought untold destruction to our world as we know and the natural world as a consequence is rebelling against Man who has abused this gift so precious; for as soon as Adam and Eve renounced their Love Covenant with their Creator - Creation Itself could no longer serve them as 'king' and 'queen' of Paradise; but, were forced to make them struggle with the elements to achieve their sustenance and shelter.  Adam and Eve had become servants of the Divine Will rather than 'son' and 'daughter'. 

The advent of Joseph and Mary however, allowed the most Holy Trinity to begin the great drama of Redemption in two human beings who by special predilection were gifted with freedom from the stigma of "Original Sin".  Mary of course in a unique manner becoming "The Immaculate Conception".  Joseph at the moment of his conception in the womb.  Eventually these two unique human beings would become the married couple whose double 'Fiat' formed the ground of the 'new terrestrial paradise' (Cardinal St John Neumann) into which Jesus was born.   (see 'The Glories of St Joseph' by Edward Healy Thompson; re the teaching of the Church Fathers and Doctors on St Joseph at Council of Constance)
Feeling within himself the desire to have one of his own kind and spirit to share his life with, Adam receives from God the gift of  the beautiful Eve.  "Aah! At last bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh ..."  he proclaims.  None of the other creatures could reflect Adam back to himself as Eve could, since she came out of him - born of his body and his own will to have her.  His Father loving him provided for his innermost desire - a desire that existed first within His own Paternal Heart.  As the Holy Spirit effuses from the Father's Heart for the sake of His Son, so Eve from Adam for the sake of his future children.  Because she is of his own body and spirit, he is obliged to take care of her, provide and protect her and always be alongside her to be one with her.  In this he lives out his office as faithful spouse.  Should he reneg on this office he wounds himself immeasurably, since she is part of himself and mother of his children.  When a man wounds his spouse he wounds himself most of all and also all of creation since she contains within her the spirit of the Divine Maternity.  Her womb gives birth to his children.  If a man cannot protect this 'womb' of life; he becomes lost to himself and is no longer attractive to woman.  She becomes afraid and sees him as a threat to her essential being.

Joseph on the other hand was chosen by God with these words, "Joseph, don't be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for what is conceived in Her is of the Holy Spirit!"  These words reveal the absolute trust of the Eternal Father in Joseph as his own vicar on earth, to protect and nurture the fruit of Mary's Womb, the fruit of Her Union with the Holy Spirit, Jesus.  In this election of Divine Confidence, Joseph became the husband of Mary, the True Eve, the True Mother of all who live.  In his husbanding of Her, he makes sure Her womb is fully protected and the Life Who gives Life to all, who abides in that Womb is protected from His predators.  Joseph in this does what Adam failed to do and in this he can be said to be the new Adam.
Generating his children through his life companion, Adam (Man) is given his fourth office as father.  If he has fulfilled the other three offices well and according to God's Will, he will be ready to pass on his wisdom and love to his children.  He will know how to do that.  And doing that they will feel secure in the home of their father.  A wise person once wrote that the best gift a man can give his children is to love their mother.  And this is the truth.  Under the canopy of such a love children feel secure. 

The restoration of this holy fatherhood is a mission given to St Joseph to fulfill.  So all who consecrate themselves to him or turn to him in any way will not be disappointed, for his help is swift and always according to God's Will.  The Spirit of the Eternal Father was infused into Joseph for the sake of his fatherhood of Jesus and it is this 'divine paternity' he wants to share with all men.  And he wants to teach them how to espouse themselves to the Immaculate Conception, Mary, as he did; so that She may work Her amazing miracle of transforming hearts into living tabernacles for Her Son.  Joseph loved Mary as no other has or could excepting God Himself.  We know this because God chose him out of all mankind to be Her husband.  His nuptials with Her were 'virgin' and his fatherhood of Jesus was 'virgin'.  This means full of integrity, full of love, full of grace and free from all concupiscence.  In his espousals of Mary he repaired the fractured espousals of Adam and Eve and because of the Graces She poured into him for the sake of Jesus, he became the model of all husbands and fathers of the new covenant.

Fulfilling all the above offices of Man, a man comes to the final phase of his maturity.  If he has been faithful, loving and prudent as Son, Brother, Spouse and Father, he is ready for the role of Patriarch of a large family.  In other words being a grandfather ... someone all the family look up to and respect as the generator of all the blessings that have come upon them.  He still in his old age is able to guide with wisdom, letting go of the immediate responsibilities but nevertheless watching carefully over his adult children's lives seeing where he can be of some help.  He cares for his wife in her old age with great tenderness, patience and love.  He participates where he is needed in his family gatherings and in other communities of life where the Spirit draws him and so on.  He may become known within society for his heroism, virtue, community leadership and so on; or he may be unknown by others but known only to his immediate family who prize his love and support. 

He prepares for death well in quiet and inconspicuous ways and this is the final lesson he gives to his family of his humility and his concern for their future wellbeing.  He witnesses to his faith in his Eternal Father not always in words but by his actions, his spirit and his demeanor.  In all this he becomes a true "king" - not the elected kind, but a true king - for his kingdom, like Christ's is "not of this world"; it is within himself.  He is king over himself and over his family.  He achieves this ruling with love and patience, wisdom and kindness; and the example of one who lives in Peace within himself and therefore generates Peace.
The priest is always an office within a man.  The true Priest, Christ, who reigns within a just man calls him to be continually offering himself in sacrifices of love for his family, community and the world.  This priestly office whether of the ordained or of the domestic Church is none the less complete if the man does those interior acts of sacrifice in union with Christ for the sake of those he loves.  It is always within him to do so if he is a true son of God, brother to creation, spouse of his beloved, father to his children.

Joseph achieved the fullness of these five offices with a humility and dignity known only to Jesus and Mary and to God Himself for he was self effacing and lived only for Them.  The generations of his children are of the Virginal Fecundity of Jesus, Mary and of himself as father to Jesus and spouse of Mary - they are the generations of Eternal Light and have Divine Fecundity such that they are only known in Heaven.  May he teach all men to be such spouses and such fathers as he. 
May all these offices of Man come to their fullness of maturity in Christ for the sake of the coming of His Kingdom on earth as in Heaven.  May we enter the Fiats of Jesus, Mary and Joseph so we may attain to their fruitfulness.  Amen.