This from the latest edition of "Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament Newsletter"for November 2010
St Joseph and Eucharistic Adoration by Athol Bloomer
Father Doug Harris recently spoke on Perpetual Adoration at all the Masses at the Yangebup Parish and 39 generous souls volunteered to adore Jesus at Christ the King Beaconsfield. These generous people are the apples of God’s eye in an era when even many practicing Catholics have become so much of the modern world of instant satisfaction that they will not sacrifice or put themselves out for Jesus. If they do adoration they want it on their terms when they feel like it. So those generous souls who volunteer to do a set hour each week are the treasures of our time, those who have a heart for Jesus abandoned in so many tabernacles. They sacrifice for him so that others will be blessed and so they may have a chapel to come to 24 hours 7 days a week. Even more blessed are the jewels of the heavenly crown who volunteer for the late night hours- the blessings reserved for them are beyond our earthly understanding.
Our own Father Doug is Joseph-like quietly and patiently persisting in his mission of promoting Perpetual Adoration under the patronage of St Joseph. Our own Father Joseph Remi here at St Bernadette’s lives up to his name of Joseph by volunteering to do a late night hour on two different nights. What graces they win for the people of God! How transformed is this parish of St Bernadettes and the surrounding area since Perpetual adoration began here.
The theme of this newsletter is St Joseph who is always present mystically with Jesus and Mary in every holy hour. In the Old Testament times he was mystically present represented by the Cloud and Our Lady by the fire when the Divine Son as the Divine Word spoke out of the midst of the Divine Manifestation of God in cloud, smoke and fire. The God of Sinai is this Divine Son. The same one that gave us the Torah himself took on flesh and came as a man and then as God and Man he also became the Eucharistic bread and wine for us.
Joseph in eternity was also one of the four cherubim in the Garden of Eden- who were represented in the Temple by the two golden cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant and the two large olive wood cherubim that stood in the holy of holies either side of the Ark. The two on the Ark represent Jesus and Mary. Joseph is represented by the male olive wood cherubim.
Wednesday is the traditional Catholic day in honour of St Joseph which is linked to the fourth day of the Creation week where the two great lights appear. This of course makes us think of the vision of the Patriarch Joseph of the sun, moon and stars. There are of course many valid interpretations at the mystical level of reading scriptures. For example the Sun can represent the Divine Will. It can also represent the Messiah son of Joseph who is “the sun of righteousness who rises with healing in his wings”. Symbolised as a created mystical Sun it can represent Joseph himself. Joseph is so surrounded by the rays of the uncreated Mystical Sun that he becomes the created mystical Sun or icon of the Divine Sun. As Abba (Daddy/Father) to Jesus he is the created icon of the Father. It is in this manner that joseph is referred to as the Shadow of the Father.
The wonderful little prayer book entitled “The Holy Cloak in honour of St Joseph” has a beautiful prayer that says:
“O Glorious Patriarch St Joseph, prostrate, before you and your Divine Son, Jesus, I offer you with heartfelt devotion, this precious treasury of prayers, being ever mindful of the numerous virtues which adorned your sacred person. In you, O glorious patriarch, was fulfilled the dream of your precursor the first Joseph, who indeed seemed to have been sent by god to prepare the way for your presence on this Earth. In fact, not only were you surrounded by the shining splendour of the rays of the Divine Sun, but you were splendidly reflected in the brilliant light of the mystic moon, the Blessed Virgin Mary. O glorious Patriarch, if the example of the ancient Jacob, who personally went to congratulate his favourite son, who was exalted on the throne of Egypt, served to bring all his progeny there, should not the example of Jesus and Mary, who honoured you with their greatest respect and trust, serve to bring me, your devoted servant, to present you with this precious cloak in your honour...”
The full glories of St Joseph were not to be fully unveiled until the latter days according to St Isadore of Seville in the 8th century. St Joseph is the hidden saint. The new Testament calls him a Tzadik (A righteous man)- he is the hidden Tzadik who is the foster-father of the ultimate Tzadik the Messiah son of Joseph who would come riding on a donkey. The concept of Joseph ha Tzadik and the Hidden Tzadik as well as the Messiah son of Joseph is rich in Jewish mystical tradition. Joseph is present with us in each holy hour leading us in adoration with Our Lady to their Divine Son.
When I became a Catholic in 1987 I took the name Joseph in honour of St Joseph of Arimathea. At that time I had no interest or devotion to what I then thought of as the ‘boring’ Joseph married to Mary (may heaven forgive me). In 1994 the Vicar General of Manila in the Philippines- Monsignor Josefino (Pepe) Ramirez wrote a book entitled “Letters to a Brother Priest” to promote Perpetual Adoration.
In one of those letters he linked me (Athol now a layman assisting Father Doug with PEA), Doug Harris (now Father Doug), Patrick Barry (now a priest who has started PEA chapels all over the world mentioned in last month’s newsletter) and Adam Hayward (now Father Charbel the superior of the Franciscans of the Immaculate in Perth) with St Joseph. It is interesting that the letter also mentions Bethlehem as Father Patrick went to Bethlehem when he was still a seminarian in the 1990’s to see if he could find a place there for PEA (Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration). Each religious house said they had no room and to try elsewhere. Patrick couldn’t help but think of St Joseph trying to find a room for Jesus and here 2000 years later Patrick (whose middle name is Joseph) was getting the same response for the Eucharistic Christ Child. I was also in Bethlehem in 2003 with two future priests (Father Robert Rindos and Father Patricio Hileman) trying to find a place for Jesus to be adored perpetually with the same response after we had been forced to close down Perpetual Adoration in Jerusalem. While Perpetual Adoration occurred all the bombing stopped in Israel. The last time I was in Israel in 2008 I learnt that finally a chapel of PEA had been established in Bethlehem and the decreased bombings of recent years I believe is due to this chapel. When I arrived in Israel in 2002 there were bombings in Jerusalem every day or two and I was almost a victim of one of them. When we began Perpetual Adoration at the Armenian Catholic church of Our Lady of the Spasm on the Via Dolorosa in the Muslim Quarter all the bombs stopped and did so for the next few months, so much so that the unusualness of it was commented on in the media.
“Letters to a Brother Priest” by Monsignor Pepe
A Room In The Inn –Feast Day of St Joseph, husband of Mary- March 19 1994 JMJ
Dear Fr. Thomas,
Today is the feast of St Joseph. There is not much said about St Joseph in scripture. He was a just and faithful servant, and a quiet figure in the history of salvation. St Joseph reminds me of the vast majority of Catholic priests in the world today. They are just, faithful and totally dedicated to god and service of the Church.
Because they are not disruptive, they do not get any publicity. They are so pastorally oriented, busy taking care of the people in their parish, that nothing is ever said or written about how much they do for God and his people. Like St Joseph, they quietly go about their life working for the glory of God. Look to St Joseph, Thomas, as your model. He represents spiritual and apostolic maturity. By maturity, I mean he was dedicated to the interest of Christ. He put the interest of Christ ahead of his own.
In his love for Jesus and Mary, his thought process focused on their needs, rather than his own. In theory, every priest would agree to this. In practice, however, it may be a different matter. For example, I have asked many priests to consider having perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Many of them say that they cannot find a place for a prayer room. Did not St Joseph search until he found a place for Christ to be born? “There was no room for them in the inn.”(LK 2:7). But St Joseph kept searching until he found a place. And this place he found in Bethlehem became the first chapel of perpetual adoration where even the shepherds in the region, living in the fields, came to adore Him.
A priest whose mind is primarily on the interest of Christ would give up his own bedroom, if there was no other place available, if it meant finding a place where the Blessed Sacrament would be adored day and night. I know such a priest. He came to Manila for the ordination of Fr. Brian Morgan. His name is Fr. Brian Ahern. Fr. Ahern is pastor of St Gerard’s Catholic Church in Geraldton, Western Australia. Fr. Ahern wanted perpetual adoration in his parish, but there was no room anywhere for a prayer chapel. Fr. Ahern did what St Joseph would have done. He gave Jesus his bedroom. It makes an ideal chapel because it has a separate, outside entrance. One does not have to go through the rectory to come into the chapel. The privacy of the rectory is maintained as the people use the outside entrance to come into the chapel, which was formerly Fr. Ahern’s bedroom...Fr Ahern’s prayer chapel inspired brian morgan to become a priest and to dedicate his priesthood to spreading perpetual adoration. Brian Morgan is now a priest. His holiness and love for the Eucharist has already attracted six other vocations to the priesthood. Five of them are now studying here in Manila at St Vincent’s in Tandang Sora for a new community of priests, missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament, founded to spread perpetual adoration. These young men are Patrick Barry, Douglas Harris, Vincent Cherry, Athol Bloomer and Adam Hayward. .. I am writing you this letter, dear Thomas, so that you may be the next one; the next St Joseph priest to find a room in the inn for the Lord...Msgr Pepe”
This weekend Father Doug will be visiting Father Ahern’s new parish in Dongara to speak on Perpetual Adoration. Accompanying him will be Brian Milne who in the past was one of the pillars of late night adoration at the chapel in Mirrabooka. This was the church that Father Patrick Barry, Father Charbel and I first heard the preaching of Father Brian Morgan and learnt of PEA. Brian Milne is now assisting us with the late night adoration at Highgate for a number of hours on two late night shifts. Another hero of mine is also from the late night hours at Highgate and that is Patrick Galway who has been doing many late night hours for many years while working and rearing a family. Another wonderful example is Gerry Evangelista from the Glendalough chapel who has faithfully done late night hours twice a week for many years.
Recently I was told of a Eucharistic miracle that occurred in the Highgate chapel where two ladies who didn’t know each other saw Jesus appear from the host and waved at them. One of the ladies thought she must be imagining things until the other lady started to cry out that she could see Jesus.
The other week Anthony Treanor (a young man who does two late night hours each week) was driving me to Adoration at Highgate before he went to do his adoration at Glendalough. On the way a car pulled out when we where almost on top of them and somehow our car seemed to leap to the right and smoothly go round the end of the car and back onto the lane. As another car was coming from the other direction we would have been hit if we had gone too far right. It was a strange experience as time seemed to speed up and slow down at the same time. Anthony and I both remained very calm through the whole experience and felt that we had been spared from death by a God moment. Jesus knew he couldn’t take us both out when we were due to do adoration at two chapels.
I am sure there are other wonderful stories to be shared from all the chapels. So please feel free to contact me at the Glendalough parish to share your story or send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share them in future newsletters.
I love opinionated non-PC people. This blog is to vent my opinions on life, the universe and everything. Which is 42 which in gematria is "My Heart" (LBY) according to Rabbi Abulafia. The Divine Heart is the centre of everything.