Novena of Novenas VII: Our Lady Queen of Peace and St. Joseph

Today begins the Seventh of the Nine Novenas for Justice, Peace, and Creation, and this one is dedicated to Our Lady Queen of Peace and St. Joseph. It runs from August 13 through August 21, 2020.

I will not post this every day as the prayers and intentions are the same for each day. I’ll just leave it here for nine days; if I need to blog in the interim, I will just blog a reminder afterwards. For the background, please read this post (especially if you need to learn about who Bob Waldrop, the creator of this Novena, was, and why I am introducing it to you.) Or go here: A Novena of Novenas for Justice, Peace, & Creation.

Don’t worry if you jump in at some point later in the 81 days. To paraphrase Bob “just pick up whenever you happen to join in.”

AFTER THIS SENTENCE, THE WRITING IS ALL THAT OF BOB WALDROP, not me, Paulcoholic.

General Intention:  + For the creation of structures of beauty and goodness.

7th Work of Justice and Peace: Ensure fair distribution, subsidiarity, economic opportunity, justice, and food security for everyone everywhere.

Act of Caring for Creation: Get involved!  Support public and private initiatives that promote organic gardening and farming, public/community transportation, free range and pastured flocks and herds, energy conservation, urban agriculture, water conservation, local food systems, and community capacities for food and economic security.

God, come to my assistance. Lord, make haste to help me. +  Let us pray together in peace, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, help the helpless, strengthen the fearful, comfort the sorrowful, bring justice to the poor, peace to all nations, and solidarity among all peoples.  Give us strength to stand against the demonic powers which prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Open our eyes to see the beauty, joy, redemption, and goodness which comes through obedience to your Son our Lord.  Teach us to be a refuge of hope for all who are oppressed by injustice and violence.

Our Lady Queen of Peace, mystical rose, pray for all who create and sustain a culture of life and love that we will do so with endurance, hope, and abundance. May the candles we light glow bright with hospitality and hope, respect and love, peace and justice. Help us to turn away from war and embrace peace. Pray for us that we will reform our ways and manners of living so that the way we live calls for peace and not war.

Holy St. Joseph, Worker and Father, In faith you welcomed our Lord when He was yet within his Mother’s womb. You opened your heart in obedience to the Word of God. You protected Jesus and Mary and provided a home for them of peace, safety, and holiness. We honor you as patron of the Poor, and all who serve them, of Workers and Carpenters and Builders. Your heroic example shows us the way that we should go and we trust in you for protection in our time of need.

Holy St. Joseph, Guide and Protector, Open the minds and hearts of all who by their actions give power to structures of sin that enable oppression. Help us to understand the consequences of sins against justice, charity, and the care of Creation. Turn oppressors from ways of darkness, and help them to embrace the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Holy St. Joseph, help the helpless, comfort the dying, bring justice to the poor, and peace to all nations. Amen.

Novena to St. John Chrysostom on behalf of the
Bishops of the United States of America 

Most Glorious and Venerable St. John Chrysostom,
Grace shining forth from your lips like a beacon has illumined the universe.
It shows to the world the treasures of poverty; it reveals to us the heights of humility.
Teaching us by your words, O Father John Chrysostom,
intercede before the Word, Christ our God, to save our souls!

Pray for the bishops of the United States of America,
who do not teach or practice the Catholic faith in its fullness,
that God will deliver them to orthodoxyand reform their ways of living,
so that as exemplars of orthopraxis, they will protect all life,
from the moment of conception to the time of natural death.

Teach them true solidarity with the poor, so that they
understand the consequences of their moral abandonment
of entire nations of human beings to a collective fate of cruelty and violence
because they were in the way of the American Empire and
its gluttonous lust for oil, supremacy, and blood.

As you refused to obey the aristocratic commands of your era,
help our bishops turn away from the political demands
that cause them to preach a false gospel of moral relativism regarding war and peace.

Having received divine grace from heaven,
with your mouth you teach all people to worship the Triune God.
Instruct our bishops with the wisdom of the Gospel,
so that they repent of their material cooperation with the objective evil of unjust war, and call all people, in authentic word and deed, to live in solidarity, peace, and justice.

All-blest and venerable St. John Chrysostom,
we praise you, for you are our teacher, revealing things divine!
Pray for us that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

O God, Who by the preaching and teaching of Saint John Chrysostom
has given us an example of fortitude in the face of persecution and political corruption, grant that we who reverence his life and ministry may also imitate
his example of fidelity to wisdom, truth, justice, and beauty,
through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Our Father . . . Hail Mary… Glory be. . .

Thoughts for the Journey.

In the May 1977 edition of the Catholic Worker newspaper, Dorothy Day wrote about events in the first years of the movement. . . “When bills piled up and creditors came, we used to go to church and pray, all of us taking turns, and we called this “the picketing of St. Joseph.” Once when I asked an unemployed chambermaid if she would take a half-hour of “picketing Saint Joseph” over at Precious Blood Church, she asked me if she was to carry a sign.”  There’s been a lot of picketing of St. Joseph since those days.

St. Joseph is our protector and guide. Each time I witness a blessing of a St. Joseph’s Table, I am always moved to tears at these words of that blessing. . . “All-provident God, the good things that grace this table remind us of your many good gifts. Bless this food, and may the prayers of Saint Joseph, who provided bread for your Son and food for the poor, sustain us and all our brothers and sisters on our journey towards your heavenly kingdom.”

Peter Maurin used to say that one of the goals of the Catholic Worker movement was to create a society “where it was easier to do good.”  It is often not easy to do good in our society, because there are great structures of sin that make it easy to do evil. But the spiritual truth of this is that every act of beauty, goodness, and wisdom weakens the structures of sin that make it easy to do evil, and strengthen the structures of beauty, goodness, and love that make it easier for us to do good.

In this year of our Lord 2018  we are 17 years into a series of unjust wars in the Middle East that originally were to protect our so-called “right” to oil and now have devolved into something we do, you know, because this is what we do. One thing has led to another thing and each new evolution of the situation is met with more violence, more war, more death and suffering. We wage war on poor people and kill them. Violence rules the day. The US Empire is presently at the top of the world heap, held up by structures of sin created by wealth and demonic evil, but like all empires, we have no place to go but down. Ash heap of history here we come! Our national bloodlust for war drives us toward that abyss.  Discerning eyes can see the coalition that is coming together that will challenge us for world hegemony. Sooner or later the rest of the world is going to gang up on us and do to us what we did to the Germans during World War II: totally destroy our nation. “Sow not in furrows of injustice, lest you reap a seven-fold harvest,” says the Bible and the prophet Sirach was surely talking to us.  That’s what structures of evil always do — collapse, crash, and burn.

Where is the Catholic Church in all this?  It is a tragedy of epic proportions faced with unjust war, the U.S. Catholic bishops did not take a stand for the Gospel of Life but instead opted for a position of moral relativism towards the unjust wars of the United States government. This gravely harms the Church’s witness to the protection of life from the moment of conception to the time of natural death. We obviously don’t believe that that’s true for the people of Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, or Iraq. If the Catholic Church in the US actually believed in their non-negotiable right to life, our bishops would have forbidden participation in those unjust wars.  The right to life is supposed to be a “non-negotiable” tenet of the Faith, but if you live in Afghanistan or Iraq, or are a soldier of the United States or one of our allies, the U.S. bishops have abandoned you to the not-so-tender mercies of unjust war.  Your right to life is apparently trumped by the American Nationalist demand for war, slaughter, death, and destruction.

Peace is the fruit of justice, as Pope Paul VI reminded us. All people are connected, rich and poor. The Gospel and these times call us therefore to the work of justice, to the celebration of life, goodness, beauty, virtue, responsibility, and joy. As we practice peace, non-violence, servant leadership, harmony, community, voluntary cooperation, and the proper stewardship of God’s creation, we may eventually get good at it, especially if we pray without ceasing.

With Christ within us, it becomes easier to understand what is important.  So we always must ask — How is my life open to the reality that Christ is alive and he loves me?  Jesus gave his life to save us and our societies from sin and oppression.  Jesus lives today and is at our side every moment of every day to enlighten, strengthen, and free us.  Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, of our journeys of justice and peace.

Act of Caring for Creation: Get involved!  Support public and private initiatives that promote organic gardening and farming, public/community transportation, free range and pastured flocks and herds, energy conservation, urban agriculture, water conservation, local food systems, and community capacities for food and economic security.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)