Pastor’s Corner

Pastor's Corner

Dear Parishioners,

We are to love God with our heart, soul, and mind.

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CHRISTMAS in October?

That’s what it takes to be ready to sing the great carols of the season as well as other liturgical music for the days of Christmas. Now is the time to join choirs and help our parish celebrate the season with great festivity and to also see if choir would fit your life’s schedule on a regular basis. The St. Joseph Choir (11:00 am Mass) rehearses on Tuesday evenings from 7:30 pm—9:00 pm. Singers and Musicians (9:00 am Mass) rehearse on Wednesdays from 7:00 pm—8:30 pm. We welcome all singers, high school age and older!

Contact Bob Valle, Director of Music/Liturgist (bvalle@sjpdg.org) or 630.964.0216, ext. 1209) to become a part of this music ministry and to help lead our assembly to praise.


FEED YOUR SPIRIT

Back to the Basics...What We Believe
Contemplative Prayer

What is contemplative prayer? St. Teresa answers: "Contemplative prayer [oracion mental] in my opinion is nothing else than a close sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us."

Contemplative prayer seeks him whom my soul loves." It is Jesus, and in him, the Father. We seek him, because to desire him is always the beginning of love, and we seek him in that pure faith which causes us to be born of him and to live in him. In this inner prayer we can still meditate, but our attention is fixed on the Lord himself.

The choice of the time and duration of the prayer arises from a determined will, revealing the secrets of the heart. One does not undertake contemplative prayer only when one has the time: one makes time for the Lord, with the firm determination not to give up, no matter what trials and dryness one may encounter. One cannot always meditate, but one can always enter into inner prayer, independently of the conditions of health, work, or emotional state. The heart is the place of this quest and encounter, in poverty and in faith.

Entering into contemplative prayer is like entering into the Eucharistic liturgy: we "gather up" the heart, recollect our whole being under the prompting of the Holy Spirit, abide in the dwelling place of the Lord which we are, awaken our faith in order to enter into the presence of him who awaits us. We let our masks fall and turn our hearts back to the Lord who loves us, so as to hand ourselves over to him as an offering to be purified and transformed.

Contemplative prayer is the prayer of the child of God, of the forgiven sinner who agrees to welcome the love by which he is loved and who wants to respond to it by loving even more. But he knows that the love he is returning is poured out by the Spirit in his heart, for everything is grace from God. Contemplative prayer is the poor and humble surrender to the loving will of the Father in ever deeper union with his beloved Son.

Contemplative prayer is the simplest expression of the mystery of prayer. It is a gift, a grace; it can be accepted only in humility and poverty. Contemplative prayer is a covenant relationship established by God within our hearts. Contemplative prayer is a communion in which the Holy Trinity conforms man, the image of God, "to his likeness."

Contemplative prayer is also the pre-eminently intense time of prayer. In it the Father strengthens our inner being with power through his Spirit "that Christ may dwell in (our) hearts through faith" and we may be "grounded in love."

Contemplation is a gaze of faith, fixed on Jesus. "I look at him and he looks at me." This is what a certain peasant of Ars used to say to his holy cure about his prayer before the tabernacle. This focus on Jesus is a renunciation of self. His gaze purifies our heart; the light of the countenance of Jesus illumines the eyes of our heart and teaches us to see everything in the light of his truth and his compassion for all men. Contemplation also turns its gaze on the mysteries of the life of Christ. Thus it learns the "interior knowledge of our Lord," the more to love him and follow him.

Contemplative prayer is hearing the Word of God. Far from being passive, such attentiveness is the obedience of faith, the unconditional acceptance of a servant, and the loving commitment of a child. It participates in the "Yes" of the Son become servant and the Fiat of God's lowly handmaid.

Contemplative prayer is silence, the "symbol of the world to come" or "silent love." Words in this kind of prayer are not speeches; they are like kindling that feeds the fire of love. In this silence, unbearable to the "outer" man, the Father speaks to us his incarnate Word, who uffered, died, and rose; in this silence the Spirit of adoption enables us to share in the prayer of Jesus.

Contemplative prayer is a union with the prayer of Christ insofar as it makes us participate in his mystery. The mystery of Christ is celebrated by the Church in the Eucharist, and the Holy Spirit makes it come alive in contemplative prayer so that our charity will manifest it in our acts.

Contemplative prayer is a communion of love bearing Life for the multitude, to the extent that it consents to abide in the night of faith. The aschal night of the Resurrection passes through the night of the agony and the tomb - the three intense moments of the Hour of Jesus which his Spirit (and not "the flesh [which] is weak") brings to life in prayer. We must be willing to "keep watch with (him) one hour."

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Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Ministry of the Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion Training Session

October 27 at 7:00 pm
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion assist the presider in distributing Holy Communion at Masses. Our Lord, present under the forms of bread and wine, is food for our journey to the kingdom! For those interested in becoming Extraordinary Ministers, there are special formation sessions which focus on the spirituality of the minister, the ritual of the Eucharist, and guidelines specific to Saint Joseph Parish.

The next formation session for those interested will be held on Monday, October 27 at 7:00 pm Please contact Rob Visher at 630.244.6813 or rvisher@gmail.com for details if you are interested in becoming an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. You may also contact Bob Valle, Director of Music/Liturgist, at the parish bvalle@sjpdg.org or 630.964.0216, ext. 1209.

St. Vincent de Paul Donation Drive at St. Joe’s

The St. Vincent de Paul truck will be in the parking lot at St. Joseph Church the weekend of November 15 and 16. As you are going hrough your clothes getting ready for the cold weather, save anything you no longer want or doesn’t fit the kids any longer for the drive! We have a special need for winter coats, hats, gloves, scarves, boots, etc. There is also a special need for blankets, sheets and other linens.

For larger donation pick-ups at your home, please call the St. Vincent de Paul Society at 630.231.4658 or email us at saintvincentdonate@gmail.com.

Thank you for helping us help others!

November: A Time to Rejoice, to Remember, and to Give Thanks

As the autumn season comes to an end each year, the leaves change their colors, fall to the ground, and become a part of the earth that once nurtured them. Cold starts to settle in and we get the sense that the earth falls into a great winter sleep. Though not a liturgical season, November liturgies are filled with scripture, prayers, and songs that reflect on the end of time and call each of us to prepare for that final day when the Lord gathers us to himself just as the harvest is gathered from the land. The days of Ordinary Time culminate with the celebration of the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe and flow into the coming Advent season. And as a nation, we gather for our own national holy day - Thanksgiving - to give thanks to God, the giver of all gifts.

Solemnity of All Saints, (Saturday, November 1) *not obligatory this year Mass on Saturday, November 1 at 8:00 am
Though not obligatory this year, the Solemnity of All Saints is still a holy day that you can celebrate! We gather and rejoice for all the holy men and women who now live in God's presence and serve as examples and companions to us in our daily lives. Come pray the Eucharist on this day and perhaps celebrate your own patron saint or one whose charism and life has helped to shape your life in Christ.

The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed - All Souls (Sunday, November 2) All Souls will be celebrated following our usual Saturday/Sunday schedule. (Saturday 5:00 p.m., Sunday 7:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.)
The 11:00 a.m. Mass is for the intention of all the faithful departed – a Mass of Remembrance. Each year St. Joseph Church remembers in a special way those members of our parish community who have died this year by calling out their names. We will continue this tradition at the Sunday 11:00 a.m. Mass on November 2nd. Our parish also acknowledges that many still mourn after many years the death of loved ones and continue to pray on their behalf to our compassionate God. Together, we pray for our relatives and friends who have died and present them to our merciful God.

Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 27 at 9:00 a.m.)
Come and celebrate Thanksgiving Day with your parish at the 9:00 a.m. Mass and give thanks to God for the blessings of the year. We are richly gifted with so much, and so we gather to offer praise as many households, but one family in Christ. Each year, members of the assembly bring nonperishable food items to the liturgy to carry them forward in procession at the Preparation of the Gifts.

This ritual of solidarity, with those in need, helps the St. Vincent de Paul Society continue its mission of service to those who hunger and to offer support for their households.

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