Gift of the Holy Spirit:
Love of God
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of slander against you because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them (a scholar of the law) tested him by asking, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest? He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did it for me.
At long last, in God’s appointed hour, the Blessed Mary completes the first phase of her mission on earth (the second phase continues to this day), having accompanied the Church from its beginning at the breaking of bread during the first Eucharistic Sacrifice, witnessing at the foot of the Cross as living waters and the blood of redemption flowed from the Heart of her Crucified Son as the centurion thrust his spear into Jesus’ side and pierced her own Heart, at the birth of the Church in the first Pentecost with the disciples gathered with her in prayer when the Paraclete descended upon them in blazing tongues of fire, to her last days as shepherdess to the early Church. the Blessed Mary is now ready to enter into the Father’s reward in Paradise to join her Son and Joseph her most chaste spouse.
Accompanied by her Savior Son, with archangels and choirs of cherubim and seraphim, with trumpets blast, she enters in glory, body and soul, into the kingdom of heaven.
St. Joseph welcomes his Blessed Spouse with holy embrace and the his Holy Family, united at last in heaven, enters into the omnipresence of the Heavenly Father. The Holy, Mighty and Immortal One in Three, welcomes the Blessed Mary in resplendent glory and crowns her as Queen of heaven and earth for all eternity. St. Joseph, his heart overflowing with joy, takes his place of honor beside the Queen Mother and their Son in these heavenly festivities. His Holy Family is united again and his heart, at last, is at rest as he knows his beloved ones are now beyond harm’s reach.
Truly, blessed are the lowly for they shall be exalted. Blessed are those who, for the love of God, endures persecution, the reign of God is theirs. This Beatitude is proved true by the life of Joseph and his Holy Family. Theirs is the reign of God.
The Love of God is not listed as one of the seven gifts of the Spirit because it encompasses all the gifts: Fear of the Lord, Piety, Counsel, Fortitude, Understanding, Knowledge and Wisdom. These are the fruits of the Love of God.
Every person is born with the love of God etched in his heart which is created in God’s image. When our hearts respond to God’s love with our own love, this love of God implanted in us brings forth the fruits of the Spirit in our heart which becomes the depository of God’s treasures, enabling us to take to heart His commands. “Your heart is where your treasure is.” “If you love me, follow my commands.”
God is thus enthroned in our hearts where He reigns supreme with His reign of justice and love.
God is Love and the love of God is like God Himself, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the cause and the effect. His love is from eternity to eternity, infinity to infinity.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus represents both the word of God made flesh and the love of God pierced in sacrifice for the love of man. From this pierced Heart flows the living waters to cleanse us from our sins and to quench our thirst for the longing of God.
Mary responded perfectly to God’s love with her perfect love of God. The Heart of the Savior was formed in the mold of His Mother’s Heart, drawing His lifeblood from her heart. Her blood became God’s Precious Blood which we consume with the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus at the Sacrifice of the Mass. It is this Holy Communion of love that makes us blood brothers and sisters of Jesus and children of Mary as it is her Son’s blood taken from her that is transfused in us through the Holy Eucharist to give us life in the Spirit.
This blood union invites us to an Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, our own heart with the Sacred Heart of the Son and the Immaculate Heart of the Mother in a universal kingdom where God’s justice and loving mercy reign. The first to respond to this Alliance of Hearts is Joseph with his own unconditional love of God. He is our perfect model to guide us to enter into this sacred alliance of love, joining our hearts with the Hearts of Jesus and Mary in the company of Joseph.
When our love is commingled with God’s love, in the example of Joseph, it is transformed to perfect love, as when the drop of water in the cup of wine is transformed to wine. We will not know when God’s love ends and our love begins nor when our love ends and God’s love begins. We will love with the love of God and he in turn uses our love to express His love for mankind.
This grand alliance, the commingling of divine and human love is not for personal piety alone but an alliance of love to establish on earth God’s kingdom of justice and mercy. Justice is the highest form of love as merciful love is the perfection of justice.
Joseph is described by the Scriptures with three words, as “a just man”. His love of God compels him to act justly in every situation, towards every person, rendering upon each one his or her just due, with a love that is kind and merciful.
For us on earth who long for the beatific vision of God whom we are commanded to love with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength, this love of God must be proved by our love of neighbor. Our life on earth shall be judged by our adherence to this commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves.
In Mary and Joseph, our exemplars of the perfect love of God, is the fulfillment of the promise of the Beatitudes of exaltation: Blessed are the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of God. Blessed are the meek, they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they who are persecuted for holiness sake, the reign of God is theirs.
Father Joseph, in your poverty you have gained the eternal riches of the Kingdom of God. In your humility, you are crowned and clothed with authority in the reign of God.
Merciful Joseph, humble and meek of heart, guide my family to live the way of Jesus and Mary, to live His Beatitudes as your Holy Family did. Grant that the Holy Spirit will bless and assist us with His Gifts.
Just Joseph, pray that we may never be unjust to any person but to render justice to everyone in all that we do.
Finally, my dearest Patron, grant that you will prepare a place for me and my family and for all those who are just to us.
Our Father, Ten Hail Marys, Glory Be
These meditations invite the reader to a spiritual journey with St. Joseph, reliving nine joyous, sorrowful, and glorious events in his life with his most beloved Jesus and Mary. They are meant for prayer and presented in the framework of a Novena Rosary of the Holy Family.
The matching of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit with the Beatitudes in the life of St. Joseph is not meant to be theologically precise. They are presented as meditations to demonstrate the truth that one cannot live the way of the Beatitudes without the Gifts of the Spirit.
It is to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit that our prayers are addressed, and St. Joseph in the company of Blessed Mary are there to receive our petitions and intercede for us, to help and guide us as we shepherd our own families toward our Heavenly Father’s house, the true destination of our own earthly journey.
With love and devotion to the Holy Family,
Howard Joseph Q. Dee