Yesterday was the solemnity of the immaculate conception and also it was the end of the year dedicated to saint Joseph.

Some mystics have claimed that as Joseph takes a step back that God will allow Satan to step forward and cause even more chaos before eventually Mary will crush him at the triumph of her immaculate heart.

Regardless of what one believes or who one follows there seems to be a general consensus from all people of prayer that we are truly in dark times and the times of the great purification.

Last night at St. Mary of the angels we had a special St. Joseph Mass with adoration and rosary afterwards to mark the end of the year of Joseph and implore heaven’s help for ourselves and the world.

Brenda put it very well when she reminded us that heaven has an army of angels and saints helping us but that heaven also needs an army of people like you and me on earth to fight the good fight too!

This army of the faithful who pray and follow Jesus as best they can is called the “militant church”, nothing to do worth the website ‘church militant’ although obviously that’s where it got it’s name.

As part of the militant church we are parts of God’s army here on earth and so fighting to uphold the catholic faith by rebuking error, defending Christian values in society and being witnesses to the faith or ‘apostles of love’ as Our Lady puts it in Medjugorje.

On that note yesterday we had a meeting about our own ministry to the catholic and LGBT community and about our next ministry day which will be in January.

There is a growing pressure for the church to love and help community but sadly there is also a growing pressure for the church to accept sexual acts between gay men.

The church is never going to accept that because God doesn’t but that said the church is going to have to do an awful lot more to help gay people and indeed straight people to live lives of sexual purity.

Brenda also reminded us last night of the purity of the Holy family and how they can help us in our struggles in this area.

Whether gay or straight we are all called to overcoming lust and to learn to love as perfectly as possible, not a popular message in today’s society and an easy task either.

And so this is why we need prayer meetings, the rosary, the mass, sound Christian friends and teachings and the special sacrament of reconciliation when/ if we fall short.

It takes humility to listen to this message and to take up one’s cross in today’s world of following feelings and explaining away sin!

So to conclude let us thank St. Joseph for all the graces that he has poured out on us this year and let us continue to trust in his protection and care as these days of purification continue and uncertainty about the future of our church and world is all about.

St. Joseph, pray for us!

Michael

P.S. A great thanks to Brenda for the last 6 months of the St. Joseph evenings, may heaven bless her abundantly and of course also to Monsignor Baltrop for all his hard work on these evenings as he single handedly says mass, hears confessions, leads adoration….