Thursday 21 March 2024

30 Day Consecration to St Joseph - Father Gerard Skinner - CTS Books

30 Day Consecration to St Joseph
Fr Gerard Skinner
ISBN 9781784697730
eISBN 9781784697181
CTS Booklet D850

30 Day Consecration to St Joseph - Father Gerard Skinner - CTS Books

I have read over 75 books and booklets that are part of the CTS Prayers & Devotions Series. Some of the earlier ones are just mark CTS Devotions, but more recent ones have both Prayers and Devotions listed as the series name. This series has spanned decades. It has had books come in and out of print. This volume was published in the winter of 2024 and I picked up the eBook as soon as it released, and started reading it within a few days. It is an excellent little volume.

The description of this volume is:

“St Joseph shows us a very special example of holiness. In this beautiful book of consecration, Fr Gerard Skinner provides meditations to bring us to Jesus through the powerful intercession of his foster father, St Joseph.

St Joseph shows us a very special example of holiness. The titles given to him by the Church tell us he is the most just, chaste, prudent, strong, obedient and faithful. He is named the Pillar of Families, Solace of the Wretched, Hope of the Sick, Patron of the Dying, Protector of the Church and Terror of Demons.

In this beautiful book of consecration, Fr Gerard Skinner provides the prayers and meditations to bring our hearts and our needs to Jesus through the powerful intercession of his foster father, St Joseph.”

The chapters and sections in this volume are:

Prepare the Soil of Your Heart
Calendar of Possible Consecration Dates
The Apostles’ Creed
Litany of St Joseph
Consecration Days 1-30
“Thirty Days” Prayer to St Joseph
Prayer of Consecration to St Joseph

About the author we are informed:

“Fr Gerard Skinner studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Venerable English College in Rome. A priest of the Diocese of Westminster, he has written, contributed to or edited many publications. His other books include Newman the Priest, Father Ignatius Spencer, Dominic Barberi and The Douai Martyrs.”

I highlighted a few passages while working through this volume, some of them are:

“To consecrate oneself is a profound spiritual act. It is a simple act and yet a significant one. Words are used, but it is the heart that speaks to the heart of another. To consecrate oneself to St Joseph means turning to him with all one’s heart to seek to become more like Jesus.”

““Glorious Patriarch St Joseph, whose power makes the impossible possible, come to my aid in these times of anguish and difficulty. Take under your protection the serious and troubling situations that I commend to you, that they may have a happy outcome. My beloved father, all my trust is in you. Let it not be said that I invoked you in vain, and since you can do everything with Jesus and Mary, show me that your goodness is as great as your power.””

“God has created me to do him some definite service; he has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another.”

“St Joseph steadfastly kept before his eyes and heart, and lived out, love of God and neighbour, the greatest of the commandments. He encourages us to examine our hearts and minds, and our actions as well. As St Pope Paul VI preached, “The Gospel describes St Joseph as a Just Man. No greater praise of virtue and no higher tribute to merit could be applied to a man”.”

“The Holy Family encourages us to nurture the gift of gratitude and to discern carefully that what we ask of God be according to his will.”

A sample meditation is:

Day 13 – Gratitude

Theme: To discern what we ask for in prayer

Opening Prayer
Remember, O most chaste spouse of the Virgin Mary, that never has it been known that anyone who asked for your help and sought your intercession was left unaided. Full of confidence in your power, I hasten to you, and beg your protection. Listen, O foster father of the Redeemer, to my humble prayer, and in your goodness hear and answer me. Amen.

And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord…and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtle-doves, or two young pigeons”. …And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
         (Lk 2:22, 24, 34-35)

Reading from St Bonaventure
He [St Joseph] lived content in his poverty.

The offering of the Blessed Virgin and St Joseph was the offering of the poor – those who were richer would have presented a lamb and a pigeon or a dove. Yet, of course, the Lamb of God was presented that day, but the time of sacrifice was yet to come. The Holy Family would have been filled with gratitude to God for the gift of the Child Jesus and for all that they had. The Holy Family encourages us to nurture the gift of gratitude and to discern carefully that what we ask of God be according to his will.

Prayer of Bl Gennaro Maria Sarnelli C.S.S.R.
O most faithful Saint who shared the mysteries of our Redemption, glorious St Joseph, the prophecy of Simeon regarding the sufferings of Jesus and Mary caused you to shudder with mortal dread, but at the same time filled you with a blessed joy for the salvation and glorious resurrection which, he foretold, would be attained by countless souls.

By this sorrow and this joy, obtain for us that we may be among the number of those who, through the merits of Jesus and the intercession of Mary the Virgin Mother, are predestined to a glorious resurrection. Amen.”

It was wonderful to spend 30 days working through this volume and spending time with Saint Joseph. The reflections and prayers draw from many sources throughout church history. This is the third concentration to saint joseph that I have worked through. The other two were:

Consecration to St. Joseph - Fr. Donald Calloway
Saint Joseph the Protector - Father Mark Goring - A nine-day preparation for entrustment to St. Joseph

This one is an excellent way to consecrate yourself to saint Joseph. At the beginning of the volume is a chart with numerous start dates so you end on specific feats. There is also information on how to plan and finish on any day of your choice. When I worked through it I just started reading and finished on the day I finished. 

This booklet was a great read. It was engaging, informative and to be honest it challenged me. I loved that there were so many different sources for reflection and for prayers. I can easily recommend this booklet for any Catholic. It is another great read from the CTS.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2024 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

For reviews of other books in the CTS Prayers & Devotions series click here.

Books by Gerard Skinner:
Newman the Priest - Father of Souls
The English Vicars Apostolic (1688-1850)
Dominic Barberi
The Pallium: A Brief Guide To Its History And Significance
Father Ignatius Spencer: English Noble and Christian Saint

Other reviews and articles about Saint Joseph:
Consecration to St. Joseph - Fr. Donald Calloway
Favorite Prayers to St. Joseph Compiled from Traditional Sources- TAN Books
Prayer to Saint Joseph Prayer of the Day
Joseph of Nazareth - Federico Suarez
Devotion to St. Joseph - F. Declaux
Go to St. Joseph: Do Whatever He Tells You - Brian Kiczek
Saint Joseph: Help for Life's Emergencies - Kathryn J. Hermes
Feast of Saint Joseph 2018 Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary Principal Patron of Canada
Companion to Saint Joseph - J.B. Midgley - CTS Companions Series
Saints of the Roman Canon - Julien Chilcott-Monk - CTS Living the Liturgy Series
Seven Saints for Seven Virtues - Jean M. Heimann

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