TO ST. BERNADETTE OF LOURDES by Joseph Castorino

Your magnificent story I will tell:

The wondrous Miracle of Massabielle;

Our Lady came in breathtaking beauty,

And she knew that you would do your duty;

You came before her as God’s little child,

And looking down on you, she warmly smiled;

She gently asked you to dig in the ground,

And there spring waters were suddenly found;

Cripples bathed in the stream with salty tears,

And walked away whole without any fears;

Then hardened hearts started to melt,

And before the good God they humbly knelt.

TO OUR LADY OF LOURDES by Joseph Castorino

The Little Candle said to Our Lady,

“Your beautiful aquamarine eyes

are dazzlingly modest,

Sparkling like radiant jewels

of kindness and compassion;

Your serene smile swiftly

steals my humble heart,

As you point me towards the

path that leads to Jesus;

Your majestic mantle and sky-blue

sash dance joyfully in the breeze,

Reflecting the mildness and the

gentleness of the good God;

Your ladylike lips whisper

words of wisdom

That split the air like

atomic loving lightning;

Your sweet, saintly actions

ripple through the universe,

Like warm, welcoming waves

of heavenly peace.”

O DEAREST LADY OF LOURDES by Joseph Castorino

As I gently finger the beads of the rosary,

I touch your warm soft hands,

I gaze into your affable aquamarine eyes,

And I contemplate your loveliness;

Together our precious prayers mingle,

And rise up like sweet incense,

Its scent perfumes the halls of Heaven,

And delights the Lord of Light.

TO ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS by Joseph Castorino

A mystical priest, you are paradoxical:

Hated, you encountered Love,

Suffering, you experienced joy,

In trouble, you found peace,

Isolated, you surrendered in patience,

Maltreated, you felt kindness,

Kidnapped, you were generous,

Abandoned, you kept faith,

Abused, you replied with mildness,

Chaste, you were in ecstasy,

Unknown, you became famous,

Imprisoned, you found freedom,

In the dark night, you discovered Light.

A HOUSE BUILT ON ROCK by Joseph Castorino

A humble home was built

On a foundation of faith,

In the Town of Trust,

In the Province of Prudence,

On the rugged rock of

Divine Mercy:

The wild waves awoke

Like ferocious beasts

And beat against the

Formidable fortress,

Wailing with watery fists,

But all to no avail --

Nothing could harm

This holy house of love.

A HOUSE BUILT ON SAND by Joseph Castorino

A castle of carousing was built

On a lazy beach in

The City of Cool,

In the Province of Popular,

On the slippery sand of

Foolish fragile fear:

The voracious waves,

Like a savage swarm of

Paranoid piranha,

Chewed apart the castle,

And a furious flood

Of thick red blood

Poured out in torrents,

Turning the green one red.

STALE COOKIES by Joseph Castorino

We must avoid the

stale cookies of selfishness,

for they crumble

into complaints;

but with the Eucharistic

bread of gratitude,

we can live like

the holy saints.

FREEDOM by Joseph Castorino

When liberty is

divorced from responsibility,

it dreadfully descends in a

dizzying death spiral of

selfishness.

But when liberty

is married to responsibility,

it courageously spirals upward

in a heroic flight of

freedom.

TO ST. FRANCIS DE SALES by Joseph Castorino

Born in the breathtaking majesty of the Alps,

you became the Bishop of Geneva most brave;

You fought bloodless battles against the Calvinists,

and your gentle eloquence many souls did save.

Others preached with a barrel full of vinegar,

and for their listeners this wasn’t at all funny;

But you had the sense to sweeten your sermons

with the most delightful and delicious honey.

In your classic book you show us, the laity,

how to make our ordinary lives a success;

Teaching us to find God in the present moment,

our worried minds are relieved of great stress.

GUARDIAN ANGEL: HELP US TURN FROM THE DARK SIDE by Joseph Castorino

Guardian Angel, please pray for us,

Because the devil tempts us to obsess,

We must evade the evil of worldly idols,

And not dream of what to possess;

Thirsting for things can thicken anxiety,

Which can seem to never cease,

We struggle and tuggle with all our might,

And banished is all our peace.

The diabolical dragon swoops down,

Determined all good to destroy,

With the flaming fire of enslaving greed,

He seeks to kill all devotion and joy;

But as our trustworthy guide from Heaven,

With love you sing a sweet prayer,

And your words rise like a happy dove

Higher and higher up into the air.

Your shining shield of protection

Guards us from the devil’s snare,

You deflect the dragon’s temptation,

And it evaporates into the air;

Gratitude is like a stream of living water,

Delightfully refreshing us during the day,

It brings joy to the heart and revives us,

While washing temptation away.

But when the evil one’s persuasive poison

Threatens to seep deep into our heart,

Teach us to think of the Lord Jesus crucified,

So that it pierces our soul like a dart;

When we dance with delight with temptation,

Help us the crucifix recall,

For the cross crushes the devil’s teeth,

And into hellish Styx he will fall.

Meditating on the gore of Golgotha,

Our hearts like tearful candles melt,

Knife-like nails puncture his palms,

And blood trickles to where Our Lady knelt;

Then our foolish obsessions are obliterated,

By the power of His holy love,

And we are magnificently made new,

By His grace flowing from above.

Trying to lure us into obsession,

The devil deceptively dangles his bait,

But seeing you push us out of harm’s way

Only fuels his mad fury and hate;

We escape the avalanche of avarice,

That crushes the soul like snow,

You lead us on a path filled with Light,

And our life in the Spirit does grow.

THE LORD OF THE ABORTION CLINIC by Joseph Castorino

This is the tale of a small little boy,

Who was sadly deprived of all life’s joy;

I’m supposed to call him “fetal tissue,”

But for me it’s not a PC issue;

I easily slaughtered him like a pig,

No problem, for he was soft as a fig;

Tongs crushed his skull like an egg’s brittle shell,

Blood flowed from Phelegethon in deep, dark hell;

If I had failed, I’d have lopped off his head,

A simple way to make sure that he’s dead;

You can call me a killer if you dare,

It’s no big deal, so I really don’t care;

Then, I stealthily sold his body parts,

I earn good dough from babies' lungs and hearts;

I’m sorry, but I really have to run,

Now I’m off to the beach to have some fun.

THE OCEAN OF DIVINE MERCY by Joseph Castorino

I hesitantly open the door

of the confessional and

to my utter surprise

I see a beach before me:

as I approach the waters

of gentle aquamarine,

my hot feet, crusty

and blackened with

guilt, are cleansed by

Jesus’ holy hands;

He leads me into the ocean,

whose welcoming waves

of delightful divine mercy

kiss and caress my soul,

cooling and refreshing me,

and peace and joy

rush through me, and

as love ripples and rhymes,

sweetening my soul,

I am born again.

PRAYER FOR THE NEW YEAR by Joseph Castorino

A DIVINE MERCY PRAYER

O Victorious Virgin,

In the dawn of this

Glorious new year,

Take my hand, gently,

And sweetly lead me

On the path to Truth;

Then joyfully unlock

The Gate of Heaven

Which opens wide

To the Prince of Peace,

To the King of Kindness,

To the Lord of Love;

As your Son rises

Deep in my heart,

May Divine Mercy rays

Of red and white

Shine through me

And warm the world!

AVE MARIA by Joseph Castorino

She gently rocks me,

back and forth,

in her slender arms,

since I’m a little babe

who can’t find Jesus

alone, without her;

she lovingly caresses

and warms me in the

cold dark night,

and her smiling eyes

twinkle in the Light;

her soft rosy lips

sweetly kiss me

as she leads me

faithfully and joyfully

to her merciful Son,

the Bread of Life.

THE CHAPEL OF DIVINE MERCY by Joseph Castorino

My Via Dolorosa

has brought me here,

so I drag myself into

the dark chapel,

my body weakened

under the weight of

my crosses and woes,

and I am hopeless.

But here, kneeling,

my hands knotted together,

deep in prayer,

I surrender all to Him,

and, behold, a soft light

like that of a little candle

emanates from the

holy tabernacle.

Then as it gradually

intensifies and brightens,

the wick of my soul is lit,

and I relax in His presence,

my heart smiling as I am

completely enveloped in

the luminous Sonshine

of Divine Mercy.

TO ST. JOHN THE APOSTLE by Joseph Castorino

Son of Thunder, you requested that Jesus

Revengefully rain down ferocious flames,

You wanted to get back at those fools from

Samaria who wouldn’t welcome Him;

But your fisherman’s soul was softened

By the Savior, as Love taught you to love,

You were transformed by the Transfiguration,

And you soon became the Apostle of Light.

During the Last Supper, you leaned on Love,

And, alarmed, asked Him about the traitor,

Then, later, you saw the wondrous wounds

Of Love wash away the world’s guilt;

He gave you His Most Blessed Mother,

And you cared for her with holy compassion,

You, the Beloved Disciple, bravely and

Courageously taught us obedience.

You were the miraculous martyr who

Survived a bubbling, boiling cauldron of oil,

Then the Roman Emperor Domitian

Egregiously exiled you to the isle of Patmos;

Hideous heresies denied Christ’s divinity,

So you wrote a glorious gospel to refute them,

You were the mild mystic, the peaceful preacher,

And the unforgettable Apostle of Love.

SILENT NIGHT: AN ANGEL'S PERSPECTIVE by Joseph Castorino

Here we find the epicenter of the holy earthquake

that destroys the sin of the centuries.

In jubilation, I swiftly and silently cruise through

the cool, crisp air on this holiest of holy nights,

Up above, high in the heavens, is the star of all stars,

powerfully pulsating with bursts of joy;

Below, in the countryside, the shepherds’ fires

crackle with contentment near Bethlehem,

For the Christ child, the Prince of Peace, has been

born in a lowly little stable in the city of David.

I am flanked by a merry multitude of fellow angels,

As we prepare for our descent into little Bethlehem,

From the cloud tops we cascade downward towards

the manger, like a waterfall of invisible light;

The shuffling shepherds who were so startled to

behold us now adore their newborn king on bent knees,

And the majestic magi marvel at the humility of the

Blessed Babe, the long-awaited holy Messiah.

St. Joseph thoughtfully covers the mild mother Mary,

to help heat her on this very chilly night,

The joyful Virgin warmly welcomes little Jesus,

covering Him with her tender kisses and caresses;

Blissful baby Jesus beams a bright smile, covering all

present with His most peaceful benevolence,

And we angels swirl and dance, and exultantly sing

And rejoice and praise the glory of the good God.

The holy family will live in the dark night of the unseen,

centered in the Light of Limitless Love.

DIVINE MERCY AT MORAINE LAKE by Joseph Castorino

It is a bright beautiful morning in the

crisp clean air of the Canadian Rockies,

We ascend as I drive up a wonderfully

windy road past babbling brooks;

I am driving the “Tin Can” (the affectionate

name that we have given our car),

After reaching the sunny summit,

we gently roll into the Valley of the Ten Peaks;

We finally arrive at the large lake and

look up at the regal ring of mountains,

Yet I feel slightly saddened because

somehow it’s less than I expected;

A lodge that looks like a big log cabin

stands silently like a sentinel near the water,

We decide to dine there and enjoy a

delightful bit of roast beef for lunch;

The savory flavor of my sandwich lingers

in my mouth, as I think about my morning,

I try to cunningly convince myself that

I’m not disappointed, but I know that I am.

Departing for our next destination,

I wistfully walk towards our little car,

But as I look to the right, I see a

tar-black hill with a winding trail upon it;

The people look like pilgrims as they

make their way up the mysterious mound,

Curiosity gradually grows within me as I

ponder, puzzled, where the path leads;

So I investigate and struggle up the steep

trail, tripping occasionally on rock and rubble,

But when I get to the top, I am frozen

with fascination as I behold the view;

Above me is a diadem of snow-tipped peaks,

gleaming with the glory of God,

Below me is the pristine lake, and it is

shimmering and sparkling like a gemstone;

It appears as if millions of sapphires

and emeralds have melted into liquid,

And the blue-green color of the

lovely lake is luminous in the sunshine.

My senses are suddenly soaked in Your

Holy Spirit’s lasting love, and I feel Your beauty,

At this moment, nothing else matters,

and I only long to be close to You;

At this moment, I am oblivious to my past,

and I am oblivious to my future,

I am living in the eternal and

mystical present of the great I AM;

You are Holy Humility, You are

Magnificent Mercy, You are Limitless Love,

And with Your divine sense of humor,

You really are the God of surprises.

JUBILEE 2000: THE PIETA' by Joseph Castorino

As I look up at the statue, I see Santa Maria,

as white as virgin milk, holding her Jesus;

She is the elegant embodiment of humble

Obedience and selfless compassion.

The Savior lay in the stately surrender of

Sacrificial love, in His mother’s majestic arms;

He is crushed, the weight of the world’s

Woes heavy upon His wounded body.

On the surrounding walls, the magnificent

Marble is a multicolored whirlwind;

The Holy Spirit beautifully swirls and

Soars through it in grace-ful agape.

JUBILEE 2000: BEFORE MASS by Joseph Castorino

As I serenely sit in front of St. Peter’s

Basilica, I soak in the beauty of the piazza,

I look about my peaceful surroundings,

Drinking in the delicious glory of God;

Clusters of clouds casually waft by, so low

That they almost brush the top of the dome,

They pass by like eager pilgrims, Eucharistic

White against the bright blue sky.

Fresh flowers flow down on the white steps in front

Of the altar, like a colorful cascading waterfall,

I inhale the perfume of their sweet scent,

And I breathe in the Lord’s love;

The elegant church bells powerfully and

Rhythmically ring out God’s grandeur,

While the balmy breeze swirls around me

And compassionately caresses me.