Sunday, December 30, 2007

In his quietness is strength

St. Joseph with JesusI love St. Joseph. Unsung but not insignificant, he served and contemplated the divine Son and his holy Mother until the end of his life. He is particularly dear to my husband and me. We've taken him as a patron of our marriage since we each "knew" him throughout our respective Christian walks: I was converted on the feast of St. Joseph, while Henry was baptized during his college years on the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, taking Joseph as his confirmation name.

None of us knows many facts about St. Joseph, and none of his words are quoted in the gospels. His 'hiddenness' is part of the power of his influence. Pope Benedict XVI writes of him:
. . . steeped in contemplation of the mystery of God in an attitude of total availability to the divine desires, [not expressing] an inner emptiness but, on the contrary, the fullness of the faith he hears in his heart and which guides his every thought and action . . . a silence woven of constant prayer, a prayer of blessing of the Lord, of the adoration of his holy will and of unreserved trust in his providence.

As part of our night prayers, Henry and I pray the following Prayer to St. Joseph for Fathers written by Blessed Pope John XXIII. May it delight and encourage you as it does us.
Saint Joseph, chosen by God to be on this earth the guardian of Jesus and chaste husband of Mary, who passed your life in the perfect fulfillment of duty, supporting by the work of your hands the Holy Family of Nazareth, kindly protect us who trustingly turn to you. You know our aspirations, our hardships, and our hopes; we turn to you because we know that we will find in you one who will protect us. You too knew trial, labor, and weariness, but even amid the cares of material life, your soul, filled with the most profound peace, rejoiced in intimacy with the Son of God entrusted to you and with Mary, His most sweet Mother.

Help us to understand that we are not alone in our work, to know how to see Jesus close to us, and to welcome Him with grace and guard Him faithfully as you have done. Pray for us that in our family everything will be sanctified in love, in patience, in justice, and in seeking to do good; that abundant gifts of God's grace may descend upon us. Amen.


kc bob said...

"Unsung but not insignificant"

That says it all doesn't it.

I love the way Joseph is portrayed in The Nativity movie.. I think that many of us can somewhat relate to him.

2008 Blessings to you TZ & Roz!



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