The Advent journey continues and I've asked St. Joseph to be with me. I've asked him to show me his perspective in these days leading up to Christmas and then on Christmas itself. St. Joseph is often overlooked because none of his words are recorded in scripture. Yet he was married to Mary and foster father of Jesus. St. Joseph was entrusted with the care and protection of Jesus and Mary. Would he not also help care and protect us?
"He protects those who revere him and accompanies them on their journey through this life - just as he protected and accompanied Jesus when he was growing up. As you get to know him, you discover that the holy patriarch is also a master of the interior life - for he teaches us to know Jesus and share our life with him, and to realize that we are part of God's family. St. Joseph can teach us these lessons, because he is an ordinary man, a family man, a worker who earned his living by manual labor - all of which has great significance and is a source of happiness for us." - St. Josemaria in Christ is Passing By, 39
It had never occurred to me until I read this, that St. Joseph is also the master of the interior life, "for he teaches us to know Jesus and share our life with him, and to realize that we are part of God's family." We are all in need of a deeper interior life, especially this time of year when the noise, commercials, shopping and prepping grab for our attention at all hours of the day. I can't stress it enough – our interior lives are so important! It is here that we learn who we are and who God is. We need to reflect on both of these because we can't have one without the other. We truly only know who we are in light of who God is. Developing an interior life takes practice and time. But it begins like it did for St. Joseph, "sharing our life with Jesus and realizing that we are part of God's family."
What I also love about St. Joseph is that he was like us, corrupted by original sin. Yet God chose him to live with Jesus and Mary who were both free from sin. St. Joseph learned how to share his life with Jesus and Mary, and they shared their lives with him. Imagine the degree of holiness St. Joseph reached because of his relationship with Jesus and Mary.
St. Joseph teaches that the same is true for us! We have original sin, yet God chooses us to be brothers and sisters of Jesus and sons and daughters of Mary. We too are invited to share our lives with them! Jesus and Mary will also share their lives with us! Are we not called to reach the same holiness at St. Joseph because of our relationship with Jesus and Mary?
Since the interior life seems to be a theme emerging from this blog, I cannot help but add St. Joseph to my patron list of saints and almosts!
St. Teresa of Avila said that no one petition presented to St. Joseph was denied. St. Faustina wrote in her diary, “Saint Joseph urged me to have a constant devotion to him. He himself told me to recite every day three prayers (one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be, and the ‘Remember…’ once. He looked at me with great kindness and gave me to know how much he is supporting this work (of mercy). He has promised me his special help and protection. I recite the requested prayers every day and feel his special protection.” (Diary III, 55).
I would like to conclude with the words of a Dominican priest of the 16th century who said, “The sound of victory will be heard in the Church when the faithful recognize the sanctity of Saint Joseph. The Lord will let His light shine. He will lift the veil, and great men [and women] will search out the interior gifts of God that are hidden in Saint Joseph. They will find in him a priceless treasure." - Isidore of Isolanis
St. Joseph, pray for us!