Five Secrets of Life Saint Joseph Taught Me

 

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This week-end we celebrate the Feast of Saint Joseph, foster-father of Jesus, spouse of the Virgin Mary, and Protector of the Universal Church. There is so little said about him in the Scriptures, yet if we look closely at the events that led up to his quiet life in Nazareth, we can see how this strong protector of the Holy Family is so dearly beloved by so many.

Even though Saint Joseph is one of the main characters of the readings at Christmastide, there are many virtues of this great saint that we might not notice. I’ll share with you some of the hidden virtues of this saint that have impressed me, and perhaps you have other examples of Saint Joseph’s virtue to add to the list. The virtues of Saint Joseph are very obvious by his actions more than by his words.

Saint Joseph was attentive. He listened to the message the angel spoke to him in a dream regarding Mary to whom he was betrothed. “The child to be born was conceived by the Holy Spirit.”

And what is so impressive is that Joseph believed. No human proof, no one to share the message with, no guarantee about the future. He simply believed.

Saint Joseph trusted. Did he not have to rise immediately at night and take the child and his mother and leave for Egypt…again at the message of an angel? Saint Joseph did not waver or question. He trusted though he had no human reassurance that everything was going to be all right.

Saint Joseph was silent, but his faith spoke volumes. Not a word was recorded. Yet have we not all heard the saying that actions speak louder than words? The virtues of Saint Joseph are very obvious by his actions more than by his words. And this is what leads up to the next virtue….

Saint Joseph was obedient. Saint Joseph was a faithful Israelite and obeyed religious and civil authorities. It wasn’t easy to travel to Bethlehem at the time of the census, but Joseph brought Mary and it was there that Jesus was born. He brought Jesus to the temple for the Jewish religious observances. He was a model as a father and virtuous head of his household.

Further on in the Gospels we read a reference to Joseph in the words of the people themselves. For when the people were listening to Jesus’ preaching, they said in amazement, “is this not the carpenter’s son?”

Pope Paul VI thought of Saint Joseph when reflecting on the following words in the Gospel of Matthew: “I give you praise, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things [the things of God] from the wise and learned, but you have revealed them to little ones.”

The ‘little ones’ are those who are humble in the face of grandeur where one could say, ‘Look how I have been chosen.’ Joseph, instead, was quiet, unassuming, obedient, full of faith, and attentive to the voice of God.

The following passage from the Old Testament was originally written in regards to the holy patriarch Joseph, but has also been applied to Saint Joseph, “Behold the faithful and prudent servant whom the Lord God has set over his household.”

In our day and age Saint Joseph is known by the titles Guardian of the Holy Family and Patron of the Universal Church.

Here are five secrets of life I learned from Saint Joseph:

It is important to listen. Saint Joseph listened; his heart full of the love of God was attuned to the voice of God in his life. He heard the voice of the angel tell him to take Mary into his home and also to rise and take Mary and the Child Jesus and to flee into Egypt. He was attentive.

Belief comes from the heart. Saint Joseph believed. Being familiar with God’s ways and with the patriarchs and prophets of old, Saint Joseph like Abraham believed God’s guidance in his life.

When I love God I trust him.  Saint Joseph trusted. There were no tangible proofs that what was said to him by an angel in a dream was going to work out. But he trusted that God was in charge and that was enough for him.

Silence helps me to listen.  Saint Joseph was silent. Like Abraham, Saint Joseph trusted, believed and was obedient to what was asked of him. No questions asked.

May I always say, “Your will be done, O Lord.” Saint Joseph was obedient to the will of God. He immediately put into action the plan of God, believing that God is God and that his own judgments were to be subject to his God.

Let us celebrate this feast in a special way by thinking on these things.

God bless you all.
Sr. Barbara Gerace, Daughters of St. Paul

Share below the lessons you have learned from Saint Joseph.

Let St. Joseph Help You (1)

St. Joseph Help for Life’s Emergencies
Let the saint who cared for Jesus and Mary care for you.                                                             Who is St. Joseph? Stories of his powerful intercession. Devotion. Prayers.

Saint Joseph: Novena and Prayers
Includes Novena and Prayers. Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer

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Saint Joseph of the House of David


“…it was given to Joseph not simply to see and hear (Jesus) whom many kings and prophets had desired to see, and saw not, desired to hear and heard not (Matt. 13:17); but as well to carry, lead, embrace, kiss, nurture and protect him. We must suppose that Mary, too, was descended from the house of David, for otherwise she would not have been betrothed to a man of that house. Both, then, were of the house of David; but it was only in Mary that the promise which the Lord had sworn to David was fulfilled: Joseph was but the witness to the fulfillment of the promise.” St. Bernard

 

The Goodness of Saint Joseph

Saint Joseph… “he was a good man. He did not hate, and he did not allow bitterness to poison his soul. Yet how many times does hatred, or even dislike and bitterness poison our souls! And this is harmful. Never allow it: he is an example of this. And Joseph thereby became even freer and greater. By accepting himself according to God’s design, Joseph fully finds himself, beyond himself. His freedom to renounce even what is his, the possession of his very life, and his full interior availability to the will of God challenge us and show us the way.” Pope Francis on Saint Joseph

Saint Joseph, most docile to the will of God obtain for me full adhesion to God’s will in my own life. I trust in your designs, my God, for my life and well being. Amen.

A Novena to Saint Joseph

The Tabernacle in Our Pauline Chapel

 

A Novena to St. Joseph by Father Louis Lallamont  1578-1635

For nine days, turn to St. Joseph in the silence of your heart and honor him by reflecting on these four points of meditation.

  1. During the first visit, consider St Joseph’s Fidelity to Grace. Reflect upon the action of the Holy Spirit in his soul. At the conclusion of this  meditation, thank God for so honoring St. Joseph, and ask, through his intercession for a similar grace.
  2. Later in the day, consider St. Joseph’s Fidelity to the Interior Life
    Study his spirit of recollection. Think upon this, thank God and ask for the grace of an interior life.
  3. Later still, consider St. Joseph’s Love for Our Lady
    Study St. Joseph’s love and devotion to Mary, Thank God for this and pray for a fervent devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
  4. Finally, in a fourth visit, reflect upon St Joseph’s Love for the Divine Child. Take a moment to reflect on St. Joseph’s love for the Child Jesus and his constant union to God’s will each day.

Concluding Prayer  O My God, I thank and bless you for St. Joseph’s great
faithfulness to grace.  Grant that, through his loving intercession
and the power of his example, I too may be faithful to grace.

O My God, I thank and bless you for St. Joseph’s great faithfulness to the interior life. Grant that, through his loving intercession and the power of his example I too may be faithful to the interior life.

O My God, I thank and bless you for St. Joseph’s great love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Grant that I too may imitate your devotion to her and imitate her virtues.

O My God, I thank and bless you for St. Joseph’s great love for the Divine Child. Grant that I too may imitate your love for Jesus and live the life of Gospel values daily.

O St. Joseph, intercede for me before the throne of God and obtain for me the favor that I ask for at this time_______. Amen

Go to Joseph

“If you labor for your bread; if you have a family to support; if your heart is searched by trials at home; if you are assailed by some importunate temptation; if your faith is sorely tested, and your hope seems lost in darkness and disappointment; if you have yet to learn to love and serve Jesus and Mary as you ought, Joseph, the head of the house, the husband of Mary, the caring father of Jesus – Joseph is your model, your teacher and your father. Truly, in all things, Saint Joseph is the people’s friend…

Go, then, to Joseph, and do all that he shall say to you. God to Joseph, and obey him as Jesus and Mary obeyed him. God to Joseph, and speak to him as they spoke to him. Go to Joseph, and consult him as they consulted him. Go to Joseph, and honor him as they honored him. Go to Joseph, and be grateful to him as they were grateful to him. Go to Joseph, and love him as they loved him, and as they love him still.

However much you love Joseph, your love will always fall short of the extraordinary love which Jesus and Mary bore him. On the other hand, the love of Joseph necessarily leads us to Jesus and Mary. He was the first Christian to whom it was said, “Take the Child and His mother….” This led a Father of the Church to say, “You will always find Jesus with Mary and Joseph.”

Herbert Cardinal Vaughan (1832-1903)

Saint Joseph Listened and Obeyed

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Someone from the crowd called out to Jesus and said, “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you.” And Jesus answered, “Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it.” Luke 11:27-28

Jesus was not only referring to his most holy mother but also to people like Saint Joseph who listened to the word of God and kept it.

“I do not know how anyone can think of the Queen of the angels, at the time when she was undergoing so much with the Child Jesus, without giving thanks to Saint Joseph for looking after them in the way he did. If anyone has not got a guide to teach him how to pray, let him take this glorious saint as his master and he will not go astray.” Saint Teresa of Avila

“Therefore, remember us, blessed Joseph, and by the voice of your prayers intercede for us with him who was believed to be your son; and direct toward us the compassion of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, your bride and the Mother of Him who, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.” Saint Bernardine of Siena

Saint Joseph and the Kingdom of God

Do we remember the two parables that Our Lord spoke to us. The parable of the mustard seed and the image of the woman who buried the yeast in three measures of wheat flour? The mustard seed is the smallest of seeds and yet in time grew to be a large tree that the birds of the air came to dwell on its branches. And the yeast made the bread rise without anyone really noticing it happening.

Saint Joseph was a humble servant of the Lord. He did not see the future, nor did he pretend to. He believed what was revealed to him regarding the birth of the Son of God. This is the secret of the kingdom of God. Humility, simplicity and trust in the Lord are what bring forth fruit and growth. He was satisfied with doing the will of God in his daily life. He listened to the voice of the angel not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife. Then Joseph and Mary had to go to Bethlehem to be registered according to a decree. After the birth of Jesus, Joseph was warned in a dream to rise in the night and take Jesus and Mary to Egypt because “Herod was seeking the life of the child”.

Saint Joseph knew nothing of the future. He knew that God was working through him and had a plan. He simply obeyed God’s call.

After the time in Egypt, the Holy Family returned to Nazareth and lived a simple life, virtuous life.

Sometimes we may feel that we are not doing enough, or may not have opportunities, or maybe are not doing what God really wants us to be doing. But in reality, God is the one who is directing our live. Yes, we are to put every effort into doing what God is asking of us. There is this old adage, “we will do our best and God will do the rest”. That is exactly what Saint Joseph did. He was not driven to follow his own agendas. He followed God’s lead. He had direct conversations with Jesus, the Son of God, and was truly devoted to his holy Spouse, Mary. He did what was expected of him as the guardian of the holy family and he listened to the voice of God. That small and simple faith was part of God’s great plan of redeeming mankind.

We are all part of this. When Jesus told the parable of the mustard seed and the woman who took the yeast and mixed it with the flour, he asked two questions in the beginning…..”What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to?” We all may have our own way of answering this question. For we are all part of the kingdom of God. We are God’s servants. And in these questions, Jesus is asking us the actual question, “What do you think?” What shall we answer him?

 

 

 

Saint Joseph and His Interior Spirit

 

Light for the World

 

Let us be people of faith in order to live it and share it with our neighbor; let us remember that as brightly as our lamps are lit, so much will they send forth light. “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). “No one after lighting a lamp puts is under the bushel basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all in the house” (Matthew 5:15).

We must remember that we have just one work to accomplish, though this has different applications. We must grow in faith, to nourish our hope and stir up our love of God and of our neighbor. Herein lies perfection. The person who draws close to God thereby draws even closer to other people! The individual who feels God and speaks to him with a certain intimacy is renewed in strength and at the same time is inflamed with zeal for others.

…heavenly light must guide us, and we must often recall the fundamentals of our Faith. We have a soul to save. There is a world to save… 

It is faith that saves. And in order to reach salvation, one needs to believe in eternal truths, the gravity of sin, and the divinity of the Founder of the Church. The author of the letter to the Hebrews writes: “Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son” (Hebrews 1: 1-2).

In giving his divine Son to mankind, God gave it his Word-a great gift! The apostles carried his message, his Gospel of peace, through the apostolate of preaching: “Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world” (Romans 10:18).

It is not difficult to tell someone that he or she should believe, but it is a wholly complex and difficult task to live simultaneously an example of faith and of every virtue and to obtain grace for them by prayer.

We all have a mission in life, according to our own state in life. One day Jesus Christ will ask of us an account of this mission. We will have to answer for it to God, and the one who has not only done well, but has also taught others to do so will have a greater reward in heaven.

Blessed James Alberione, SSP, Founder of the Pauline Family

Saint Joseph, faithful cooperator in our redemption, have pity on poor humanity, still wrapped in so much error and so many evils. You were a docile instrument in the hands of the heavenly Father, in arranging everything for the birth and childhood of Jesus…may I always be prepared with a strong faith for the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ each day as he comes into my life through the Mass, the sacraments, the presence of others and through the things that happen. May I have the faith to believe that all is directed by God for my greater good. Saint Joseph intercede for me this day. Ask the Lord that I may have also the faith of the Blessed Virgin Mary who was docile to the voice of God and thus became the Mother of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. May Jesus live in my heart and may I hear God’s word each day with faith as you and Mary did. Amen

 

Saint Joseph Believed

 

I Believe, Lord…

“For whoever would approach [God] must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Heb 11:6).

“Because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.  The scripture says, ‘No one who believes in him will be put to shame.’ Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:9-11,13).

“For in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith” (Galatians 3:26).

The Son of God became man to save sinful man. This was his constant concern: to save, bringing truth, holiness and worship of the true God.

At least once in a while every Christian must make some positive act of faith, but especially at the point of death, in dangers, and during temptations against the Faith.

A person may believe that to pick up a book on faith is simply a study, an instruction. But it has a goal, a scope: that of knowing more perfectly Jesus Christ, the doctrine that he preached and which is taught by his Church. Thus one will have a purer faith, a wider, more profound faith… May instruction be ever more profound!

The person of character is he who possesses strong convictions and endeavors firmly and consistently to conform ones life to them.

Blessed James Alberione, SSP, Founder of the Pauline Family

Saint Joseph, your faith made you adore Jesus, the Incarnate Son of God. Jesus obeyed you, served you, listened to you. You held pleasant conversations with him, shared work, great sufferings and most tender consolations. Obtain for me the grace never to offend Jesus with a lack of faith. I want to avail myself of the many graces he gives me through the Sacred Scripture, the Liturgy and the Sacraments. Grant that I may obtain a strong and tender love for Jesus so as to possess him forever in heaven. Amen.

 

 

Saint Joseph’s Love of God

Faith is the greatest good: it is the beginning of eternal salvation and the foundation and root of justification and of grace. “… without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb, 11:6). No one possesses grace without faith.

Faith is the positive foundation of every virtue, the principle of Christian life, the gateway to the sacraments. Our faith is the measure of our possession of the other virtues.

Religion, in the first place, is faith. We do not have hope, and much less charity, if we do not have faith. Charity is in proportion to faith.

To achieve perfect love of God, there must be a proportionate depth of faith. Without the foundation of faith, love cannot last; it is merely sentimentalism. Faith must be the primary basis of all religion. Then comes hope in the merits of Jesus Christ and imitation of Him; and, finally, love of God, grace-the life of God in us- prayer and liturgy.

Faith is not a reasoning process. It is not even a feeling; no it is a gift of God, a heavenly light which shines in the soul.

Infuse in me, O Divine Spirit, a deep, constant, joyful faith. May it be the sun of my life, the lantern for the path to eternity, a gift of your tender love.

Blessed James Alberione, SSP, Founder of the Pauline Family

Prayer

Saint Joseph, your faith was strong. Your love for God, true. It was proven true through your docility and peace in the face of trials and doubt. I trust that God will bestow upon me a faith in the moments of my life where there are questions and difficulties and that I will have the strength to fulfill the mission and purpose for which I was created. I know that faith is a gift from God. I yearn for this grace in my life. Obtain for me generous and constant correspondence to the precious gift of God’s call. Amen