July | Prudence
Example of Parents
“What am I going to do with you?” There are not a few parents that have said this to their children, or have not at least thought it! Sometimes we can find ourselves at our wits end!
Saint Joseph could well have had the same thought, but perhaps for entirely different reasons. He was after all a simple, humble man, a carpenter by trade, and God asked him to be the earthly father of a child who was the very Son of God! What was he going to do – indeed!
All of us who are parents, and those of us who fill a parent’s role in one way or another – foster parents, guardians, grandparents, teachers, spiritual mothers and fathers – can look to Saint Joseph as our example. One of the outstanding virtues Joseph exercised in his role as parent was the virtue of prudence. How could he best be a father to Jesus? How could he protect Him? How could he teach Him to love God with His whole being? How to honor His mother? How to be humble, and just, and wise? So many questions in the mind of humble, gentle Joseph! His guide was prudence. He was able to recognize in a situation what was good and what was bad, what was of God and what was not, to make a decision based on the evidence he found, and then to act according to his prudent judgment. So many circumstances required of him a prudent decision: the unexpected child of this betrothed, the life-threatening rage of a murderous king, living in a foreign land as faithful Jews, searching for the child lost in Jerusalem (and, once found, what to say?), and all the un-recorded situations of day-to-day life, big and small, that called for the exercise of prudence.
All of us, even if we don’t fill a “parent-role,” can learn from Saint Joseph. Joseph never acted on impulse. He always took time to reflect. He pondered. He prayed. He sought to see from God’s perspective, seeking God’s will rather than his own. He joined the evidence of his prayer and reflection with his own practical wisdom gained by experience and made the best decision possible. Once he reached a decision guided by the virtue of prudence, he took action. He acted decisively, without hesitation. He acted neither rashly nor timidly…but prudently.
Good Saint Joseph, by your example of prudence teach everyone to wisely face the what-am-I-going-to-do question each time it arises. Help me to see what your exercise of prudence means for me.
Votive Mass | July 7th
August | Obedient and Faithful
Faithful Guardian of Christ
St. Joseph is called the Guardian of Christ. At every moment he guarded Jesus. He supported Jesus, he took care of him, he taught him, he worked to supply his needs, he protected him from dangers, even to the point of risking his own life. All of this was contained, as in a seed, in Joseph’s “yes” to the angel’s message: “Do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.” To be the guardian of the Son of God was Joseph’s God-given mission in life and he embraced his responsibility whole-heartedly.
St. Joseph was not simply the Guardian of Christ; he was the faithful Guardian of Christ. St. Joseph shows us what it means to be faithful to our vocation in life. Joseph was faithful to every point of the Mosaic Law. He was faithful to his vows to Mary, to his obligations as a father. He attended to all the duties toward God, toward his family, toward neighbor, and toward society. St. Joseph’s unwavering faithfulness was unselfish. He cheerfully gave of himself in service to Jesus and Mary, no matter the cost. Often enough the living out of his fidelity was heroic.
Fidelity, especially in uncertain and difficult times, is the measure of true love. It is the proof of true strength. Joseph guarded Jesus by means of his fidelity. And more, St. Joseph was the obedient and faithful Guardian of Christ. Joseph’s obedience covered every aspect of his life: his marriage to Mary, the journey to Bethlehem, fleeing to Egypt, living in Nazareth. Every moment was consecrated to the Lord: work, rest, sleep… Joseph didn’t put limits on his obedience; he never said, “No more!” St. Joseph recognized the true meaning and beauty of obedience. He knew that obedience is a means to freedom, not something that limits it. It is a gateway to authentic and lasting happiness, a guardian against danger, a remedy for egoism, and a defense against the enemy of our soul. St. Joseph was obedient to God. And he was obedient to all others who had authority over him. He understood that they stood in the place of God; therefore, he took their orders as being from Him. St. Joseph’s degree of obedience was not measured by the intelligence, possession of virtue, or perfection of the person with authority. It rested on faith, his trust in God and divine providence. When he came face-to-face with worrisome situations, with divine plans that differed from his own, even in the face of his own humility, he trusted and faithfully obeyed. Joseph guarded Jesus with his obedience.
How do I guard Christ in my soul? Am I faithful to my responsibilities? Do I put limits on my obedience because I think I know better? St. Joseph, teach me to guard the divine life within my soul by my obedience and fidelity.
Votive Mass | August 18th
A Consecration to St Joseph
Ideally, families and groups could organize themselves to make the consecration together. Fr. Calloway’s book includes material for six weeks of group meetings leading up to the consecration. On the final day a simple ceremony could be planned where the group recites the consecration prayer together led by their pastor or parochial vicar following the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
To make a 33-day consecration, we recommend that you use the new book Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father by Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC.
The chart below lists suggested dates for making the consecration during the Year of St. Joseph
|START DATE||FEAST DAY||CONSECRATION DAY|
|February 15, 2021||Solemnity of St. Joseph||March 19, 2021|
|March 30, 2021||St. Joseph the Worker||May 1, 2021|
|April 11, 2021||Our Lady of Fatima||May 13, 2021|
|July 20, 2021||Our Lady of Knock||August 21, 2021|
|September 30, 2021||All Saints||November 1, 2021|
|November 25, 2021||Holy Family||December 27, 2021|