June | Silence
Lover of Poverty
Actions speak louder than words. This maxim certainly applies to St. Joseph. There are no recorded words of St. Joseph found in the Gospels and, after recounting the events surrounding Christ’s birth, and his finding in the temple, St. Joseph disappears. But his actions tells us about his character, and his silence stands as his profound witness.
The silence of St. Joseph was one of faith; he embraced the seemingly impossible. It was one of trustworthiness; he diligently protected the mysteries of the Incarnation and the Divine Maternity. It was one of humility; he sought no praise or admiration though he was the chosen husband of the Immaculate Virgin and the earthly father of the Son of God. His silence was one of fidelity to the will of God; he willingly disappeared into the mission God gave him, unnoticed in the ordinary circumstances of day-to-day life. His was a silence full of patience; in his trials he sought consolation only from God and endured all for the sake of Jesus and Mary.
St. Joseph’s quiet example shows us the importance of honest and sincere action in the face of the temptation to rely on empty, prideful, self-promoting, attention-seeking words. Besides being a man of silence, St. Joseph was a lover of poverty. St. Joseph lived by his trade, having no other resources. The Holy family was poor, and they lived in Nazareth, the poorest and most despised of cities.
St. Joseph shows us that true happiness is not to be found in materials possessions, good as they may be. Things can easily distract us from what is truly important. St. Joseph’s example shows that when emptied of material possessions - and even the attachment to them - we are better able to hear the voice of God and to faithfully fulfill our vocation in life.
There is a deeper poverty than material poverty. Do we recognize our spiritual poverty? We struggle with sin, with disbelief, with discouragement, with inconstancy, with selfishness. St. Joseph shows us there’s more. We are all spiritually poor, but we are saved by Love! We are invited to experience God’s profound gift of mercy. In letting go, in surrendering self, we become poor in a fantastic new way. Our hearts are freed! Our heart is set free of our ego, our pride, our desire to control, our “me-first” tendencies. Our hearts become empty and available to be filled by God! We are better able to establish and grow in our relationship with Him. We are better able to live out the mission He has given each of us, in the way He wills.
How can I become a lover of poverty, how can I imitate St. Joseph’s example of silence - in body, in mind, and in spirit? Silent St. Joseph, lover of poverty, pray for me.
Votive Mass | June 2nd
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
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|