The Silence of St. Joseph

Actions speak louder than words. One of my favorite quotes drives this home,

“Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words when necessary.”

St. Francis of Assisi

Our evangelization is perfectly preached through acts of corporeal and spiritual mercy and devotion to Jesus through celebration of the Eucharist.

St. Joseph’s actions spoke louder than words. He certainly preached the Gospel through his protective actions for Mary and Jesus. There are two points I’d like to present for further meditation as we continue our devotion to St. Joseph during this year dedicated to our Patron. As St. John Paul II points out in his encyclical Redemptoris Custos, “It is a silence that reveals in a special way the inner portrait of the man.”

Point 1: People will mostly remember us through our actions. Indeed, that is how we remember St. Joseph. He was a man of action. A man that was closely guided by God and followed His instructions to the letter. He did not ask questions. He did not refute. He had faith. He acted. His actions – love and compassion. “…this readiness of will to dedicate oneself to all that serves him, is really nothing less than that exercise of devotion which constitutes one expression of the virtue of religion” (ibid). As we advance through this Year of St. Joseph let us seek to learn from him how to live our faith through our actions.

Point 2: When we pray the Rosary we contemplate the mysteries of Jesus. Through the meditative qualities of this practice we ask Mary to lead us closer to her Son, Jesus. Through the mysteries Salvation History is revealed to us. We are brought closer to Jesus and through each decade we are able to rest quietly in contemplation of Divinity. Just as we can go to Jesus through Mary, so too we can go to Jesus through St. Joseph. In an ancient prayer to St. Joseph, “O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating thee and Jesus asleep in thine arms. I dare no approach while He reposes near thy heart.” In silence, let us contemplate Joseph in the presence of Jesus during his formative years and how amazing it must have been to always be in His divine presence.

“Let us allow ourselves to be “filled” with St Joseph’s silence! In a world that is often too noisy, that encourages neither recollection nor listening to God’s voice, we are in such deep need of it.”

Pope emeritus benedict xvi
St. Joseph with the Child Jesus

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