Monday, February 27, 2006

Saint Joseph and his virtues

As we approach St. Joseph's day this article is very apt (link).

It is about how St. Joseph can help with vocations to the priesthood and help priests perform their duties.

In my mind the reason this is true rests in his four great virtues:

Fidelity to Grace
Interior Life (his focus on God)
Love for our Lady
Love for Jesus

These four things define the Guardian of The Redeemer, and all great saints. But these virtues are an aid for all of us in all of our vocations in life.

Fidelity to Grace

To be open to God's plan for us. To follow His words and His love. To go where we are led by the Lord.

It is difficult to be faithful to grace if we do not have the...

Interior Life

A close relationship with God. A mind and heart focused on God's will. It helps us to hear God's voice in the whisper, and leads us closer to Him.

Love for Mary

To love the mother of God, the God bearer, the to share in the love of Christ. To imagine Mary singing the Christ child to sleep. To picture her at the foot of the cross. To love her for this as Christ did and through love imitate her devotion, is a spiritual gift that brings us closer to her Son.

Love for Jesus

Do I need to elaborate here? How many times has one we loved suffered. In those moments the magnitude of the cross is made clear. When we love someone enough to wish to suffer for them, it is in that emotion we see that this is how much Christ loved us all. He felt that for all people. In that moment we love Him. Not for what He did. Not out of guilt. But because in our own limited way we understand the Greatest Love, even if only for an imperfect moment.

This is the heart of Saint Joseph. This is why he obeyed the angel. Why he was the one who protected the Holy Family when they were hunted.

These virtues carried the Holy Family into the land of Egypt, the nation that God had prepared to be a shield for His Son when He needed protection. As the Pharaoh said of another Joseph, "go to Joseph" (Genesis 41:55). In our prayers we should also "go to Joseph" because he leads us to Christ.

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