I’ve always felt drawn to Saint Joseph the earthly father of Jesus. And yet, throughout scripture, he isn’t quoted once. He plays a very humble role, but my heart just knows that he is an extraordinary man. Goodness, God chose Him to look after His son, so there’s that. Also, He chose him to live this life with the Virgin Mary, the mother of God. But there’s more, in his silent leadership, he draws me and many others to contemplate the Mystery that God is and what a mystery it must have been to help the toddling Messiah learn to walk!
One of my favorite prayers goes like this:
O St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong,
so prompt before the Throne of God,
I place in you all my interests and desires.
O St. Joseph do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son
all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord;
so that having engaged here below your Heavenly power
I may offer my Thanksgiving and Homage
to the most Loving of fathers.
Oh St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you
and Jesus asleep in your arms.
I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart.
Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me,
and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath.
St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls,
pray for us.
-Prayer to St. Joseph, 1st Century-
A huge lump wells up in my throat and I can barely get through the final words of this beautiful prayer. Imagine witnessing a human being… holding, embracing, kissing God Himself. Imagine a love so strong and pure that God could fall asleep and know that He was safe to trust the loving arms of a man. This picture screams heaven to me! And it takes me back to a place in my life that would’ve been hell without God… the moment I kiss my son’s incomplete head, held his lifeless body and contemplated his soul.
My silent, Clark Job. God’s silent little saint! I can only imagine the great place God has for you and the other beautiful souls, created, but so quickly chosen for heaven! I can only imagine sitting in a room with you, watching you and Jesus holding one another with this complete and constant kind of love! Today I ask Saint Joseph to kiss you as well and to press you in my name; the loving embrace that I didn’t get to give you while you were alive. I ask that these moments in heaven are felt, as much as they can be, in the hearts of all of God’s wounded children on earth.
I have learned so much this year, one lesson being that words are not necessary for expressing Love. Our actions, example, sacrifice, mercy,fortitude, compassion… these things don’t need words to be shown and often with words these actions are still lacking. Saint Joseph is considered a Saint for a reason, he is one. We don’t know much about him, but we know that he lived out these virtues, remained with our Lord, and our Lord with him, until he died. That is as much as anyone could hope for and no doubt his example is something we should all try to follow. Dear Saint Joseph, pray for us and kiss our sweet babies today!