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March 18, 2004

St. Joseph

The Readings
2 Sam 7:4 5,12 14,16 , I will be a father to him, and he a son to me, the throne of David will endure forever.

Psalm 89, The Son of David will live forever

Rom 4:13,16 18, 22 , Abraham believed and became the father of many nations.

Matt 1:16, 18 21, 24, Joseph awoke from the dream and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him.

St. Gaspar
As for me, I am cheerful, tranquil and content, only because I am doing the will of God. I proclaim that I want to live and die with total abandonment to him. (1)

I adore the will of God (2)

Likewise I would like you to be assured of the will of God in regard to your vocation. Excessive fear causes agitation too, as one can readily imagine. Oh, my beloved friend, why become anxious as long as we are in the hands of God? Is he not a most loving Father? Does he not take care of us? Does he not dispose all things for our own good? He used Moses to humiliate Pharaoh and, in general, infirma eligit, ut fortia quaeque confundat.(3) When we use the 24 hours of the day for God, in the mystical bed of his will, we have done everything. This does not deny, however, the necessity of prayer and faith in God. (4)

"But how is Jesus to be imitated? Look at him for just a short while. As an example to us, he is obedient to Joseph and to Mary and lives in the humblest of homes. He is employed in manual labor, shows himself to be a model of silence and is withdrawn from the world, a benefactor to all." …Seek, then, to be of service to the Society and respect the will of the Creator in his creatures. No task is menial if it tends to glorify the Almighty. On the contrary, your work is similar to that of Jesus Christ who aided his foster father, St. Joseph. Purity of intention alone is necessary for you to properly regulate your interior and exterior actions. Realize, too, that a hidden and humble life is a special shield against vanity and human glory.(5)

I give thanks to God for the concern that you nourish in promoting the glories of the Divine Blood and I hope that abundant blessings will be your reward. Our Father Amici is putting the final touches on the little work on St. Joseph to be printed after having gathered together a good number of supporters, the printing will be undertaken. This great saint is the special protector of our death. People are interested in this devotion. (6)

St. Joseph was a just man. He was faithful to the laws and customs, the ways of Israel. And yet he was also faithful to dreams, hopes and a vision of what God desires. More than being the patron of the Church, he is the patron of the hidden doing of God's will. In the silence of his sleep, we hear and see nothing. In his dreams he sees everything.

Imagine what his anxious moments must have been like. He desired to do what was right and just, but he also desired to do what was fair for Mary. Gaspar would have us look at our own anxious moments and know that just as Joseph was in the hands of God, so are we. Gaspar would encourage us to seek God's will with the same energy and devotion as Joseph.

Joseph challenges us to love the will of God and to trust the will of God with the same tangible faith. This faith would get us up from our sleep to follow a dream of God's way without fear or anxiousness.

•How do I show I love the will of God?
•What dreams have I failed to follow?
•In what ways could I follow God's will even as it goes against social values of my time?
•What makes me anxious?

(1) from Letter No. 22 to Countess Virginia Malaspina Carocciolo, June 18, 1811
(2) from letter 873 to Mr Giovanni Franceso Palmucci, April 14, 1824
(3) see 1 Cor 1:27, God chose the weak…to shame the strong
(4) from letter 1101 to D. Domenico Silvestri, April 19, 1825
(5) From Third Circular Letter, 1829
(6) Letter 1786, July 31, 1828, Giovanni Francesco Palmucci

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at March 18, 2004 10:59 PM

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