"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Solemnity of St. Joseph



Pietro Annigoni, St. Joseph and the Christ Child in the Carpentry Workshop, 1963. 
Fresco, San Lorenzo, Florence.



Happy feast day!

I like thinking of St. Joseph, wondering about him.  I'm not very fond of reading scholarly observations on what he was like or what he did, and all of that - simply because they are often too idealized, too perfect, too accomplished.  I rather like to think of Joseph in more simple terms, an honest man, a patient man - a quiet man - not so much silent, as quiet.  I love the painting I used of him, it's a detail of a larger work by Pietro Annigoni.  One can see St. Joseph's fondness for the child Jesus.  His intended touch, a caress, doesn't quite settle upon him, as the little Jesus works intently upon his little project.  Joseph and Mary pondered much in their hearts - the Gospel tells us that about the Blessed Virgin, and so it must have been with Joseph.  I think Joseph was very much restrained in his affections, in his speech, and so on.  I've met men like that - mostly monks - but some ordinary men.  They're often old ... often described as kindly ... they sometimes have watery eyes.

Sometimes I wonder if St. Joseph's feast is kept during Lent, frequently falling near to Holy Week because he 'missed' the Passion of his son.  I wonder if God arranged it thus to spare his sensitive soul from the sight of the suffering Servant, as Isaiah spoke of, a prophecy Joseph would have known about?  I say that because I like to imagine that Joseph was especially disturbed when the little Jesus was lost in the Temple - for three days the parents searched for him.  What anguish and sorrow must have filled St. Joseph's heart?  As father, protector, he could never let any harm come to him ... perhaps the artist who painted this image is telling us that? I wonder if this scene took place after they returned to Nazareth?  Joseph knew he couldn't cling to him.  Couldn't hold onto him.  Couldn't hold him back.

Love hurts.

9 comments:

  1. Happy Solemnity, Terry. I found myself saying at Mass this morning in the cathedral that if, as St Paul tells us, we are to have the mind of Christ, how can we not cherish, love and [in common parlance] 'adore' Joseph? He has been so good to me and those for whom I pray to St Joseph. When I worked as a teacher in his Diocese of Samoa & Tokelau I was especially inspired by Cardinal Pio who would always adorn Joseph's image with his ula [lei] at work sites on his way home from a fiafia [party]. His altar at the Santa Fe Cathedral Blessed Sacrament chapel has above the retablo of his life: Quien conserva esta Casa en la Fe? Jose. Says it all. Happy feast day, dear TJ. P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Fr. Patrick. Happy feast day to you too.

      Delete
  2. Happy Solemnity, Terry. I found myself saying at Mass this morning in the cathedral that if, as St Paul tells us, we are to have the mind of Christ, how can we not cherish, love and [in common parlance] 'adore' Joseph? He has been so good to me and those for whom I pray to St Joseph. When I worked as a teacher in his Diocese of Samoa & Tokelau I was especially inspired by Cardinal Pio who would always adorn Joseph's image with his ula [lei] at work sites on his way home from a fiafia [party]. His altar at the Santa Fe Cathedral Blessed Sacrament chapel has above the retablo of his life: Quien conserva esta Casa en la Fe? Jose. Says it all. Happy feast day, dear TJ. P

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the image of St. Joseph with Jesus as well. Every time I look at the image and see the little one intent on what he's doing, I always smile to myself as I gaze upon such radiance.

    Happy feast day St Joseph!

    Happy feast day Papa Emerito aka Joseph Ratzinger.

    And happy feast day to Fr. Joseph Fessio.

    ReplyDelete
  4. About 11 days ago I "stumbled" upon a novena and consecration to St. Joseph. I am notorious for starting a novena, missing 5 days and then praying the final day. THIS time I managed to pray it every single day and I made the consecration this morning! The novena is by Fr. Michael Gaitley who also wrote 33 Days to Morning Glory (I did the Marian consecration this year on Jan. 1) and 33 Days to Merciful Love (will do the consecration to Divine Mercy this year on April 3).
    I've never thought too much about Joseph except for when Brother Andre Bessette was canonized in 2010. Since the Marian consecration I've been thinking about, and appreciating, St. Joseph more and more. I prayed for his intercession recently and a month ago was hired by a very good company where I am very happy (except for having to listen to the swearing of many of the employees - perhaps I was sent there to pray for them).
    This morning before Mass we prayed the Rosary and the leader said a little prayer before we began asking for God's blessings on all the men named Joseph. I have a few in my family so I had to wipe my eyes (quite a lot!)
    Mass was beautiful and we had music this morning - a rarity for Saturday morning Mass.
    This afternoon an acquaintance from church is getting married. I didn't think you could have a wedding during Lent but then realized today is St. Joseph's day - and what better patron could a couple have for their special day than him?!
    Thanks for letting me fill your combox - I just had to give a shout out to my dear St. Joseph and thank him publically for his beautiful care and witness and protection. Ite ad Joseph!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. St. Joseph has done everything for me. He never gets tired of me. He takes care of those of us who don't know how to take care of ourselves.

      Delete
  5. I tend to think mostly about....the very great grief of Our Lady upon Joseph's death: how she loved him ! How she would miss him ! The one person with her since the beginning, who loved her so: who protected her and Jesus, who was...as I read recently....was it you, Terry ? A man, 'just a man', between the two holiest people of all time...
    A man who loved Jesus so greatly ! from the beginning of His life. Well I will not go on & on, although I could. I weep when I think of Mary, of Jesus, bereft at his death. What could it have been like to have loved and protected those two ? What could it have been like - for Mary & Jesus to miss him so. And Angela, I too pray daily that St Joseph cares always for one I love, named Joseph: we were once to marry and although still the best of friends, I admit I still grieve. So I give him over to Our Lady, who also loved and grieved for a Joseph, and I give him over to his name sake, St. Joseph, to look after him and protect him.
    I am so happy for you with your new job !!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dear St. Joseph nearly always comes through - but he makes you sweat first.

    ReplyDelete


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.