The Time of St. Joseph

St. Joseph, by Tianna (Mallett) Williams

 

The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered,
each one to his home, and you will leave me alone.
Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me.
I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace.
In the world you face persecution. But take courage;
I have conquered the world!

(John 16:32-33)

 

WHEN the flock of Christ has been deprived of the Sacraments, excluded from the Mass, and scattered outside the folds of her pasture, it may feel like a moment of  abandonment—of spiritual fatherhood. The prophet Ezekiel spoke of a such time:

So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the wild beasts. My sheep were scattered, they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill; my sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them. (Ezekiel 34:5-6)

Of course, thousands of priests all over the world are enclosed in their chapels, offering the Mass, praying for their sheep. And yet, the flock remains hungry, crying out for the Bread of Life and the Word of God.

See, days are coming… when I will send a famine upon the land: not a hunger for bread, or a thirst for water, but for hearing the word of the Lord. (Amos 8:11)

But Jesus, the Great Shepherd, hears the cry of the poor. He never abandons His sheep, ever. And thus says the Lord:

Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when some of his sheep have been scattered abroad, so will I seek out my sheep; and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. (Ezekiel 34:11-12)

Thus, at the very moment that the faithful have been deprived of their shepherds, Jesus has Himself supplied a spiritual father for this hour: St. Joseph.

 

THE TIME OF ST. JOSEPH

Recall the maxim that Our Lady is a “mirror” of the Church:

When either is spoken of, the meaning can be understood of both, almost without qualification. —Blessed Isaac of Stella, Liturgy of the Hours, Vol. I, pg. 252

When it came near the time for the birth of Christ, an astonishing “world-wide” event took place.

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. (Luke 2:1)

As such, the People of God were forced to leave their present circumstances and return to their native homes to be “registered.” It was in that time of exile that Jesus would be born. Likewise, Our Lady, the “woman clothed with the sun,” is once again laboring to give birth to the whole Church…

…she represents at the same time the whole Church, the People of God of all times, the Church that at all times, with great pain, again gives birth to Christ.—POPE BENEDICT XVI, Castel Gandolfo, Italy, AUG. 23, 2006; Zenit 

As we enter The Great Transition, it is therefore, also, the Time of St. Joseph. For it was assigned to him to safeguard and lead Our Lady to the place of birth. So too, God has given him this incredible task to lead the Woman-Church to a new Era of Peace. Today is no ordinary commemoration of St. Joseph’s feast. Lead by the Holy Father in Rome at the vigil hour, the entire Church was placed under St. Joseph’s care—and we will remain so until the Herod’s of the world are deposed.

 

CONSECRATION TO ST. JOSEPH

This afternoon, just as Pope Francis began the rosary, I felt a strong inspiration to pen a prayer of consecration to St. Joseph (below). To consecrate simply means to “set apart”—to hand over, as it were, your entire self to the other. And why not? Jesus entrusted himself entirely to both St. Joseph and Our Lady. As His Mystical Body, we ought to do as our Head has done. Is it not profound that, with this consecration, and that to Our Lady, you form, as it were, another Holy Family?

Last, before you make this act of consecration, just a word on Joseph himself. He is a profound model for us in these extremely turbulent times as we approach the Eye of the Storm.

He was a man of silence, even when tribulation and “threat” surrounded him. He was a man of contemplation, capable of hearing the Lord. He was a man of humility, able to accept the Word of God. He was a man of obedience, ready to do whatever he was told.

Brothers and sisters, this present crisis is only the beginning. The powerful spirits that are being sent to tempt us at this hour are the antitheseis of St. Joseph’s disposition. The spirit of fear would have us enter the noise and panic of the world; the spirit of distraction would have us lose our focus on God’s presence; the spirit of pride would have us take matters into our own hands; and the spirit of disobedience would have us rebel against God.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)

And here is how to submit yourself to God: imitate St. Joseph, encapsulated in the beautiful words of Isaiah. Make this your creed to live by in the days to come:

 

By waiting and by calm you shall be saved,
in quiet and in trust shall be your strength. (Isaiah 30:15)

 


ACT OF CONSECRATION TO ST. JOSEPH

Beloved St. Joseph,
Custodian of Christ, Spouse of the Virgin Mary
Protector of the Church:
I place myself beneath your paternal care.
As Jesus and Mary entrusted you to protect and guide,
to feed and safeguard them through
the Valley of the Shadow of Death,

I entrust myself to your sacred fatherhood.
Gather me into your loving arms, as you gathered your Holy Family.
Press me to your heart as you pressed your Divine Child;
hold me tightly as you held your Virgin Bride;
intercede for me and my loved ones
as you prayed for your beloved Family.

Take me, then, as your own child; protect me;
watch over me; never lose sight of me.

Should I go astray, find me as you did your Divine Son,
and place me again in your loving care that I may become strong,
filled with wisdom, and the favor of God rest upon me.

Therefore, I consecrate all that I am and all that I am not
into your holy hands.

As you carved and whittled the wood of the earth,
mold and shape my soul into a perfect reflection of Our Savior.
As you rested in the Divine Will, so too, with fatherly love,
help me to rest and remain always in the Divine Will,
until we embrace at last in His Eternal Kingdom,
now and forever, Amen.

 

RELATED READING

For more fascinating background on St. Joseph’s powerful role in the Church, read Fr. Don Calloway’s Consecration to St. Joseph

 

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Posted in HOME, SPIRITUALITY.