Prayer and Reflection: St. Joseph Day, March 19

Tranquility by Timothy P. Schmalz

St. Joseph is venerated as the patron of fathers, family life, patience and purity, workers, carpenters, the troubled and the dying.  

Here' a litany for St. Joseph Day:

Litany of St. Joseph

Lord, have mercy
Christ, have mercy
Lord, have mercy

God our Father in Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
have mercy on us.

Good St. Joseph
      Pray for us
Husband of the blessed Virgin Mary
Foster father of our Lord Jesus Christ
Protector of the Mother of God
Faithful Spouse
Example to parents
Pattern of patience
Lover of poverty
Comfort of the troubled
Protector of the Church
Good worker
Good and gentle man
Man of justice
Teacher of virtue
Model of kindness
Loving father

For all fathers
     St. Joseph, Pray for them
For all families
For all who are afraid
For all tempted to despair
For all tempted by evil
For refugees and orphans
For those condemned to die
For those who are terminally ill
For those at the hour of their death
For those who wait for death
For the old and the alone
For all who work for justice
For all who work for life
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, 
have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, 
have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, 
have mercy on us.
Let us pray:
Almighty God, in Your infinite wisdom and love,
You chose Joseph to be the husband of Mary,

the mother of your Son.
As we enjoy his protection on earth,
may we have the help of his prayers in heaven.
We ask you this through Christ our Lod.
A Quiet Moment by Timothy P. Schmalz

A reflection on St. Joseph

(Several years ago I preached this homily in Advent but even here in Lent, it may have some value for our prayer and reflection.)

(Looks like Deacon Greg and I are thinking along the same lines!  He has also posted an Advent homily on St. Joseph and its well worth the read!)
2,000 years ago, when Christ was about to be born, 
only a few individuals had any notion at all 
of what was about to happen. 

I wonder if Mary might have asked her betrothed, 
“Joseph… are you ready for this?” 

There was at least one moment 
when Joseph was not ready for this, 
when he was ready only to quietly break off his betrothal to Mary 
- until an angel spoke to him in a dream and told him, 
“Joseph, be not afraid…”

Be not afraid – of what?
Of taking Mary into his home as his wife?
Of caring for a child he knew he had not fathered?
Yes... but more than that,
the angel was telling Joseph:
“Be not afraid of how the mystery of God
is weaving itself into your life,
into your relationship with Mary,
and into your whole future.

"Be not afraid, Joseph, of how the mystery of God
will touch your life, shape your life, turn your life around
and stand it on its head!"

Like Joseph, all of us face times
when God has allowed things to happen
or has allowed things to fail to happen,
that intimately touch, shape and turn our lives around
in ways we never dreamed would happen,
in ways we wish had never happened...

And in all of this the word to us
is precisely the angel’s word to Joseph in his dream:
“Be not afraid because in everything, and in all things,
God is with you...”

"Joseph, are you ready for this?"

To be ready is to renew our faith, our trust,
in all the ways the mystery of God’s presence
is weaving itself into our lives:
touching and shaping and turning our lives around
in ways we may never have imagined.

And most of all, to be ready
is to trust that God is with us
in everything and in all things...

Take a moment on this day
to imagine Joseph's doubts, his anticipation, his anger…
his regrets, his concern for Mary, his fears…
his wonder, his confusion, his awe…

Imagine Joseph handing his troubles over to God
and trusting, putting his fears aside…

Imagine yourself in Joseph's dream...  and pray...
I come to you today, Lord,
with a heart sometimes ready, sometimes not ready,
to trust you, follow you, love you...

My problems, my worries, my burdens
loom larger than life and back me into corners
where I feel alone and wonder where you have brought me,
where you will lead me - even if you are still with me...

My heart needs a dream, an angel, a message
reminding me not to be afraid...

All day long and even in my sleep, Lord,
remind me as you did Joseph
that with you I can face all things,
accept all things, do all things,
endure all things...

Especially when my life and my heart
are spun around and upside down;
when my sense of direction fails me;
when I fear the path I walk:
remind me then, Lord, not to be afraid,
to trust that with you at my side
I can be ready
for whatever comes my way...

I come to you today with a heart
sometimes ready and sometimes not ready:
ready or not, Lord, here I come!

Ready or not, Lord, here I am 
and here I stand
in need of your love and your strength...



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