Day 4: Head of the Holy Family
“To increase His [Jesus] strength, he [Joseph] weakened his own; so that he might have said, like the holy Precursor, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Marvel of marvels! This great saint received into his arms a poor and necessitous God, who deigned to be dependent on him for His corporeal food…so that He might be able to bear that tremendous weight of suffering to which the Eternal Father had sentenced Him for the love of us. Thy laborious steps, O great saint, thy painful journeying, will—so God has decreed—be the means of enabling this Divine Victim to walk, and before long, to tread the hills and valleys of Judea and the streets of Jerusalem, there to publish the glad tidings of salvation.”
– The Life and Glories of Saint Joseph, by Edward Healy Thompson
Our Lenten Effort
In our day and age, media and entertainment often portray fathers as weak and incompetent. It behooves Catholic husbands and fathers to imitate St. Joseph in his sacrificial love for his family, in this way sanctifying their own families.
Let us resolve to:
- Husbands: Pray to St. Joseph for strength to lead your family (or future family) with sacrificial love.
- Wives: Support and encourage your husbands in their efforts of holy leadership.
- Children: Honor and obey your parents.
- Singles: Pray to St. Joseph for your vocation.
- Priests & Religious: Encourage fathers and spiritual fathers to imitate the good St. Joseph.
O Saint 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 Saint 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. O Saint 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. Saint Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for us.
(Here mention your request)
Saint Joseph, you lived for one purpose—to be the personal servant of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. You were at the same time the foster father of Jesus, and His disciple as well.
Every moment of your life was consecrated to the service of our Lord: sleep, rest, work, pain. Faithful to your duties, you sacrificed everything unselfishly, even cheerfully.
Saint Joseph, please obtain for me the grace to be a faithful servant of God as you were. Help me to share in your obedience, to trust in God’s Will, and to be calm in my trials. Help me imitate your generosity, for there can be no greater reward here on earth than the joy and honor of being a faithful servant of God. Amen.