|Prayer: The Litany of St. Joseph|
A lot of people like to point out that St. Joseph had original sin, because in how we think about the Holy Family he stands in somewhat sharp contrast to the sinless Ever-Virgin Mother of God and the Christ Child, Who Himself is true God, co-eternal with the Father. I have been guilty of this, too, but the more I think about it, to speak in such a way about St. Joseph is irreverence before the mystery of the man. How many more words much more worthy could we multiply about him, chosen by the Father to be protector of the only-begotten Son and spouse of the Immaculate?
Rather than declaring St. Joseph's sinfulness, Scripture affirms that he was a "perfect man." St. James says, "if any one makes no mistakes in what he says he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also" (3:2). When I read this, I think of St. Joseph. After all, not a word of his is recorded in Scripture, yet the Son of God obeyed his every word. The Son of God commands his angels as the work of his hands, and the Theotokos, too, is queen over them, yet the angels bring God's messages to Joseph by dream.
When Jesus said to the Twelve, who were wondering who was greatest, "If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all" (Mk 9:35), I wonder if he perhaps learned this lesson observing his marvelous protector. What can I say for this silent son of David, who raised the silent Lamb that was led to the slaughter?
I only wish I could be more like St. Joseph, and so on this day I prefer to bow in stillness before his mystery and let my demons be terrorized.
Special Prayer Request:
Please pray for Fr. Ray Ryland, a priest in Steubenville whom I love dearly. He fell at St. Peter's Catholic Church there and may be dying. According to a Catholic Answers update, "Barring a miracle, he is not expected to recover." He is a former University of San Diego faculty member and a former Episcopal minister, whose ordination to the Catholic priesthood was approved by Cardinal Ratzinger. Read more about his story here. I will always remember two things about Fr. Ryland: his powerful homilies and the joy with which he celebrated the Mass. He is a holy man, and he and his family need your prayers.