St. Joseph Our Model

Day 3


“Let your life be free from love of money, and be content with what you have; for as it is said, ‘I will never fail you nor forsake you.’”
Hebrews 13:5

It is well known that many men struggle with the art of comparison. For some of us, it is an innate tendency toward competition. For others, it can be a badgering subconscious desire to size up the next guy. However it manifests itself, the majority of men are driven by a need to out-play, out-perform and out-do the competition in order to feel successful and fulfilled.

For most of our marriage, my wife and I have done ministry work within an affluent parish community. While our career choices definitely imply that we are not in our fields for the money, we have been invited to rub elbows in more than a few mansions over the years. Although I am 100% dedicated to the work my wife and I have chosen, I must admit that every once in a while, temptation knocks on my heart. In those moments when I compare myself to others, I ask, “Am I providing sufficiently for my family?” When I begin to equate my financial successes with my value as a husband and father, a subsequent question arises: “Am I a failure?”

I am probably not the only man who has had these temptations occasionally whispered in his ear. Three of the four Gospels recount Satan’s same temptation of Christ himself, as he offered Christ the power and luxuries of the world. The Lord countered Satan’s empty promises by vowing to us that when we reject the love of money and success, he doesn’t leave us with a void. Instead, he fills us with his very self. He promises, “I will never forsake you or abandon you.” The honest truth is that many of us are slaves to comparison, but Christ promises to set us free.

Of course, there is a man who heroically lived this truth with an unshakable trust paired with an unprecedented mission. While there are other men out there who are competing against you, St. Joseph isn’t one of them. Joseph unspeakably stands as an amazing example of sanctity and what it means to be a real man. When I humbly invited St. Joseph to be an active presence in my life, I found that he didn’t make me feel like a failure. On the contrary, Joseph gently whispered, “Mark, let me show you a more exceptional way. Let me come into your heart and your home and bring peace.” He doesn’t go to work for me, pay the bills or take care of the kids, but I appreciate that he does so much more!

Joseph is a gentle and loving father, a man after God’s own heart. He is the man we all want to be. I would venture to say that during your journey through this book, St. Joseph will bring about a deeper relationship with you. This is because Joseph wants nothing more than to deliver you to God the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ. St. Louis de Montfort calls Mary the shortest, quickest, easiest way to Jesus. St. Joseph shares in this very mission. Get to know the entire Holy Family, and expect your heart to be transformed!

Personal Reflection:

As you personally draw closer to the humble St. Joseph, you will likely discover his heroic sanctity. This sanctity may bring to light an even greater perspective on your weaknesses and selfishness. Remember those whom God has chosen before you and never despair.

Abraham lied and was too old. Sarah laughed at God’s promises. Moses stuttered. David was an adulterer and accomplice to murder. Hosea’s wife was a prostitute. Amos’ only training was in the school of fig-tree pruning. Jacob was a liar. Solomon was too rich. Jeremiah was too young. Naomi was a widow. Noah got drunk. Jonah ran from God and got swallowed by a whale! Mariam was a gossip. Thomas doubted. Peter denied Christ three times. Paul was a murderer. So was Moses. Jesus was too poor. (Author unknown).

We all have issues, insecurities and sins. Ask God for his infinite mercy and for St. Joseph to guide you beyond your weaknesses. 

Heavenly Father – Thank you for the gift of your mercy and forgiveness. Help me not to compare or evaluate my spiritual life or my dignity based upon the lives of others, but instead let me focus upon my relationship with you. You are my Father, and I am your son. Thank you for the gift and example of your servant, St. Joseph.

St. Joseph – illuminate the darkness that shrouds your life. Pierce the silence that hides your wisdom. Amen.

He Spoke Not A Word

Day 2

We have all heard it said that “actions speak louder than words.” In the case of St. Joseph, we have not a single spoken word recorded in all of Scripture. I understand humility, but if it were me, I would have bargained with God for at least something! Joseph accomplished everything the Lord asked from him while spending thirty years in the presence of the God-Man and the Immaculate Conception. Surely, he had more than a few stories to tell! Yet, we hear not a word…

Why would the Holy Spirit will the hiddenness and silence of St. Joseph in Scripture? Did the second greatest saint in heaven truly have nothing to say? In this light, could he really have been all that important? On the contrary, this silence should speak loudly to us. St. Joseph is the ultimate example of the famous teaching of St. Francis of Assisi, “Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.” Throughout this journey, we will enter into the mystery of St. Joseph and allow him to “preach the gospel” to us through his actions and even through his silence. If we have the spiritual ears to hear it, God wishes to teach us something profound through the silence of St. Joseph.

St. Joseph was content to be hidden because he was not all about himself. St. Joseph was all about God. He had no desire to be in the limelight, no desire to get in a word or two, no desire for attention and no desire to make himself known. Therefore, his example teaches us an incredibly valuable and absolutely essential element in the spiritual life…It’s not about ME! From the very start, we learn from him the essential virtue of humility.

It is hard, if not impossible, to truly possess any other virtue, if we are lacking in humility. Simply put, the opposite of humility is pride. Within every sin committed, there is an element of pride at its core. In the words of St. Augustine, “It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.” If our other virtues are filled with pride, then they aren’t really authentic virtues at all. Over the next month, we will see the abstract idea of humility put on flesh through the example of this unassuming carpenter. We are just getting started. The more we become acquainted with him, the more we enter into the mystery, and as we do so, the hidden character of St. Joseph will begin to be revealed.

Personal Reflection:

As you set out along this journey, start by reflecting on your own life. First and foremost, there is a need to enter into daily silence. God desires to speak to you with a still, small voice. If there is no room for silence in your life, it becomes impossible to hear that voice. Don’t be afraid to waste time with God. Ask St. Joseph to help you make time for daily silence, and ask him to teach you to listen for the subtle and gentle voice of the Lord.

Second, you must begin this journey with the desire to grow in humility. You must come to an understanding that, in turning our focus from within, we find what we seek! St. Joseph was a master of this concept. Let us pursue this great humility by once again looking to the advice of St. Augustine, “Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.”

Heavenly Father – give me the grace to desire a deeper relationship with you. Help me to hear your whisper amidst the noise of my life. May your word be a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

St. Joseph – illuminate the darkness that shrouds your life. Pierce the silence that hides your wisdom. Amen.


Day 1

From all generations
From all peoples,
From all men,
Joseph was chosen.

From the moment of the fall of Adam and Eve, humanity awaited a Savior. Expectations grew over thousands of years while all of creation held its breath anticipating salvation. Of course, God’s imagination is capable of constructing an infinite number of ways to manifest his love for us. He could have come in a magnificent fashion, blinding the world with his infinite glory that we may begin to see clearly again. If I were God, that’s how I would have done it!  Instead, he made the radical choice to leave his throne in the heavens and break into human history over 2,000 years ago as an infant, placing himself in the care of a mere man and woman. God the Father entrusted God the Son to two humans, Mary and Joseph. He became dependent upon their “Yes” and upon their love and protection to accomplish his most beautiful plan for our salvation.

God did not need Mary and Joseph, but in his unfathomable wisdom and providence, he chose them to play an essential role, as he carried out his divine plan. God chose to rely upon them for the care of his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. He has chosen St. Joseph for us as well. In the next thrity days, you will discover the father and model that desires an invitation into your home and family.

Personal Reflection:

Each day, we will explore an aspect of St. Joseph and follow with a personal reflection to relate this to our own lives. The personal reflection is intended to be a spiritual challenge to help us examine our current lives and lead us into deeper communion with God. As we “look in the mirror” a bit, we may feel uncomfortable. You may feel tempted at times to say to yourself, “I’m not that holy, I don’t have heroic virtue and trust, and I don’t even know what mission God has given to me.” Self-reflection and examination of your own spiritual life is of great value if you want to grow in your faith. Place your hope in the Lord and never despair of your weakness or sinfulness.

God doesn’t choose the qualified, he qualifies the chosen. And God is calling you.

From all generations,
From all peoples,
From all men,
You have been chosen.

He has chosen you for your wife. He has chosen you for your children. He has chosen you for your family. He has chosen you for your vocation. He could have done things in a different way, but instead he chose to rely upon your faith, your trust and your love. He chose you to play an integral role in the salvation of those in your care. You have an incredible dignity and responsibility before you.

You see, our God is as intimate as he is infinite. God understands your situation. He knows what you are going through. He understands the crosses that you carry in your life and the ins and outs of your relationships. Whether you are married or single, he understands your struggles, and within them he has an incredible plan for you and you alone. There may be times when those plans are confusing and you might ask if God picked the right man for the job. Just as God handpicked a carpenter for a singular role in the history of the world, God is calling you… and he is calling for a reason. In the words of St. Francis of Assisi, “Your life may be the only sermon some people hear today.” He is calling you in your home, in your workplace, in your daily tasks. He will call, and he will qualify.

Mary said Yes.
Joseph said Yes.
What do you say?

Heavenly Father, as I begin this journey, give me the faith and trust I need to follow you. Give me the courage to say “Yes” to you today and everyday of my life.

St. Joseph – illuminate the darkness that shrouds your life. Pierce the silence that hides your wisdom. Amen.