In heaven, all things are simplified, and only one thing remains- Love!
St. Joseph saw the face of God every day in his child. God dwelled in his midst and through this experience his heart was set on fire with love. Mary was overshadowed with the Holy Spirit, who St. Thomas Aquinas calls Love with a capital “L.” Together, Mary and Joseph experienced love on earth in the most profound way.
The secret passage to love, to paradise, is an open door to the Sacred Heart of Christ. His heart was wounded and opened by a sword, so that ours may be healed. An infinite love flows perpetually from his heart. Love is the strongest power in both the world and the heavens. Yes, love is more powerful than even the grips of death. It transcends this life and passes to everlasting life in heaven. Our actions, when done in and through love, transcend this life and have everlasting significance. This is precisely why we can and should find paradise at the School of Nazareth. Quite simply, the daily life of the Holy Family was an explosion of love. When we find pure love and the absence of evil, we find paradise…even on earth.
St. Joseph has guided us throughout this journey and we have reached the end. He walked us through so many heroic virtues and taught us such invaluable wisdom along the way, but in the end he wishes to lead us to one thing- Love. Our hearts must be transformed in and through Love. When we receive the fullness of Divine Love into our own hearts, we receive that for which we were made, and we are transformed into a living flame of love. At this point, paradise doesn’t seem so far away. Instead, you can enjoy a foretaste of paradise today.
How can you make your heart and your home a type of paradise? Some may be tempted to think this is only an ideal that cannot be practically lived. You may think that you have particular issues or circumstances in life that make this ideal impossible. Life brings crosses to each and every one of us. The Holy Family had their fair share of them as well. Moreover, they had The Cross. The Holy Family taught us how to love in the midst of suffering, in the midst of trials and in the midst of uncertainty.
Some may be tempted to question how this ideal of paradise in your heart and home can take place if your wife and children are not on board. Let’s be honest, none of us have the Blessed Virgin Mary as our spouse, and none of us have Jesus Christ as our child. Regardless of your particular situation, the real question you should ask yourself is, “How can I enter more deeply into the mystery of love through the pierced heart of the Savior?”
Love conquers all things. When your heart becomes a living flame of love, you cannot force it upon others, and it does not guarantee their conversion, but you can offer it to anyone you encounter. If you reach this point, you have become a reflection of Christ and revelation of God the Father. You have climbed to the heights of sanctity with your most trusted friend, St. Joseph, to guide you every step of the way.
Heavenly Father, fill me at daybreak with your love, for your love is better than life itself. Show me a Father’s love, and teach me to love as you have loved. Purge my heart of all but love, so that even now I may begin to taste the joys of paradise.
Mystery hidden from the wise and learned,
But revealed to little ones.
Take me to Nazareth and train me in your ways.
Reveal to me Christ’s hidden face present in my children.
Unveil for me the love of the Holy Spirit present in my spouse.
Teach me to manifest for them the Father who is rich in mercy.
Help me to exclude all evil from my heart and my home,
So that we might find union with God,
And experience his love, peace and joy. Amen.
(Prayer written by Steve Bollman.)