Today after Mass I read one of the most beautiful and inspiring readings from In Conversation with God. There is a plethora to glean from Saint Joseph’s virtuous character. He was chosen by God to be the earthly father of Jesus and protector of the Holy Family. He faced trials ad sufferings with tremendous strength and courage. God bestowed great grace on Saint Joseph and he responded to this grace with love. He was strong, yet gentle. Uncertain in his own power, yet unshaken in his trust in the Lord to lead the Holy Family to safety in threating times. Saints and good Christians of all centuries have had recourse to him. Saint Teresa of Avila tells of the great devotion she had to Saint Joseph, and of her own experiences of his patronage.
The reading is as follows:
I do not remember even now that I have ever asked of anything of him which he has failed to grant. I am astonished at the great favors God has bestowed on me through this blessed saint, and at the perils from which he has freed me, both in body and in soul. To other saints the Lord seems to have given grace to succour us in some of our necessities, but of this glorious saint my experience is that he succours us in them all, and that the Lord wishes to teach us that as He was Himself subject to him on earth, (for being his guardian and being called his father, he could command him) just so in Heaven He still does all that he asks…
I only beg, for the love of God, that anyone who does not believe me will put what I have to say to the test, and he will see by experience what great advantages come from his commending himself to this glorious patriarch and having devotion to him. Those who practice prayer should have a special affection for him always. I do not know how anyone can think of the Queen of Angels, during the time she suffered so much with the Child Jesus, without giving thanks to Saint Joseph for the way he helped them. – St. Teresa, Life, 6