St Joseph

A recent visitor to the blog asked me to comment on the following:

Since he figures even more prominently than Peace in your title, I would love to hear more about what good Saint Joseph means to you and your Sisters and how he assists you in forming your Congregational identity as well.

Thanks for the invitation! My relationship with Joseph has been growing over the past five and a half years of my association with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. Our original name at our 1884 founding was "St. Joseph's Sisters of Peace of the Immaculate Conception." This was changed over the years (with the moniker for the longest interval being Sisters of St. Joseph of Newark) until we reclaimed "peace" as part of our title after Vatican II, becoming the "Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace."

Our Founder Margaret Anna Cusack (known in religion as Mother Francis Clare) chose Joseph as our patron because he was a model of peace. As our Constitutions say so beautifully:

From the beginning of the congregation
Joseph was chosen as our patron
because he is a model of peace.
His courage to live a life of faith
inspires us to trust in God's abiding love,
especially in times of struggle and uncertainty.
(CSJP Constitution 36)

Whenever I think of what it must have been like 2,000+ years ago. Here was an honest man, betrothed to a young woman. Ready to move onto the next expected step of his life. And then she's pregnant. And not by him! He's ready to do the right thing, but then that dream. How crazy must that have seemed. Talk about struggle and uncertainty. But he trusted. In Mary. In Jesus as he helped to raise him, knowing there was something special about this little boy. And above all, in God the father. Wow. He is a model of peace, someone we can spend time with when life gets a little crazy. And in good times too. I like to imagine the good times he had with Jesus and Mary. Those quiet moments. I'm sure there were many.

Last year I made this video prayer about St. Joseph. It's worth sharing again.

Thanks to my bloggy friend for inviting me to spend some more time with Joseph.


Kelly_SSJ/A said...

Thanks for sharing! The local community I am a an associate of was blessed to have Kathy Sherman share her music and reflections with us. I love the beautiful song you used in your video. Definetly much to think and pray about.

Susan Rose, CSJP said...

Here are the words from Margaret Anna I was looking for - she wrote them in 1883, no doubt while she was in the processing of discerning who would be the patron of her new order (founded in 1884):

"No doubt we may point to St. Joseph as the great model of every virtue, but it would seem as if peace was his crowning grace. In peace he fulfills all the Divine commands, many of which required from him the exercise of the greatest self-sacrifice; and in peace he submitted to the cruel injustice of Herod."

Anonymous said...

These words are beautiful. Thank you for sharing them. Since your beloved foundress is not so very well known at-large outside of your Congregation, this sharing of he words on St.Joseph is a gift to all of us. I want to add to the reflection by saying that I've always thought the biblical description of him as a "just man" has greatly influenced my devotion to him.