PRAYING OVER JOSEPH

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St. Joseph has much to teach us this Advent season: about transcending ourselves and our pride, about letting go and letting God.

Let’s linger awhile and gather the graces we have received from reading and appreciating Joseph, his life, his choices, and his sacrifices.

Once again we invite you to share your INSIGHTS, QUESTIONS, or PRAYERS in the comments section below. As we’ve often said in past online recollections, articulating your thoughts and feelings leads to clarifying them further to yourselves, but they also help our companions at this Advent Recollection.

What graces or blessings did you receive as you accompanied Joseph during this module?

What questions might you have?

What did you learn about Joseph and/or yourself?

Are you being asked to resist your pride or to revise your dreams? In what way?

Pope Francis has a unique and lovely devotion to St. Joseph. Whenever the Holy Father has a special petition, he would write it down on a piece of paper and slip it under the pillow of a statue of the sleeping St. Joseph, entrusting the petition to the saint’s intercession.

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What prayer of petition would you slip under St. Joseph’s pillow? You may wish to post this in the COMMENTS section below.

Our third and final Advent module on the Wise Men is already available. Choose the proper time and place in the following days to begin it.

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20 replies on “PRAYING OVER JOSEPH”

I thought hard about this session, and up to now, I am still not sure what is in my heart.

When I resigned from my job, it was in reaction to what I perceived was a betrayal in the workplace. From being one of the team who always received positive feedback about my work, in a blink of an eye, I then became progressively disrespected, disregarded and bullied at work. I left when it became obvious I was going to be booted out. How or why I became the enemy, I can only guess why. All I am sure of is how traumatic it was. Even up to now, there are moments when I feel anger and hate towards those I trusted and served at work. When I left, that’s when my aunt became ill and I somehow hate them for what they did. Part of me wonders sometimes if my family would have suffered less if they had not driven me out of work in such a blatant manner. But then, I think, I should put this behind me noe. God came through despite their betrayal and abuse.

Right now, I still feel lost. All I know is what I want, and that is to move on and rebuild my life. I want restoration. As to how it will happen, I have no idea how to go about it. It is the midlife crisis at work right now, no doubt about it.

I have compromised and settled for so long that I don’t know if this is something I should continue doing. Honestly, the thought of being practical and swallowing more you-know-what… I think I can’t take it anymore. I want a new life. Right now, though, I am exploring other options, including employment at lower level positions. I just have to trust God I will be led to the best option that will help us get back on our feet.

As to my revisiting dreams, I am still in the middle of rediscovering my dreams. When I became a breadwinner, I forgot all about that. It was, make money for daily expenses, bills, debts… try not to fall apart and bring the household with you.

My biggest fear was being caught with my pants down when a family member gets sick or dies. That fear came true for me. In a way, it us the worst experience anyone can go through. At the same time, I realized that God never left us during this period. Now I have no reason to be afraid because I now know how God is faithful, reliable, consistent and trustworthy.

I don’t know if it’s stupid, but I want to dream bigger dreams for myself and my mom. I would like a life that is not just all about survival. I would like a life that is meaningful to others, but also to me. If I were to pray to St. Joseph, it would be for him to help me rise above the betrayal and the suffering, and help me rebuild my life. A happy life, this time, where I would learn to smile and laugh again. I used to smile and laugh all the time, and I had forgotten how to do that. If it means starting out with less, then I pray for the humility to think of the bigger picture, instead of the pain of my bruised ego. I hope you will pray for me on this new journey.

I am praying for you. What you shared is very similar to what I am going through. This reflection on St. Joseph I resonated to me so much that I think this is a message from God to me. What helps me in this struggle is to look back at similar situations in my life that was challenging and see how God was there all the time. It helps me put things in perspective that God will do the same this time, I just need to be molded to becoming a better person, and wait for his time. Pride swallowing is never easy what’s easier is to perceive it as letting Go and Letting God carry your burdens and show you the way! Like Saint Joseph, his story is about having great faith in the Lord, something that I know God wants me to do. Go bless you and know that things will get better. I hope you would regain your peace again and come out stronger! God bless you and keep you always!

I pray that our Lord will continue to give me the wisdom & humility to be father like St. Joseph. To resist being proud & adapting to what life brings.

We may have dreams for our family, our children & ourselves. But, God knows what is best even when reality is not what we dreamt it to be. I pray that I may be as adaptive as St. Joseph.

Lord, I am happy with all the blessings You have bestowed upon me. I am content where I am now, but if you would like me to do greater things and forego of my dream for a quiet, simple life, grant me the grace to know and accept where you are leading me.

I feel unappreciated right now. I am hurting. I am in pain. If this is pride, then I pray to St. Joseph to intervene; that I may see the reason for this pain and feel consoled.

As one diagnosed with a sleep disorder, having episodes of nightmares and “waking up at the dead of the night” moments, I can relate to St. Joseph’s narrative. He must be tossing and turning in his sleep wrestling with the many concerns on his head and in his heart whenever he encounters “crossroads”. It must have been one of those nights too difficult to sleep. The body wanted to rest but the mind does not want to give in.

Strategies to fall asleep such as “counting sheep” do not help when the heart is restless. But clearly this is a defining moment in the story. I have read in an article that instead of counting sheep; “talk to the Shepherd”… put simply, pray; talk to God who is the author of rest but the provider of grace and assurance. No wonder Jesus can sleep soundly on the boat even when the storm rages.

Perhaps Joseph had been praying-communicating his plans to God that night before the angel appeared. He must have been going over his plans and trying to understand the outcome, how he will deal with Mary, her family, his kinsfolk, and the community. Eventually, worn out from his heavy thinking sleep beckoned him. Then God responds in his dream through his messenger “giving him the ‘revise-your-plan’ assurance”. Joseph we are told did not ask questions or thought twice. In moving to Bethlehem with Mary, he made a radical move – to believe and take the first crucial steps. His pride had been replaced by a child-like faith in God who is his mighty stronghold.

May St. Joseph the protector of the Holy Family, the docile father who sought God in his life and family, become a source of inspiration for us who are at the verge of making critical life decisions. May we imitate his courage to revise our plans even when things are too uncertain and his fortitude to step forward when the road ahead is tough.

St. Joseph, pray for us.

St. Joseph slept with a troubled heart and found clarity of his life’s purpose in waking, because God spoke to him through an angel in a dream.
I pray for openness and strong faith like his, and humility so as not to let pride get in the way of love.

“The secret to surviving a midlife crisis is the capacity to revise one’s dream. There come moments in our life when we realize–often painfully–that some dreams that we have nurtured are dead and are better given up. The reason why so many people remain miserable is precisely an inability to let go and to revise their dreams.”

This passage truly resonates with me in this season of nearing the “halftime” mark, increasing my concern about finances and career options to take…

I pray to St. Joseph for more faith, courage and openness to resist my pride and extend more understanding, patience and kindness to people around me.

St. Joseph, please pray for me that like you, I will have the grace to overcome my pride and allow God to revise my plans in life. I pray in a particular way for this Christmas season that God will give me the grace to truly forgive and to welcome with open heart the unwanted guest (my enemy!) at home and to allow God to work or to move freely in my life and in my family. Amen.

Two reflection points:
1) Perhaps it was only possible for Joseph to receive messages from God through his dreams, as he was very much a salt-of-the-earth and practical man dealing with the here and now, with what his hands and other senses could perceive, shaped in large part by his carpentry and journeyman profession. When we and St. Joseph dream, our rational mind would have closed shop, and perhaps we can hear God better.
2) St. Joseph was the divinely hand-picked human father proxy of God, the Father. He was entrusted with being a 2nd father to Jesus, to shape and school Jesus. All this responsibilty was acceded to by St. Joseph. He moved out of his comfort zone and helped make God’s plan of Salvation a reality. He made this his new dream as he made a family together with Jesus and Mary.

I pray for faith to believe that You have Your plan for me and my family, especially now my son who is working in college applications. I pray for faith to trust that Your plans will be done and that You know best. I pray for the strength to let go and let You handle the reigns.

Amen!

It never occurred to me the inner struggles of Joseph when Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Thus must have been very painful for me. The feeling of betrayal and jealousy certainly made him angry. But his love for Mary, his strengthened faith especially after the angel appeared in his dream helped him overcome his feelings of anger and pain. Commendable it is for him to also transcend human pride and allowed himself to obey the will of God.

Relating the readings with my personal life, I feel humbled by a personal experience of betrayal and the uphill struggle to overcome it. It has never been easy, but perhaps, it is possible to overcome the pain of betrayal and cherish the liberating experience of forgiveness.

This year, I also feel betrayed in terms of professional relations. The betrayal comes from time to time and is manifested in humiliating and should I say, revolting ways. I pray hard that the person whom I have given up as a friend can eventually realize how unjust and shameful were the things he did against me. I look forward to that day that he will forever regret the things he did and he continues to do against my person.

Joseph is such a paragon of the virtues of humility, obedience and love.

Thank you St. Joseph for inspiring us with your deep faith and trust to the Lord. I am in the season of my life where I am called to resist my pride and revise my dreams.. to fully surrender to the Lord and wait upon Him faithfully.

Thank you St. Joseph for inspiring us with your deep faith and trust to the Lord. I am in the season of my life where I am called to resis my pride and revise my dreams.. to fully surrender to the Lord and wait upon Him faithfully.

It must have been such an agony for St Joseph to learn about Mary’s condition. But what a great faith he has that led him to be obedient to what the angel told him in a dream. I pray for the same strong solid faith and let go of pride, willing to revise my plan and ket God continue His plan for me.

I pray to St. Joseph that I will also have the kind of faith that he has as I face the rigors of life – faith that is strong, trusting, and constant. I also pray for an openness to revise my dreams and plans and fulfill what the Lord wants for me instead of what I want for myself. Amen.

St. Joseph, I pray for my husband L that he may continue to be the loving, guiding and merciful father that he is to
me and my kids.
May my sons follow your lead to trust God with all their heart.
May my daughters fond a “Joseph” in their future husbands.
Amen.

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