Recently, Pope Francis announced that this would be a jubilee year of devotion to St. Joseph, a year for us to all grow in knowledge and love for the foster father of the Lord.
St. Joseph, famously, does not play a speaking role in the gospels, rather, his entire time “in focus” is spent either sleeping, considering what God is telling him, or acting on those commands. He is portrayed as one of the first great contemplatives, a prayerful man whose way of life can be summed up in the benedictine maxim ora et labora, prayer and work. This is one of the many reasons St. Joseph is such an important figure for us to consider as Advent draws to a close and Christmas draws near: By teaching through his example, and through his silence, we can learn the value of silence and action in a world which would like to turn Christianity into a private intellectual pursuit, devoid of real-world action or practice. Through meditating on his work, we learn to honor the dignity of the worker. Through meditating on his prayer, and his closeness to Jesus and Mary, we grow in desire for the contemplative life to which we are all called. It’s incredible how much meaning is packed into one man’s silence.