These meditations invite the reader to a spiritual journey with St. Joseph, reliving nine joyous, sorrowful, and glorious events in his life with his most beloved Jesus and Mary. They are meant for prayer and presented in the framework of a Novena Rosary of the Holy Family.
The matching of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit with the Beatitudes in the life of St. Joseph is not meant to be theologically precise. They are presented as meditations to demonstrate the truth that one cannot live the way of the Beatitudes without the Gifts of the Spirit.
It is to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit that our prayers are addressed, and St. Joseph in the company of Blessed Mary are there to receive our petitions and intercede for us, to help and guide us as we shepherd our own families toward our Heavenly Father’s house, the true destination of our own earthly journey.
With love and devotion to the Holy Family,
Howard Joseph Q. Dee
Gift of the Holy Spirit:
Fear of the Lord
Blessed are the meek, they shall inherit the land.
…A virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary.
Sirach 2:8-9, 15-17
You who fear the Lord, trust Him, and your reward will not be lost.
You who fear the Lord, hope for good things, for lasting joy and mercy.
Those who fear the Lord disobey not His words; those who love Him keep His ways.
Those who fear the Lord seek to please Him, those who love Him are filled with His law.
Those who fear the Lord prepare their hearts and humble themselves before Him.
As is the custom at the time, young maidens of pious families are raised in the temple where they serve until the age of marriage. “Their parents in dedicating them to the Temple offers them entirely to God as the devout Isrealites have for a long time a presentment that the marriage of one of these virgins would one day contribute to the coming of the promised Messiah.”
As the Virgin Mary leaves the temple to return to his parents’ home, it is her desire to remain a virgin betrothed to God in His service. In prayer, she makes her wish known but surrenders herself to His will for her. In return for her obedience, if it is God’s will that she should marry, she prays “that God would grant His handmaid a husband who would respect her vow of chastity. She asked for nothing but that her future husband be holy.”
Respecting her wish, the Father in heaven chose Joseph, a just man and humble carpenter, from the house of David, to be Mary’s spouse.
When Mary first meets Joseph, we could say it is love at first sight. “Glancing into his eyes, she could tell that he is honest, faithful, pure and just. He has the clear gaze of a child. Evil has not entered his heart, which was saturated with love of God.”
Love is the essence of the betrothal of a woman to a man for married life. The Betrothal of Mary to Joseph was promulgated in heaven as it has for its deepest wellspring, not merely human love, but the very love of God. Joseph and his betrothed Mary vow to live together in chastity for the love of God.
God, the matchmaker par excellence, accepts their love sacrifice and uses this human love to give flesh to His own Love for humanity.
The fear of the Lord is born of perfect love of the Lord. It is a holy fear born of wisdom, justice, and obedience of the meek, for those who truly love the Lord fear to disobey His commands. “If you love me, follow my commands.” Mary and Joseph, in their great love of the Lord, are endowed with this gift of Fear of the Lord.
The first cause of this gift is love. Its first fruit is the blessedness of meek humility and loving mercy, a love, as St. Paul teaches, that is gentle, kind and merciful. Those who love in this way are doubly blessed; they are not envious or boastful, but meek and humble of heart.
This Beatitude of gentleness is the first attribute of Jesus’ own Heart which God bestows on Joseph as a Gift of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, in turn, together with Mary, raise and form Jesus to be “meek and humble of heart.”
As Mary was chosen by the Father in heaven to be the Mother of His Son, Joseph was likewise chosen from the House of David to be the Father of Jesus, acting as the Father’s surrogate on earth. Jesus takes His human form from His Mother Mary and His noble lineage from His foster father Joseph.
This divine plan of their role in man’s redemption was not revealed beforehand to Joseph and Mary who were inspired by the Holy Spirit of love to take each other in Holy Matrimony while remaining celibate. Consider their great joy at the betrothal ceremony when Mary and Joseph, attired in traditional Jewish wedding garments, make their solemn vows in the presence of St. Joaquin and St. Anne, parents of Mary, and their friends and relatives who came for the festivities.
It was a wedding celebrated in the whole of heaven in anticipation of the glory that God would reveal through the Son of Mary.
Blessed Joseph, greatest of all Saints, Jesus chose you to be His father, be also a father to me.
Gentle father, teach me to be meek and humble of heart as you taught Jesus
who was known as the Son of Joseph the carpenter.
Holy father, teach me true devotion to Mary the way you were devoted to her.
Loving father, teach me Fear of the Lord for fear of losing Him, that I may keep His laws, follow His commands, and love Him with all my heart.
Our Father. Ten Hail Marys. Glory Be.
Father Joseph, we entrust our souls to you.