5 THINGS EVERY CATHOLIC SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ST JOSEPH IN THE YEAR OF ST JOSEPH

People practice devotions they consider helpful in their daily lives. Since the devotions to St Joseph is not popular, many hardly know its benefits. Secondly we live in a noisy world where the loudest voice makes the greater impression. Since St. Joseph said nothing but acted- actions that are considered as voiceless actions; that will make it even more relegated in our present world. And as the saying goes: 'action speaks louder than words.' Unfortunately, in the world today, 'action'  is weighed by 'loudness' and not by 'content'.
On this ground, I consider 5 things every Catholic should know about St Joseph in this year of St. Joseph. A year that already began on the 8th of December, 2020 and will end on the 8th of December, 2021. Knowledge of these things will help you begin a devotion to St Joseph today. Here are 5 things you should know about St Joseph:
1. St Joseph inspires responsible parenting: If you're married or aspiring to marry St Joseph should be a Saint you should hold dearly. Pope Francis describes him in the apostolic letter Patris Corde as "Father with a heart". That, in fact becomes the title of the apostolic letter. How is he an inspiration to couples you ask me?
Responsible parenting not only involves providing the material needs of children but their spiritual needs as well. It also means bearing with the weaknesses and delinquencies of children as they grow. 
The bible tell us that St Joseph, together with Mary customarily take Jesus to the temple. They not only took him once to the temple to do what the law prescribes, but they do so every Passover feast (Lk 2:41-42). Parents are therefore reminded that the spiritual growth of their children is among their primary responsibilities not that of teachers, catechists or priests. It is secondary for pastors, catechists and priests.
2. St Joseph inspires hard work: Almost everyone works for a living. This is not a choice but a divine mandate when God commanded in Genesis 1:28 'be fruitful and multiply fill the earth and subdue it...' This should not be limited to a command of fecundity as many consider it. God already infused the power of fecundity in every living thing he created (Gen 1:11 & 22) so why will fecundity still be a special command to man. Think about it. 
When God took flesh and became man in the person of Jesus, he was inspired by Joseph and became a carpenter. Hence in Mark 6:3 Jesus was called the carpenter, not just the carpenter's son. In Jesus, therefore God obeyed His own mandate to work, and he learnt that through St Joseph. Jesus not only was a preacher but a carpenter as well. This becomes an inspiration to pastors, priests and religious: if the pulpit is taken away, what will you be doing? Think about this. And to workers: ask yourself can someone discover your personality or appreciate your faith from the way you do your work? There's a difference between working for the pay and working with your heart. The attitude and output makes the difference. 
3. St Joseph inspires protection of women and the vulnerable: Women are abused everyday from the way we think about them, the way we look at them to the way we talk to them and act towards them. That is the deep mess we find ourselves today. Many ladies say sometimes the way men stares at them lustfully, makes them feel embarrassed! Women should I raise the volume? Many cultures today indirectly support misogyny when they are silent about male promiscuity but place taboo on female promiscuity. For instance, where is it written that men can cheat and women must not? Why are women victimised for adultery and men are not? Both should be treated with same gravity. 
St. Joseph inspires us by his action before the angelic revelation to take Mary as his wife: He wanted to divorce her informally, wanting to spare her disgrace. How many men today can hide the shame of their wives or fiancées from the public? Men today easily propose abortions, or abandon women in Mary's condition, even when they are responsible for the pregnancy, leaving many ladies heartbroken and shattered. If she's your sister, would you like it done to her? Oga, you need St. Joseph. Start a devotion immediately, it will help you.
4. St Joseph inspires prayer life: Four times the bible tell us that St Joseph was instructed in his dreams and obeyed and everything went well (Matt 1:20, 2:13, 20&22). But is it that easy to believe in dreams? You dream right, don't you? How often do you follow your dreams, or configure your thoughts and actions to your dream? You see it's not that easy right? Like Joseph of the Old Testament, St. Joseph also was gifted with dreams, not any kind of dreams but revelatory dreams. Have you asked yourself how he was able to attain the level of understanding the voice of God in his dreams. How he differentiates revelatory dreams from normal dreams. Remember in Genesis 37 where we find the story of Joseph and his brothers, we are told while Joseph was young he had that difficulty in understanding his dreams as revelation, just like Samuel who didn't know it was God calling him. Joseph sought the meaning from his brothers and father, but they continually rebuked him until his moments of solitude and slavery when he began to understand the voice of God clearly in his dreams and began to interpret dreams. 
Thus, from the bible we come to know that dreams are means of revelation, however from human experiences as well we understand that not all dreams are revelatory. Some are psychological or health related. There's a thin line between revelatory dreams and normal dreams, and that thin line can be identified only through prayer and meditation. Just as some persons receive revelations through inspiration, meditation or by hearing voices some others are through dreams. 

Everyone, one time or the other have had dreams: some frightful, some normal; some remember while some don't remember their dreams. However, experience in ministry have revealed shown me that some persons because of poor prayer life, lack of spiritual insights or habitual sins cannot interpret even those revelatory dreams that have lots to say about their life conditions, and how to overcome them. If you wish to know more on this topic: 'Dreams and Dream interpretation', CLICK ON THIS TOPIC: "Why Joseph follows his dreams". That post have helped many catholics and non-Catholics alike.
5. St. Joseph inspires leadership: Everyone is a leader, though in different capacities. But two qualities makes one a good leader: discipline and humility. These are strong virtues visible in St Joseph. Discipline helps one to live out the principles of justice, while humility helps us respect the rights of others. In St.Joseph we see a true leader. God himself chose him and made him master over not just the Holy family but master over Himself. This is deep. Like the Joseph of Old Testament in Genesis 37 & 38 who was destined by God to be a leader. In all his dreams he sees himself as a leader, and it manifested and he became a leader wherever he goes: in Potiphar's House, in prison, and over Egypt and sons of Israel. So also God made St Joseph leader over his house- the church which is the new Israel. Hence we can go to him, who bore Jesus in his arms and seek intercessions through him and be rest assured that the leader of the House of God will not refuse it.

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