“…In our own lives, acceptance and welcome can be an expression of the Holy Spirit’s gift of fortitude. Only the Lord can give us the strength needed to accept life as it is, with all its contradictions, frustrations and disappointments.
We need to set aside all anger and disappointment, and to embrace the way things are, even when they do not turn out as we wish. Not with mere resignation but with hope and courage.
In this way, we become open to a deeper meaning. It does not matter if everything seems to have gone wrong or some things can no longer be fixed. Christian realism, which rejects nothing that exists.
Reality, in its mysterious and irreducible complexity, is the bearer of existential meaning, with all its lights and shadows.”
The pope warned that we should not think of believing as “finding facile and comforting solutions. The faith Christ taught us is what we see in Saint Joseph. He did not look for shortcuts, but confronted reality with open eyes and accepted personal responsibility for it.
Joseph’s attitude encourages us to accept and welcome others as they are, without exception, and to show special concern for the weak, for God chooses what is weak (cf. 1 Cor 1:27).
The Lord is the “Father of orphans and protector of widows” (Ps 68:6), Who commands us to love the stranger in our midst.
OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
ON THE 150th ANNIVERSARY OF THE PROCLAMATION OF SAINT JOSEPH AS PATRON OF THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH
Given in Rome, at Saint John Lateran, on 8 December, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the year 2020, the eighth of my Pontificate.”
Prayer for the Sorrows of St Joseph
I can’t help but notice the scars on your heart, how you suffered with love. You suffered darkness and confusion when Mary was found with child. You suffered the sacrifice of your flesh as you lovingly offered up the absence of bodily intimacy in marriage. You suffered a sword in your heart, with Mary, when Simeon foretold the Passion of your Son. You suffered stress and uncertainty when you had to escape with your family to Egypt and live as an immigrant. You suffered crushing anxiety when your 12-year-old Son was lost for three days. You daily suffered fatigue and bodily aches from your manual labor. Worst of all, your fatherly heart grieved at knowing that you could not be there for Jesus and Mary when their darkest hour would one day come.
St. Joseph, thank you for what you suffered in God’s service, in union with your Son, for my salvation. I love you, St. Joseph. Thank you for your yes. Now, please help me to suffer with love as you did. When I suffer, help me not to complain. Help me not to forget love. Help me not to forget others. Dear St. Joseph, through my suffering, watch over my poor heart: May it not harden but rather become more merciful. Help me to remember all God’s children who are suffering in the world, and help me to offer my suffering for them and for the good of the Church. I am counting on you, St. Joseph. I know you will be with me, helping me to suffer with love.
St. Joseph, who suffered with love, please help me also to suffer with a love like yours.”