For Christmas of 2019 I pre-ordered a copy of Fr. Donald Calloway’s Consecration to St. Joseph for my husband. He completed his consecration on May 1, 2020 and as he went through the process I could see dramatic changes happening within him. So much so, that I then proceeded to give the book to every priest and seminarian I know as well. I told my friends they should get the book for their husbands. Something profound occurred and St. Joseph’s intercession has set my husband on fire in a way I have never seen in our marriage.
My husband’s relationship with his father isn’t a good one. I myself have only spoken to him twice in our entire 12 years together. There are countless other Catholic men who have similar relationships with their fathers. In a society of broken homes and blatant attacks on men, it is no wonder that Christian men struggle to find their place in the world and in the Church, but what I saw take place in my husband was everything I had been praying for him and more.
He almost immediately became more focused on prayer. He prays the Rosary daily as he makes his 25-minute commute each morning, but outside of that, he didn’t pray much and we didn’t pray regularly as a family. I had my prayer schedule every day and I prayed with our daughter, but between chronic illness and the busyness of life, communal family prayer was largely reserved for Sunday mornings.
As he worked his way through the consecration, he started calling our family together each morning to pray the Litany to St. Joseph. He became more dedicated to attending an extra daily Mass each week and prioritizing the Holy Hour afterwards even when exhausted from long hours at work. He stopped watching a lot of television and now has a deep desire within his heart to lead people to St. Joseph, especially men.
Last fall, he went to our parish priest—who also completed the consecration to St. Joseph—and asked him if we could offer the consecration in our parish. My husband is convinced that St. Joseph’s intercession and spiritual leadership is essential for these times and that we need to get him out to the Church though a concerted effort. The parish consecration, led by our parish priest, will take place this Friday on the Solemnity of St. Joseph.
Male friends of ours especially have been impacted by the consecration to St. Joseph. Men are starting to come forward and discuss their deep struggles within the Church, especially the over-feminization of the Church and the lack of support for men to live their God-given masculine nature. St. Joseph’s strong, fatherly, and masculine leadership is awakening within men a deeper desire for holiness, the call to protect and defend their families spiritually, and to see the Church rise up in these dark days in order to lead souls to Christ.
With the vicious attacks on the family and the Church, it shouldn’t be surprising that now is the time for St. Joseph to rise to his full stature as Pillar of Families and Protector of the Holy Church. The Church has long held Our Blessed Mother as the saint par excellence who leads us to Christ and who can aid us on the path to holiness in a way only a perfect mother can, but now is the time for Her Most Chaste Spouse, St. Joseph to also come to the defense of the family and Holy Mother Church.
Much like Our Blessed Mother, St. Joseph makes haste in the spiritual life and is always open to the workings of God in his life. He gives his fiat to God and drops everything in order to protect and defend Mary and Jesus. It is this docility and openness to the Holy Spirit that is needed within our own families and parishes. So often we have our own ideas and agendas we want to fulfill, rather than following God’s will. St. Joseph is an example to all families, but especially to husbands, fathers, and priests on how to live as men dedicated to God’s holy will.
When I asked my husband what he finds most striking about St. Joseph he told me that he’s been meditating a lot on Joseph’s silence. Often this can be a stumbling block for some who do not understand how we can foster a relationship with a saint who is completely silent in Sacred Scripture. To my husband, his silence speaks volumes. He was and is a man completely in tune with the movement of the Holy Spirit. He is docile to God’s will and his silence is what prepares him to take action when He is called to do so.
Saint Joseph’s silence and humility are the foundation of his greatness. Of all the men God could have chosen to be the earthly father of Jesus Christ, God selected St. Joseph, the most silent of all men.— Fr. Donald H. Calloway, MIC, Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father, 191.
We live in a very noisy and busy age. In many ways, post-modern man is terrified of silence. We flee from it constantly through television, social media, and the Internet. It is easy to avoid the silence of God. All of this distraction is wearing us thin and destroying our relationships with one another. It is keeping us from the intimate union with God we are made for and it is harming our families. Intimacy cannot be achieved without focused time that is free of distractions.
This freedom from distractions and entrance into silence leads us to a deeper desire to pray. Greater silence leads to a greater longing for God. St. Joseph was a man of prayer with his heart inclined to God. This is what the men of our own age and all ages are called to as well. It can be difficult to combat the tendency to remain distracted. It is much easier to flee into television or social media than it is to wrestle with God in prayer.
It became apparent to me that the silence of St. Joseph profoundly impacted my husband when he happily went along with my Lenten suggestion of giving up television with the exception of an occasional Catholic movie. This Lenten penance has brought more peace and silence into our home. My husband quickly saw that he doesn’t miss television at all and he much prefers silent evenings with the family or outside to mindlessly watching something to escape.
This silence also opened him up to a greater desire to pray and to draw us together as a family to pray. It was no longer simply each one of us praying individually—we still do that—but there has been a greater focus on coming together regularly to pray. My husband started to embrace his spiritual headship within our family through St. Joseph’s example. There are so many wives who long for this spiritual leadership from their husbands, but so many of them don’t know where to begin. St. Joseph is the answer.
Much of the time we struggle within our culture because we do not know how to live the Christian life in a devoted and fruitful way. Many of us have never been taught to pray and a good many Catholics are so poorly catechized that they do not know how to go about building up the Domestic Church within their homes. They know to go to Mass on Sundays and that’s about it. St. Joseph is a guide who helps men—and women—build up holy families. To mirror our own homes after the Holy Family.
While there is still much for our family to learn, many of the wounds from my own husband’s childhood have been bound and healed through this great saint of silence. A saint who also leads us to the tender love of Our Blessed Mother who waits for each one of us at the foot of the Cross. The Holy Family wants each one of us to enter into the intimate love of Nazareth, which will strengthen us for the Calvaries of life. St. Joseph leads the way.
St. Joseph is the saint for our time. As the family faces even greater attacks, as masculinity is demeaned, and as the Church becomes the target of a culture gone mad, the silence and strength of St. Joseph is what we need to weather this storm. He gives men the spiritual tools they need to lead and defend their families, as well as the Church. I’ve seen with my own eyes how St. Joseph’s intercession transformed and continues to transform my husband into the strong, holy Catholic man He is called to be.