Monday, March 8, 2010

Book Review: Go To Joseph

 Scripture does not tell us much about the person this great saint was. We know him as the foster father of our Lord and as Mary's earthly spouse. We know that he protected Jesus and Mary in those early days following Jesus birth, but who is Joseph, the man?
In Fr. Richard Gilsdorf's book of meditations, Go To Joseph, we gain more insight into the man this saint was. Each meditation reflects and expounds on the person of Joseph and each of his roles  in his life in the Holy Family.
At the end of each chapter are questions for reflection. I found these helpful in that they allowed me to meditate more deeply on the different aspects of Joseph's life and personality.
The footnotes that are provided throughout the book give more historical background in which to place this saint, helping the reader see Joseph in the culture in which he lived.
Many of the great saints throughout the ages have had a deep devotion to St Joseph. St Teresa of Avila says in her autobiography that devotion to this saint is critical to progress in the spiritual life. And why wouldn't we have a devotion to this saint, but it is difficult to be devoted to someone we know so little about. This book helps the reader to get to know the man and therefore can lead to a deeper devotion to him.
The book also includes a section with prayers to this great saint, among them the beautiful Litany of St Joseph.
As this is the Year for Priests, one passage in particular stands out :
"It is obvious, therefore, why priests, who are custodians of the Eucharist, should foster a personal devotion in their vocation to Joseph, especially at a time like our own when devotion to the Blessed Sacrament is drastically diminished, a time when the Eucharist literally needs priestly protection. Ours is also a time when contentious voices are questioning the discipline of priestly celibacy, and when prayer is seldom seen as direct contemplative communication between God and the soul. Yet, Joseph, again was a protector, he was chaste, he was prayerful." ~Chapter 8, p.84
As we near the feast day of this great saint (March 19), this little book is a wonderful way to deepen or begin your devotion to St Joseph.

Go To Joseph can be purchased from The Catholic Company

*Note: Nothing but a copy of the book reviewed here was exchanged for the review.

1 comment:

Colleen said...

This book sounds good! Gee, I wonder how many books I can read at once???
:)

Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.