Remembering St Joseph…….Our Founder’s Name Day

San JoseWe are in the month dedicated to St. Joseph.  There is so little said of Joseph in the Holy Scripture and yet he has inspired holy lay people throughout the ages. Our father and founder admired St. Joseph greatly and took him as his example and inspiration especially all that regards his relationship to Mary and Jesus. March 19th was father Kentenich’s name day since he was named after St. Joseph (Formerly in Germany they celebrated name days, not birthdays.)

Art usually shows St. Joseph with his carpenter’s tools in his hands, a real working man. In our days this is the way the Church likes to depict St Joseph – as a simple working man. Our founder tells us that he must have been a perfect person of work. In our Schoenstatt language we would say that he was:

  • the embodied ideal of everyday sanctity
  • the embodied ideal of covenant piety (in other words of the covenant culture)
  • the embodied ideal of instrumentality (mission culture)

Father Kentenich goes on to explain each one of these characteristics:

The embodied ideal of everyday sanctity

Holy is he who lives a holy life. Holiness is not something that we talk or philosophize about.
Holy is he who lives his workday in a holy way, who lives his God given mission. Everything he does whether making a bench, or praying or playing is done as perfectly as possible out of a fervent love for God.  Thus, every deed shines with perfection.  He saw himself in the Savior. He was his model and the realization of his ideal. Isn’t that the same for all of us?

The embodied ideal of covenant piety (in other words of the covenant culture)

We also see St. Joseph in many pictures with the Child Jesus in his arms, or working together at the carpenter’s bench. We could say that Jesus made a covenant with Mary and Joseph and that Joseph made a covenant with Mary and Jesus. Father Kentenich says that God joined them in a deep, tender and intimate family community.

We have also made a covenant with Jesus and Mary. We have done this for the glorification of the Father and for the renewal of the whole world.

The embodied ideal of instrumentality (mission culture)

Fr KentenichThe angel of the Lord told Joseph in a dream that he was to give Mary’s Son the name JESUS. God has given him the commission to announce the coming of the Savior to the world. He has also been given the mission “Rise, take the Child and his Mother…”  He brings us the Child and the Child’s Mother. Isn’t that our mission too as a Schoenstatt Family? From the Shrine, we want to make the world aware of the WAY to salvation – the Child.  And the Mother? She, with St. Joseph will help us to reach this WAY through their intercession. She, as our Queen – St. Joseph, as her servant.

With the Church we honor St. Joseph during this month of March. May we be like him, an everyday saint, united in the covenant with Jesus and Mary as instrument in their hands.

Sister Miriam

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