St. Joseph could find joy in the midst of toil and trials because he had Jesus with him. So can we.
Pope St. John XXIII had a deep devotion to St. Joseph. He wrote various prayers to the Spouse of Mary. He particularly understood that St. Joseph can come to our aid when life has us down.
Here are adapted excerpts from his prayers that we can use to turn to St. Joseph today.
St. Joseph, kindly protect me as I trustingly come to you. You know my aspirations, my hardships, my hopes. I look to you because I know you will understand and protect me.
You too knew trial, labor, and weariness. But amid the worries of material life, your soul was full of deep peace and sang out in true joy through intimacy with God’s Son entrusted to you, and, with Mary, his tender Mother.
Keep me aware that I do not labor alone. Teach me to find Jesus near me and to watch over him faithfully as you have done.
Jesus is at my side
For Pope St. John XXIII, the key element of Joseph’s joy in the midst of his work and worries was his closeness to Jesus. We can’t see Jesus with our eyes as Joseph could, but in some sense, we can be even closer to him, as he dwells within us. St. Joseph can help us to remember Christ’s presence.
Here is another short prayer from Pope John:
O glorious Saint Joseph,
remind all who work
that they are not alone in their labor,
or their sufferings,
because Jesus is by our side,
with Mary, his mother and ours,
wiping sweat from their brow,
and setting a value on their toil.
Teach them to use their labor,
as you did,
as a supreme means of attaining holiness.