I headed into the confessional recently feeling pretty discouraged.
“Same sins as last time,” I was tempted to say, but I didn’t. Instead, I tried to get to the roots of some recurring issues, one of which is always “carelessly and willfully giving too much time to entertainment and social media…”
My priest offered a new penance, one he’s never recommended before. He handed me a copy of the following Prayer to St. Joseph:
O glorious St. Joseph, model of all who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in the spirit of penance in expiation of my many sins; to work conscientiously by placing love of duty above my inclinations; to graciously and joyously deem it an honor to employ and to develop by labor the gifts I have received from God; to work methodically, peacefully, and in moderation and patience, without ever shrinking from it through weariness or difficulty; to work, above all, with purity of intention and unselfishness, having unceasingly before my eyes death and the account I have to render of time lost, talents unused, good not done and vain complacency in success, so baneful to the work of God.
All for Jesus, through Mary, all to imitate thee, O Patriarch St. Joseph! This shall be my motto for life and eternity. Amen.*
I love the wording of this prayer so much, I’ve written the parts in bold on a Post-It note and stuck it on top of my computer screen.
I’m certain this quick glimpse of the prayer has actually stopped me from abusing social media a few times, and I’m thankful for even this tiny bit of progress.
O glorious St. Joseph, pray for us!
*Prayer taken from the Treasury of Prayer booklet; Lehighton, PA; Revised edition November, 2020.