St. Joseph’s Silence Reminds Us of the Importance of Our Actions

As we approach March, a month dedicated to St. Joseph, I can’t help but think about the virtues of this unassuming husband of Mary and foster father of Jesus. Though we know that the Bible recorded no words of St. Joseph, we understand that his actions said more than his words could.

The Gospel of Matthew tells us that Joseph was a “righteous” man. He was courageous, obedient to God, faithful, loving, and generous. We saw him live out these virtues in how he led, protected, and served his family. He is a beautiful example of how we should live our lives—both within our homes and within our communities.

Last week, I had a conversation with someone about the importance of pro-life work and how oftentimes people lament that we are just preaching to the choir. While that may have a modicum of truth to it, I prefer to think of pro-life work as teaching the choir so that they have the tools to then go evangelize to people who don’t know God or who have walked away from Him.

Those of us who are educated in our faith and in the science of the preborn baby or end-of-life issues have a responsibility to share that knowledge with others. The more we talk, write, and teach about the sanctity of life, and the more we live those beliefs through good works, the more people will understand.

So we must get out of our proverbial comfort zones. We must do things that allow others to see or hear the truth. Spreading the gospel and bringing others to Christ only works if we have the moral courage to stand up in our secular society and shine the light of Christ. It only works if we live by the examples that St. Joseph and other saints set when they served God obediently, talked to others about Jesus’ commands, and then lived what they were teaching.

St. Josemaria Escriva once said,

St. Joseph was an ordinary sort of man on whom God relied to do great things. He did exactly what the Lord wanted him to do, in each and every event that went to make up his life. That is why Scripture praises Joseph as “a just man.” And in Hebrew a just man means a good and faithful servant of God, someone who fulfils the divine will, or who is honorable and charitable toward his neighbor.

“He did exactly what the Lord wanted him to do.”

How wonderful it would be if someone were to say these exact words about us after we die!

What does God want us to do? He wants us to love unconditionally, to teach His laws, to avoid sin and help others do the same, and to never stop proclaiming that all human beings have dignity and value.

If, like St. Joseph, we do exactly what God wants us to do, we can make a difference in our world. We won’t just be preaching to the choir. We will be gathering more choir members.

Our actions will change hearts and minds.

So today and all during this month dedicated to St. Joseph, I give you this Lenten challenge. Let your actions speak for you. Let your actions draw someone closer to God.

Go to God in prayer and ask Him what He desires for you. Ask St. Joseph for guidance. Then decide how you will show someone their inherent dignity and teach them of God’s love and mercy.

What will you do? Only you and God know. But the possibilities are endless.

This article first appeared in The Catholic World Report at catholicworldreport.com/2024/02/28/st-josephs-silence-reminds-us-of-the-importance-of-our-actions.

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About the author

Susan Ciancio

Susan Ciancio is the editor of Celebrate Life Magazine and executive editor for the Culture of Life Studies Program.