In the middle of Lent, the Church introduces a new figure into our journey: St. Joseph. This week, in a year dedicated to him, we mark the feast day of this great saint of steadfast silence.

We know little about him from the scriptures, and there are no words attributed to him in the Gospels. What does he have to teach us?


In the 1980s, a minister named Robert Fulghum published a book called “All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” A simple, straightforward guide to a humble, virtuous life, it stayed on the bestseller list for two years. Well, I’d suggest a lot of what we need to know can be learned from St. Joseph.

Among other things: strive to be “righteous.” Stand by those you love, no matter what. Keep your commitments. Listen to angels. Don’t worry so much about the future. Trust in God. Stay connected to your roots. Embrace the journey. Believe that God can be found anywhere, even when others don’t make room for him.

Dream. Dream again. And never stop dreaming.

And there is this: Don’t be afraid to be quiet. Sometimes the silent partner has much to say. You can speak volumes just by being present, being strong, and being a model of obedient faith.

For those of us journeying through Lent, St. Joseph offers us companionship and inspiration — here is another person who journeyed, who made sacrifices, who made of his life a prayer and never lost sight of where God meant him to go.

May he continue to travel with us and show us the way during these 40 days.

“The Living Gospel: Daily Devotions for Lent 2020” by Greg Kandra (Ave Maria Press)