Definitive Professed Formation June, 2016

Saint Joseph  redemptoris-custos

This document about St. Joseph was written by Pope John Paul II in 1989.  In light of the new paragraphs recently added to our Constitutions and Provincial Statutes we will consider Joseph’s role in the Church and especially in our order.

Constitutions, amended 2014:

31 a)   In the Teresian Carmel love of Mary, Mother and Queen, is united with love of her spouse Saint Joseph.  The Father also gave him, “a just man “(Mt 1:19), guardianship of his Son Jesus Christ in the mystery of the Incarnation.  Following the example of St. Teresa, members can find in St. Joseph a role model for a life of humble adoration and prayerful communion with Jesus, as well as a master of prayer  and silence. Patron of the interior life, he is an example of faith and of being “constantly attentive to God, open to the signs of God’s presence and receptive to God’s plans”.  Being a chaste and faithful spouse, he is the model of a father solicitous in care of the family, and of a responsible laborer who considers his work as an “expression of love”.  In communion with the Church and the Order, who venerate him as their “provident Protector”,  members of the Secular Order find in Saint Joseph an incomparable protector to whom they can entrust the hopes, the struggles and the work of every day.

Provincial Statutes, amended 2015:

30) Secular Carmelites in our Province honor St. Joseph the Worker on May 1st as a model of one who labors in the world while carrying Christ in his heart. In imitation of St. Teresa, Secular Carmelites will strive to honor St. Joseph in a special way on his Feast Day.

I have divided the document into three sections and included some questions or suggestions for reflection on each.  Use any that help you grow spiritually or allow the Holy Spirit to help you create and share your own.

  1. Read Redemptoris Custos (link above) sections:  Introduction, The Gospel Portrait and The Guardian of the Mystery of God (pp. 1-12)
    • Compare Joseph’s “Annunciation” with that of Mary and compare his response and Mary’s with respect to their roles in Salvation History.  How are they models for you?
    • Consider each morning’s “Invitatory” as an invitation or an “Annunciation” of the coming of the Lord in your life and respond like Mary; like Joseph.  Share special insights you got or what difference did this make?
    • Create your own “Rosary of Joseph” with Mysteries taken from this section.  Pray this Rosary meditating on the virtues Joseph portrayed or meditate on one or more of these events reflecting on Joseph’s role and relationship to Jesus.  Consider and share ways to imitate him.
  2. Read sections:  A Just Man and Husband and Work as an Expression of Love (pp. 12-17)
    • Why do you think the Constitutions and Statutes reference his title, Joseph the Worker and is this different from the consideration and veneration given St. Joseph by Teresa of Avila.
    • Discuss the value of the Holy Family as a model for the many configurations of “family” in the modern world.
  3. Read sections:  The Primacy of the Interior Life and Patron of the Church in Our Day (pp. 17-19)
    • This section seems to be particularly pertinent for Secular Carmelites.  How did it help you understand your Carmelite vocation better?
    • Compare Joseph and Mary as models for a contemplative vocation.
    • What Carmelite values (think charism) does Joseph portray as patron of the Church in our day.  What is his unique role for you, for us, for the Church?
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