Pope Francis: St Joseph, the Man who Dreams

The Pontiff continued his catechesis on the Holy Patriarch.  

Newsroom (26/01/2022 21:45, Gaudium Press) Following the catechesis on St. Joseph that the Pope holds in the general audiences on Wednesdays, today Pope Francis spoke of God’s communications to St Joseph in dreams, something that has been much highlighted by Christian iconography.

The passage from St Matthew was read in which the Angel of the Lord tells the Patriarch in a dream to return from Egypt to Israel with the Holy Family, because those who wanted to kill the Child had already died. So they returned to Nazareth.

The dream, a symbol of the interior life

In the cultures of ancient peoples, “dreams were considered a means by which God revealed himself,” Francis said. “The dream symbolises the spiritual life of each of us, that inner space that each one is called to cultivate and protect, where God manifests himself and often speaks to us.”

“But we must also say that within each of us there is not only the voice of God: there are many other voices. For example, the voices of our fears, of past experiences, of hopes; and there is also the voice of the evil one who wants to deceive and confuse us.”

“Therefore, it is important to be able to recognize the voice of God in the midst of other voices.” In this sense, “Joseph shows that he knows how to cultivate the necessary silence and, above all, to make the right decisions before the Word that the Lord addresses to him interiorly,” the Pontiff explained.

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A school for learning to listen to the voice of God

The Pope invited to meditate on the four dreams that the Gospel shows St. Joseph as the protagonist, in order to understand how our response “before God’s revelation” should be.

“Dear brothers and sisters, the Lord never allows a problem without also giving us the help we need to face it. He does not throw us there in the oven alone. He does not cast us into the midst of fierce beasts. No. When the Lord shows us a problem or reveals a problem to us, He always gives us the intuition, the help, his presence to get out of it, to solve it.”

“In life we experience dangers that threaten our existence or that of those we love. In these situations, prayer means listening to the voice that can bring forth in us the same courage as Joseph to face difficulties without succumbing.”

Francis stressed that “fear is also part of life and also needs our prayer. God does not promise us that we will never be afraid, but that, with his help, fear will not be the criterion of our decisions. Joseph experiences fear, but God guides him too. The power of prayer sheds light on dark situations.”

The Pope invited prayer for those who suffer and are unaware of the power of hope and prayer. He asked that St Joseph be invoked to help them “open themselves to dialogue with God, to rediscover light, strength and help.” He also urged to commend ourselves to St Joseph and his intercession.

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With information from Vatican News



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