Tuesday 4 May 2021

Model of Faith - Leonard J. Delorenzo - Reflecting on the Litany of Saint Joseph

Model of Faith: 
Reflecting on the Litany of Saint Joseph
ISBN 9781681929484
eISBN 9781681929491

This is the first book by Leonard J. Delorenzo that I have read, but it will not be the last. This was an excellent read. I had read a few books about Saint Joseph prior to the Year of Saint Joseph and have a few others I plan to read. This is a wonderful volume. It is one I will likely read again and again. I have some books I have read every year for over 2 decades now. And some I read every year for a few years and then it drops off. I feel this will be in the first category. I could see myself reading it each year leading up to the feast of Saint Joseph. 

The end of the description of the volume is:

“The Litany of Saint Joseph is a powerful prayer that leads us to consider the many ways in which Joseph faithfully and diligently carried out the will of God. As the litany guides us in proclaiming the wonders of Saint Joseph, we are drawn into contemplating the mysteries of God, whom Joseph never fails to praise and serve.

Each of the reflections in this devotional focuses on one of the twenty-two names, titles, or honors of Saint Joseph that we encounter in his litany. As we pray to Saint Joseph, offering our petitions to his care, and contemplating his life and his witness, we are drawn into communion with God who yearns to dwell with each of us, and dwelt in this world in the household of his Saint Joseph.

Saint Joseph, pray for us!”

The chapters in this volume are:
The Litany of Saint Joseph
Introduction: Behold
Saint Joseph
Noble Son of the House of David
Light of the Patriarchs
Husband of the Mother of God
Guardian of the Virgin
Foster Father of the Son of God
Faithful Guardian of Christ
Head of the Holy Family
Joseph, Chaste and Just
Joseph, Prudent and Brave
Joseph, Obedient and Loyal
Pattern of Patience
Lover of Poverty
Model of Workers
Example to Parents
Guardian of Virgins
Pillar of Family Life
Comfort of the Troubled
Hope of the Sick
Patron of the Dying
Terror of Evil Spirits
Protector of the Church
Epilogue: Well Done

As stated there is a chapter dedicated to each of the titles or names of Saint joseph in the litany. Twenty-two points of reflection. Twenty two meditations. Therefore, this book could be read a chapter a day over 3 and a half weeks. Though to be honest when I read it the first time, I had a hard time putting it down. It is a fantastic read. Each chapter has a reflection and ends with a prayer. For example the prayer from the chapter Model of Workers is:

“Saint Joseph, you who know what it means to work, pray that we may be strengthened for our work. You who know what it is to labor but not receive praise immediately for your labors, pray that we may persevere when recognition is delayed or withheld from us. You who know that the most important work happens in silence, out of view of the eye of the world, pray that we might be content with the portion the Lord grants to us. And you who never shied away from either the secular or the sacred work entrusted to you for the good of your family, your community, and even the salvation of the world, pray that we might be diligent and courageous in fulfilling the work we undertake for the good of others and for the greater glory of God.”

And most chapters begin with a quote for example from Pillar of Family Life:

“God alone could grant Joseph the strength to trust the Angel. God alone will give you, dear married couples, the strength to raise your family as he wants. Ask it of him! God loves to be asked for what he wishes to give. Ask him for the grace of a true and ever more faithful love patterned after his own. As the Psalm magnificently puts it: his “love is established for ever, / his loyalty will stand as long as the heavens” (Ps 88:3).”
— Pope Benedict XVI

The book is easy to engage with. And I truly believe that all who read it will benefit from it. No matter what your relationship or devotion to saint Joseph, this volume will help you grow deeper. And some might ask why bother, in the final chapter Well Done it begins with these words of wisdom:

“Joseph was not faithful over little; he was faithful over much. He was faithful as spouse of the Blessed Virgin, as father to the Son of God, and as head of the Holy Family. He was entrusted with much, and in the fullness of time, God rewarded his faithfulness by entrusting him with even more.

Joseph is to be for us Christians what he was to Mary: devoted companion and constant support. He is to be for us Christians what he was to Jesus: guardian and protector. And he is to be for us Christians what he was to the Holy Family: steward of the sacred mysteries and caretaker for all in need.”

We could all benefit from greater devotion to Saint Joseph. And I find it amazing that in todays culture, the church hierarchy, and situation in the world that a Year of Saint Joseph was proclaimed. This is a book we need. It is one I highly recommend to you. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan!

For links to articles and reviews of other books about Saint Joseph and prayers click here

Books by Leonard J. Delorenzo:
A God Who Questions
What Matters Most
Turn to the Lord
Work of Love

Edited by:
Dante, Mercy, and the Beauty of the Human Person
I Call You Friends

Other reviews and articles about Saint Joseph:
Consecration to St. Joseph - Fr. Donald Calloway
Favorite Prayers to St. Joseph Compiled from Traditional Sources- TAN Books
Prayer to Saint Joseph Prayer of the Day
Joseph of Nazareth - Federico Suarez
Devotion to St. Joseph - F. Declaux
Go to St. Joseph: Do Whatever He Tells You - Brian Kiczek
Saint Joseph: Help for Life's Emergencies - Kathryn J. Hermes
Feast of Saint Joseph 2018 Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary Principal Patron of Canada
Companion to Saint Joseph - J.B. Midgley - CTS Companions Series
Saints of the Roman Canon - Julien Chilcott-Monk - CTS Living the Liturgy Series
Seven Saints for Seven Virtues - Jean M. Heimann

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