The Silence of St. Joseph


“St. Joseph was a quiet man.”

Lot’s wife has no name (I guess you could call her “Salty”) and Joseph says and has no recorded statements in the Bible. The next cocktail party you attend, you can amaze your friends with these tiny bits of trivia.

God speaks to Joseph through dreams. Joseph was aware of them, interpreted and acted upon them. Lucky for the Holy Family. He probably learned more in his silence than in telling everyone what to think or what was good or bad in the world.  Joseph’s silence opened him up to hear the voice of God, in his case, found in dreams.

A fellow employee told me that when she arrives home, the television goes on and stays on. Imagine all those TV ads floating around somewhere in her head. (No wonder I always thought she was hyper at work.) She had no silence. There wasn’t room in her head for anything other than toilet cleaners, divorce attorneys or cheap auto insurance.

Winter has its drawbacks but one benefit I find is that the doors and windows are closed and there is a newly found silence that fills the house. A quiet that can either be experienced as boredom or blessed.

Our culture prides itself on noise and lights. You can’t get away from either. The toll it must take on our psyche and soul must be astounding. I was about to say why not “take some time out for silence” but that sounds too cheesy. You don’t take “time” out or you’d just sit there and wonder when this scheduled time of this silence will end. A space needs to be created within you that allows silence to fill you up in order to shut you down and open up something greater than you.

Joseph’s silence was blessed and graced. It provided insight that no one else knew from first marrying the pregnant Mary to enabling his family to escape death. Benefits from winter’s silence.

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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