JOSEPH in Hebrew means: Jahweh wants to multiply
This March 19, Solemnity of St. Joseph, let us pause to consider one of the various prerogatives of the one whom, on this earth, Jesus called father. The prerogative of St. Joseph, which we will try to outline and perhaps will surprise us, is that of which he is a protector: the interior life. All this is well present in the living tradition of the Church, even if it is not explicitly mentioned in Sacred Scripture.
Thus, while our life flows outwardly, made up of words and actions, of travels and encounters, an intense and very rich life takes place within us.
We confront ourselves and talk to each other like in a mirror: each of us regrets the failures and is pleased with the successes, caresses projects and discusses them among themselves. He imagines himself meeting with others and studies the most appropriate words to say and the behaviors to keep in such meetings, and so on ...
And all this happens in us while we live our external life, the one that is under the eyes of others: behind the counter of a bar, while we serve the customers; behind the wheel of the car on the highway; at the desk of our office, while we carry out the paperwork assigned to us; among the stalls of a market, while we make our purchases; and so on….
Sometimes one is so absorbed in this life that takes place within oneself that one can even speak to oneself aloud, attracting the surprised glances of those who pass by.
Such incessant work that takes place within us can begin in the morning when we wake up and calm down in the evening, when sleep envelops us and dreams begin their dance.
These are some aspects of the common normal inner life experienced by all.
But when, thanks to faith, the Lord enters our life, with him a new interlocutor appears in our inner world.
He attracts us and we are surprised to think of him too.
We almost seem to understand that He is entering our life and is offering us his friendship.
Thinking of Him captivates us. Being with Him internally makes us feel good ...
THIS IS HOW THE SUPERNATURAL INTERIOR LIFE IS BORN IN US.
The Lord Jesus himself can thus become the habitual point of reference for our thoughts and actions, because we feel the need to be friends with Him and we do not want to do anything that opposes Him: so much so that we feel a motion of regret if we do or say something that it cannot be in harmony with Him.
Sometimes we talk to Him mentally, sometimes we say nothing: you pay to be interiorly with Him, just like someone who loves and feels happy just being with the loved one, without saying anything.
So, slowly .. slowly, it is as if the Lord were building his house in us, because He too is at ease being right with us.
But a more beautiful image of our inner life (better than that of the house) is that of which the Song of Songs tells us: "I came to my garden ... I ate my comb and my honey, I drank the my wine and my milk. Eat, friends, drink, get drunk, my beloved ones!
(Song of Songs 5,1).
In fact, in the interior life, it is as if the door of Eden opened in us, the ancient Garden (that of the earthly Paradise), where the Son of God comes to us and drinks and eats and rejoices with the children of men.
It is there that the secret spiritual banquet is celebrated, the feast in which the Word sits at the table with his beloved ones and finds joy and consolation in their company.
We still do not know the life of God, but we do know something about that of men: yet we often forget that Jesus is also a man and is capable of experiencing human joy and consolation.
St. Joseph, according to the Gospel of March 19, is the designated custodian of "Whom the Holy Spirit has generated in Mary".
And, precisely because in the whole Gospel Joseph never utters a word, he is considered, according to an ancient tradition of the Church, the protector of the interior life, which the action of the Holy Spirit silently gives birth and cultivates in us.
We wrote at the beginning that Joseph, in the ancient Hebrew language, means "May Jahweh want to multiply".
! Well! May the Lord really multiply the lovers of the interior life, where He wants to give himself to us, so that we learn to live with Him (the Lord Jesus).
And we must not lose heart if at times we experience in our life the misery of our limitations, the pettiness of so many of our thoughts, the heaviness of our sins.
Instead, let us look with confidence, enthusiasm and joy at the intimacy to which the Lord calls us: it is already the beginning of eternal life, which will never be interrupted: "Whoever lives and believes in me will never die" (John chap . 11).
At this point we just have to hope that, at the end of our earthly life, so rich in facts and supernatural echoes, St. Joseph will also be with us, when we are about to cross the door that will introduce us into the world of God that is now which has also become our home. That is the home of a returning son, coming from afar.
In reality we will only come from this world so close to Him, albeit - at times - so far away.