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St. Joseph’s love of silence and silence of love

2 min • Digitized on August 13, 2021

From The Life and Glories of St. Joseph, in file "The Life and Glories of St. Joseph", page 384
By Edward Healy Thompson, M.A.

Heaven is the birth-place and home of love. Its blessed inhabitants love much, love for ever, and love only what is worthy of love.

Joseph, however, was blessed by anticipation, for he passed all his days in the exercise of divine love, and lived a life of love upon earth.

The Evangelists do not record a single word of this great saint; he observed, indeed, a marvellous silence. Not, however, an ungracious silence.

The silence of ordinary men, as well as their irrepressible flow of words, is often merely selfish. But Joseph’s silence and his speech were alike prompted and regulated by the law of charity, a law which excludes both garrulity, on the one hand, and, on the other, a reserve which might offend.

We may, therefore, say with truth that Joseph never uttered a superfluous word without thereby attributing to him a taciturnity which would have rendered him unwelcome and distasteful to his neighbours. His words, indeed, were never superfluous, for they had their source in love, but they were also ruled by his will, not forced from him as the expression of his feelings.

Hence, we repeat, Joseph’s silence was marvellous. How, indeed, would he whose heart was burning with the sacred love of Jesus pour itself forth in converse with men? But even as regards that one absorbing occupation of his heart, his words were few.

True love is not talkative; even in the interior of his holy home Joseph spoke little; and it was the same with Mary, his spouse. Their hearts met and were united in this one love, and few words were needed to express mutually what they inwardly felt and lived upon. But we shall have more to say later on of Joseph’s silence as well as of his habitual state of contemplation.

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