Dehonian Spirituality includes a monthly reflection and prayer based in the spirituality of Fr. Leo John Dehon, founder of the Priests of the Sacred Heart (Dehonians).
Reflections from Fr. Leo John Dehon, founder of the Priests of the Sacred Heart
St. Joseph has always been recognized as the model and the patron of a good death because having died in the arms of Jesus and under the eyes of Mary, he had the gentlest and the most holy death. St. Joseph had probably died when Jesus, at the age of thirty, began his public life. He had received from Jesus the care of a son, and from Mary the care of a sister and a wife. Oh! the beautiful and holy death is so enviable!
St. Joseph was completely inebriated with the love of Jesus. He took him to Egypt to save him. He cried for him in the Temple when he lost him. He spends his entire life working for him. We do not have Jesus visible to us, but we have the Eucharist. Let us persevere in the habit of communion; it will save us.
For us, the sufferings of Jesus are summarized and symbolized in the crucifix. St. Joseph was not on Calvary, but he had seen Jesus in the poverty of Bethlehem, in the suffering of exile, in the labors of the workshop, and it is next to him and with him that he had worked and suffered. Let us meditate on the crucifix and let us embrace it, and patiently suffer our sorrows.
St. Joseph is good and dedicated. He wears himself out with obscure work to feed Jesus and Mary and to help those who are poorer than his family is. Let us engage in some works of mercy, especially those that challenge us.
Saint Joseph was just, the Gospel says. He had been prefigured by Joseph, son of Jacob, model of innocence and purity. A holy death was bound to crown his holy life. We, who too often fall into sin, let us at least avoid premeditated sins. Let us desire to stay pure. In a moment of surprise, it will keep us from sins of weakness.
O, St. Joseph, I commend to you my life and my death. I will follow your footsteps to save my soul and at the time of my death you will make an appeal for me to the mercy of the Heart of Jesus.
In your kindness, please lift up in your prayer the deceased members of the Priests of the Sacred Heart and your deceased loved ones. You may find helpful the following prayer for the deceased, adapted from the Roman Missal.
O loving God of abundant life,
who has set a limit to this present life,
so as to open up an entry into eternity,
we humbly ask
that by the grace of your mercy
you permit the names of your servants
and our deceased sisters and brothers
to be inscribed in the book of life.
We make this prayer
through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.