Monday, March 19, 2012

On being ten ~ a letter to Joe

The silence of Saint Joseph is given a special emphasis. His silence is steeped in contemplation of the mystery of God in an attitude of total availability to divine desires. It is a silence thanks to which Joseph, in unison with Mary, watches over the Word of God, known through the Sacred Scriptures, continuously comparing it with the events of the life of Jesus; a silence woven of constant prayer, a prayer of blessing of the Lord, of the adoration of His holy will and of unreserved entrustment to his providence. It is no exaggeration to think that it was precisely from his "father" Joseph that Jesus learned -- at the human level -- that steadfast interiority which is a presupposition of authentic justice.... Let us allow ourselves to be "filled" with Saint Joseph's silence! In a world that is often too noisy, that encourages neither recollection nor listening to God's voice.

Pope Benedict XVI
December 18, 2005

Dearest Joseph,

     I don't even know where to begin because today, you are ten. 10!!! As you said earlier, "a whole decade". It is so hard to believe that so much time has gone by. It is truly a bittersweet thing as a mother, these birthdays that seem to happen faster and faster. For while I love all of the ages and stages, it is so hard to let go of them. To see you age before my eyes. To watch as that little boy grows long of limb and thinks with the heart of a poet. Not many people know that about you, though, do they? You are so good at being quiet. How difficult it must be to have two obnoxiously-loud parents (and one very loud baby brother) to contend with. Daddy and I are going to do a better job of being quiet. I have to tell you, it's hard for us, me and your daddy. We are so incredibly in love with you and Max and we just have to share it! We live loudly and fully.... and I know that it is not always easy for you. (Just know that we will try to be better.) 

     I love the quote above about St. Joseph, because it so reminds me of you. Your heart. Your way of loving God. Because you are so quiet, and because I have to ask you questions, I am always astounded by your understanding of our God. For somehow, you have listened in the quiet. You have been able to take all of our noisy chatter and allowed God to speak to you and you just.....get it. The "Force" that is our faith is guiding you, and I am so glad to share in this journey with you. Remember that no matter what, you are loved and adored. Never let anyone tell you that you don't matter, or that who you are is not enough. It simply isn't true..... Who you are matters. This world is lucky to have you in it, to remind people that we ALL matter, no matter how different or quiet or quirky.  :)

     How lucky I am to be your mama! You have taught me to be better about being quiet. About listening. Thank you for that. Thank you for being you. And this picture that we took at the zoo? Remember? How you just stood still and looked at this lion? Well.  It reminds me of Aslan, and of staying up late to read The Chronicles of Narnia. It reminds me of hours of listening to "The Lion King"and singing at the top of our lungs. It reminds me of strength. It reminds me of you. When you need a little lifting up? Look at this and remember how strong you are. 

          I adore you, my lion-hearted son. Happy Happy Birthday.

With all my heart. Forever.

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