The following are messages from St. Joseph as received by Ann, a Lay Apostle contained in Volume Six of “Heaven Speaks to Families”, constitute sublime and practical messages to fathers on how best to imitate the virtues and examples of St. Joseph within their own families (or domestic churches). These messages have received the Imprimatur by Bishop Leo O’Reilly of the Diocese of Kilmore, Ireland and are distributed with permission of the same bishop. – Ed.
June 14, 2004
I send the most affectionate greetings to my brothers and sisters on earth. I have come particularly to speak to fathers during this time of darkness. If you have been given a child or the care of a child, you must take responsibility for the formation and support of that child. I wish to share a glimpse of my family with you, so that you can follow the example we have set. There were three of us, Jesus, Mary, and me, Joseph. I took responsibility, as much as possible, for the support of the family.
We were poor, it is true, because we lived in difficult times and for a time we were exiled. When you move to a land that is not your home, you are at a disadvantage, often, with regard to work. That was the case with me, and while I was skilled at my profession, I found it difficult to obtain as much work as I would have liked. Nevertheless, I made enough to keep us and we lived simply. I taught my Son that work was to be enjoyed and that through work a soul gave God great glory. I worked steadily and thoroughly, always being scrupulously honest and fair. My reputation was sound and I would have been known as a just man, both professionally and personally. I understood that my responsibility to Jesus was important to the Kingdom. I had the task of accompanying Him through His precious childhood.
Jesus, I must say, did not require any real correcting, because He was a most beautiful and sweet boy. His kindness brought tears to my eyes, sometimes many times in one day. I will say truly that He was an example to me. With that said, however, I also tried to be an example to Him and so must you be to your children. While I understand that you are not called upon to accompany Jesus through His childhood, you must understand that your child or children are equally precious in their humanity, because each little soul is of equal value in the Kingdom. Each day and each moment of each day is an opportunity to teach your child what it is to be a follower in God’s Kingdom. If I were allowed, I could write pages and pages, speaking only of the holiness of Mary, the mother of Christ. Can you imagine the honor that was mine? I was given the task of parenting with Mary as my partner. I will say briefly that Mary was the kindest, most gentle and most humble woman ever created by God. You must not think that she was given these virtues or that it was easy for her. This was not the case. Mary sacrificed each day and practiced these virtues. She was another constant source of example to me. How could I have been anything but virtuous living with these two heavenly creatures? Fathers, mine is the honor of instructing you on leading your families to Christ. Thank our loving Father in heaven for this grace because it is a very beautiful thing for Him to allow. Treat these words with humility and reverence and He, the God of All, will bring peace and joy to your families. You can be another pocket of holiness, as we were, and I will show you how. Remember that you have great and limitless help in heaven. Do not be discouraged if your family is struggling with worldly influences at this moment. I will help you and together we will move toward the example that our little Holy Family has set for you. All is well. Let us begin.
June 15, 2004
Fathers of the world, listen carefully to my words. Please understand that you will be held accountable for your parenting. In most cases, a father should be with his children. In cases where he cannot, through circumstances beyond his control, that is different. But I speak to the majority of fathers at this time. Your children are your treasure and they are also a large part of your salvation. You will gain the greatest of graces through your parenting of your children. To begin with the most fundamental advice, you must be with your children in order to properly parent them. Many fathers today view the role of father simply as a provider. They feel that as long as they are providing for their children’s material needs, their job has been completed. Fathers, you know this is not the case. Providing for your children’s material needs is only one aspect of your role as father. You must accept that if you are not at work, generally speaking, you should be with your family. Children learn from observing and modelling. They cannot do this if you are not in their company. Be with your children, fathers. You need do nothing, only set a calm example. Be about your household chores and let the children see that you are dutiful. Another current trend that concerns heaven is that of purity. Fathers, children must learn how important it is to be pure. Are your children learning this from you? They will learn it by observing the entertainment you participate in. How do you respond to television shows that depict impure actions and situations? Fathers, these things are not acceptable for you. You must not watch television programs that illustrate mortal sin. Certainly your children should not watch these things either. That, dear men, is a profound truth, and if you are allowing your children to view behaviors on television that depict sin, you are in effect teaching them these behaviors. You must understand that by not objecting to these things, you are teaching your children that these behaviors are acceptable. This must stop. When you reject a program because it is illustrating unChristian-like behaviors, you must take the opportunity to explain to your children why you are doing so and why the behavior you rejected is not Christian. Do you understand? You must ask me to help you in this issue if you are unsure because homes are being contaminated constantly in this manner. This form of entertainment is unsuitable for you, dear men of God. You want to come to heaven, do you not? Then you must begin to prepare yourselves on earth. You can do this by spending time with your children in purity, and doing things together that do not offend God. You will be accountable for each word you say to your children. God does not expect you to be perfect. Do not be afraid. You will make mistakes, of course, and that is understood and forgiven. But you must not allow a pattern of entertainment in your home that is objectionable to heaven. Consider always what Jesus would say about an entertainment. He is with you, you know, at each moment. Be aware of His presence and you can then judge your actions and activities by His standard. I will help you to escape from any bad habits that have taken hold of you. Be cheerful and courageous and together we will purify your life.
June 16, 2004
Dear fathers of the world, you must heed my voice. I am speaking to you from kindness and concern. We in heaven watch the events in the world because we are eager to assist you. We hear your prayers and immediately begin interceding for you so that any graces available will be utilized. Allow us to help you to examine your role as father so you can be certain you are fulfilling this role as God has willed. You must examine your role in comparison to me, Joseph, the head of the Holy Family. Do not examine your role in comparison to a soul who is not following God. You must take this opportunity to also look at your companions. Are they true followers? Do they encourage you to be a good father and husband? Are they themselves good fathers and husbands? Dear man, if they are not fulfilling their role as father and husband, it will be difficult for you to resist their influence. Many in this time will encourage you to put yourself first, but I tell you in all seriousness that you should not do this. Your wife and children must come first. You are to lead your family to heaven. In heaven, the first will be last. Consider yourself a servant to your family. In this way you will not spend too much time meditating on how you would like to follow the world. You live in a world of great darkness. I must speak the truth so that you know that it is critical that your family be steered safely through these times. With the help of heaven, you will do this successfully. But in order to obtain this help, you must ask for it. In order to ask for it, you must be prayerful. If you are not prayerful, you will not see the need to pray because you will be too busy scurrying from one day to the next and telling yourself that all is well because this is what everyone else is doing. Fathers, set a tone of quietness in your home whenever possible. Children in your care will then feel free to come to you with their little difficulties and fears. Be available to them by often sitting quietly or working in silence. There is no need for the constant distraction of noise. It dulls your soul, dear man, and God cannot find rest in you. If you spend time in quietness, your soul will calm and your God can claim you and communicate with you. He will inspire you to give consideration to His will for your life. He will give you an awareness of the large view of your life and your family, pulling you away from the small view, which is the moment. If your large view includes heaven and serving God, you will understand that you must live each moment differently. Set your sight on heaven, for both you and your family, and you will see your perspective begin to shift a little here and alter a little there. This is a process and you can be comfortable that all will not change in a day, particularly if you have been spending too much time in the world or practicing bad habits. But it will change. Gradually, your home will feel different to you. You will long for holiness for each of the souls in your family who are walking your life journey with you. You will see their spiritual development as the priority. Dearest man, created by God, this is your role. You, in partnership with your wife, are to shepherd your little ones through their childhoods so that they can grow strong in the service to the Kingdom. Be brave and allow Me, Joseph, to show you how this should be done.
June 17, 2004
Dear sons of God, you must treat fatherhood like the great honor that it is. By allowing you to provide formation to a child, Our God has placed a degree of trust in you. You will not want to disappoint Him. You must listen to Him for direction on what your children require for the best possible preparation in life. Because each soul is unique, the same approach that works for one will not work for all. Each child will need thoughtful consideration given to the approach that will best suit their nature. Fathers, when do you give the rearing of your children this consideration? You should spend some time each day thinking of your children and what they need. It is important, of course, that they be fed and clothed, but not to excess. It is important that they have shelter and, if possible, an education. What I want to stress to you, fathers of the world, is that your children need your love, along with these other things. Children, more than anything, must know that their father loves them and considers them precious. Your actions every day will tell your children how you feel about them. If you are called on to correct a child, do so gently, with love. If a child angers you, you must remember that you were once a child and made similar mistakes. Do not frighten your children, fathers. This is not love. This is the opposite of love. Your child should respect you, of course, and you should not tolerate behavior that will not be welcome in the Kingdom, but expect some bad behavior and expect to have to gently correct your children. Fathers often make the mistake of thinking that their primary function with children is that of disciplinarian. This is an error. Your primary function as a father is to love and then to set an example that your children can follow which will result in eternity in heaven. Are you doing this, dear man? Be vigilant in examining your own behavior and be certain that your children are not mimicking something in you when they misbehave. This is important, so pay heed. I love you dearly, men of the world. I understand the influences with which you struggle. That is why you must spend time in prayer, and not with entertainment. Your Jesus wants to help you and He wants you to help Him. This is a dark time for mankind because many have said “no” to God and to holy living. If you have done this, you must tell Jesus today that you are willing to change and that you desire that He help you. I tell you most sincerely that Jesus will handle everything if you are willing to change. He will forgive you every sin. He will mitigate any damage that neglect has done to your children. Jesus, in short, will solve your problems but you must spend time in silence with Him. Make prayer the most important part of your day, fathers. Only in this way can you determine what Jesus requires from you with regard to your life and your parenting. Heaven understands that you have pressures and that you must earn your living and support your family. Heaven respects these things because it is heaven who has ordained this way of life for you. You must constantly ask heaven to guide you in these matters, as well as in spiritual matters. We will hear your prayers and assist you. But you must be the head of your family now and set a tone of respect for God.
June 18, 2004
Again today I call out to fathers. Dear men, you must face your mistakes fearlessly. Examine with me the way that you live. Do you live for God? If God were to call you home to heaven today, could you lie down peacefully, content that you had worthily accepted your vocation as husband and father? As human beings, created by God, we are all subject to His time. When He decrees that your time on earth has passed, it has passed. There will be no second chances with regard to either your life or your parenting. When your children are grown, the opportunity to influence them diminishes. You should never give up setting an example for your children and attempting to help them to see the straight path to heaven, but you can do far more with children than adults. So you see, dear man, that you must seize the opportunity to mold your child when he is small. Many souls on earth think that they are entitled to great amounts of relaxation and play time. I tell you most solemnly that play time is for children. If you are an adult, you should be concerned with serving Christ, and not with entertaining yourself. If you spend time in silent prayer, considering Jesus and what He did for you, you will understand what it is He asks that you do for Him. This is simple, I know, but I assure you that few men are giving Christ this time to work in their souls. It is for this reason we have reached the current level of darkness. Historically man said “no” to sin. In this day man says “yes” to sin. Children suffer because if man is saying “yes” to sin, he is saying “no” to his vocation. You cannot live two ways, my dear friend, so you must make a choice. Choose God. There is no future for you or your family in choosing darkness. Do not underestimate the power of God to assist a soul who seeks goodness. He will help you. I would like to speak about how I treated Mary, my wife on earth. I treated her with the greatest dignity and respect. I tried to help her when I could, and I remained in constant awareness of her comfort and happiness. I was unable to provide her with great wealth, and sometimes we were forced to go without, subsisting on the barest of necessities. She did not complain and I did not rail against God for placing us in trying times. I humbly placed my little family in the care of God and did the best I could to provide for them. Dear men of the world, there are those who are in far more need than you, whatever your circumstances. You must be content with what God has given you. Remember that there will always be those with more, and there will always be those with less. Praise God in everything and you will be cared for by heaven. When you worry about material things, consider what would happen if you were to do without many of the things you have today. Would you starve? Spend some time considering what it is your body needs for survival and I think you will see that you have been given these things. There may come a time when you do not have as much as you have today. How you will shake your heads at your former complaints. Do you understand what I am trying to tell you? Do not wish for more; wish to be happier with less. Pray this way and God will help you by showing you that you do not need all of these things with which you surround yourself. These things are a distraction. Your families are no happier than those who have less, and this I say from experience. We were very happy on earth and we had little. Keep a heavenly perspective and you will not feel that you require more.
June 19, 2004
Dear men, destined to serve God, please consider that your first duty is to your family. Indeed, caring for your wife and children is your sacred duty, and all of heaven will help you to make this your priority. God’s love will flow through you into your home, and He, through you, will be the leader of your family. Do you want this to happen? Look closely at your home and family and determine if it is already this way. If it is, then all is well and we will continue on, heaven working closely with you to steer your family through difficult times. If this is not the case, then you must understand that there is work to be done in your life. Most men in today’s world have a little work to do, so do not be discouraged if you see things that must be removed from your life. Be brave and steady and you will come to know God’s will for you. Dear man, you were created by God to serve during this time and God needs your service. He is calling out to all of His children now and asking that souls put aside worldly desires in favor of heavenly desires. Come to the most direct path to heaven and do not leave this path again. Please. In a very short time, you will be so glad that you served. These times are not ordinary times, my dear friend. These are extraordinary times and the greatest of heavenly help is available for God’s servants. Do not be anxious by this. Be grateful. Jesus is all good. If you but knew the depth of His compassion and love for you, there would be no need for any words at all. But souls in the world have been distracted and the view to heaven has been all but obliterated by the darkness of sin. There is little joy on earth and many souls wander in despair. You must not do that. You are a child of the Kingdom and you must walk in joy. I will show you the path to joy. As a man of God, you have the greatest of dignity as your right. That dignity comes from living a purposeful life in union with Jesus. When you seek His will, look no further than your family and you will find your path to salvation. Join us, the army that seeks to wage war on darkness. We are brave and loyal to our King. Our King, Jesus Christ, gives us all that we require for this battle. He has a particular mission for you but you must sit in silence and ask Him to reveal it to you. I, Joseph, am very close to the Savior. I will intercede for you to help you eradicate sin in your life and restore your heavenly role to its rightful level of holiness. Be at peace in everything, but do not hesitate to answer “yes” to God.