Breathing out Joseph breathing in Mary

…Joseph is in charge of making known to all humans: the art of eliminating—eliminating idle thoughts, not by fighting them off but by gently slipping out of their hold, of their implacable logic, as Joseph slipped away from the clutch of Herod’s soldiers.  To fight against evil thoughts, when teaching in the temple, is the best way of making them still more obsessive, more dangerous.  Let us leave the task of facing up to the forces of evil to St Michael; with Joseph who is but a human being as we are, let us learn the precious art of evasion.  It is the art practiced by Jesus at the time of his first confrontation with Satan.

How can one escape the evidence of pride which underscores the superiority of this one, the insignificance of that one, going exactly from one to the other to arrive in both cases to the same inflexibility?  How can one escape from the morbid suggestions of the senses, from attraction for alcohol, drugs or very simply, from the fatal return of fixed ideas?  How can one escape this obsessive past when the Devil easily finds ways of accusing his unfortunate victims, by night and by day, before the throne of God?  Too often, this victim in question agrees with these accusations and thinks that no one else but God could stir up so many truths.

If we learned to practice interior silence with the one who does not speak and who is in charge of teaching it to us, we will be amazed to see mountain’s slide away and disappear…..

What does not come from God, as all masters of spirituality have noted, from Saint Catherine of Siena to St John of the Cross, is often brilliant, inspiring at first, then becomes a source of uneasiness, sadness, perturbation.  What comes from God is often quite bitter, exercises little attraction at first but quickly becomes a source of profound peace…..

We must find the ways of silence in ourselves beginning as we have said in passing, with breathing: to breathe calmly while becoming aware of the symbolic aspects of the operation is, so to speak, the spiritual initiative, the first form of intelligent obedience of the creature to its Creator.  To breathe out with Joseph, (the patron saint of the art of expiring, of eliminating, of dying) in order to breathe in the same way with Mary (the woman inhabited by the Spirit, source of all “inspiration,” divine breath).  Breathing thus experienced becomes like the balancing pole of the tightrope walker, which allows him to move forward on his rope without falling.  Breathing is the only psychic reality on which we have a direct hold to help us cross certain difficult passage where we run the risk of panicking, getting lost, and allowing ourselves to be alienated (with the complicity of the powers of darkness to which one must not give the slightest importance, but whose harmful effects it would be predicted list to ignore).  —Father Andrew Doze ‘Saint Joseph Shadow of the Father’



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