When the tools are put in their places and the day’s work is done,
When between Carmel and the Jordan, Israel falls asleep in the wheatfields and the night,
As when he was once a young boy and it began to get too dark for reading,
Joseph enters with a deep sigh into conversation with God.
He preferred Wisdom and she had been brought to him for marriage.
He is as silent as the earth when the dew rises,
He feels the fulness of night, and he is at ease with joy and with truth.
Mary is in his possession and he surrounds her on all sides.
It is not in a single day he learned how not to be alone any more.
A woman won over each part of his heart which is now prudent and fatherly.
Again he is in Paradise with Eve!
The face which all men need turns with love and submission toward Joseph.
It is no longer the same prayer and no longer the ancient waiting since he has felt
Like an arm suddenly without hate the pressure of his profound and innocent being.
It is no longer bare Faith in the night, it is love explaining and working.
Joseph is with Mary and Mary is with the Father.
And for us, too, so that God at last may be allowed, whose works surpass our reason,
So that this light may not be extinguished by our lamp and His word by the noise we make,
So that man cease, and Your kingdom come and Your Will be done,
So that we may find again the beginning with boundless delight,
So that the sea may quiet down and Mary begin,
She who has the better part and who consummates the struggle of ancient Israel,
Inner Patriarch, Joseph, obtain silence for us!
Paul Claudel, 1868-1955
Fr Lee Kenyon
Priest, Husband, Father, Lancastrian, Mancunian