Watermark Small

An angel appears to St. Joseph in a dream after the Birth of Jesus in Bethlehem and tells him to flee with the Holy Family to Egypt to escape the sword of Herod. Artwork by Francesco Solimena.

sleeping saint joseph

by Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC

God loves sleep. He made it.

Your Heavenly Father has designed you so that approximately one-third of your life should be spent asleep. He himself rested after creating the heavens and the earth (see Gen 2:2-3).

God is a father. He delights in his children when they sleep. God communicates with his children when they sleep. It’s a biblical fact. In the life and mission of St. Joseph, God chose to speak to him as he slept. On four occasions, God communicated through an angel to St. Joseph very important messages in his dreams (see Mt 1:20; 2:13, 19, 22).

Saint Joseph’s sleep is so important and powerful … The sleep of St. Joseph can teach modern man important lessons about life. One of the most important lessons it teaches us is that it is okay to rest. Being a workaholic is never a good thing. Saint Joseph was not a workaholic. He liked to sleep. Sleep refreshed his soul. God communicated with St. Joseph when he slept, and he was a holier husband and father because of it.

You are not wasting time when you rest. Sleep is pleasing to God. God will speak to you and refresh your soul when you sleep.”

Excerpt From: Donald H. Calloway, MIC. “Consecration to St. Joseph.” iBooks. https://books.apple.com/us/book/consecration-to-st-joseph/id1492719388

In vain is your earlier rising, your going later to rest, you who toil for the bread you eat: when he pours gifts on his beloved while they slumber.”

Psalm 127:2
Saint Joseph with the Christ Child Sleeping in his Arms (1652), oil on canvas, painting by Francisco Camilo (1615-1673)

the portal of the mystery of hope

Continued from Fr. Calloway’s book, Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father

The French poet Charles Péguy wrote about the importance of sleep in an incredible poem, titled The Portal of the Mystery of Hope. The poem is written from God’s perspective and is meant to remind modern man that God delights in his children when they sleep. Here’s an excerpt:

Just sleep. Why don’t people make use of it?
I’ve given this secret to everyone, says God. I haven’t sold it.
He who sleeps well, lives well. He who sleeps, prays.
He who works, prays too. But there’s time for everything. Both for sleep and for work.
Work and sleep are like two brothers. And they get on very well together.
And sleep leads to work just like work leads to sleep.
He who works well sleeps well, he who sleeps well works well.

And yet they tell me that there are men who don’t sleep.
I don’t like the man who doesn’t sleep, says God.
Sleep is the friend of man.
Sleep is the friend of God.

Sleep may be my most beautiful creation.
And I too rested on the seventh day.
He whose heart is pure, sleeps. And he who sleeps has a pure heart.
This is the great secret to being as indefatigable as a child.

Yes, they tell me that there are men who work well and who sleep poorly.
Who don’t sleep. What a lack of confidence in me.

I’m talking about those who work and who don’t sleep.
I pity them. I’m talking about those who work, and who thus
in doing this are following my commandment, poor children.
And who, on the other hand, don’t have the courage, don’t have the confidence to sleep.
I pity them. I hold it against them. A bit. They don’t trust me.
As a child lays innocently in his mother’s arms, thus do they not lay innocently in the arms of my Providence.
They have the courage to work. They don’t have the courage to do nothing.
They possess the virtue of work. They don’t possess the virtue of doing nothing.
Of relaxing. Of resting. Of sleeping.
Unhappy people, they don’t know what’s good.

Charles Péguy, The Portal of the Mystery of Hope, trans. David Louis Schindler, Jr. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1996); as found in an excerpt From: Donald H. Calloway, MIC. “Consecration to St. Joseph.” iBooks. https://books.apple.com/us/book/consecration-to-st-joseph/id1492719388

While we sleep the Angels keep watch by us, and they never tire of being with us.”

Saint Augustine
St Joseph with Infant Christ in his Arms, Guido Reni, oil on canvas

saint joseph, Protector of the holy church, pray for us

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family, pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

Email Signature Logo

We welcome your comments.