During his Wednesday general audience yesterday, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on Saint Joseph, saying he is a “man who dreams” and that his example can help us discern the voice of God through prayer.

Departing from his prepared remarks towards the end of his address, he spoke off the cuff:

“I am thinking at this moment of so many people who are crushed by the weight of life and can no longer hope or pray. May Saint Joseph help them to open themselves to dialogue with God in order to find light, strength, and peace.” 

Pope Francis offered Saint Joseph as someone parents can turn to in times of trouble.

“And I am thinking, too, of parents in the face of their children’s problems: Children with many illnesses, children who are sick, even with permanent maladies — how much pain is there! — parents who see different sexual orientations in their children; how to deal with this and accompany their children and not hide in an attitude of condemnation.”

In face of “so many parental problems,” he said, “let’s think about it: how to help them.”

“Parents who see their children leaving because of an illness, and also — even sadder, we read about it every day in the newspapers — children who get into mischief and end up in a car accident. Parents who see their children not progressing in school and don’t know how… So many parental problems. Let’s think about it: how to help them.”

The pope’s key advice? Turn to Saint Joseph, and never condemn your children.

“To these parents I say: don’t be scared. Yes, there is pain. A lot. But think of the Lord, think about how Joseph solved the problems and ask Joseph to help you. Never condemn a child.

Pope Francis ended his remarks with a prayer to Saint Joseph.

St Joseph, man who dreams,
teach us to recover the spiritual life
as the inner place where God manifests Himself and saves us.

Remove from us the thought that praying is useless;
help each one of us to correspond to what the Lord shows us.

May our reasoning be illuminated by the light of the Spirit,
our hearts encouraged by His strength
and our fears saved by His mercy. Amen.

 Saint Joseph, pray for us! 🙏

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