Book Review - Consecration to St. Joseph
There are timely books, and then there are books planted at the most precise and necessary moment in history that, undoubtedly, they are Divinely inspired. From a personal perspective, seeing the world falling apart, I had an inner desire to get to know St. Joseph more closely. From a world's perspective, as it self-implodes in godlessness, it also is a time to "Go to Joseph." With that I introduce a review of Fr. Don Calloway's Consecration to St. Joseph.
This book is best suited as a 33 day preparation for a consecration to St. Joseph. Now the consecration is not like one to Our Lady, but it still is a special entrustment to a more than special saint. Each day there are readings and prayers to be followed. It is structured, yet not overbearing.
A word on the readings. Fr. Calloway has combined the best-of-the-best writings on St. Joseph. You will be amazed by some of the things St. Bernard, St. Eymard, Venerable Sheen, Mother Angelica ("old men don't walk to Egypt!"), and many others say about Jesus' foster father. You will also be amazed by what Fr. Calloway himself has to say. The teachings are theologically solid and spiritually enlightening - some of the best I have ever read, in fact. I can't help but think of this famous meme:
The truth is that, despite no actual words from St. Joseph in the Gospels, we actually can know a stunning amount about him. And make no mistake about it, the theology surrounding St. Joseph is stunning.
A few easily remedied criticisms: Fr. Calloway writes as he speaks. By that I mean he writes as he speaks!!! With lots of enthusiasm!!! Toning down the number of exclamation marks in future printings would, in my opinion, aid in the devotional feel to the book. Also, there is a terrible translation of the Veni Creator Spiritus at the back of the book. Finally, Fr. Calloway commissioned some artwork to be done in honour of this great saint. It turned out... uninspiring.
However, I truly believe Fr. Calloway has offered a great spiritual treasure to the Church with his new book. It is sure to increase devotion to St. Joseph, at the precise time when fathers, families, the Church, and the world need such devotion.
I will end with a word from St. Alphonsus Liguori:
"If two disciples going to Emmaus were inflamed with divine love by the few moments which they spent in company with our Savior, and by his words; so much so, that they said, 'Was not our heart burning within us while he spoke to us on the way?' - what flames of holy love must we not suppose to have been enkindled in the heart of St. Joseph, who for thirty years conversed with Jesus Christ, and listened to his words of eternal life!"