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  • 09 Feb 2021 by Fr. Corey Tufford

    Saint Joseph is called the “mirror of patience.” He reflects for us what patience looks like with the model of his saintly life. He reflects patience in how he endured difficulties without abandoning himself to sorrow and without losing sight of the good toward which he was striving.


    As the leader of the holy family, St. Joseph had to endure many difficulties, which are reported in sacred Scripture — waiting for the Lord to direct him with regard to Mary’s wonderous pregnancy; waiting three months to see his wife again while Mary visited Elizabeth; journeying with Mary and Jesus into Egypt and not knowing how long he would have to support his family in this place far from home.[1] And yet, as the mirror of patience, St. Joseph endured these difficulties with the help of God’s grace and kept his eyes fixed on the goods that made this endurance worth it — love for his family, for others, for God, and as opportunities to grow in virtue.


    We don’t become morally virtuous people without making choices to exercise our will in choosing the good. God’s grace helps us on this journey, but we still need to make choices. In order to become patient people we need to choose to exercise our will to resist submitting to sorrow when faced with difficulties and we do this in favor of a good that makes this endurance worth it. More specifically, to practice patience means to choose to endure difficulties with a balanced mind so that we don’t abandon with an unbalanced mind the goods whereby we may advance to better things.[2]


    If I’m at work and my superior or coworkers (perhaps without knowing it) cause my work experience to be burdensome, this may be an opportunity by which I can grow in patience. Instead of complaining (in my head or out loud), instead of stewing in my sadness over the situation, I can choose to remember the good which makes enduring these trials worth it. I can choose to remember that this work helps me to support my family. I can choose to remember that this work helps the customers I encounter on a daily basis. Finally, I can choose to remember that each difficult experience offers me an opportunity to grow in virtue by being merciful, forgiving, growing in being assertive, and learning to check my ego by practicing meekness.


    God permits us to experience trials and hardships as a means for us to grow in virtue. He is a good Father who knows which challenges are going to help us, and those around us, as we choose to cooperate with His grace. May we remember to ask for the intercession of St. Joseph, mirror of patience, in these moments of hardship and continue on our journey of growing in holiness.


    [1] Cf. Donald H. Calloway, Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father, 55.

    [2] Summa Theologica II-II, Q. 136, Art.1, s. c.

  • 12 Jan 2021 by Fr. Corey Tufford

    As you may have heard, Pope Francis has proclaimed a year of Saint Joseph (see more here). According to the Pope’s decree, this year of Saint Joseph will span from December 8th, 2020 to December 8th, 2021. This presents us with an awesome opportunity to make a new Saint-friend in St. Joseph.

    If I could point you to one resource for getting to know St. Joseph this year it’s Fr. Donald H. Calloway’s book, Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father (available here). I have to admit, I haven’t finished the book (yet!), but the little that I have encountered in this book has increased my devotion to St. Joseph and my desire to live an authentic Christian life.

    At one point in the book, Fr. Calloway speaks about St. Joseph’s title, “Joseph Most Faithful:”

    "Today, it is not easy to be faithful to Jesus. The world does not want you to trust Jesus, hope in his promises, or love him. If you live according to the teachings of Jesus, you will be ridiculed and mocked by the world, and maybe even by your family and friends."

    Saint Joseph was faithful to Jesus, in good times and in bad, and his faithfulness serves as an inspiration for us. Saint Joseph is a wonderful model for us to imitate as we are presented today with innumerable persecutions that come from simply standing up for what we know to be true — persecuted for being faithful to Jesus while trusting in his faithfulness toward us.

    These days social media and other media attempt to dictate what we are allowed to think and say. Reject that. To be a Christian today means being a thorn in the side of the world. You don’t have to be a jerk about it (in fact, I suggest that we not be jerks about it!) We are always called to charity. But being charitable does not mean that we are reduced to silence out of fear of what the woke-mob is going to say or do against us. At the same time, we should be wise and clever about how we go about this. Jesus instructs us, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves,” (Matthew 10:16).

    The most important relationship in our life is our relationship with God. We are called to be faithful to God. Saint Joseph models this faithfulness for us in his relationship with Jesus and the sufferings he endured as Jesus’ father. Saint Joseph also trusted in God’s faithfulness as he endured the sufferings that came with being the father of Jesus. May we be inspired to be faithful to God after the example of our spiritual father, St. Joseph most faithful.

    St. Joseph, Most Faithful — pray for us! 

  • 24 Nov 2020 by Jamie Mark

    The intention of this reflection is to lead you to a place of prayer.

    In 1 John 4:17-19, Saint John writes:

    “In this is love perfected with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because he first loved us.”

    A first key for understanding these verses is found in the word confidence in verse 17. This is a unique type of confidence about which Saint John is writing. The Greek word is parrÄ“sia and means “boldness”, “courage”, or “outspokenness”. Within this particular context, parrÄ“sia is used “for the sense of security that Christians have in their relationship with God.”[1] It is the boldness that a beloved son or daughter of God has in relation to the Father. This boldness, or confidence, “allows us to live on open terms with the Lord without a servile or inordinate fear of his judgment.”[2]


    “We love, because he first loved us.” This is the more foundational key for understanding these verses. The sure source of our confidence is the love of God the Father revealed in Jesus, and experienced through the gift of the Holy Spirit. When we seek to rest under the loving gaze of our perfect heavenly Father, there is where we find our confidence. It is a daily task — but not such a bad one, right? To rest under the loving gaze of our perfect heavenly Father.


    Through this daily practice of allowing ourselves to be loved by God the Father, we will grow in what St. Josemaría Escrivá called “holy shamelessness”.[3] With this holy shamelessness we can approach God honestly with our whole self, warts and all. We can be confident that he loves us, and confident that he wants to encourage us and strengthen us with his grace to grow, especially in the sacraments of reconciliation and the Eucharist. With this holy shamelessness, we become free to promote and defend Christian truth, we become free in those settings where we feel most anxious, and we become free to share with others the love we ourselves have encountered.


    With this ideal of Christian confidence in mind, it is important now to ask, “In my relationship with God, am I living in a state of servile fear? Or, have I come to know the love the Father has revealed for me in Christ as a beloved son or daughter?” What is your answer?


    Look to the Crucifix and know, he did this for me. Imagine the face of Christ, and see the love of God the Father revealed in Jesus’ divine humanity. “We love, because he first loved us.”

     - Father Corey Tufford

    [1] The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: The New Testament (San Francisco 2010) 473.

    [2] Ibid.

    [3] The Way, “Your Sanctity”. n. 387-392.