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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!