Sunday, March 15, 2009

Fade Away

During the season of Lent, specifically in March, there are a number of saints who have feast days, but there are two more well known saints the Church celebrates this month. March 17th is the more popular one as most know it as St. Patrick’s Day. In talking with my father today, he mentioned that Shreveport, LA already had their St. Patrick’s Day parade yesterday, March 14th.

St. Joseph doesn’t always have the public fanfare that St. Patrick might have, but I believe St. Joseph wouldn’t have it any other way. For the Church, St. Joseph holds a special place as the husband of Mary and the foster father of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Though Joseph is my middle name and I’ve had a small devotion to him for years, this last month, this humble saint has taken a more prominent role in my life. This past Monday, March 9th, the novena to St. Joseph began and, using the Treasury of Novenas, we have found a wonderful meditation on St. Joseph’s life. One paragraph in particular is poignant for me:

Joseph served Jesus with great unselfishness, without any regard to self-interest, but not without sacrifices. He did not toil for himself, but he seemed to be an instrument intended for the benefit of others, to be put aside as soon as it had done its work, for he disappeared from the scene once the childhood of Jesus had passed. (p. 229)

Joseph exemplified John the Baptist’s words, “He must increase; but I must decrease” (John 3:30), without ever having to say anything, for the Scriptures depict Joseph as silent in words but prophetic in his actions.

Even before our wedding, Frances shone with such a beautiful radiance and I knew that her place, her role as a wife and mother was to be the jewel of our family. She’ll be quick to reflect the light of Christ and not take any glory for herself, but whenever we’re at Church, with friends, or just out and about, Frances attracts the attention. In turn she does a great job of pointing to the Lord in her actions, words, and even appearance.

During the pregnancy, she as the figurative “church,” held within herself the blessing of life God had given us. She drew even more attention, and she even told me, “I feel bad because I everyone is focusing on me.” Even when I wasn’t with Frances, everyone always asked me, “How is Frances?”

Now that Teresa has been born, so many are rejoicing with us in the new life God has given us. She and Frances continue to be the sparkling jewels of our family. Now I’m asked, “How are Teresa and Frances?” And I respond with joy.

I rejoice because this is the way it’s supposed to be. The role of the husband and father is to decrease as St. Joseph but still remain the head of “domestic church.” Each day of Teresa’s life has taught me that there’s so much I don’t know. I am appreciating the challenges that will come with being a father, and I admire St. Joseph all the more for the humility and sacrifices he endured to provide for the Holy Family. I have a long way to go in my journey to be holy, but I’m glad I have St. Joseph interceding for me and all fathers, husbands, and men.

So I end as my friend Adam over at A New Paracletes ends his posts: St. Joseph, patron of families, champion of purity, and model of humility, pray for us!

Photo Credit: Editor B


Adam said...

Couldn't have said it better myself. I found this novena to St. Joseph a while back. Its pretty good stuff:

Shannon said...

what a beautiful reflection, David!
Frances, what a dear and strong husband you have!

Blessings to you both!