From an episode: The priest said, "The devil wants to destroy your family, but he has to come through you to get them."
As we face the trials of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as those with families work to ensure their safety, there’s no better time to look to St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus.
St. Joseph led the Holy Family during many trials, and there is much to learn from him. As their protector, provider, and guide, he is the model of masculinity and holiness Catholics look up to.
The Knights of Columbus explore these topics in their new video series, Into the Breach.
Here are some key takeaways from Into the Breach that can help us model our lives more like St. Joseph, even during quarantine.
True masculinity is not about conquering others, but about serving and protecting.
The quiet of quarantine can be humbling. But it is in that quiet that we can listen to God and seek his will.
“I love St. Joseph. His model speaks volumes because he doesn’t say anything,” said Dave DiNuzzo Sr. of TrueManhood Men’s Ministry.
“I would much rather watch a man and see his actions, because that’s going to tell me who he is. And he was the one who trained the Savior in living, in being a man.”
God continues his work through holy families.
Coronavirus is bringing families together for extended periods of time. It’s important to remember that children learn the faith through their families.
Father Burke Masters, director of adult formation in the Diocese of Joliet, recounted a story showing just how crucial this is. Once, when he was preparing to celebrate Mass, he saw a family of four walk into the church. The mother wore her Sunday best, genuflected toward the tabernacle, and her eight-year-old son followed her example.
The dad walked in wearing a hoodie and tattered jeans, and plopped into the pew with his arms folded. His teenage son did the same.
“Guess what happened? He followed his dad’s example,” Father Masters said. “And my thought was, it’s not going to be long before that eight-year-old is following dad, rather than mom’s example.”
Catholic fathers have one mission.
And that is to get their families to heaven. Use this time to strengthen your family’s prayer life and relationship with the Lord. Steve Greene, director of the Kino Catechetical Institute shared this chilling story:
“I remember I went to confession one time and the priest just looked at me and he said something I’ll never forget. He said, ‘The devil wants to destroy your family, but he has to come through you to get them. And so what he wants you to do is develop these habits of sin so that when he comes to attack your family you’re not even a threat.’”
We have a duty to share God’s love.
Widespread loneliness is a major concern during the coronavirus pandemic. Why not give your friends and family a call? You never know how one conversation can change a heart.
“When we die and we go, God willing, to the Lord, we will realize that only one thing mattered: Jesus Christ,” said Fr. Paul Sullivan, director of vocations for the Diocese of Phoenix. “How tragic it would be to encounter people who say ‘Hey, I knew you. You never told me about the one thing that mattered.'”
“Evangelization is helping people get to the one thing that matters.”
St. Joseph is the perfect example of self-sacrifice. True masculinity requires putting others’ needs before your own.
“I think one of the great temptations for men is to seek power and to see other people as things to manipulate in order to get their goals,” says Dr. Paul Thigpen, editor at TAN Books. “Since that’s our great temptation, the important thing for us to realize is that everything we have is a gift from God, including any power we’ve got.”
We need true masculinity now more than ever, especially in a time of true, global crisis. Your God needs you to be strong. This is a time of self-sacrifice and it’s time to remember that God will not leave us or our families orphans.
St. Joseph, pray for us!
Also, pray this litany which implores the prayers of St. Joseph, the “hope of the sick.”