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Remembering the St. Josephs in our lives with gratitude

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Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 03/18/24

A friend reminded me that St. Joseph not only did whatever he could to care for his family, but did it quietly, without complaint or expectation of praise.

The other day I was chatting with a good friend at a rare girls’ night, when she said something that left me pondering.

My friend is a mom of six kids, including a toddler and new baby, so she’s “in the trenches” of sleep deprivation and very physical, hands-on parenting work. She mentioned that her baby had been waking up in the night a lot lately. 

In response, her husband had been making a point to take over more household tasks to give her time to rest and catch up on sleep.

“He is a true St. Joseph,” she said with a grateful sigh.

The example of St. Joseph

The offhand comment left me thinking about the character of St. Joseph. We don’t know very much about him, especially as not a single word of his was recorded, but we do have certain insights gleaned from what Sacred Scripture says about him.We know he was a “just man” and protector of Jesus and Mary. We know he was responsive to God’s call and obedient to God’s will. 

Jesus often spoke of a father’s love in his parables, and besides of course God the Father, he most likely thought of St. Joseph and his example in these mentions:

From good Joseph’s faithful care, the child Jesus learns by human experience that no earthly father would give his son a serpent instead of a fish, nor a scorpion instead of an egg.

Caring quietly and without complaint

Describing her husband as being like St. Joseph, my friend meant that he was a father who not only did whatever he could to care for his family but did so quietly, without complaint or expectation of praise. She explained what she meant really beautifully, saying, 

Whenever I am feeling overburdened or just want a break, he steps in and takes on whatever burden without complaint. And sometimes the burdens he takes on are invisible. Unless I’m more attentive to things, I can easily fail to notice all the little things he takes care of, too. 

So, I am always reminded of St. Joseph and imagine he was the same way, just quietly taking on whatever burdens to provide comfort, safety, and rest for his family. This quiet acceptance of family burdens exemplifies humility as St. Joseph did.

Many St. Josephs

After we talked about it some more, I was left thinking about all the “St. Josephs” in the world, people who quietly and humbly look for ways to do good and serve others in all kinds of ways. 

Surely there are many, many people who are like St. Joseph in this way. I bet you can think of a few. We’ve all known that person who somehow constantly finds a way to lend a hand and step up to the plate, all with the humble silence of Jesus’ foster father.

And thinking about all these “St. Josephs” left me so grateful for their quiet service, the daily laying down of their lives in small but incredibly important ways. 

This St. Joseph’s Day, I want to take a little time to say thank you to the “St. Josephs” in my life. And I hope their example, like that of the great St. Joseph himself, inspires me to be more like them and freely pour out love and helpfulness without a word.

Tags:
Catholic LifestyleFatherhoodFor HimSaint Joseph
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