Saturday, March 19, 2016

Lessons from St. Joseph

Originally posted on March 19, 2015 with some new thoughts added.

I took this picture of the sculpture of St. Joseph and the child Jesus at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels here in L.A. :)

Happy Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. His feast day this year is of particular importance to me because it's the first one I can honestly say that -- despite years of being elusive to me -- I can thank him for coming through for me (through his intercession) in a big way.

As you've read in the title, I've had a hard time really understanding St. Joseph in the past. Every time I thought about learning as much as I could about him (which isn't too much since very little is known about him and his life), I'd get sidetracked and/or another saint would come to mind. This was the same pattern I had for years, until doubt came to mind and I began to understand St. Joseph a bit more.

I don't remember exactly what I was questioning at the time (odds are that it was either about my vocation or my career path) but I remember feeling unsettled by the indecision and doubt I had. "Who is the patron saint against doubt?" St. Joseph, of course. That set off my curiosity on St. Joseph once again... and my journey to understanding him a little better.

There's not much known about St. Joseph but what is known about him speaks volumes. He was the holy spouse of our Blessed Mother and the adoptive father of Jesus, a role that couldn't have been filled by just anyone. I'm sure there are a number of incredibly qualities (unknown to man) that St. Joseph possessed to have been chosen as the man worthy of protecting both Mama Mary and a young Jesus. That got me thinking about my own future spouse. I don't know who he will be but I pray for him. I ask St. Joseph to intercede, not only to help me find a good, holy husband who will bring me and our future children closer to God, but to help him become a man who is willing to do God's will and to love Him more than he loves anyone or anything else, myself included.

Everyone has had or will have doubts in their lives. Life is so uncertain that it's unavoidable. The biggest thing I've learned from St. Joseph is to let go. He was put in a situation in which indecision and doubt was present but he knew that he had to trust in God while protecting his family. How many men (or women) can say that; that they're put in situations that seem impossible yet they surrender that fear and indecision and trust in God's guidance? It's becoming more and more rare these days. You know how I've been trying to do just this (learning to let go of things) for months? I think I've finally gotten to where I need to be in terms of simply trusting God to guide me down the path he wants me to go on.

These past couple of weeks (starting a few weeks before Lent), I've felt like God has been leading me down an unexpected (and way overdue, due to my past fear and stubbornness) path but I completely trust Him. From applying to a new grad school and considering a new career path (with a Master's in Theology still in the cards, hence the application to another orthodox Catholic university) to moving forward with my vocation (after being stuck for quite some time), something exciting is happening but I'm not going to try to figure things out. I'm going to let God be my guide. No impatience, no fear, no doubts... just trust, hope, faith, and lots of prayer.

So, to sum it all up, I would like to thank St. Joseph for all he's taught me this year... and for the prayers (some of which I didn't mention) that he's helped me with. I only scratched the surface in this post but I'm trying to keep my blog posts relatively short so this is all you're getting this time around. ;)

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Even though this was originally posted last year, it all still holds true. I've been learning (it's still an ongoing process) to let go and let God take over. I still think about St. Joseph and his complete trust in Him. While I don't have doubts about my vocation (the part of the discernment that I can do by myself has been done; now to wait for the fella), what grad school to attend (so happy at JP Catholic), or career (I hope to be able to share something about this in the next couple of weeks), life is still unpredictable. I know I won't always know where things are headed. I can pray about them and hope for the best and trust that no matter what, God will always be by my side to help me navigate through it.

Anyway, I have a library eBook due in like 2 hours or so so I'm going to go finish reading that. :)

I hope y'all have a lovely weekend! :D

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

2 comments:

AnneMarie said...

Happy Solemnity!!!! I think it's cool that you look to St. Joseph as a patron against doubt; I always think about Marian "blind obedience," but I don't really think much about how St. Joseph has that blind, peaceful obedience to God's will as well! Such a humble, trusting man. I was definitely thinking about this at Mass this morning, when Father mentioned that St. Joseph probably thought he's live a typical life as a Jewish carpenter, and then God completely threw him for a loop-and he just went with it all.

Emmy Cecilia said...

AnneMarie - yes, often we forget that St. Joseph was also obedience and trustful of what God asked of him. Not that there's anything wrong with looking to Mama Mary for that but I think we miss out on a lot when we don't look at the entire Holy Family.