Last January 23, I completed my first Consecration to St. Joseph by Fr. Donald Calloway. This was during the Year of St. Joseph as proclaimed by Pope Francis on December 8, 2020. Encouraged by the testimonies of friends and my parish priest who had already begun the consecration, I decided to begin myself and picked the next feast day of St. Joseph, which happened to be January 23, the Feast of the Holy Spouses.
This year, I am renewing my consecration, once again ending on January 23, the day after the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and a few days after the National March for Life. Oftentimes when we speak about the disrespect for life that we face in our country, we turn to the root cause: the deterioration of the family, the lack of solid ground upon which to build men and women who aren’t afraid to live lives as willed by God and to raise children to do the same. Even more so, we narrow down further: the lack of men who are willing to lead these faithful families.
For me, this issue is no surprise. Looking around, even in my own Catholic circles, it can be discouraging to see so few men who dare to live their faith courageously. For every ten women there is maybe one man who seems to diligently pursue the Lord, a sadness that is a product of our world today. No wonder the family is under such attack.
After living a year consecrated to St. Joseph, and now in the middle of reconsecrating myself, my mind has been circling around this topic: good men. As far as human men go, St. Joseph was the perfect model. His virtue, obedience, and closeness to the Lord, both spiritually and physically, allowed him to be the epitome of what authentic masculinity is supposed to look like. Each time I read a passage about the life of this silent saint, I’m taken aback at the pure humility and strength that he possessed. His desire to be all that the Lord intended him to be, the steadfastness in which he obeyed his God, left him not wanting, but thriving.
Despite what most would deem a “hard life” – finding out his betrothed was pregnant, walking from Nazareth to Bethlehem, birth in a stable, exile to a foreign land, losing the Savior for several days, and raising the Son of God in a poor household – St. Joseph never strayed, he never sought what he deemed was better, but instead asked for answers and listened to the voice of the Lord. This example is something that we all can take into our own lives; this strength is something that is desired by our Lord to be bestowed upon all of us. We cannot possess it without first putting in the work, though.
To grow in virtue, to grow in strength, to grow in holiness, we have to start by practicing. We have to start in the small things in order to be accountable in the big things. As I begin this year, as I look at the events that are unfolding around me this upcoming weekend, as I pray for all the unborn and for their dignity to be upheld, I turn to St. Joseph.
St. Joseph, loving father, protector of the weak, and leader of the family, teach us to walk in the light of our Lord, and assist us each day as we strive to do His will. Amen.