I was once told by a kind sales woman that I’m not a priest or a religious.
For two years, I used to buy books and religious supplies once a week or even a few days a week. It got to be where the sales ladies got to know me by name.
I was intensely studying the Faith and practicing a heavy workload of devotions. The kind sales woman was concerned about me; knowing I’m living the active life in the secular world as a father.
I remembered her words this afternoon after I realized at work that my mindset was wrong. That if I focused on learning how to live the active family life the way I learned the Faith, I’d be a dynamite Dad and husband.
Saint Joseph is the model of a Catholic husband and father. Saint Joseph was a quiet man of faith who was the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and foster father to Jesus. He wasn’t a prominent social or religious figure; he quietly and faithfully lived his vocation as spouse to Our Lady and foster father to Our Lord.
I thought I was focusing on my vocation as a father engaged to my fiancé.
Then, it hit me: It’s okay to focus on living the active life; drawing on my Faith and everything I know about theology, philosophy and spirituality to help me in living my vocation of the active life in the married state.
I realized that I had been acting like a contemplative religious with kids attached.
In other words: It’s okay to be Saint Joseph.
I shouldn’t devote myself to an intense life of personal spiritual growth and conversion with my family as an appendage to that life. That faithfully living my vocation of family life is part of and for my spiritual growth and conversion.
Being a man of faith in the family life is being a man of faith for others. Like Saint Joseph.
My spiritual growth and conversion helps me be a good husband and father and being a good husband and father helps my spiritual growth and conversion.
By providing for and guiding my family while living the sacramental life and sharing the Faith with my family. Applying my knowledge of theology, philosophy and spirituality to the formation of my sons into good Christian men and to support and guide my wife in her spiritual growth and conversion. Going to God in private prayer, the Liturgy of the Hours and in my devotions for the sake and needs of my family.
That’s how I serve God and the Church.
Just like Saint Joseph did.