A common misconception about the Catholic faith is the belief Catholics worship saints. Worship is designated for God alone. Instead, Catholics believe saints are those people whose souls have made it to Heaven, to live with God. Their lives, while on earth, were so radical and awesome, they were able to receive God’s mercy at death, so as to dwell with Him in paradise the rest of eternity.
To get to Heaven, one does not have to be perfect while alive. The saints were all far from perfect, and some have quite spectacular stories. Catholics look to saints as models of how to live, so as to achieve God’s mercy at death. They are the ultimate role models, if your end goal is the pearly gates.
Since today is Fathers’ Day, I wanted to take a moment to remember one of the quietest saints of the New Testament and the Resurrection story – St. Joseph.
Mentioned only a handful of times, his role in Jesus’ life was integral. Without his acceptance of God’s will, and ultimately of Jesus, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus would not have been able to occur. Often depicted with images of Mary and Jesus, I routinely get the distinct impression that Joseph was a hard worker, who took pride in caring for his family. There is a reason he is the Patron Saint of Foster Families – he took in a mother and her unborn child and raised that boy as Joseph’s own son.
As I reflect on St. Joseph, I look to the men I know in my life – my dad, my brothers (and brothers-in-law), my father-in-law, and my own husband. All of them are generous, gracious, welcoming, and loving. Every single one of them work hard to provide for their families, and are devoted to their roles as husbands and fathers.
When I think of my son and daughter forming the roots of their expectations, both as a potential husband and father, and as a potential wife and mother, I am excited to see the role models in their lives. These men will undoubtedly inspire both kiddos to lead with greatness, and expect greatness from future partners. These husbands and fathers set the bar, and the standard they leave in their wake is pretty high.
This Fathers’ Day, if a person is struggling to identify a positive role model as a father, I encourage them to look to St. Joseph and learn more about him through prayer and biblical studies.
Finally, I wish a Happy Father’s Day to all the men in my life, especially to my dad and my husband. Without either of them, I wouldn’t be the wife, mother, and woman I am today.