The Power of Humility
By: John Sohl
Fatherhood and manhood are here to stay. They may be misunderstood or regarded as irrelevant in today’s age of social media and family confusion, but our link to the past cannot be deleted even if its forgotten or unknown. I know I’m very blessed to have a modern day superhero in my earthly dad, whose birthday (Mar 5) just happens to be in the same month of St. Joseph’s Feast Day. Happy birthday Dad!
However, whether we had a good dad growing up or not, we all have an original and perfect father who can, will, and does take care of us on a daily basis—and St. Joseph is meant to guide us to Him.
In December 2020, our Holy Father Pope Francis established this year as the Year of St. Joseph.
He said, “Often in life, things happen whose meaning we do not understand. Our first reaction is frequently one of disappointment and rebellion. Joseph set aside his own ideas in order to accept the course of events and, mysterious as they seemed, to embrace them, take responsibility for them and make them part of his own history. Unless we are reconciled with our own history, we will be unable to take a single step forward, for we will always remain hostage to our expectations and the disappointments that follow…Joseph is certainly not passively resigned, but courageously and firmly proactive. In our own lives, acceptance and welcome can be an expression of the Holy Spirit’s gift of fortitude. Only the Lord can give us the strength needed to accept life as it is, with all its contradictions, frustrations and disappointments.” (Francis, Patris Corde, 4)
Hope of course is not being overly optimistic. It is simply having certainty that things will make sense eventually, no matter what happens. Family Renewal Project’s greatest hope is to bring a greater sense of appreciation and gratitude to our original dreams for lasting happiness. These dreams aren’t like nightmares or shadows of anxiety caused by toys or coats that only Mom or Dad can explain to us as frightened children. Rather, these original dreams for happiness stem directly from the affirmation, attentiveness, and approval of our mother and father themselves. After all, Mother Mary’s humanity can only be properly understood in her relation to her husband, St. Joseph—especially in how he received and responded to the Holy Spirit’s communication to him in his dreams.
As we near his Feast Day on March 19, there are many opportunities to renew or begin your relationship with this incredible and humble man of God, who doesn’t have a single spoken word written down in Scripture. Humility is linked quite closely with hope, for it makes sense to look outward from yourself into the hearts of other people! St. Joseph did this every day as he protected and cherished his wife Mary and the child Jesus who God the Father entrusted to him. His humility though was not in seeing less in himself, but in seeing more in other people and recognizing the truth of his gifts and limitations without fear of being proud of his accomplishments. After all, healthy pride in God IS humility, and channeling THAT spirit of love gave him true power. No wonder he’s been declared “Patron of the Universal Church”.
FRP is preparing for a Consecration to St. Joseph, and you’re invited to join us in your own way!