by Randy Hain | June 14, 2012 12:01 am
As the father of a teenager with high-functioning autism, I am sometimes challenged to give my oldest child the focus and patience he needs from me. I frequently feel inadequate when I advise and guide my 11 year old son through the minefields of today’s culture. My loving wife should expect my best efforts as a husband, yet I often feel distracted or too worn out to give her the 100% she deserves. With Father’s Day fast approaching, I have recognized for several weeks that I needed to make a course correction and get back on track.
Perhaps in answer to recent prayer, I was asked to contribute a short video clip about making our work more meaningful for the www.courageouscatholicresources.com website which is promoting a Saint Joseph Novena encouraging fathers to fully embrace their responsibilities and calling.
Being involved in this worthwhile project has been a true blessing. As a Catholic dad and husband, who better for me to emulate than the patron saint of fathers? I have long been drawn to Saint Joseph and find in his life the encouragement to be more obedient and trusting in God’s promises. Even though I often wrestle with self-created challenges on the parenting and marriage fronts, my shortcomings are somewhat lessened when I pray for his intercession and reflect on his heroic example in caring for Jesus and Mary.
As I have reflected on his life and prayed the Novena, I have gotten back on track with my family and regained the peace that frequently leaves me when I allow work and the pressures of the world to dominate my thoughts and calendar. Here are five important lessons I have learned from Saint Joseph as I have addressed my most recent struggles:
As Catholic men, we have a responsibility to be strong fathers and husbands, leaders in our parishes, good stewards in the community and humble followers of Christ. Let’s look to the inspiring example of Saint Joseph, patron saint of fathers, workers and the Universal Church for his obedience, humility, selflessness, courage and the love he showed to Mary and Jesus. If we can emulate St. Joseph even a little each day, we will be that much closer to becoming the men we are called to be.
Randy Hain, Senior Editor for The Integrated Catholic Life™, is the author of The Catholic Briefcase: Tools for Integrating Faith and Work which was recently released by Liguori Publications. The Catholic Briefcase is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble online and your local Catholic bookstore.
The Catholic Briefcase was recently voted the Best Catholic Book of 2011 in the About.com Catholicism Reader’s Choice Awards.
Randy Hain’s new book, Along the Way: Lessons for an Authentic Journey of Faith will be released by Liguori Publications in November 2012 and is available for pre-order on Amazon.
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