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With her home disrupted by an ongoing construction project, Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB contemplates Saint Joseph's difficult journey to Bethlehem.

In my oratory hangs a sepia print of Saint Joseph holding a waking baby Jesus, some think it looks as if the child is weeping. It is hung to right of the Risen Christ crucifix, where to the left of the cross is Our Lady of Guadalupe—pregnant.

I find myself pondering Saint Joseph this Advent as I try to get through major home reconstruction from storm damage 18 months ago. I am tired of the struggle to get to “when” … when will it all be done.

And I can imagine Saint Joseph’s exhaustion to get to his "when" as well.

How weary he must have been from the long arduous journey with a very pregnant wife; traversing about 90 miles on foot for well over a week, in winter when temps are cold and rain falls often, and the Jordon River forests filled with hungry carnivorous beasts.

When home is disrupted there is a loss of security, a diminishment of feeling safe. I wonder if Saint Joseph, even with his deep faith in God, experienced this same lack of security. He knew his wife would give birth soon, and had to trust himself, and God, that they would be sheltered—each night!—before her time.

There was a getting to "when" at the end of each day, and a journey’s end "when" they would get to the City of David.


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Persevering through the upheaval has increased my dependence on Our Lord. #catholicmom

We all travel to "when," and offset the challenges along the way with a choice to find happiness. I’m assured that Mary and Joseph, as young husbands and wives do, travelled with a joy in one another well aware of their vulnerability and reliance on God.

The vulnerability I’ve felt with my home torn apart as I move closer to my "when it’s finished" has led me to follow the model of Saint Joseph; persevering through the upheaval has increased my dependence on Our Lord.



Copyright 2022 Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB
Images: Canva