Colleen Mallette reviews the qualities of St. Joseph that we can follow to be better parents, especially during Advent.
Pope Francis declared this to be the Year of St. Joseph so that we could learn more about him and emulate him as a father, husband and leader of the Holy Family. Now as that year comes to an end on December 8, I would like to review one more time the wonderful qualities he exemplified. His example of how to parent is good to follow, especially in the harried weeks of the Advent season.
According to Fr. Donald Calloway in his book the Consecration to St. Joseph (which is wonderful and never too late to read), Joseph had such a deep faith in God. He believed so strongly in God the Father that when he heard God speaking to him in dreams, Joseph immediately knew it was God and obeyed.
Do you take the time to observe some silence every day to be able to listen to God’s response when you pray?
St. Joseph was also very courageous and bold in his faith. He led his family to a foreign country at God’s beckoning and provided for them physically and spiritually even when he wasn’t in the presence of other Jewish people.
Do you invite others to your Advent services at church, especially those who have been away from the Church due to the pandemic or other reasons?
He was called “Joseph the just” in Matthew’s Gospel (1:19). He was a fair husband, father, and businessman who respected others. He valued other people’s dignity and lived with integrity.
Do you treat all of your children equally and show them their worth by sharing quality time with them, without getting overwhelmed with holiday preparations? Do you show dignity to those less fortunate in your area by giving time, money or gifts to charities who help them?
St. Joseph was also very prudent. He was a good man full of patience, wisdom and a sense of justice. He was willing to do what was right for his family over what was commonly accepted.
Do you try to patronize local small businesses while shopping and entertaining during the holidays without going overboard on expenditures; and avoid presents or activities that go against Church teaching?
Joseph was very obedient to the laws of the Jewish faith. He took Jesus to the Temple according to their customs as an infant and throughout his upbringing. He taught Jesus the Torah and how to pray as a faith-filled parent should.
Do you take your family to Mass on Christmas Eve/Day and on Holy Days throughout the year teaching them the stories and customs of our Catholic Tradition?
St. Joseph was incredibly loving. He willingly gave up his life to devote himself to Mary even though he wasn’t the natural father to her baby. He sacrificed his home to take them to Bethlehem and then Egypt all while protecting his family lovingly. He took Jesus to Jerusalem for the Jewish feasts in order to show and teach Him their faith traditions.
Do you sacrifice your time and energy to share your faith traditions with your family out of love in order to carry on your legacy, putting out a creche and Advent wreath in your home to remind them of the real meaning of Christmas?
Turn to St. Joseph and the Holy Family this Advent Season and live by their example of love, humility and obedience to our Catholic faith.
Copyright 2021 Colleen Mallette
Images: Canva Pro; Carlo Dolci, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
About the Author
Colleen is the proud mother of three young adults. She loves being a full-time stay-at-home mom and a part-time bookkeeper for her husband. She likes to read, write, scrapbook, and volunteer, and is excited to use her talents to share God’s love and the hope of His promises through CatholicMom.com. Colleen is co-author of “In Godʼs Hands, Miracles in the Lives of Moms” and blogs at Colleen's Contemplations.