The Happy Priest: Saint Joseph the Model for Men
It is important for men to have a filial devotion to St. Joseph
It is very important that Catholic men have a filial devotion to Saint Joseph. Contemplating his life and his virtues will guide men how to be real Catholic men. Today, men are bombarded with role models that are contrary to authentic manhood and the Gospel.
Saint Joseph presents to us the true model of the authentic, mature and coherent Catholic man, husband and father.
As I wrote in my book Man to Man: A Real Priest Speaks to Real Men about Marriage, Family Life and Sexuality, to be a real father does not simply mean that you show up to your kids' ball game or recital. No, fatherhood is much more than this.
First of all, not only is a father the guardian, protector and provider of his family, a father also must be the spiritual leader of his family. Too many times men leave spirituality and religious instruction for their wives to handle. Children need to see that their fathers do indeed pray.
More and more families are making it a part of their lives to attend Mass every day. This may not always be possible, but it is certainly something to strive for. In the evening, it is a very laudable practice for the entire family to come together after dinner and pray the Rosary. But, this means, that the family must have dinner as a family every night.
The father should direct and lead this nightly effort, although he may ask his wife or children to lead some of the decades. At the end of the Rosary, the father should conclude with some form of night prayer, after which he should once again embrace and kiss his children, and give them each his blessing as father and spiritual leader of the home.
Sunday worship is of primordial importance for a family. Sunday Mass needs to be the priority of each Sunday.
Along with the father as spiritual leader of his family, he also has to be, along with his wife, the primary educator of his children. Too many parents think that the local school takes care of everything. Educating children is a vital task for parents, and the father plays an important task in this as well.
Education does not simply mean getting good academic grades at school. Yes, a good report card is important, but I am referring to something much more demanding and much more complete than just a good report card.
Both mother and father have a shared responsibility in the education and formation of their children. A father must not be seen merely as the provider. Both mother and father have an equal responsibility in the raising of their children. When it comes to the raising of children, always remember that mother and father complement one another.
It is very important that Catholic men have a filial devotion to Saint Joseph. Contemplating his life and his virtues will guide men how to be real Catholic men.
Father James Farfaglia, the Happy Priest, is the pastor of Saint Helena of the True Cross of Jesus Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, Texas and is a member of the Board of Directors of Human Life International. Father has a hard hitting blog called Illegitimi non carborundum. He has also published a book called Man to Man: A Real Priest Speaks to Real Men about Marriage, Sexuality and Family Life. His second book, Get Serious! will be available soon. You can visit Father James on the web at www.FatherJames.org.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: St. Joseph, manly character, heroic manhood, Fr James Farfaglia
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