Developing a friendship often begins with recognizing common ground. With our best friends, as time goes on, we are able to learn from our differences and admire their strengths.
As Catholics, we have the opportunity to enjoy the communion of saints, our friends in heaven, finding common ground with their struggles and drawing inspiration from their holy lives.
I am a planner by nature. I like to be prepared for all possible situations and enjoy mapping out both actions and resources. The planning and preparedness is less a skillset and more a response mechanism to one of my struggles – resistance to change.
That’s right – I’m a control freak.
St. Joseph has long been a friend of mine. He isn’t the patron saint of change (I’m not entirely certain who that would be, as lots of saints fit the bill), but St. Joseph handled huge changes with such trust and faith. Think of his engagement to Mary and finding out that she was with child.
In my experience, engagement includes a lot of planning for the future. But that typical planning changed for him upon hearing that this virtuous woman was expecting. So, he shifted to plans to “divorce her quietly,” which was itself an act of compassion. With the appearance of the angel in his dreams, Joseph gave up even those plans of divorce. That had to have been hard in so many ways.
A few years ago, my family’s future seemed relatively certain.
And then came CHANGE. My husband was offered an opportunity to change his career path. With this change, many aspects of life were coming full circle, and it was very easy to see God’s hand gently moving my husband and our family down the right path. However, with this change, it meant our young family would be separated over several summers, and our financial future would be a little less certain.
The planner in me started melting down.
This was not MY plan. God and I had a LOT of talks. Well, really, I yelled at God a lot and He let me. I struggled (and truthfully still struggle) with giving up MY plan.
Again and again, Joseph accepted the necessity of changing plans – whether it was marrying a woman carrying a child that wasn’t his, moving to Egypt, moving to Nazareth. That trust in God’s plan, not truly knowing what the future holds, is something I need help embracing. That trust is what makes Joseph one of my favorite saints.
St. Joseph, Pray for us!