Category Archives: father’s

There is a Crisis of “Fatherless” Children in America; We Should Turn to St. Joseph for Help

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME 

By Larry Peterson

September 8 was the birthday of our heavenly mom, Mary. On her birthday I also always think of Mother Mary’s husband, St. Joseph.  Without him there would be no birthdays to celebrate, either on September 8 or December 25. When God chose Joseph of Nazareth to be the foster-father of His only Son, He certainly knew what He was doing.

I call St. Joseph the “Shadow Saint”. That is because so little is known about him. He never spoke a word that was recorded. He never wrote anything that was saved on parchment.  It does not matter. This young man, a “righteous Jew” true to the law, was confronted with being engaged to a woman pregnant with someone else’s child. The reality was a terrible thing for him to bear.

But Joseph, who was only about 19, was a man of faith and God was with him. The penalty for his betrothed could have been death by stoning. Joseph would have none of that. His Mary would not be harmed. He loved her. So he took her in and married her. The child she carried would be his.

St. Joseph’s example of selflessness is something that needs to be talked about with admiration, respect and pride. It might be used as a guide for so many who have, in this secular driven world, fathered children and then abandoned them. 

There is a crisis of “fatherless” children in America. Next to the disrespect and disregard for unborn life, this could be the most dangerous threat to our society. “Fatherlessness” is an ongoing tragedy that can find its roots planted when Roe vs. Wade was passed in 1973. When the destruction of human life was “legalized” the downward spiral of respect for life followed.


There is a “father factor”  involved in virtually all aspects of American life today. Yes, many homes still have fathers but many children live in homes with absentee fathers and the societal effects are felt all across the spectrum of American life.

Statistics show that in fatherless homes poverty is 4X  higher than average, teen pregnancy increases by a multiple of seven (7), abuse and neglect are much more widespread and drug use is more 

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prevalent. The list goes on and on.


St. Joseph could be used as a shining example for all men to emulate. He was poor, he was chaste and he respected women, especially his teenaged bride.  He was a man of faith and stayed true to the laws of God and man. Foremost in his life was his faith in God. This was his strength. This is what fortified him. This is what is missing in so many lives today.

Joseph of Nazareth is an example of how one should respect the law. We could explain to young people how he had to put his teenaged and pregnant wife on the back of a donkey and then walk over rocky, dusty roads for over 80 miles, a journey that probably took three days. And why did he do this? He did this because he was required to go to Bethlehem for the census. It was the law.

The story of young Joseph, taking his teenaged wife and baby boy, and escaping Bethlehem because King Herod wanted to kill his son, Jesus, would make any young person’s pulse amp up. The poor guy’s child was being hunted by Herod’s soldiers. His wife was recovering from child birth. He had to make it to Egypt. And he did…for his family. This is what a REAL man would do, or at least try to.

Joseph did whatever he had to do to take care of his wife and son. He worked hard to keep a roof over their heads, to feed them, clothe them, and protect them. He did not care about himself. His family came first, no matter what. He would have gladly died for them if necessary. He was a real MAN. His sacrifice and efforts for his wife and son allowed them to survive so that the salvific narrative would be fulfilled. We owe him so much.

His faith, courage, integrity and love of God resonate like the smashing of cymbals and the banging of drums for all of us to listen to. We need to follow his example. We need to celebrate his life. We need to honor his commitment to his responsibilities. We should cherish his devotion to family.

I realize the possibility of teaching about this quiet hero in public schools might be a ‘pipe dream’ but  I would hope Catholic schools would use him as an example for students to look up to and respect as a role model for what a husband and dad should try to be like.
St. Joseph, two thousand years after his death, is still the finest role model for, not only husbands and fathers, but for all men for all time.

                                     ©Larry Peterson 2016 All Rights Reserved

Honoring the "Shadow Saint" His Name is Joseph

I call Joseph of Nazareth, the “Shadow Saint” because, even though  his life is so quiet and unknown,  he was responsible for being foster-father to the God-man and husband to the God-man’s mom, Mary. He had to shelter them, protect them, feed them, provide for them. He married Mary while the cloud of “adultery” ( a sin punishable by death) hung over her head. He managed to take her to Bethlehem for the census when she was almost full term. Then he had to hide his wife and Son and run from the maniacal Herod who wanted the child dead and had his soldiers out looking for them.

 

Back in Nazareth he raised his Boy as any loving and caring father would. He aided the Boy when he took his first steps, held Him on his knee when he fell and scraped it and it was bleeding, showed Him how to eat, taught Him how to pray, read the scriptures to Him and tucked Him into bed at night. No one ever in the history of the world has ever been entrusted with such incredible responsibility. No one in the history of the world could tell Jesus, the God-man, when to go to bed or when to wash His hands for supper or “not to interrupt” if mom or dad was speaking. Yet, we know so little about this just and holy man. What we do know is he saved the Son of God who in turn lived long enough to save us all.
 There are no writings left behind by Joseph. There are no words that were spoken by him that were ever recorded. We have no idea as to what he might have even looked like. None of that matters because we do know he was there when God needed him to be there.Today, the day Pope Francis is installed, is also St. Joseph’s feast day. The Holy father picking this day is no coincidence I am sure. Joseph is considered the Protector of the Universal Church. He is also the Patron saint of fathers and families. Next to his wife, The Blessed Virgin Mary, he is the greatest of all other saints. Just remember that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, called him ‘dad’. No one, anywhere, ever, was afforded that particular honor.
HAPPY FEAST DAY  ST.JOSEPH        Thanks for being there for Him and for all of us