Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Model of True Manhood

This is a continuation of the topic of my previous post, teaching our sons true manhood. When I was searching the internet for any other articles I could use in that previous posting, I came across the article St. Joseph and Manhood, from Msgr. Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington. It focuses on what we as men can learn about manhood from one of the greatest examples ever in the Catholic church. Msgr. Pope describes how even though no words of St. Joseph are recorded in the Bible, his actions speak volumes on the role of fathers and husbands in the family.

The one point in the article that really stood out for me was about St. Joseph teaching us the difference between our vocation and our career. Too many of us forget that our vocations are our families and that takes priority over our careers. Here is an excerpt from Msgr. Pope on this topic:
A man whose vocation is more important than his career – In Bethlehem Joseph is warned by an angel in a dream: Get up, take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him (Matt 2:13). Joseph may well have had much to lose in this flight. Back in Nazareth he had a business, a career if you will. He had business prospects, business partners and contacts. Fleeing to a distant land might mean others would take his business etc. But Joseph was a father and husband before he was a businessman. His child was threatened and his first obligation was to Jesus and Mary. His vocation outweighed his career. In a culture like ours where too many parents make their careers and livelihoods paramount and their children are too easily placed in day care Joseph displays a different priority. It is true that many parents feel they have no choice but to work. But it is also true that many demand a lifestyle which requires a lot of extra income. Perhaps a smaller house, less amenities etc would permit a daycare free childhood for more of our children. Joseph points the way for parents: vocation has priority over career. For fathers especially Joseph shows that a man is a husband and father before he is a businessman. 
Please take the time to read  St. Joseph and Manhood, from Msgr. Charles Pope, as it include powerful lessons that we all can learn from this great saint. It also include two videos that provide more insights into the life of the protector of the Holy Family. St. Joseph pray for us!

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