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How Do I Love St. Joseph, Let Me Count The Ways!

alec vanderboom

There is a St. Joseph statue still buried in the frozen ground outside my home for the house sale that didn't happen last December. The statute came from my Mother-in-law, who house sold in an impossible small town market a few months after she unexpectedly became a widow.

My Mother-in-law is not a big Catholic. To talk to her about her belief in God and the Saints is a rare delight. Even my Mom trusts St. Joseph to help sell a house. We got her package in the mail and buried her "lucky" St. Joseph statute underneath our For Sale Sign in the front yard.

After 10 months of hard work, our dream about changing states fell apart a few days before Christmas. In January, I took the For Sale sign out of our yard. I marked the place where the St. Joseph statute sat with a big rock.

My husband and I talked about the fact that so many people we knew sold their house quickly after we asked St. Joseph to look after them. Yet for us, our home sale not only didn't happen as expected, but got delayed 2 to 3 years.

This thing that happened to me increased my trust in St. Joseph. Prayers to St. Joseph are not "magic." I don't just pray to St. Joseph for cash, for help with bill, or for a new house. St. Joseph reminds me that "All things work for the good for those that love God." Sometimes St. Joseph helps me gain what I want to with prayer. Often, a St. Joseph prayer changes me. I learn how to be more patient, more humble and a greater lover of poverty.

The Scott Hahn book, Joy to the World, changed my theology of St. Joseph last year. I no longer call St. Joseph a "foster father." He did not contribute biologically to Christ. Yet he was in every other sense of the world Christ's true "father." St. Joseph raised Christ, he protected him, he provided him and he loved him.

I love the church statues by the alter that have Mary, Our Lady alone and prayerful, and St. Joseph holding a toddler Jesus. St. Joseph often holds Jesus up to his cheek in love and shows him a lily. I am reminded of the Old Testament reading "Oh, how I have loved you. I was like one who held up infants to my cheeks."

Jesus Christ, our brother, gave the whole church his mother. He also gave us his Father on Earth, St. Joseph. We can turn to St. Joseph in times of financial uncertainty for help. We can also ask St. Joseph to pray for us when the daily grind gets boring and for a happy death.

St. Joseph, pray for us!