A father like St. Joseph

| Matthew James Christoff | October 26, 2016 | 0 Comments

Most Catholic fathers are “good dads” who work hard to provide their children’s necessities: shelter, food, education, etc. But in the baptism of their children, Catholic fathers vow to be great fathers — fathers who teach their children to know, love and serve Christ Jesus.

Catholic fathers can have a great impact on the faith lives of their children. If a father earnestly practices his faith, his children are more likely to remain in the faith.

Sadly, research shows that the majority of young Catholics are leaving the faith. With the decaying culture increasingly luring kids away from God, Catholic fathers must strive even more valiantly to lead their kids to Christ.

St. Joseph can help Catholic men become great fathers. The Church recognizes that St. Joseph is the greatest human father and holds St. Joseph up as the model of fatherhood for Catholic men. Devin Schadt’s book, “Show Us the Father,” provides some principles to help Catholic men strive to be fathers like St. Joseph.

Fully committed to fatherhood,
St. Joseph accepts his new identity as the father of Jesus, and it changes his destiny; his primary vocation is “the father of Jesus.” Like St. Joseph, each Catholic man must consciously accept his identity as a spiritual father whose primary vocation is to bring souls to be adopted children of God.

We must continually pray to grow in fatherhood. St. Joseph was a model of prayer who prayed and received God’s guidance. Like St. Joseph, Catholic men must pray for God’s guidance each day as they seek to grow in fatherhood.

Prayers to St. Joseph

Make spiritual fatherhood your primary work. While he earned money as a carpenter, Joseph’s primary vocation was to be the father of Jesus (and the husband of Mary). So, too, Catholic men’s spiritual fatherhood is their primary vocation. Men must vigilantly battle against the pressures of career and trust God to provide for the family.

Demonstrate the sacrificial love of a father. St. Joseph sacrificed everything to protect and provide for the Virgin Mary and Jesus. Like Joseph, Catholic men must demonstrate sacrificial love by leading their families with charitable and cheerful authority, cherishing their wives to model the role of husband to daughters and sons, defending the virginity and chastity of their children, and practicing virtue and battling vice.

Spiritually adopt and bring your children to Christ. St. Joseph spiritually adopts Jesus by accepting him as his adoptive son, naming Jesus at his circumcision, presenting Jesus at the temple, protecting and providing for Jesus, teaching Jesus the Jewish faith, guiding Jesus to manhood, and passing on a trade. Like St. Joseph, every Catholic man must spiritually adopt his children by being present, listening with love, praying with and blessing children, reading Scripture to children, leading the family to reconciliation and Mass, practicing and passing on the Catholic faith, and teaching virtue.

Catholic men can become great fathers by striving to be fathers like St. Joseph.

St. Joseph, pray for us!

Christoff is a parishioner of St. Anne in Hamel and founder of the New Emangelization Project.

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Category: Catholic Watchmen