Monday, January 24, 2011

The privilege of being a father...........

For a few weeks now I have been building a bookcase.  This is my first adventure in "woodworking" and it has been a learning experience.  What I have gained most of all is an appreciation for the gift of fatherhood.  My children have been helping in age appropriate ways throughout the project.  Today it struck me that St. Joseph was profoundly blessed to be able to work in such close proximity to the Christ-child on a daily basis. 

We as fathers need to allow our children to help us in tasks, not only for their growth, but for ours.  In these areas we can teach, share, and nurture what it means to be a real man.  This may not be easy, as if you are like me, when I work I want everything perfect.  Looking at the bookcase, you will notice a few small imperfections - mostly to a wildly swung hammer by the boy.  One can look at this two ways - 1.  Get mad and not allow help.  2.  Accept it as a growing experience and a chance to teach and reminisce years down the road.  Today, by Grace, I chose the latter praying that I may emulate St. Joseph in his patience and meekness.  Fathers - build something with your Sons.  You will build more than just a thing to place in the living room - you will build the domestic church.

I am reminded of the novena to St. Joseph.  Here is an excerpt.

The kind of work to which you devoted your time in the workshop of Nazareth offered you many occasions of practicing humility. You were privileged to see each day the example of humility which Jesus practiced -- a virtue most pleasing to Him. He chose for His earthly surroundings not the courts of princes nor the halls of the learned, but a little workshop of Nazareth. Here you shared for many years the humble and hidden toiling of the God-Man. What a touching example for the worker of today!

While your hands were occupied with manual work, your mind was turned to God in prayer. From the Divine Master, who worked along with you, you learned to work in the presence of God in the spirit of prayer, for as He worked He adored His Father and recommended the welfare of the world to Him, Jesus also instructed you in the wonderful truths of grace and virtue, for you were in close contact with Him who said of Himself, "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life."

As you were working at your trade, you were reminded of the greatness and majesty of God, who, as a most wise Architect, formed this vast universe with wonderful skill and limitless power. 

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