God's Mercy 3: St. Joseph & the priests in my life
I could write a very long post about St. Joseph. That guy. (Let's talk about that title "Head of the Holy Family" tho).
I could also write a very long posts about the priests in my life. Those guys.
But I will condense them into one post together because they are related, and perhaps revisit them later.
St. Joseph's feast day was this past weekend. I was praying on his feast day, amid a bunch of teens who I was on retreat with, trying to focus on the Lord while at the same time trying to make sure that everyone else was staying focused too. In my imagination, I had this image of St Joseph picking me up and walking me up into the Father's arms.
I am trying to think of eloquent words to describe how St. Joe and I ended up friends. But the only thing I can think of is...he chose me.
|The chapel at St Joe's|
When I had my first encounter with Christ, the closest church was St. Joseph, with it's 9 am mass and 24 hour adoration. It was then, 17 years old and a hot mess, that I started going to daily mass at St. Joes and hitting up the adoration chapel late at night when I was feeling the struggle. As my love for the parish, and the daily mass community grew, so did my love for St. Joseph. It was a grace that I realized how he was watching over me, walking with me along the path that I was taking, and helping me through the scary things.
As Jesus would have, I came to know the love of the Father through St. Joseph.
For the hardest times in my life, St Joseph was watching over me, holding onto my heart, holding onto me, protecting me with the Love of the Father.
I look back on how much I needed St Joseph, not only the saint, but the parish, the community, the chapel, and think of all the things God had to arrange in order to get me there and I am in awe of His love. Like, for real, bro.
Another big part of my realization that St Joe was watching over me was through the associate pastor at St. Joe's at the time I was going there. He was another one who helped me to understand and see the love of the Father.
I was contemplating my affinity for priests. There is something about the priest that when I see them, it brings a joy to my life. I realized that it is because when I first encountered Christ, one of the biggest influences of God's love and mercy was through a priest, in particularly that priest at St Joe's. So in turn, when I see a priest, I am brought back to that moment of encounter with God's love. And that makes me smile. So, since I work in a building full of priests and dudes studying to be priests, I smile a lot. :)
Since then, I've had a fair share of wonderful priests in my life, who have shown me, through their sacrifice and love, the love of God the Father. Like I said, I could write a whole post pointing out which ones helped me in certain situations, but that would be long and gushy and I suppose not what I'm getting at.
What I'm getting at is that God will provide fathers. He has provided them so well for me, and these fathers led me, each in their own way, back to The Father. Which is the greatest mercy. The greatest mercy is how little I am, how broken I am, trying to get up to the Father, and I couldn't. I couldn't do it on my own, and so God, in His Mercy, sent me fathers (and mothers, and plenty of others) to pick me up and get me to Him.
So, pray for your priests. Pray to St. Joseph for your priests! He loves them.