Forming the St. Joseph’s of Tomorrow
Author: Br. Eleazar Palma LC | Source: Catholic.Net
Recently my sister told me something that opened my eyes to a topic that I really hadn’t thought about much. This is what she said, “A woman’s faith is so important for a man to be a man. A woman has so much more influence on a man then she knows. By how we talk, dress, pray, socialize, and think, we are forming the future “Joseph’s” of our world.” And I’m over here thinking “Whoa that was really deep!” I have been reflecting on this more and I want to share two insights.
Called To Prayer
When Jesus rose from the dead, the first person he appeared to was a woman. Mary Magdalene was a chosen instrument in God’s hands to go tell the apostles of the good news! How do you as a woman bring Christ to the men around you? I guess you can go around preaching the Gospel like it’s no one’s business. But really, I think the best way, the most effective way, is by maintaining a solid prayer life. It is through your prayer, through your personal and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ that you influence the men around you. This is extremely important. You have no idea how an example of a holy life inspires and motivates a person to try to achieve the same style of life. Think about it, if you have a strong prayer life what will that tell a man about who you are? He will see where your priorities are at, he will know that you are serious about your faith, and ultimately he will want to imitate that if he himself isn’t fostering a prayer life as a Catholic. Because man and woman were made for each other, they need each other to reach their full God given potential in this life. Women have to be guiding stars, beacons of God’s light so that men can fully discover who they are and what they are called to do. It is in this complementarity that men are truly formed.
It is also important to note that as women you should feel the responsibility of passing on the faith to your families now or your families in the future. Mary taught Jesus to pray and she was an example to her husband Joseph on how to unite oneself to God always. There is this saying that goes “behind every successful man there is a woman.” This is true if behind that woman there is God. You are called to form men of God by being women of prayer.
Moved to Act
Prayer, no matter what, should always lead to action. Once you have the foundational pillar of prayer you can help the men around you through love in action. This doesn’t have to be something crazy or extraordinary. It can be as simple as how you dress, for example. Or how you speak and act. Men are influenced greatly by these small means. A real woman decides how she will show others her faith in dress, in word, and in action. The way women dress affects what men think and how they act. So dress well! Not so much for what men will think of you, but for your own expression of self respect and above all as an expression of love for God. Unfortunately in today’s world there is an emphasis on “looking sexy” rather than being beautiful. I love a quote from St. Peter on this topic: “What matters is not your outward appearance…but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle gracious kind that God delights in.”(1 Pet 3:3-4). What you say obviously affects the men around you as well. Again, I think St. Peter sums this up well when he says, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.”(1 Pet 3:10). Speak well of others. Express your love for God through the words you choose to say. When speaking with guys don’t say anything that Mary, for example, or your favorite saint wouldn’t say. I’m sure that will change how you converse quite dramatically. What you do should also be an obvious in its affect it has on men. Actions do speak louder than words and the more you act like a lady the more men will act like gentlemen.
This is how much influence a true woman has on the men she encounters. It is hard to really express this in so few words. I invite you all to pray about this and I finish with a beautiful quote from Pope Francis, “All that is Good, all that is True, all that is Beautiful brings us to GOD.”