Mar 192013

To celebrate the feast of Saint Joseph, here is an experience I had with him as told in my book Daddy, Come & Get Me.

It’s Saturday morning and we’re listening to Father Benedict Groeschel give a talk on building a holy family. The premise of his talk is that we can have a holy family by following the role models of Saint Joseph and Saint Mary. I feel like he is talking directly to me rather than the hundreds of people in attendance.

The Holy Family with a Bird. Bartolome Esteban Murillo“Scripture does not record Joseph’s words but his actions. Are you a man of words or a man of actions? And what actions are you taking? Joseph worked to support and to build his family. He left a legacy in Jesus by teaching Him the skills of a master carpenter that his father had taught him. What legacy are you going to leave behind?”

A knot is growing in my stomach. I want to yell out, “Father, where were you with this wisdom a few years ago?”

We moved from Muncie to Indianapolis because I had a problem with working too much. Over six years, I’d become a workaholic: living to work rather than working to live. My girls were growing up without me. My wife was responsible for the day-to-day parenting. All of my passion, my time, and my energy went into my work.

God provided the opportunity to move away from the mess I had created but at the cost of uprooting Fran from her child-raising support network and from her friends.

Father Benedict GroeschelFather Groeschel — a New Yorker with the stereotypical accent and cadence — says, “And what’s-a-matter with all these couples who stand before me as God’s representative to witness their marriages? They profess they are going to last through good times and bad. Half of them shouldn’t even be getting married until they have a long talk with the Holy Family. If these guys would listen to Saint Joseph, there would not be so many problems.”