Showing posts with label manliness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label manliness. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

St. Joseph, the original Navy Seal

I was struggling with a lot of anger this past week over a blogger who relentlessly attacks everyone I know. He uses every accusation he can find (no matter how ridiculous) and spreads rumors all over the place. He viciously attacks and mocks everyone who attempts to support those of us seeking emotional healing and reduction of SSA. His beliefs and approach seem identical to Wayne Besen's blog, but this guy claims to be a "Christian Professor" and people mistakenly believe he is on our side so they forward links to his blog all over the place. 

I feel some Shame though because I erupted in anger when someone emailed me with a link to his blog. I wasn't so much angry about his latest attacks (mocking my friends Arthur and Alan at JONAH), but I was furious that people think he still on our side and then use him as a source. I dropped a lot of really important things especially tasks for ministry work (providing encouragement and affirmation to my friends in need). I instead focused my energy on arguing with him (which was NOT on my to-do list for that day). Not only was it a waste of time, it was potentially counter-productive to the ministry work to the individuals that God has placed in my path.
"Man's anger does not accomplish God's righteousness" - James 1:20
 In our local Courage chapter, a therapist here in Dallas / Fort Worth has started leading us in a program he developed called "St. Joseph's Workshop."

This past week we had our first section and part of the process/discussion focused on the manly virtues demonstrated by St. Joseph during the events we commemorate in Christmas. Obviously as a foster-father to God, he had a lot of responsibility.

The part that stood out to me was in Matthew's gospel with the Flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:1-12). The discussion question was:
"What manly virtues did St. Joseph demonstrate in the 'Flgiht into Egypt' (Matt 2) and how does that relate to my life?"
I had never thought of it in terms of myself being in St. Joseph's place, but I realized what MY impulse would be if an angel appeared to me and told me that soldiers were coming to kill all of the children.  

My instinct as man would be to grab a sword and run out to try to STOP the soldiers - knowing that I'd probably die in the process, "but at least I did SOMETHING!"

I remember how I felt when I first heard of the CT school shooting and I cannot imagine what St. Joseph went through - being told AHEAD of time that something like that would happen and then be told he could not do anything to stop it. I cannot imagine having to just "RUN."

I seem to have an inclination to try to "fix what is wrong with the World" and I can easily get distracted by big political events and /or useless arguments about big political events. There is a part of me that just wants to "FIGHT the good fight" and even be a "martyr" for cause of justice. That's the raw emotional response in how I reacted to the blogger last week.

"There are many who would eagerly be martyred in front of the astonished gaze of thousands, but will not bear the pinpricks of daily life with a cheerful spirit, but think! Which is more heroic?"  - St. Josemaría Escrivá (founder of Opus Dei)
When I got asked last month to be on the Dr. Oz show (, at first I really wanted to go and argue for the truth, but God seemed to be telling me "NO."  I am glad that others were called to fight that fight, but it was clear that for one reason or another God didn't want ME to do this particular program.

In Matthew 2:1-12, St. Joseph was given very specific instructions to take Mary and the baby Jesus and RUN.  If he had acted in any other way or tried to handle things his OWN way (like I'm so inclined to do), he would not have fulfilled the mission God called him to do.

St. Joseph's mission in life was very much like a Navy Seal. He had to sneak past enemy lines and ignore the big explosions and fighting all around him. He had to stay the course, have courage and faith - AND focus on the one specific task he was given - even while it may have seemed like the enemy was winning big glorious battles right in front of him.

Since I came back into the Church and surrendered my life to Christ, there have been many occasions where the Holy Spirit has led me to specific people and places where I've had the privilege of participating in HIS harvest and seeing soul's revived and lives transformed (ONE at a time). Sometimes the mission is just to plant seeds, but I can still seem to tell when I have accomplished the mission and when I have NOT.

I have to learn to daily surrender to God's will and trust the Holy Spirit to lead me where I need to go. It's just really hard though to have to see the enemy win his seemingly spectacular battles (politics, the media, etc.) and knowing that I CAN'T fight those battles and can't fix the World in aggregate. Sometimes it is painful to obey and accept that I can't save everyone. It is hard to trust and let go of my OWN will. However, I know that staying focused on the "little things" and obeying his voice, keeps me rooted in HIM and through HIM my small efforts will bear fruit.