Parenting Lessons from the Saints

Parenting Lessons from the Saints

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Quite a few years ago, St. Joseph came into my life in a new way. Not long before, I had taken the plunge from singlehood to married life, jumping into the deep end of the pool by marrying a widower with six children. I was hardly a natural for the role of stepmother (just ask the children!).

And though I was eager to play my part in this new family configuration, I felt overwhelmed and inclined to thoughts like, “Maybe Kevin should have married so-and-so—she’s wonderful with kids.”

It was a special grace when it dawned on me that Joseph of Nazareth probably understood exactly how I felt. After all, he not only sat across the dinner table from the Incarnate Word and the Immaculate Conception: He had to head the family they belonged to! Just maybe he hadn’t felt up to his role either.

Scripture doesn’t record a single word of Joseph’s, but as I reflected on Matthew 1 and 2, where he plays a major part, his silence spoke volumes. I noticed that he assumed his daunting family responsibilities with simple humility and faith in God’s wisdom, without fixating on his own inadequacies. I noticed…

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