As I reflect on my miracle month, I am grateful, but not thrilled. I want to give more in this next month, In fact, I've already begun a new set of goals today. It is going to be hard, like a trial of fire, and so it is. Until the mark of habit is burned in my skin. Let it sow love to my future vocation. I have this gift for adaptive enculturation with an always learning love combined with a fervent desire to be a saint. Since the future of our country is very uncertain, I am trying to have a plan A, B, and C. No matter what, I know I must keep The Father at the forefront of my consciousness, to listen and follow His Will in all things, to face the day's difficulties with His power going before me. He has been teaching me how to transfigure these mundane and profane worldly deeds into beautiful acts of creative will/love. Works to lay at the feet of my beloved when she comes, and again to the Beloved when He comes. I feel the call to marriage, and I feel the call to children. I am going to continue to prepare myself to be the best husband and father I can be. My past was not a mistake, it was preparation, the present is not a roadblock, it is merely a challenge. My present endevour will take more than human will to bear through, but I shall put my faith in the Father who loves and leads, protects and saves me. For His glory I will serve.
To live in the world and not be of the world. A strange and fearful call. The more we engage in politics, economics, culture, the more they seem to suck us into their dead ends. Shrewd as serpents, innocent as doves, He says, and the children of the earth show more ingenuity than the children of the light. With the Holy Spirit I can change this stereotype. I have to try and try and try. One morning at a time. I know we can never have utopia here, yet every move we make is an attempt in that direction. It has to be. The inertia to perfection is woven into us. To build the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. But its not a prosperity Gospel, and life will not play-out as planned. We will fail, but we will succeed in having made a true and holy effort. Some, in their refusal to accept the inevitability of death, psychological, physical and civil, believe that they can overcome mortality through technology. This error displaces the flesh and blood of the common man, becoming a choice of outward pride and hidden envy. Playback the history of civilization. The American system was built on the premise that worldly power is dangerous in this way and therefore must be fractionated and subsidiary. Yet we still defend the union, we don't sacrifice solidarity. This is a unique land in its potential fertility for the Catholic mission. Those who want to make the state their Church (i.e. socialism) will have the same hostility to Judeo-Christian culture as communism did. If we can preserve our Constitution's unprecedented historical balance, we should try. Even if it means succession for half the country. As in our souls and spirits, we must nurture the parts in order that they all might fully serve the whole.
In the Litany of Saint Joseph, one of his titles is 'Lover of Poverty'. Why does he love poverty? Isn't he worried about the most beautiful woman ever created and the God-man whom he must raise; isn't he worried that they might not be shown the due dignity and the majesty they deserve. Of course he is. It is one of his greatest sorrows that Mary and Jesus are born in an stable built for animals. Yet, into that very place were carried the treasures of the East: wisdom, gold, knowledge, frankincense, understanding, and myrrh; the bended-knees of foreign kings gave worship to a baby in a trough. Did Joseph spare a single thought not addressed to the Heavenly Father in intercession for these two? No. Do we doubt that his role in the shadow was efficacious? Of course not. Sometimes the spiritual life takes everything from us. But this makes us pure. Like St Joseph's staff, earthly riches bloom on the branch of spiritual purity. The branch was the necessary foundation. This is why Joseph is the lover of poverty. For in poverty is humility and such lowliness blossoms with Heavenly aid.
Still, there is more. Can we believe that Joseph was one of the world's most talented artisans? Why not? Can we also believe that he was one of the most brilliant entrepreneurs? I think we can. So why was he poor? By no fault of his own but of providence itself. These thirty days speak to my heart of this truth, that I can work with all my strength to build a fortified spiritual, emotional, physical, intellectual, financial, and communal home, but finally it will be my own Father who provides it to me first. It may seem that I am behind the curve, but I am actually ahead. The Lord granted to me eyes to see the Logos of time's priorities. Mastery of the moment is the saintly gate. This power is The Spirit Himself. I was led by my Lord of Love to put first things first. I did so well and to His honor for a decade of my life. Now I must put third things third and win my financial freedom. If it be His Will. This will require a sacred effort and unwavering faith. I can't know until I throw my passion at it, like I always do for Him, and in Him now for my future wife and children. My age and receding energy is not a hindrance, it is meant to be; its just more poverty. If this is the wrong road, He will let me know, but now it feels right. Even if the effort is only to make me holier, so be it. My poverty is the material manifestation of a spiritual truth. I will always be poor before God, one way or another we will always be poor. Let us be poor in the ways we need to be for our salvation and rich in the ways we need to be for our salvation. I do not love poverty for poverty's sake. Increase my Faith oh Lord in the miracles you do for holy husbands and their families. So that I might shoot my children straight back to You, repairing the broken arrows of my ancestors, and giving the fruit of my energies to the service of Your Church. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, pray for us.