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Sep 15, 2018 104 0 Vince Salomon
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Men, grow power of meekness with Saint Joseph

A young man stood in line with his father at the Department of Motor Vehicles. About seventeen years old, he had just bought his first car and was obviously excited. His turn came and the woman behind the counter calculated his fees, around $300. The father’s temper immediately exploded. He complained about how they had already spent $2,000 on the car, then stormed out of the office. His son looked shocked and desperately tried to get his father’s attention. The boy, who had come in so excited, seemed on the verge of tears within seconds. The boy’s father had crushed his spirit and publicly humiliated him. The son followed his dad out the door, pleading, “Dad, dad, dad …”

At a park across town, another man played with his six-year-old son. The father told the boy it was time to leave, but the boy kept running. Looking unsure of himself, the father asked, “Just a few more minutes, ok?” Moments later, he tried again: “Time to go, buddy.” The son kept playing and again the father responded with a question: “Just 5 more minutes, ok?” Perhaps the man is there to this day, waiting for his son to stop playing!

Both scenarios illustrate common complaints about men. A “toxic masculinity” is aggressiveness without restraint. Some men recognize their strength and act rashly, with no sense of compassion. Others lack a sense of commitment and responsibility, never acting with God-given authority.

To strike a proper balance, men can focus on this oft-overlooked quality: meekness. When people hear “meekness” they often think “weakness” but the opposite is true. A meek person is someone who has power but knows how to control it; someone with authority who acts but is also compassionate and kind.

In Scripture, Saint Joseph is an example of meekness. When Mary is with child, he seeks to divorce her quietly until he is told the child is of the Holy Spirit. Later, in dreams, an angel comes to Saint Joseph and tells him to act. Saint Joseph does, with authority. There are no recorded words of Saint Joseph. Saint Joseph is silent, yet in the litany of Saint Joseph we call him the “Terror of Demons.” Saint Joseph is the right combination of power and restraint. Saint Joseph is meek. When people ask Saint Joseph to pray for them, they will grow in meekness as well.

POINTERS ON GROWING IN MEEKNESS:

◗ When things do not go the way we envision, do we strike out against the world? We are not the center of the universe and there is no guarantee things will go according to our plan. Memorize Psalm 37:8: “Refrain from anger and forsake wrath! Do not fret; it tends only to evil.”

◗ Are we embarrassed to act on promptings of Holy Spirit? Vanity can prevent God from working through us to reach others. Choose to be patient and meek in the face of humiliation. The embarrassment is temporary and there is grace through obedience. Memorize Sirach 2:5: “For gold and silver are tested in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation.”

◗ Forget anger and also shyness. Seek to do the will of the Lord. Memorize Psalm 119:9: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your word.”

◗ Study the story of the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11. Notice how Jesus does not say that sin is ok but commands her not to sin again. He also said that one without sin could cast the first stone. Who was without any sin in the scene? Jesus. But He shows mercy in a perfect act of meekness.

◗ Pray the litany of Saint Joseph. He is a great model of meekness, especially for men.

PRAYER TO SAINT JOSEPH

Oh Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. Oh Saint Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, our Lord; so that having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving Father. Oh Saint Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. Saint Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for us. Amen.

Vince Salomon

© and his wife, Rachel, and their six children (ages 9-17) reside in Willard, Missouri, with three dogs and two cats. Salomon works as a computer consultant. He also serves as a high school youth group leader and a college campus ministry leader. He is the committee chair for Trail Life Troop MO-6:33 and is on the Diocesan Council of Family Ministries. Salomon can be reached at www.kingsalomon.net.

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