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Touched by God

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It dawned on me recently that we rarely ponder St. Joseph. If you think about it, this poor guy's life was flipped upside down. How troubling it must have been to learn that your betrothed was pregnant and not by you. The predicament they found themselves in was mutually disgraceful. His reputation and hers was being called into question. Mary said yes, but Joseph certainly didn't. That was, until he was touched by God.

If you recall the story, Joseph was planning to divorce Mary quietly so as not to bring attention to her or the situation. But, rather than respond in haste, even though he had a plan, he turned to prayer. As a response to his prayer, Joseph had a dream that told him not to be afraid, but to marry his betrothed. Joseph trusted in God. He married Mary quietly and followed the requirement to report to Bethlehem for the census. You know the rest of the story.

I often wonder if this whole experience helped Joseph love Mary more. Did it help him love God more? Did he understand who his son really was? Did he "get it"? I wish the gospel writers would have given us just a little bit more about this guy named Joseph, don't you?

I do know this, there is no better person I want to have intercede on my behalf when I need to gain trust in the Lord and His plan in order to be at peace.

St. Joseph, pray for us.

St. Joseph knew, when Mary became pregnant, that this child was not his child. He saw that she was pregnant but didn't know how. If he had gone to the high priest, she would have been stoned to death. Do you see the charity and thoughtfulness of St. Joseph? - St. Teresa of Calcutta

in Hope

"If you believe it, you will see it."

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I really try to have a positive attitude. More often than not, that serves me well. I have also been called names because of my rosy outlook—Pollyanna rings a bell.

One thing I have learned about living in a glass-half-full world, is that I have to do reality checks from time to time. Not only does this help me find balance, it also helps me build relationships with the people around me. It helps me be aware of those relationships in order to foster them, or not, in some cases. I truly believe that it is important to surround yourself with individuals that will help you become the best version of yourself as God intends.

When I arrived at St. Dominic, I used a phrase with the teachers—“If you believe it, you will see it.” I will remind them of this phrase from time to time especially when we are working together to meet the challenges we face. If we remember who we are and what we are here for, we will see the fruits of our labor accordingly.

As St. Julien says, "All will be well." If you believe in the good, that is what you will see. If you believe in hope, that is what you will see. If you believe that Jesus lives in each one of us, that is what you will see. If you believe that there is joy in the world, that is what you will see. The opposite holds true as well.

Despite my rosy outlook, I do get caught in the muck and mire of life. But I do believe that things happen for reasons. I do believe that God has a purpose for every moment. I pray for the understanding of the potential in those moments - the holy moments. For if you believe it, you will see it.

Balance Brings Peace

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The Church is the Body of Christ. It is the collection of all of us working together.

The early Christians, the beginning of the Church, lived this quite completely as it truly was a matter of survival for them. They provided for one another's needs, supported one another in every way and learned from one another. That doesn't mean that they always agreed, but they remained kind anyway because their success in maintaining Jesus’s mission depended upon it.

They understood the greater mission - to be there for one another for God's sake. This is the fundamental understanding of stewardship - to give of your gifts to support your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Catholic schools, hospitals, orphanages, and all manner of missionary work is rooted in the concept that we are the Body of Christ.

The secular culture grabbed on to this with the phrase, "It takes a village." Indeed, everyone working together results in something greater than the individual parts. This can apply to any situation where people must work together as a team.

I am keenly aware of this as the instructional leader of the school. Teachers and parents, parents and students, students and teachers, etc. - all important interconnected parts that serve to bring about success in school. Interconnected parts that serve to assist each one in being the best version of itself. Interconnected parts that require balance. Balance brings peace.

Each of us has been gifted with our own set of strengths and limitations. Together, we balance each other out. We need each other to bring peace by respecting how the other parts of the body contribute to the whole.

Let us never forget that we are all working to inspire minds, develop character, and seek Christ so that we may know Christ, and become Christ, each one for the sake of all.