I am sure all of you have heard we are getting a new Bishop!
I wanted to attend the installation Mass for Bishop McGrattan on February 27 so I sent an email to the Diocese to see if I could get tickets without reading all the information about this. The reply asked if I had an invitation as I wasn’t on any list. I did not have an invitation and was told that I could try to register online the following week.
This all occurred late one night and for a moment I caught myself questioning why I was not invited? I thought I had done a lot of volunteering for the Church. Then I realized that I was not following in the footsteps of St Joseph as a humble man of God. I wondered how many others have served the Church at much greater levels and for much longer. I reflected on the virtue of humility as lived by St. Joseph.
I realized that it came down to wanting to be noticed or recognized for contributions to the Church. I think many of us struggle with this issue of wanting to be recognized by awards and promotions. And pride takes hold of your accomplishments rather than allowing your gifts and talents to shine forth for the God’s glory. C.S. Lewis wrote: “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” (Mere Christianity)
Here is a reflection one should ponder from the Catechism, paragraph 2713: “Contemplative prayer is the simplest expression of the mystery of prayer. It is a gift, a grace; it can be accepted only in humility and poverty. Contemplative prayer is a covenant relationship established by God within our hearts.”
Contemplative prayer is a communion in which the Holy Trinity conforms man, the image of God, "to his likeness."
When I read that I see St Joseph! It is hard to honour St Joseph without talking about his humility. He does not say one word that is recorded in Scripture. There is not a shrine or spot to commemorate his death and his burial. There was little mention of him by the early Church and if you look at Rome, the centre of Christendom which has 66 Basilicas, St. Joseph was not honoured with one until 1970.
He was the closest man to Christ on earth, a reflection of God The Father for Jesus. Yet he was left in obscurity for centuries. Made patron of the universal church in 1870, he is also patron of Canada.
The God Squad has always looked to St. Joseph for intercession for the conferences and he has never failed us with his patronage. At our conference, men are challenged to be men of service to their families and society. Over the last 19 years, I know many have taken up the challenge to be better husbands and fathers.
I am sure many of you have not been recognized by society for your work and sacrifice. Your father in heaven does see what you are doing as does your family. Steve Wood has said many times the goal of having men attend these conferences is that it will make a difference in your grandchildren because of the legacy you have left. There is no better recognition than hearing the words “well done my good and faithful servant.”
“It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.”