Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007 ~ Fourth Sunday of Advent

Matthew 1: 18-24

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel" (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife,


Oh, St. Joseph, most chaste spouse, pray for our husbands! May they be as obedient to God's will as yours. When is the last time I earnestly prayed for my husband? Do I nag him about the things I want him to change or do I take them to prayer? Do I realize that my husband is human and will not be perfect until he enters Heaven? Do I forgive him his faults, both large and small?

Do I lead my husband to Heaven? Do I nudge (not nag) him to participate in the life of the Church and our domestic church? Do I complement him for participating, even if he is not fully into the cutesy symbolic stuff we concoct for our kids? Do we pray together as a family? Do we pray together as a couple?

Do I charitably correct my husband as needed? I had the opportunity yesterday to swallow my anger and pray upon the most loving response to redirect a moment of selfishness in my husband. Thank you Holy Spirit for sending the right words, so he received them well! Do I ask the Holy Spirit for guidance in my marriage? Do I pause and reflect when conflict develops between us or do I act impulsively?

Not too long ago I read Dr. Laura Schlessinger's book, The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands. It is an excellent perspective on how, as women, we have a great responsibility in the success of our marriage and must not resign ourselves to victim status but embrace three concrete goals to satisfy our husbands. Her basic point is that men are simple and need to be fed in three key areas: stomach (food), ego, and sex. Men who feel satisfied in these appetites will walk over hot coals and through raging snowstorms to do anything their wives need. Try it. Work on those three areas and see if your husband doesn't become the man of your dreams (or even more so if he already is). It's worked for me!

Lord, like St. Joseph, we hope our husbands will be strong protectors of our families. Please guide them, inspire them, and help us, their wives, to treat them with the dignity, respect, and care they need and deserve from a loving spouse. Especially this Christmas, help us to turn to St. Joseph and ask him to lead our husbands to holiness.