I have often found it difficult to relate to saints or holy men and women that have a radically different temperament or personality style from my own.
Padre Pio would have been intimidating to me with all of his spiritual gifts and bi-location.
I think Saint Therese would have annoyed me with her sensitive nature and tendency to easily cry. Sorry it is true!
Saint Paul evangelized half of the known world at the time, and sometimes it feels weird to share with the people closest in life sometimes.
Until recently, Saint Joseph is one of those saints for me I never thought I had much to relate with.
For starters, there is not much spoken about him in the Bible. Not to mention that he does not have any spoken words that we know.
Much of what the Catholic Church believes about Joseph has been passed on through Sacred Tradition.
But interestingly enough, we know the very important role this carpenter played in the lives of Mary and Jesus. His role was of vital importance to the Holy Family in Nazareth.
While at a glance it would seem this silent saint does not have much to teach about Catholic dating, but in actuality there is much Joseph can teach us.
What it means to be a man (or woman!) of character
Being a person of character when it comes to Catholic dating is something vitally important we cannot ignore.
Regardless of whether or not a date is a love connection that leads to a serious relationship, we need to be men and women of honor, character, charity, and humility.
While Joseph does not get much face time in the Gospel accounts, I firmly believe he was a man of those virtues in his relationship with Mary and Jesus.
The incident that most reveals the character of Joseph is how he conducts himself in learning of Mary’s unplanned and unexpected pregnancy. Joseph does the right thing in a very difficult situation. He did not have to wed Mary, he could have taken her to the religious authorities. The matter could have become very public and messy, but as we know, that is not what Joseph did.
Sometimes dating as a Catholic, things don’t go the way we planned. The other person doesn’t feel the same connection you feel.
Perhaps you are the one that has to kindly let the other one down saying, “Thank you so much for the invitation to go out again but my intuition is telling me we are not the right romantic fit.”
Or maybe you are the one that feels the sting of rejection too often.
Joseph is a silent, yet strong reminder to us all. We should always be a man or woman of character as we approach Catholic dating.
Joseph teaches us how to do small things well
Just because Sacred Scripture does not say a lot about Joseph does not in any way mean his role is meaningless or unimportant.
He was a faithful husband who deeply loves his wife and son, dutifully caring and providing for their needs. I like to think Joseph was industrious, hard-working, and selfless.
I imagine that Joseph did the small things well, with focus and care.
How does this apply to Catholic dating?
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming or frustrating looking at profiles and sending messages only to feel you are let down or disappointed.
Maybe you wonder when it will be your turn to find that special someone or you just want to go on at least one good date.
Joseph reminds Catholic singles to do the small things well.
Write the best first message to someone you would like to know more about.
Take time to put the best pictures of yourself online that make you feel great about yourself.
Show up on dates as your real, authentic, and wonderful self.
You can only do your best, so do that perfectly well.
Ask Joseph to pray for you and your vocation. He can help you do the small things well just as he did.
The older I get the more aware I become of how little I actually know. There is still so much the Lord has to teach me, or in all seriousness, constantly remind me about.
Regardless of where we are in dating, relationships, or vocational discernment, Joseph does have more to teach us about Catholic dating than we realize.
Ask him to pray for you, your vocation, and the deepest desires of heart to be known, seen, and loved.
Saint Joseph, pray for us!