Happy Sunday My Friends! The house is very busy and very full! We have 8 moms and 13 kids as of today. One of our moms recently took a new job in a professional setting after working in a warehouse this past summer. After believing she was destined to do warehouse work, her self-confidence has blossomed as she adapts to the challenges that arise in a fast paced work environment. Earlier this week our case manager spoke with Hillside Work Scholarship Connection and we are happy to be collaborating with his program to provide tutoring for one of our other moms. This tutoring will allow her to graduate and walk in graduation by earning her high school diploma next June. This mom has a goal of becoming a CNA and believed obtaining a GED was her only option. To say she is thrilled to be walking in graduation for a high school diploma is an understatement! Our newest resident moved in Saturday with her two children. She is expecting a third child this spring and came to us through the Sisters Of Life.
We have been getting many requests from other people trying to open new homes across our state and have spent a lot of time with them helping them begin the process. On Thursday, we spoke with a group from Warsaw, NY who heard about Joseph’s House at a Christian Housing conference in Texas.
When speaking with people trying to begin this process prayer is always emphasized. You cannot do what we do without constant prayer, constant sacrifice, constant discernment, and constant trust. One must constantly surrender themselves to the will of the Lord. This does not mean one is a leaf blowing in the wind going from one thing to the other. It means that through the relationship one has established with God, they come to understand how He speaks in their hearts. This process takes time, it takes silence, it takes humility, and it takes PERSEVERANCE. It takes relinquishing your own wants, needs, thoughts, ideas, and dreams to Christ. Like Mother Angelica used to say “God is not a slot machine.” What she meant here was one cannot simply throw out their problems to God whenever they pop up, pull the lever, and get an answer. There must be an established relationship. There must be friendship and trust on Our Lord’s Part as well as our own.
Everyone believes the story of Joseph’s House began quickly, and it did once the idea was given and the people came together. However, God was working on Joseph's House since “before He formed us in our mother’s wombs.” He needed us to come to understand His wants, needs, thoughts, ideas, and dreams. From 2004 to 2010 when the inspiration for this mission was gifted in Adoration, there were thousands of rosaries said, thousands of daily as well as weekly masses attended. Thousands of hours in Adoration and reading the Liturgy of the Hours and Divine Office. Thousands of hours watching and listening to EWTN on television and radio. Hundreds of hours on the sidewalk in front of planned parenthood. This was the education needed to hear and discern the way in which God speaks in my heart. That’s a whole lot more than 4 years in college. It was total immersion because the realization was, I knew absolutely nothing. I asked for understanding, knowledge, and wisdom — and our Lord answered my prayers because I surrendered myself to Him completely. One needs to make God a partner in each and every decision they make. From when they rise in the morning to when they retire in the evening. From what they watch on television to what they eat morning, noon, and night. From where and when they should go on vacation to if and when they should go shopping for pleasure. This is the way in which to make God your best friend, one you can rely on always for direction, comfort and mercy.
That’s not to say that at times He won’t leave you feeling utterly alone and in darkness because He will. Just read a little Mother Teresa if you want to understand the darkness. By the time this happens the soul is prepared to stand on their own because they have learned the ways in which God works in their lives. I have had moments and times like this and when they occur I just keep plugging. Keep going to mass. Saying the rosary, reading the Daily Office and visiting our chapel. I always view these tests, these moments of abandonment, as Our Lord working with someone who is more in need than I am. Simply put, someone else needs His attention more than me. And so I pray for that person, offer up the sacrifice of feeling totally abandoned, and know HE has the faith that I am safe and secure treading water in the deep end of the pool all by myself. When I seem to be exhausted and ready to sink He jumps in and rescues me making the joy of His friendship sweeter and more satisfying than one can put into words. We all need to experience the many depths of darkness to appreciate the many auras of light!
As we enter the dark, cold dreary days of winter let us stay strong in our faith, strong in our commitment to our Lord, Our Lady, St. Joseph and Joseph’s House. Strong in our gratitude for all the gifts, mercies, and surprises (good and bad!) Jesus constantly sends our way. Let us be the “little children” of Jesus with humble, loving hearts, helping moms and babies in need and always serving with the Love of Christ! God Bless you my friends! Below is a poem written about Mother Teresa, that we might all make our own!
Love and Prayers,