If you've been stopping by here lately, you'll know that we've been fasting on Tuesdays during Lent. But not today, because today is a Solemnity. A solemnity (solet and annus = annual celebration) is the highest level of feast in the liturgical calendar. Today we celebrate the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary.
Which means, no fasting with friends today!
I'm all over the chocolate, how about you?
I just love St. Joseph. His prayers were instrumental in my husband's conversion. Back in 2004 when I experienced a reversion to my faith, I really wanted to share that faith with my husband. While Tom wasn't Catholic at the time, he also wasn't really anything at all. He had been baptized in the United Church, but was not raised to know Jesus. Nor was he remotely interested. However, he had no problem with supporting me in raising our children Catholic - he had promised that in our wedding vows and he was a man of his word. If I ever went to Mass with the kids, he came along. Which was something.
I began to pray for St. Joseph's intercession in bringing Tom to faith. Just like I asked my friends to pray for him, I also asked St.Joseph in Heaven to pray for him. Faithfully.
Not long after starting my secret prayer vigil to this dear Saint, I was kneeling in church by myself one day in May, 2004, just praying quietly about the whole thing. I then experienced a strong feeling, a "knowing," a supernatural confirmation if you will, from St.Joseph telling me that yes, Tom was going to become Catholic. I can't explain it better than that. It just popped into my heart that my prayer was answered. And I thought, alright, giddy-up, let's get the conversion show on the road! Little did I know that God's timing was, as usual, slightly delayed. I honestly thought Tom would miraculously convert by summer! Ha!
That summer, we moved to Calgary and the very weekend we moved we attended Mass at what is now our parish. It was a baptism Sunday, and we were both very moved by the Mass. For me, I was yearning secretly for another baby so I was all teary at the baptism. For Tom, he told me afterwards that it was the very first time he ever "felt something" from going to church. There was "something" in the homily that touched his heart.
A few months later, this particular parish was calling for RCIA sponsors and I told Tom I thought I'd like to do that. It was a weekly commitment for almost 2 years. His response? "You can't, because I think I might like to take it!" And one of us would have to stay home with the kids. Well boy did my heart jump because its not like we ever talked about his faith journey, I never wanted to put pressure on him so it wasn't a popular topic. But there it was - he was interested in RCIA. Wow, God.
Of course, he let it slide. He never signed up. So come November, when they were still asking for volunteer sponsors, I went ahead signed up. I'd come home with all sorts of conversation tidbits and we'd talk and talk. By January, he had signed up in a new group of RCIA victims. And we needed childcare every Wednesday night, but oh it was so much fun and it was so worth it. The journey was really underway! A journey that would see Tom become Catholic another year later, in 2006, just before the birth of our 3rd child. How crazy awesome is that?
So yeah, I have a soft spot in my heart for St. Joseph. Thank you St. Joseph, for praying for us.
We leave on Wednesday for AZ. I've got my packing lists ready, my grocery list ready for when we get there, and my homeschooling goals for while we are away. The bigs will continue their online classes, while I'm just going to read read read and discuss discuss discuss with the littles AND the bigs, mostly using selections from the handy dandy kindle. And, depending how the van fills up as we pack, I may try to sneak my sewing machine in.
Either way, I promise to keep you posted here and there, and you can also follow our adventures via Instagram. I'm livefaithgirl if you're looking.
Have a lovely Solemnity!