Today is St. Joseph’s Day, so I have this nagging feeling that my dearly departed Joseph will be a little disappointed if I don’t write about him. He would frequently tell me he was almost a saint. I would laugh hysterically. Outside of his joy in pontificating and preaching endlessly, I just did not see it. Okay, he did have Jesus feet, but that hardly qualifies you for sainthood.
Joe was Catholic. He loved the holidays, the food and the bible stories. He knew his catechism, shared many of the bible stories with Cole, usually gave something up for Lent, and we never ate meat on Friday. This pretty much sums up Joe as a practicing Catholic. One of his biggest fears when he was a child was that he would get the call to become a priest. He didn’t. However, he did tell me once that he might not have wished so hard not to get the call to priesthood if he had known that fate had slotted me as his soul mate. Sharing this with me is one reason he is NOT a saint.
We never went to Church together as a family. The closest we ever came to church was his younger brother’s wedding and his dad’s funeral. We were married at home, Cole was christened at home, Joe died at home, and his memorial was held at home. There is no place like home to celebrate your greatest joys and sorrows; on this point we both agreed.
I toyed with the idea of catechism classes for Cole, but Joe pointed out that wanting to dress my kid up for his First Communion was really not a good enough reason to join the Catholic Church. Busted.
Joe’s library of books included. Joseph Campbell, The Disappearance of the Universe, Jung, A Course in Miracles, The Secret—Joe was always a religious seeker. He did not believe in absolute sin or hell. He did believe in gratitude and forgiveness. When Cole asked him once who God really was, Joe answered, “You are God,” without any further explanation.
Perhaps Joe had an inner knowlege that his life would not be long enough, which would explain his desire to learn about the universe beyond this one from as many different perspectives as possible. Joe would want to join the next universe knowing whether he was playing defense or offense, and who had the ball.
Joe taught me a lot about God and religion; our souls were well-mated in this area. I let Joe do most of the seeking, but I was a willing student. He may not have been a saint, but he seemed to be on the right spiritual path. One night when Cole was a baby, Joe and I were watching him sleep between us. Joe looked at Cole, took my hand and said, “When I look at Cole, I really get how much God loves us. This is heaven.”
In honor of St. Joseph day, I want to know what makes you a Saint? Oh, come on. Everyone has a saintly quality or two. I bet you have three or four. Drop me a comment if you have the time. Odd loves company.