Guest post by Pam Ward
When I think of a holy person, it is Mother Theresa who comes foremost to my mind. She is a role model of heroic virtue — chaste, devout, humble, compassionate, her life totally surrendered to the Father’s will. Looking at her, I wonder how I could ever be holy. At the most, it seems like I can be a ‘good’ Catholic by attending Mass every weekend, saying daily prayers, giving what I can, and just maybe I won’t have to spend much time in Purgatory.
What I did not realize—and I wonder if this is something that most do not realize—there are more paths to holiness then becoming a nun or a priest. There is hope for the “average” person, even the married. In fact, marriage is considered to be a primary call to holiness, a vocation in itself. How can this be?
Let us consider the Holy Family—Mary, Joseph and Jesus. This family is a role model for all: Mary, conceived without sin; Joseph, patron saint of fatherhood; Jesus, the Word of God made flesh. The Holy Family hardly seems like a role model for the average people; yet, as we take a closer look at the picture that the Bible paints for us, we can see that they are holy in doing the ordinary with extraordinary faith.
Fathers observe from Joseph how to provide, protect and cherish their family while being obedient to God and the law. We see this in the Bible when Joseph obeys an angel to not divorce Mary (Mt 1:23), brings his family to Bethlehem at the decree of the government (Lk 2:2), flees with his family to Egypt in order to protect Jesus from Herod (Mt 2:14), and the circumcision and presentation of Jesus in the temple (Lk 2:21-24).
Mothers learn from Mary how to care for, educate and love their family with extraordinary faith. This too comes from the picture that the Bible paints as Mary accepts the Lord’s will for her to be Jesus’ mother (Lk 1:38), caring for family members (Lk 1:39), praising God for all he had provided (Lk 1:46-55), wrapping Jesus in swaddling clothes (Lk 2:7), and keeping Jesus in her heart (Lk 2:19).
Jesus teaches children how to be respectful and obedient. In the Bible, Jesus listens and asks questions of the synagogue elders (Lk 2:46), learns the family trade of carpentry (Mk 6:3), cares for his parents (Mk 7:11-13), and obeys his mother (Jn 2:310).
Mary, Joseph and the child Jesus lived everyday life. Joseph served as a husband and father, Mary served as a wife and mother, obedient to God, faithful to each other and with great love for Jesus. They laughed, cried and rejoiced together. With the Holy Family as our role model and our intercessors, we know that we too can obtain holiness in our everyday life through extraordinary faith and love for God and for one another.
[author] [author_image timthumb='on']http://www.ignitumtoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Pam-Ward.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Pam is a twenty-four year old Electrical engineer, new convert to the Catholic faith, and an aspiring apologist. She is also a distance runner, avid reader, gamer, and a recent coffee lover. Her blog is at Growing Apologist.[/author_info] [/author]