If you have been on the infertility journey for a while, you will know it has its own seasons. Some are extremely painful, while some almost seem to be peaceful. Sometimes you are in the midst of surgeries and trying new medicines, while other times are just about waiting. The Church provides her own seasons and devotions which can impact our own. That is what I am finding as we are beginning the Year of St. Joseph, proclaimed by Pope Francis. In my own time of reflection on St. Joseph I am finding themes find their way into my own journey, and perhaps you can identify with some of these as well.
Living with infertility often means quietly carrying a hidden cross. At least a lot of couples I know are not usually “loud” about it. Infertility can be lonely, even isolating if you do not have others with whom you can commiserate. We can take solace in the “quiet” of St. Joseph. He can quietly sit with you and keep you company. He can show you how he faithfully carried his own crosses without spite.
A large part of the spiritual battle of infertility is figuring out what “acceptance of God’s will” is supposed to look like. Again, we can look to St. Joseph’s quick obedience to God’s promptings and strive to act as bravely in our own lives.
St. Joseph is such a tender, mild soul. A gift that comes with infertility is the opportunity to become more compassionate and tender-hearted to others and their crosses, if we don’t allow ourselves to become hard-hearted in our struggles. St. Joseph can be our model in taking our infertility and allowing it to open our hearts to care for others.
This Year of St. Joseph is a perfect time to pray for our spouses who are walking on the journey with us. I believe that the true suffering in Mary and Joseph’s lives created a real opportunity for holy affection between them, and we can pray for the same in our own marriages. St. Joseph, pillar of families, pray for us!
Prayer to Saint Joseph
"St. Joseph, guardian of Jesus and chaste husband of Mary, you passed your life in loving fulfillment of duty. You supported the holy family of Nazareth with the work of your hands. Kindly protect those who trustingly come to you. You know their aspirations, their hardships, their hopes. They look to you because they know you will understand and protect them. You too knew trial, labor and weariness. But amid the worries of material life your soul was full of deep peace and sang out in true joy through intimacy with God's Son entrusted to you and with Mary, his tender Mother. Assure those you protect that they do not labor alone. Teach them to find Jesus near them and to watch over him faithfully as you have done." Pope John XXIII