Especially in times of struggle and uncertainty

On Wednesday one of the Sisters I live with led our Novitiate House Community in a retreat day. In the morning, she suggested we reflect on the response of either Joseph or Mary in the Infancy narratives. I spent some time with this passage from Matthew:
Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
Do not be afraid ... for it is through the Holy Spirit. Joseph was faced with an unexpected and downright unwelcome situation - Mary was pregnant and he knew that this was a sticky situation. Looking through the eyes of the world, he decided to act as justly as possible within the social constructs by quietly divorcing her. But then God asked him to look through the eyes of God instead. What if the unexpected and unwelcome situation was of the Spirit? Could he welcome the unruly situation into his home? Into his heart? Could he overcome the fear and see where it led? Could he literally welcome God into his life?

These days, I'll admit that sometimes my daily existence seems unruly and unmanageable. Nothing terribly serious, just unbloggables related to giving up a good life of friendship, work and ministry for this Novitiate experience that is so hard to explain and sometimes harder to live through. And some related unbloggables having to do with spending all my time in the same place with the same people. You can probably imagine some of the challenges.

When I look at what is quickly approaching 4 months as a Novice through the eyes of the world, things look a bit crazy, somewhat unmanageable and not ok. But what if the unruliness is of the Spirit (which I suspect it is)? The first thing I suppose is to discern that very fact. But then ... and here comes the hard part as I'm sure Joseph experienced ... to welcome it into your home. Your life. Your heart. To forgo the blame, shame and fear and to lovingly care for that which is born of the Spirit.

Food for thought and reflection this Advent. I was reminded of this passage from our Groovy Sister Constitutions:
From the beginning of the congregation
Joseph was chosen as our patron
because he is a model of peace.
His courage to live a life of faith
inspires us to trust in God's abiding love,
especially in times of struggle and uncertainty.

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