Through Her and In Her

Day 14

Some say that you don’t understand the love of God until you become a parent. On June 25, 2008, we experienced the birth of our first daughter. There is no doubt that my heart soared like an eagle that day. As I embraced my newfound fatherhood more and more that first year of Maria’s life, I felt as if I had a completely new understanding and connection to God the Father. If I, a sinful man, could look over my sleeping child’s bed with a tidal wave of love in my heart, how much more must God the Father love his children? Could it be possible? My human brain cannot even comprehend the depths of such an intense and divine love. One of the greatest gifts the Lord has given us is the gift of fatherhood.

Today is our final day of reflection on Joseph, Spouse of Mary. As we contemplate, it makes sense to bridge this topic with the next: Joseph, Father of Jesus. This gift and dignity that God gives each of us as fathers can only happen in and through our spouse! It’s a very simple truth that is so easily forgotten. We miss it daily. Even when we are conscious enough to thank God for our children, do we thank our spouse? She is the one that gives us our fatherhood. It is only through her that this is possible. She is the vessel in which God awards man with his greatest dignity!

St. Joseph sheds even more light and clarity on this reality. In the mind and heart of Joseph, this truth was even more glaring as he was not the biological father of Jesus. Joseph’s child was not the conception of love between he and his spouse. His child, and therefore his fatherhood, came as a pure gift from the Holy Spirit and Mary. It was the work of God cooperating with the most vulnerable “Yes” in human history. With such a miraculous conception, there is no question that Joseph understood exactly where his fatherhood came from and hence where he owed his deepest gratitude.

Personal Reflection:

Imagine a world in which all husbands adored their children and spouses and went to great lengths to express their love and affection for them. Imagine a world with more men like St. Joseph!

For part one of your examination of conscience today, if you are a father, reflect on how well you have cherished the gift of fatherhood. I have no doubt Joseph considered his earthly fatherhood of the Christ-child to be both his greatest dignity and greatest gift from God.

For part two of your examination of conscience, ponder whether or not your spouse understands the depths of gratitude you have for her in giving you the gift of your fatherhood. Make a resolution today to affirm with her that she has given you the greatest gift. Convey to her the dignity that she deserves. Thank her for her vulnerability. A woman will tell you that her life is flipped upside down when she gets pregnant, especially for the first time. Everything changes. She needs to know what that gift of herself means to you.

Ask St. Joseph to show you the secrets of his heart and therefore set yours ablaze with the love and gratitude for your bride. Ask him to help you love your spouse as he loved Mary.

Heavenly Father, help me to always be thankful for the gift of my spouse. Help me to honor and cherish her all the days of my life. Thank you for bringing us together in your providence.

St. Joseph, unveil for me the love of the Holy Spirit present in my spouse. Amen.

Pure of Heart

Day 13

Oftentimes it is life’s greatest blessings that we take for granted. Rarely do we think about our heart’s ability to beat, our brainwaves directing every thought and action or our lungs filling with air. We surely would notice immediately should any of these functions be taken away! One of these faculties that many live without is the ability to see. It is hard to fathom never having seen a sunset, a child’s face or a breathtaking cathedral. However, not only is this gift of sight often overlooked, it can even be used for evil. This shameful reality gives power to Jesus’ statement, “If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire” (Matthew 18:9).

In the spiritual life, sin is a cause for blindness. In a very real and terrifying way, sin affects our ability to see, know and understand principles of our faith. Sin clouds our vision by darkening the intellect and weakening the will. A darkened intellect results in the inability to comprehend the truths of our faith. As St. John tells us, “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot comprehend it” (John 1:5). A weakened will makes us prone to further sin. It is easy to see how this path leads us further away from God and deeper into frustration. Eventually, we can become blind to the truth, as we wonder why we cannot hear, feel or see the work of God in our own personal lives.

However, many of us can say, “I was blind but now I see.” Light overcomes the darkness, and purity overcomes sinfulness. Where purity abides, clarity thrives. It is only through this purity of heart that one can truly see. Jesus proclaims, “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5: 8). Truly, St. Joseph looked upon the face of God every day for thirty years. Joseph personifies the model of purity, of true vision and clarity. They say that the eye is the window to the soul, but it works in the opposite direction as well. Purity of heart allows the soul to bring light to all that surrounds us.

Enveloped by a world bombarded with impurity, it is clear why many feel that God has gone silent. Some ask if God has forgotten us, or if he was ever there to begin with. On the other hand, many witness a magnificent sunrise or face of a child and find themselves moved with conviction stating emphatically, “How could anyone not believe in God?  They must be blind.”

Personal Reflection:

Imagine how Christ rubbed the eyes of the blind man, and as his eyes were opened, the first sight he ever saw was the face of the Savior.  Now recall the times in your own life when you were blinded by your own sinfulness and how Christ came to set you free. Christ longs to show you his face. He longs to heal you from anything that is blocking or distorting your image of him. The surest path is your purity. In our day, purity takes effort because the Devil never sleeps. Temptation is right around the corner. Maybe even more appropriately stated for modern times, temptation is always one click away.

Christ taught us “every one who commits sin is a slave to sin” (John 8:34). Allow him to set you free, and you will see the world with a new perspective.

Heavenly Father, the deepest desire of my heart is to see your face. Nothing else will satisfy. Help me strive towards an authentic purity of heart in all of my thoughts and actions. Like St. Joseph, help me see your hand and hear your voice so that I may follow you wherever you lead me.

St. Joseph, unveil for me the love of the Holy Spirit present in my spouse. Amen.

Spouse of Our Lady of Sorrows

Day 12

Do you ever notice particular lines from a song that strike you so deeply that you will never forget them? One such line for me comes from the band MercyMe and their song, “Bring The Rain.”  The song begins,

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I’ve gone through.
The question just amazes me.
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You?

For many of us, the circumstances that life brings can oftentimes take away our peace. If we allow it, difficult situations can diminish our joy and even lead us into despair. The song lyrics above bring such amazing clarity and truth! We cannot allow the storms of this life to rob us of our joy, but in our trials trust in the Lord as he promises, “The joy of the Lord will be my strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

This recalls to mind a story of one of my close friend’s father. Michael Morton was wrongly incarcerated in the 1980s for the brutal murder of his wife. He lost his spouse, his three year-old son, and his freedom for the next quarter century. Moreover, practically everyone he had ever known or loved presumed he was guilty. In prison, this man went through all the emotions of anger and hatred, but several years into his sentence he had a radical conversion. As he grew in his relationship with the Lord, he came to an understanding that even if he never got out of prison, he was content with his life. Why? How? Because he came to understand in the depths of his being that:

  • God is real.
  • God is wise.
  • God loves him.

Mr. Morton says in the documentary, An Unreal Dream, “If you understand these three things, what is your problem?” Twenty-five years after entering prison in the most miraculous of circumstances, Michael Morton was finally vindicated and exonerated of all charges. DNA testing had proved his innocence and life in prison was no longer. He was set free! I have seen him dozens of times, and he is never without a smile. He literally radiates joy. My good friend, now an adult, was the three year-old who lost his mother to murder and his father to prison. He, too, has found the Lord and lives with great joy.

I have heard more than a few priests talk about the three rings of marriage. The bride’s ring, the groom’s ring, and suffer-ring. When Mary and Joseph brought their newborn son to the temple, a new concern was brought to their attention. Simeon prophesized to Mary, “Your heart will be pierced by a sword” (Luke 2:35). Can you imagine what it would feel like to hear that your wife’s heart will be pierced by a sword? From a human perspective, that news would certainly leave you uneasy, whether you are a saint or not. I, for one, would probably think it about and worry about it every moment of every day. Spouses take on the pain of their beloved even more than if it were their own!

Sometimes we are tempted to think that the Holy Family just had it easy and that the circumstances of their life must have been so peaceful. The truth is that the storms surrounding their lives were an all-out war. From the very beginning, Herod tried to kill their child, and we all know how the story ended 33 years later.

How could Joseph and Mary live with joy under these difficult circumstances in life? The joy of the Lord was their strength!

St. Joseph lived with Jesus for approximately thirty years on this earth. He came to a deep understanding, just like Bart Millard of MercyMe and Michael Morton, that circumstances cannot possibly change who he was in the heart and mind of God. This truth prevailed over any and every circumstance of life…even knowing that a sword would soon pierce the heart of his spouse.

“Bring the Rain” continues:

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above,
Because You are much greater than my pain.
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny,
So tell me: what’s a little rain?

Personal Reflection:

Difficult things have happened in the past, and you can worry about what is to come in the future. However, if you live with Jesus in the present moment, he will give you a peace and joy that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). That is his promise. It won’t always be easy, but he will always be with you. If you lose sight of him, desperation may come but if you stay close to him and truly intimate with him like St. Joseph, then he will be your strength even in the midst of your weakness.  It’s precisely when we are weak that he is strong (Cf. 2 Corinthians 12:10).

  • When have your circumstances led you to a crisis of faith?
  • When has the Lord given you a peace and joy that surpasses all understanding?
  • How can you begin living a foretaste of paradise today?

Heavenly Father, help me to seek union with you through each day of my life. If I find that our union is lacking, may that be my reminder to unite myself to you once more. I lay all of my burdens at your feet. May your grace be sufficient. Help me to continue to live a life of peace and joy no matter what storms come my way. Give me the radical faith and trust to allow you to remain asleep in the boat while a storm raged! If I ever find myself sinking in the darkness of the night, I will call out your name, and you will calm my distress. Father, I lift up to you all those who have very heavy crosses to bear in this life. Run to them, Lord, and be their Prince of Peace. Restore them to your joy. In their weakness, be their strength.

St. Joseph, unveil for me the love of the Holy Spirit present in my spouse. Amen.

The Immaculata

Day 11

“[Mary] is the one whom every man loves when he loves a woman—whether he knows it or not. She is what every woman wants to be when she looks at herself. She is the woman whom every man marries in ideal when he takes a spouse; she is hidden as an ideal in the discontent of every woman with the carnal aggressiveness of man; she is the secret desire every woman has to be honored and fostered; she is the way every woman wants to command respect and love because of the beauty of her goodness of body and soul. And this blueprint love, whom God loved before the world was made, this Dream Woman before women were, is the one of whom every heart can say in its depth of depths: ‘She is the woman I love!’” (Archbishop Fulton Sheen, The World’s First Love)

In this segment of our journey, we are considering St. Joseph’s role as spouse of Mary. In order to fully appreciate this unique vocation, we shall take a moment to consider who Mary is. Thousands of books are written about the Blessed Mother without exhausting her singular dignity. Therefore, the next few paragraphs will provide but a small taste of the beauty of our Blessed Mother.

Full of Grace

“Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you.” Luke 1:28

The superabundant mercy of God not only forgives sin but it also precedes the soul, so that we will not fall into sin in the first place. It is always our choice to receive or reject that mercy. In his divine providence, Mary received this superabundant mercy and fullness of God’s grace from the moment of her Immaculate Conception. For this reason, she would never fall into sin at any moment of her life. Eve was given extraordinary grace as well, but where Eve is known for her “No,” Mary is known for her resounding “Yes!”

Spouse of the Spirit

The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” Luke 1:35

Thanks to her openness and faithfulness, the Holy Spirit filled the life and soul of Mary. St. Maximilian Kolbe, the greatest of Marian theologians, would go so far as to say she was, in fact, “the spouse of the Holy Spirit.” We know that Mary is not God without an ounce of divinity in her; nonetheless, the union between Mary and the Holy Spirit is unparalleled and unmistakable. Mary was so completely docile to the actions of the Holy Spirit in her life that she always said yes to his movement. When you behold Mary move or speak, you are witnessing the manifestation of her union with the Holy Spirit.

Living Tabernacle 

“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”

Luke 1:42 

In the Old Testament, the presence of God dwelled in the temple where the Ark of the Covenant was kept. However, it wasn’t so easy to gain access to the presence of God. One must go past the outer courts, into the center of the temple, to find the Ark in the Holiest of Holies. In fact, only a Levitical Priest could enter into these inner courts where the Ark was kept. What made the Ark holy was the fact that it contained the Ten Commandments and the Mosaic Covenant with Israel. As such, the presence of God dwelt above the Holy of Holies.

The Old Testament signs are brought into New Testament realities in numerous ways. Jesus Christ becomes the Lamb of God, slain for our sins and those of the whole world to save us and restore us to new life.  Likewise, the God of the universe no longer dwelt in a physical sanctuary, but brought his presence to humanity in a new way: as a child born from a woman. Mary becomes the New Testament fulfillment as the living Ark. God is holy, holy, holy and literally dwelt in her womb. Mary was a living, breathing tabernacle of the Lord for nine months. She gave birth to the Author of Life!

Spouse of Joseph

God created Mary as his masterpiece to be a fitting vessel to carry the Word Incarnate in her womb, to nurse him, to care for him, to love him and to be by his side until the very end. God now needed a man that was fit to be the spouse of his masterpiece.  He chose Joseph. Joseph was given the dignity of being her spouse, to love and honor her all the days of his life, and to keep her pure and holy.

If you have read my wife’s book, Woman In Love, then you know the story of her praying for her future husband for years before she even met him. She prayed intensely for God to convert holy men into the world. Although we had never met and lived in different states, my sudden conversion came the exact week that she made a passionate resolve to journal to God with this intention. She wrote hundreds of letters to her “Husband-to-Be” (her HTB) and presented them to me the night before we exchanged our vows. What a way to start a marriage! Sometimes when we tell our story, people tell me, “Wow, what pressure you have to live up to that! She prayed for you all those years.”

Pressure? Imagine St. Joseph! His wife was the Blessed Virgin Mary!

When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. (Fulton J. Sheen, Life is Worth Living)

Personal Reflection:

Mary personifies the standard for what it means to be fully woman. She possesses true feminine genius. Mary was holy, and she sheds light on genuine womanhood. As a man, you are called to treat each woman, especially your spouse, with dignity befitting of God’s masterpiece. The objectification of women in our culture is a great tragedy. You must not allow the world to distort your vision of women. Instead, allow St. Joseph to teach you to view women as he did. The devil is an imposter and, in his cunning ways, has tricked modern man to exchange love for lust. As Christians, we can do better. “It is the duty of every man to uphold the dignity of every woman” (Pope John Paul II, General Audience, November 24, 1982).

Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of Our Lady and for the gift of my spouse. Help me grow in purity of heart and mind in all my relationships. Inspire me to never objectify others, but rather to honor the beauty and sanctity of women and without fail uphold their dignity and virtue.

St. Joseph, unveil for me the love of the Holy Spirit present in my spouse. Amen.

Most Chaste Spouse

Day 10

St. Paul sets before husbands the standard in which they are called to love their wives:

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her…that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. (Ephesians 5: 25, 27)

St. Joseph has many titles in Catholic tradition, including “Most Chaste Spouse.” This truth is highlighted in the second Marian Dogma as it describes deep truths about Mary. The Church teaches that Mary maintained “perpetual virginity” as she remained a virgin before, during and after the birth of Christ. Practically speaking, her perpetual virginity meant that Mary and Joseph did not have sexual relations.

Now, let’s be cautious with the implications of this statement. First and foremost, this does not mean that union between a man and woman in the context of marriage is in any way wrong or sinful. In fact, quite the opposite is true. We have been blessed, especially through the teachings of St. John Paul II, to know that the sexual union between spouses in marriage is in fact holy. When we cooperate with God in this way, we become co-creators with him, and through our love, we bring about new life to the world. Our love and our union are called to bear fruit. Beautiful!

For spouses, the physical union is an outward sign of the invisible union of their love for one another. Our love binds us together as one in Holy Matrimony. So why would Mary and Joseph refrain from such a holy, physical union? It is a deep mystery, but God has chosen to highlight the spiritual union of their marriage rather than the physical. In his providence, God destined Mary to be the New Eve, the Mother of all of humanity in the order of grace. In this way, she is our spiritual mother. Eve is our mother according to the flesh, and Mary is our mother according to the spirit. God willed to highlight through the marriage of Mary and Joseph that we are more than just flesh! We are more than just physical beings! The union between man and woman is much deeper than a physical union. The physical union is a sign, a sacrament of the deeper, spiritual union. Mary and Joseph exemplified this spiritual union and help point us to a deeper meaning of marriage. Although their union was not a physical one, it was indeed exceptionally fruitful. Life himself came into the world through Mary and gave us the true fruit from the Tree of Life by sustaining us with his flesh and blood in the Eucharist.

Joseph lived St. Paul’s mandate to the Ephesians to the fullest. He loved Mary with all of his heart. He helped ensure that her immaculate flesh remained totally for Our Lord. As the first tabernacle of Jesus Christ, our Blessed Mother contained the holiest of holies, and Joseph played an active role in safeguarding that purity.

Personal Reflection:

Reflect on the passage from Ephesians 5 and the purity of St. Joseph. God gave you the gift of your sexuality to be given away to your spouse but certainly not to be abused. Remember that your body and the body of your spouse are ultimately the Lord’s. We are called to be a temple of God where his Spirit dwells. If you are married, treat your spouse with the dignity she deserves in all aspects of your marriage, so that when that final days comes, you can joyfully meet the Lord and present her without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of sexuality and the pleasure that comes with it. Teach me to love my bride as you love the Church, and help me to preserve her dignity and purity. Guide me in the ways of St. Joseph, always putting the needs of others over my own desires.

St. Joseph – unveil for me the love of the Holy Spirit present in my spouse. Amen.

Decided to Divorce Her Quietly

Day 9

Yesterday, we considered the news proclaimed in the Annunciation to both Mary and Joseph as an unprecedented event in human history. We came to a deeper appreciation of the heroic faith of Mary and Joseph. However, in this consideration, we skipped over a monumental detail. Namely, after Mary broke the news, but before God sent an angel to speak to Joseph in his dream, there was a serious dilemma to discern.

Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. (Matthew 1:19)

At first glance, this phrase from Scripture makes little sense. It seems to contradict itself, in that a just man would choose divorce. If Joseph understood the baby to be from God, then he should naturally conclude that Mary had no shame. But Joseph was living in a different era and culture than today. According to the Mosaic Law, if a woman who was married or betrothed was found guilty of an adulterous affair, she would be taken outside the city gates and stoned to death (Deuteronomy 2:23). Even though he did not fully understand the situation at this point in time, having Mary stoned to death was not a viable option for Joseph. Therefore, he decided to “divorce her quietly,” so that no one would know he was not responsible for this pregnancy. Instead, Joseph accepted that, over time, the town would have noticed that Mary was pregnant and assumed the baby was Joseph’s. Mary would have been safe from stoning, but the people of Nazareth would have assumed that Joseph selfishly and dishonorably left Mary and her child on their own to fend for themselves.

Joseph was willing to take this apparent “shame” of Mary upon his own shoulders. Risking his reputation, Joseph once again pointed to Christ. Jesus became the victim of the greatest injustice in all of humanity. Indeed, it was our shame that he took upon his shoulders when he carried his cross to Calvary. Christ was willing to be ridiculed and convicted of a crime he did not commit so that we may be set free.

Christ taught us that his actions reflected those of the Father (John 5:19). While Jesus was referring to God the Father, it is apparent that his heavenly father chose for his son an earthly father who taught him mercy and sacrifice as well.

Personal Reflection:

Ponder the limitless mercy of God in your own life and, in turn, how merciful you are to others. Once you receive the mercy of God, you are called to be an instrument of that mercy to the world. If you are married, ask St. Joseph to teach you how to be merciful to your bride, just as he was to Mary. St. Joseph was placed in a seemingly impossible situation, and yet he still chose mercy. Why? How? The explanation for Joseph’s courageous and noble actions is humility, which is precisely why we began this book with that virtue. St. Joseph understood that it’s not about himself. He understood that his life was an offering for others, and that you only truly find yourself when you give yourself away. St. Joseph was already living the Christian way of mercy before Christianity even existed. He was a herald to a new Way.

Heavenly Father, shower your mercy upon me, so that I may be a man like St. Joseph and offer my life in sacrifice for others.

St. Joseph – unveil for me the love of the Holy Spirit present in my spouse.  Amen.

Unprecedented Event

Day 8

Today is the start Section 3:
The Spouse of Mary

“But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel’ (which means, God with us).

 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife, but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus.”
Matthew 1:20-25


Day 8

You are at a party, maybe a couple’s shower or wedding that your wife insisted you attend, while your favorite sports team is playing in a pivotal game. Your DVR is set, and you anxiously await the chance to get home to watch everything play out. Suddenly, another unwilling male attendee loudly announces the final score of the game that you are looking forward to watching in its entirety. How does this change the way you perceive the drama and play-by-play of the game later? Does knowing the end change the way you experience it? Unfortunately, this is how we read the Scriptures. We know what comes next, and how the Old Testament ends with the anticipation and coming of the Savior! We must try to remember that these characters had no idea how things would unfold. The magnitude of Joseph’s reaction to Mary’s pregnancy can be easily lost in our awareness that everything turns out fine in the end.

Try to place yourself in Joseph’s shoes. If your fiancée had just informed you that she was pregnant by way of the Holy Spirit, your emotions would most likely be filled with betrayal, fury and heartbreak.

St. Joseph was a much calmer and wiser man, as you can imagine. He did not respond in this way. He struggled with how he would handle this situation. In the midst of his struggle, God sent an angel to explain to him that what Mary said was true. The angel explained there was nothing to fear and that he should take her as his wife. Joseph arose and did what the angel asked of him.

This was truly an unprecedented event in human history. Even though St. Joseph had great faith, there was no previous example of God working in this way before. His quick response showed his confidence that God was capable of doing the impossible. At the core of his being resided unshakeable faith that God was a God of miracles. Joseph was utterly confident in the fact that God was alive and active, both in the creation of the world and the daily lives of each and every soul he so masterfully created. St. Joseph believed that God dynamically intervenes in human history and was humble enough to surrender to God’s plan.

God could have made the decision easier for Mary and Joseph. When he sent Gabriel to Mary, Joseph was not present. Therefore, Mary’s fiat (her Yes!) was made independent of Joseph. She had no idea how he would respond when finding out about her miraculous pregnancy! Her fiat demonstrated her unwavering faith in God and her outright trust in Joseph. It was only after Mary told Joseph what had taken place that God sent an angel to Joseph. God relied on their personal decisions to trust in him and in one another before sharing the details of his plan with Joseph.

Through the experience from this unprecedented event, I have no doubt that Mary and Joseph learned to trust in God more than ever. For Mary, she would hold on to this immovable faith and trust all the way to the foot of the cross. They knew God was in control. No matter how it appeared to the rest of the world, they knew God had a plan.

Their example teaches us something about God as well as something about both Mary and Joseph. Their faith in God was unshakeable. Their trust in his plan was unfailing. Joseph would follow God’s will at all costs, no matter what it meant for his own life. When I think about this obedience, I can’t help but think about Christ himself. Like father, like son.

Personal Reflection:

God seeks men of faith. God can move mountains in your life and the lives of others if he finds in you the faith of a mere mustard seed. Jesus reminds us, “All things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23). In difficult moments, when you do not understand and your faith is tested, remember that God’s ways are not your ways, and his thoughts are not your thoughts. His plans are infinitely higher. It is in these moments in particular that you must place your life and the lives of your loved ones in his hands. Allow St. Joseph to be your guide.

Heavenly Father – inspire in me a faith like St. Joseph’s, so that I may always trust in your ways.

St. Joseph – unveil for me the love of the Holy Spirit present in my spouse.  Amen.