Father Scalia’s Parish Emails

If you are not receiving Father Scalia’s weekly email with parish news and spiritual enlightenment, email [email protected], with your full name and email address. Below is the most recent email. Some weeks there may be more than one email.

Please note that any replies to the emails are sent to [email protected] and not directly to Father Scalia.

Joseph’s Poverty and Trust

“Lover of Poverty”

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Dear Friends in Christ, 

Continuing reflections for the month of Saint Joseph, we turn to another title for him: Lover of poverty. Now, this is truly an unusual title. Who loves poverty? Well, nobody does (or should) love poverty for itself. But we should embrace whatever poverty we encounter as a way of experiencing God’s Providence.

That’s how Joseph approached poverty in his life. Recall the Holy Family’s poverty in Bethlehem, where they couldn’t find a room in the inn. Then there was their homelessness during the flight into Egypt. Even after all their trials, the Holy Family settled into the simplicity of Nazareth, which was regarded as a no-account, country bumpkin village. It certainly weighed heavily on the heart of Joseph that he could not provide for his family as he desired. 

A lesser man would have rebelled at these privations or allowed them to discourage him. But Joseph peacefully accepted these poverties as occasions to trust more fully in God. They not only didn’t discourage him, but they also actually increased his capacity to look to God for what he needed. Yes, he was stretched. We shouldn’t romanticize his poverty. But he learned to fill that lack of material goods with the spiritual wealth of faith. Turns out that to “Make a virtue of necessity” is a real thing. Joseph seized those times of need as occasions to grow in virtue.

Thus Joseph anticipated what the Church calls Evangelical Poverty – the kind of poverty of simplicity of life that proclaims one’s trust not in wealth or material goods but in God. Some Catholics make a radical commitment to that by way of a vow of poverty. But we all should strive to live with greater trust in God than in goods. This will mean letting go of things every so often, so that they don’t get a hold of us.

The first Beatitude is Blessed are the poor in spirit. That poverty of spirit by which we rely entirely on God is rarely found without a corresponding simplicity of life. In light of Joseph’s example, we should ask ourselves…How do I approach straightened circumstances? With trust or anxiety? With faith or resentment? Where in my life is there some element of poverty or simplicity of life? Am I accustomed to getting everything I want? Do I constrain myself in any way? Or do I live beyond my means?  

Joseph, Lover of poverty, pray for us. Help us to approach poverty as an opportunity to trust in God.


Renovations… Well, the good news is that we’ll have functional bathrooms for Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. Hooray. The bad news is that, due to issues with linking the bathrooms to a power source, the promised hot water will not yet be a reality. The contractors will return after Easter to finish the project. Thank you for your patience!

Women’s Lenten Day of Recollection…is Saturday, March 25th, from 8:30am-noon for the sacred season of Lent. The retreat will begin at 8:30am with Mass, followed by breakfast and end with lunch at noon. Check out our website for more information.

Rosary in Thanksgiving for the Gift of Human Life… Join Bishop Burbidge at 8am this Saturday, the Feast of the Annunciation, in praying the rosary on the public sidewalk outside the Falls Church abortion facility at 900 S. Washington Street.

Salty Humor

Norwegians put bar codes on the sides of their ships. That way, when they enter into port they can Scandinavian.

Through the intercession of our Lady and Saint James, may the Lord bless and keep you.

Sincerely in Christ, 

Fr. Scalia