St. Anthony Messenger
St. Anthony Messenger
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April 2015
Ask a Franciscan
© MILAN SURKALA/FOTOLIA House of David?
Scripture says that Jesus was “of the house and family of David” (Lk 2:4). In fact, it was Joseph who was descended from David, and Joseph was not Jesus’ biological father. Normally, a child of a Jewish mother is considered Jewish.
Answer
How Much Is Enough?
I am a Protestant husband and father of two. I have recently been feeling a call to a deeper life of communion with Christ. I make a lot of money in my business.

I’ve noticed that the Christians who seem to point to Christ the most are those who have zero appreciation for material things. What would it look like for me to take a personal vow of poverty (unofficial, I suppose) without sacrificing my ability to provide for my wife and children as God wants me to do? I don’t know where to start. Any advice or input would be much appreciated.

Answer
How Many Children to Have?
I once overheard a father of seven children ask a priest if he had to father more children. The priest said that he was obliged to. That answer has bothered me for years. Does not God honor free will?

Don’t couples have a right to regulate the number of children they have and how close together they are born? I think the Catholic Church is too hard on people in this area.

Answer
Dealing with Infertility
My husband and I lost our only child due to medical reasons. I was never able to have more. Well-meaning people sometimes tell me, “God has a reason for everything,” while they sit at home enjoying their healthy children.

Usually, I am not bitter, but, quite honestly, occasionally I am. I know that God has asked me to carry a portion of Jesus’ cross, and that, due to this, I should not give in to anger, despair, or depression, but sometimes I do.

Answer
If you have a question for Father Pat, please submit it here. Please enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Some answer material must be mailed since it is not available in digital form. You can still send questions to: Ask a Franciscan, 28 W. Liberty Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202.
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