Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Saint Joseph and Real Estate

I have real estate on the brain.

To be perfectly accurate, it has been difficult to think of much else for quite some time.

We moved to Southern California last August. This past weekend, Memorial Day Weekend, marks the one-year anniversary of the decision we made to make this move. We have been trying to sell our Northern California home for nearly a year now with no success. Needless to say, this has put a financial strain on the family and we have become quite anxious to part company with our old home.

A few months after listing our home I learned that Saint Joseph was the patron saint of real estate. I heard and read story after story of people who had buried a statue of him in their yards and experienced near-instantaneous success in the selling of even their dubious properties. You can read about this tradition here.

To be honest, I found this a little suspicious. Now, I have no issue with asking Saint Joseph for help selling our home (and believe me, I have asked and asked). But burying his statue, and upside down no less? I worried that this crossed the line toward supersition. After all, it was the prayers and the faith that mattered, not the buried statue, right?

I held to this position for several weeks before I succumbed in desparation. In January I sent the "Saint Joseph Real Estate Kit" to our former neighbors to bury for us with the proper prayers. Bury it they did, but not upside down as they, too, worried about the superstition and "voo-doo" like quality of it all. I was fine with this.

Months passed with nothing. Finally, the morning after a particularly poignant mid-dinner family prayer to Saint Joseph in March, we had an offer and opened escrow. Yippee! Saint Joseph finally heard us! But it was not to be. Several weeks later it fell out of escrow.

About three weeks ago I called our former neighbors again and asked them to get the shovel out and reposition him, head down this time as instructed. The were kind enough to do so right away. (Even writing this I feel silly! But I will, at this point, try anything.) A few people at church had told me that the most important word in the Bible is "obey" and since I was not following instructions it simply wasn't going to work. All I could think was, "At what point did Saint Joseph instruct how his likeness was to be buried in people's yards?" I am all for obeying the Bible, but where is this part? Am I missing it? But, just in case I am wrong about this, he is now upside down.

Last week someone told me it isn't working because he is facing the house, not the street (or vice versa, I am now confused since I didn't bury him myself anyway). But enough is enough. That can't possibly be why our house is not selling! Could it?

I am sure that God has heard us, that Saint Joseph has heard us. Hundreds of rosaries have been said for this intention, it has been placed in our minds on the patten several times each week. We are on dozens of prayer chains. God knows how badly we need to sell this house. He is simply saying, "Not yet." Why? I can't begin to know. But I trust Him and know it must be for reasons I can't yet understand.

To combine with our real estate woes, there are three other homes of family members or friends that are similarly not selling. So, I have taken to doing my near-daily "Real Estate Rosary" with the intention of the sale of the four properties. Some days I get discouraged and wonder why I bother. Some days I am at peace and pray for long-term understanding and acceptance.

One way or another, this can't go on forever. This, too, shall pass.

I can't say that I would join those in recommending that a person bury a Saint Joseph in their yard to guarantee a quick and profitable transaction, but I do resoundlingly recommend praying to him and asking for his intercession. Because prayer, even when not answered in the way we want it to be, is never a bad thing.


nutmeg said...

I feel your pain.

We, too bought a "bury St. Joseph" kit last year when we were trying to sell our house for the second time, since we had found the perfect larger house for us (again).....

We never moved.

To be fair, we never buried St. Joseph, just placed him prominently on the top shelf in our living room, saying our novena to him ad infinitem. And then, we gave up, took the house off the market, and had DD#3.

Real estate is bad here, the house across the street has been on the market for over a year, and nothing. Here's praying that things will move quickly for you. California is a TAD more appealing than Texas, no? :)

Keep us posted!

optimom52 said...

Thanks for putting into words the way I have felt for several months. It's been difficult to "hurry up and wait" this time since we had such good success with St. Joseph last time we sold a house. Of course, there are other lessons to learn this time and other goals to accomplish -- the kids are finishing up their homeschool years, my daughter will have her fifth baby with Nana in attendance again, we are still singing in choir with you -- all are great blessings only seen in hindsight and with the peace gained from interminable rosaries. God will come through in His own time, with the intercession of our Blessed Mother, St. Joseph and all the communion of saints (triumphant and militant). May He grant us peace and resignation with all His plans for us!

Jen said...

Hey now......Texas is not so bad and it depends on where in CA your comparing it to :)

Michelle said...

My parents' house took over a year to sell. They thought about doing the St. Joseph routine, but settled on sending money to a convent affiliated with St. Joseph for their prayers. It's frustrating. I'll pray for you too. Perhaps in a few years, you'll be able to see the "why" of it all.