Monday, June 17, 2013

Thoughts on St. Joseph

Father's Day was yesterday, and I began with a post on charity. This shall be a series on charity, friendship, and fatherhood. Today, I would like to direct your attention to St. Joseph. I wrote a post for Christmas Eve, and thought about St. Joseph in popular depictions such as the film The Nativity Story.
Another thought: I wonder what St. Joseph felt like. I'm not always sure that the image of him fretting is quite right. After his encounter with an angel, and his marriage to the Blessed Mother, how could he lack trust in the Lord? Where did this idea of him worrying come from anyways? Our Lady gives no indications of this in her relation of the Nativity to St. Luke the Evangelist.  I know, I know, he took on the biggest responsibility ever known to man namely, the care of Mary ever-virgin, and Christ Jesus, Innocence itself. I have a better picture in mind. St. Joseph was the kind of guy who strapped up his sandals, got up, and did what needed to be done, and was always calm and patient, no matter how hard the task was. I bet it was a Protestant concoction anyways.
St. Joseph is a model for fathers, and indeed all men and women. But he's barely mentioned in Scripture, but had an incredibly important task. When one considers the denigration of fatherhood, from birth control to abortion to 'reproductive technology' and same-sex relations, it is evident, I think, within Catholic circles that we need good and holy fathers more than ever. I would like to take some time this week to read Blessed John Paul the Second's apostolic exhortation Redemptoris Custos, and then concentrate more deeply on St. Joseph's role in the infancy of Jesus, using my earlier thoughts as a jumping point. As an aside, why do we Latin Christians only have effeminate and lousy depictions of St. Joseph, and why is he always old? It's unlikely that he was old. I digress.

In the meantime, here are some prayers to St. Joseph that I like. For what it is worth, Fr. Z has found one needs to be specific praying to him, but that he is also a powerful intercessor.

O Glorious St. Joseph, thou who hast power to render possible even things which are considered impossible, come to our aid in our present trouble and distress.
Take this important and difficult affair under thy particular protection, that it may end happily. (MENTION YOUR REQUEST)
O dear St. Joseph, all our confidence is in thee. Let it not be said that we would invoke thee in vain; and since thou art so powerful with Jesus and Mary, show that thy goodness equals thy power.  Amen.
St. Joseph, friend of the Sacred Heart, pray for us.

And a Memorare to St. Joseph:
   Remember, O most chaste spouse of the Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who implored your help and sought your intercession were left unassisted. Full of confidence in your power I fly unto you and beg your protection. Despise not O Guardian of the Redeemer my humble supplication, but in your bounty, hear and answer me. Amen.
And another one:
O Guardian of virgins and father, Saint Joseph, to whose faithful custody Innocence itself, Christ Jesus, and Mary, Virgin of virgins, was committed, I pray and beseech thee by each of these dear pledges, Jesus and Mary, that, being preserved from all uncleanness, I may with spotless mind, pure heart, and a chaste body, ever serve Jesus and Mary most chastely all the days of my life.

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