Thursday, March 19, 2009

St. Joseph, Our Confidence, by St. Alphonsus Liguori

Statue of St. Joseph and the Christ Child, taken from Rorate Caeli

[The following is taken from "The Glories of St. Joseph," compiled by the Monks of St. Joseph's Abbey in Flavigny, France.]

"St. Bernardine of Siena used to say: 'There is not doubt about it; in Heaven, Jesus Christ not only continues to show St. Joseph every sign of the familiarity and respect which He showed him during His life on earth, as Son to father, but adds to them with fresh honors.' Notice these two words: familiarity and respect. The Lord, who on earth honored St. Joseph as a father, will certainly not refuse him anything he asks in Heaven."

"At this point we ought to add that St. Joseph had on earth no authority over the humanity of Jesus Christ as a natural father would have, though he did, in a certain sense, have authority over Him as husband of Mary, who had authority over Him as His natural Mother. Whoever has the right to a tree, also has the right to the fruit it bears. Consequently, on earth, Jesus Christ used to respect Joseph and obey him as His superior, and it follows that St. Joseph's prayers in Heaven are treated as orders by Jesus Christ. This is Gerson's thought: 'When a father prays to his son,' he says, 'his prayers truly are commands.'"

"Now let us listen to what St. Bernard has to say about St. Joseph's intercessory power on behalf of his supplicants: 'There are some saints who have the power of protecting in certain specific circumstances; but St. Joseph has been granted the power to help us in every kind of need, and to defend all who have recourse to him with pious dispositions.'"

"That was how St. Bernard put it; St. Teresa [of Avila] confirms his opinion from her own experience and tells us: 'It would seem that God has only granted the other saints power to help us in one kind of necessity; but experience shows that St. Joseph can help in every kind of need.'"

"There is no doubt about it; just as Jesus Christ wanted to be subject to Joseph on earth, so He does everything the saint asks of Him in Heaven. When Egypt was laid waste by the great famine, Pharaoh told his people, Ite ad Joseph! -- Go to Joseph! So if we are in trouble, let us listen to the word of the Lord and take Pharaoh's advice; let us go to Joseph if we wish to be consoled."

"It is quite certain that those who invoke him most frequently and with greater trust will receive more graces. So we should let no day pass without recommending ourselves several times to St. Joseph, who, after Our Lady, is among the saints the one who has the greatest influence with God. We should ask favors of him, for he will obtain them all for us, provided they benefit our souls. Above all, I most strongly urge you to ask him for three special graces: forgiveness for sins, love of Jesus Christ, and a happy death."

Go, then to Joseph, and do all that he shall say to you;
Go to Joseph, and obey him as Jesus and Mary obeyed him;
Go to Joseph, and speak to him as They spoke to him;
Go to Joseph, and consult him as They consulted him;
Go to Joseph, and honor him as They honored him;
Go to Joseph, and be grateful to him as They were grateful to him;
Go to Joseph, and love him, as They love him still.


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