Wednesday, March 19, 2014

St. Joseph, Model of Sanctity in Family Life

Painting of St. Joseph and the Christ Child from an exhibit of art in the Cusco School style in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC, August 2008

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

"Families who wish to be Christian should resort to the patronage of St. Joseph. In this they will receive very special help in order to realize their noble ideal."

"'Joseph leads us directly to Mary, and Mary leads us to the source of all holiness, to Jesus who has consecrated family virtues by His own submission to Joseph and Mary. Thus our desire is to see all Christian families renewed by modeling themselves upon such beautiful examples of virtue. In this way, when the human community rests upon the foundation of the family, the day that the domestic social unit shall acquire more stability, when conjugal sanctity, harmony and fidelity shall be safeguarded more religiously, at that very instant shall be seen a new kinship, like a new force, spread across all the members of the human society, and the virtue of Christ penetrate into its very depths. That day we shall see flower not only the reform of personal morals, but also the reform of social and national life' (Pope Benedict XV)."

"These are words to meditate on. They reveal to us the secret of the intercession and the influence of St. Joseph. He works together with Mary and Jesus. He has his very own powerful influence, but he is likewise the mediator of the incomparable flow of graces which emanate from Mary his spouse, and of the graces which flow from the source of all graces, Jesus, his adopted Son."

"If he is invoked as the noble head of the Holy Family, he acts in this capacity. His action is, so to speak, reinforced by Mary's and carried with it the all-powerful action of Jesus. Such is the union of [the] three persons within the Holy Family, that it would be impossible to separate their manner of operating. Joseph, as the head, represents the Family in its entirety, and from this position his intervention seems decisive to us."

"Let us address ourselves to him with confidence so that he may heal the evils and disastrous lesions which disfigure the contemporary family, that he may make the impious law of divorce return to the depths of hell from whence it was ejected, that he may also correct and make disappear from the souls of spouses the latent separation of wills and contradictory tendencies which make the good upbringing of children impossible, that he may give back to spouses the sentiment of their dignity as procreators."

"O St. Joseph, grant that under the married roof spouses may be united, unanimes in domo, one in faith, one in the love of God and in attachment to His holy will, so that the family may be a seed-bed of Christians and of the elect."

"It is a question of rendering a Christian sense of things to souls, which will make them enter into the true meaning of the present life, a life of labor and of trial, not of enjoyment, but also a life of hope and of merit. By this are lusts extinguished, worries calmed. Souls, accepting the order willed by God, walk in a peace which nothing can trouble and which spills over onto society. Doubtless this infusion of Christian meaning constitutes a great miracle of grace. Let us pray with confidence for St. Joseph to make it come about. It is not beyond his power."

"It is to St. Joseph then that we must have recourse, the minister of the counsels of the Most High, who has been proclaimed the Protector of the Universal Church."


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