No Joseph, No Christmas
Joseph's marriage to Mary is the juridical basis of his fatherhood. It was to assure fatherly protection for Jesus that God chose Joseph to be Mary's spouse… And while it is important for the Church to profess the virginal conception of Jesus, it is no less important to uphold Mary's marriage to Joseph, because juridically Joseph's fatherhood depends on it…The Son of Mary is also Joseph's Son by virtue of the marriage bond that unites them: "By reason of their faithful marriage both of them deserve to be called Christ's parents, not only his mother, but also his father, who was a parent in the same way that he was the mother's spouse: in mind, not in the flesh." In this marriage none of the requisites of marriage were lacking: "In Christ's parents all the goods of marriage were realized-offspring, fidelity, the sacrament: the offspring being the Lord Jesus himself; fidelity, since there was no adultery: the sacrament, since there was no divorce."
St. Joseph: The Highest Place
The Hidden and Forgotten One
Before the day of judgement all the peoples will know and revere the name of the Lord, and the magnificent gifts that God has given St. Joseph, gifts he has wanted to keep almost hidden for a long period of time. It is then that the name of Joseph will abound…for the Lord will open the ears of their intelligence and great men will scrutinize the inner gifts of God hidden in St. Joseph…St. Joseph will give graces from heaven on high to people who will invoke him…
Joseph’s Role as Patron of the Universal Church
|Joseph - Patron of the Universal Church|
True Devotion to Joseph
As this devotion essentially consists in a state of soul, it will not be understood in the same way by everyone. Some - the great majority - will stop short at the threshold and go no further. Others - not many - will take but one step into its interior. Who will take a second step? Who will take a third? Finally who will remain in it permanently? Only the one to whom the Spirit of Jesus reveals the secret. (Part I, Chapter 2, 119).
Practically Living out a Devotion to Joseph
|The Holy Family in the Carpentry Shop, Gerrit van Honthorst.|
To become a son of Joseph [like Jesus whom the Scripture calls ‘Son of Joseph’ (cf Jn 6:42)], to imitate what the father does (cf Jn 5:19) is a very simple way of directing one’s mental life by slipping out of one’s thoughts, out of interior locutions, out of various impressions so that these potential “spiritual enemies” (cf Eph 6:12) have no longer any ways of access. Short moments of quiet…of presence to real impressions are much more precious than one might think; they help us tear ourselves away from panic, from negative thoughts, from dangerous distractions…to see what is before our eyes, to touch really what is at hand, to listen to a light sound, if possible as natural as the wind, water or the song of a bird. All these humble exercises draw the human soul away from dangerous influences, on which it has little hold, and open it to divine influence.
Biblical Imagery Alluding to St. Joseph
Joseph the Patriarch as a Type of St. Joseph
|The Dream of St. Joseph, Philippe de Champaigne, 1642-1643.|
Yet this dream finds its ultimate fulfillment in St. Joseph – to whom “the sun, the moon, and eleven stars” bowed down. Since Jesus symbolised by the sun, bowed himself to Joseph’s paternal authority (Lk 2:51). Mary symbolised by the moon, subjected herself to the loving protection and headship of Joseph her husband (Eph 5:22). Whilst the eleven stars signify the eleven Apostles (excluding Judas) who in turn represent the Magisterium – the Bishops and the Pope. With these ‘eleven stars’- the whole Church and the Magisterium – bowing before Joseph as the Spiritual Father of the Church, the Prince of the Church and Patron of the Universal Church. Of course such ‘bowing’ is not a ‘bowing’ of worship, but of veneration and obedience, as St. Paul writes: “obey your earthly masters” (Eph 6:5), so even more so does this apply to obeying one’s spiritual masters.
|Overseer of the Pharoah’s Granaries, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1874.|
Joseph the Gatekeeper who Opens the Way to Divine Intimacy
Joseph’s Role in the Christmas Mystery: A Personal Account
|Nativity Painting At Shepherds Fields, Munir Alawi.|
Keeping the Holy Family Together
You see it in another light
When once you've been behind the scenes.
Eucharistic Christmas Preparation
Just Another Day
The Inn and the Stable