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Saturday, 31 October 2015

St Joseph, the Indispensable Man

I have been a bit hot and bothered of late about all thing faithyy and politicky and culturey and society... society-y, I guess.
But as someone, somewhere recently quoted from someone else, (Bernanos I think?) indignation never saved a soul.
Nor did it.
And I've also been thinking quite a bit about anger lately, and pace, my most recent confessor, your diagnosis was wrong, but your prescription was perfect.
You see, what I thought was (occasionally righteous,) anger did not really rise to to the grand level of anger -- it was mere indignation.
And like most sins or even unpleasant traits, it could be traced back directly to the grand-daddy of all sins, Pride. Why should this happen to ME? How could she say that to ME? Why must I put up with...?


And the fact is, I am among the very most fortunate of human beings.

And I'm not just referring to the gratitude due for having enough to eat and healthcare, and being able to read, and living in a nation where I can vote, and all that that puts most first-worlders in, what? the top 1% of humanity for sheer good luck?
I'm talking about my family. My parents. My home. My friends, my siblings, yes -- but mostly, my parents.
I grew up with such a vision, such an example of how a life of authentic love looks - I don't think .00001% of humanity in all of history has enjoyed the like!
Anyway, after thinking about that, I have determined to try to live my life under the patronage of St Joseph. I have decided to lay my cares, regarding society. And culture. And politics. And, especially, the Faith --
I have decided to lay these cares at his feet and ask him to formulate how my prayers should be presented before the throne of the Lamb, and then, just, you know -- let me know what my prayers are.

I think a great many of the wounds of this weary world could be bound up and healed by a study of, and devotion to, St Joseph, and I don't mean just churchy faithy matters.
Saint Joseph is the Indispensable Man.

Now, I know Saxon White Kessinger's poem was about pride, and sought to convince the puffed-up that there's no such person as the "indispensable man," and I know, or at least think I recall, that there's a bio of Geo. Washington that opines as how, for this nation and its history, at least, our first president was indispensable.
But there IS such a person, and he was necessary to a far greater and more numerous people than the citizens of just our puny nation.

St Joseph is that Indispensable Man.
Think about it. God could have come to earth in any human form, but He chose to be helpless and humble, to enter history, time as we can understand it, as an infant, born in obscurity.
So He chose to have a human Mother.
But he was not begotten by a human, so a father was not needed for procreation.
Now, you might say that in those days, (as if other times were so different from ours...) a human father was needed for physical protection, fiscal support, etc.
But Mary had a father, she had an uncle who was a priest, a man of some stature -- an angel could have whispered to any male relative, it's okay, she's a good girl, help her take care of the kid that's on the way...

That's not how God arranged it.
God thought it was important for His human self to have a visible, that is, a human father.

Now -for whose benefit?
So often, God's signs are for someone other than to whom or on whom an event has occurred.
Miracles are for the faith of the onlookers, the loaves and fishes is not so much to fill the bellies of the crowd as to instruct the disciples in how they are to continue His work.

That little family in Bethlehem, and then Nazareth, Jesus Mary and Joseph, the Holy Family exists as a family to show the importance of the family; the Domestic Church is not just our first and most important school of the Faith, it is the very foundation of society, it is the building block of all culture.

We need to relearn this.
A society where human lives are begun in laboratories, where children are parented by committees, where the state decrees what one must and must not teach ones children, where men "become" women by wishing and declaring it so - a society like this needs to relearn the simple Truths that Joseph's mere existence teaches us.
We need St Joseph.
We need the model of fatherhood, yes, but we also need the model of manhood he gives us, he is the ideal for all men.
It is impossible not to think that our nation would not be a better place if thousands upon thousands of families were not left fatherless by mass incarcerations of young men from certain segments of society. It is difficult not to suppose that half a world away another nation would not be the demographic time bomb that it is, if its fathers had been able to rise up and say no to the murder of their unborn children and had protected the daughters born to them instead of throwing them away in hopes of a son next time. It is hard not to imagine that the most celebrated strumpet of our time would be a different person without coming from a broken home and being raised by a stepfather with delusions about sex and his own manhood.
And I am convinced that, had they grown up with more stability and with a proper understanding of how we are meant to love and care for each other, most of the generators of popular culture would not be hawking the filth and nihilism that they do.
Why St Joseph?
All men should look to him as a model of manhood, not just fathers, for all men are called upon to protect.

And perhaps, most especially, he is the model for the priesthood, for the celibate, for the man who offers his very life to the Church.
As Mary is the type of the Church, the Spotless Bride? St Joseph is the type of the priest, the man who should love Her and Her children as much as if they were begotten of his own flesh.
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Saint Ioseph, Most Indispensable, pray for us!

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