Monday, March 19, 2012

St. Joseph Most Chaste

I would like to honor St. Joseph, whose feast we celebrate today, in particular his admirable virtue of purity. The following excerpts are taken from the book 'Saint Joseph As Seen by Mystics and Historians.'

The Gospel calls St. Joseph "a just man," which means that he possessed all the virtues, and this would not be true if he lacked the virtue of chastity. Indeed, it is precisely because he possessed this virtue that he had all the other virtues, which are, as it were, the companions and servants of chastity. Humility, modesty, recollection, contempt of the world, voluntary poverty, abnegation, obedience, mortification, lively faith, firm hope, ardent charity, all wait upon chastity as their mistress. In proclaiming St. Joseph Patron of the Universal Church in 1870, Holy Church concludes Her decree by giving to the saint the beautiful title of "The Most Chaste Joseph."

While St. Joseph's extraordinary chastity is due chiefly to God's singular grace, yet we must not fail to give credit to the saint for corresponding with this grace. His great chastity was the fruit of continual vigilance on his part, together with his invocation of God's help. St. Joseph continually watched over his mind, his heart, his senses; he was careful to avoid idleness, which is the root of all evil; to avoid worldly pleasures and amusements; to avoid bad company, bad conversations, everything that could be an occasion of sin. And knowing that chastity depends on prayer, he never ceased to implore God's help and God's grace.

St. Joseph guarded his senses most carefully, especially his eyes, remembering how David and many others had fallen through curious looks which ought to have been avoided. The more that he mortified his senses in order to remain faithful to God, the more grace did he receive from God, and the more intense did his love become for this one and only object of all his love and desires.

When he felt impelled to gaze at something which would delight the eye, but which became an occasion for remorse, considering the likelihood of being drawn into sin, he would quickly raise his eyes towards Heaven and seek contentment in contemplating with the eyes of the spirit the uncreated beauties of God. By means of contemplation of heavenly things, he gradually lost all enjoyment in creatures; inflamed ever more with the love of God, he experienced all that joy which is to be found in occupying oneself solely with God and seeking one's delight in Him alone.

One author says that not only was St. Joseph a virgin, but that he was more chaste than the angels in Heaven. This statement seems an exaggeration; however, if closely examined, it is true. If the angels are unable to sin against chastity by thought, word, or deed, so, too, was St. Joseph. Since their nature is incorporeal, the angels are not able to sin against chastity. But the thoughts, words, and deeds of Joseph, who had a mortal body, never even had the whiff of impropriety, and thus he merits the most excellent crown of virginity and chastity. Joseph was chaste by grace; the angels, by nature. Since grace is superior to nature, Joseph's chastity surpasses that of the angels.


Prayer To St. Joseph For Chastity

Saint Joseph, father and guardian of virgins,
Into whose faithful keeping were entrusted Innocence itself, Christ Jesus,
And Mary the Virgin of virgins,
I pray, and beseech thee through Jesus and Mary,
Those pledges so dear to thee, to keep me from uncleanness,
And to grant that my mind may be untainted,
My heart pure and my body chaste,
Help me always to serve Jesus and Mary in perfect chastity,

No comments:

Post a Comment