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Day 8 (June 28): Most Just

The Scriptures pay Joseph the highest compliment: he was a “just” man. By saying Joseph was “just,” the Scriptures reveal that he was completely open to all that God wanted to do for him. He became holy by opening himself totally to God. Joseph was also a righteous man–a man of honesty, integrity, and virtue. St. Joseph is the greatest and holiest saint after the Blessed Mother herself. In fact, some of the Doctors of the Church said that there was no grace ever given to any of the Saints (except Mary) that was not given to St. Joseph as well.

The virtue of justice involves “giving to another his due.” For example, in our relationship with God, we owe it to Him to be grateful for our existence, to praise Him for His goodness, and to have gratitude for the many ways He has blessed us. In our relationship with others, it means treating family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, parishioners, and all people with love, dignity, and respect. Remember what Jesus says: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Lk 6:31)

St. Thomas Aquinas says that God gives grace proportionate to our office and to our state in life. So, if you are a husband and father, you will be given the grace to be a holy husband and father. If you are an ordained priest, you will be given the grace to be a priest and spiritual father to your people. Imagine how much grace St. Joseph received to be the foster father of the Son of God and the spouse of the Mother of God! However, being a just person doesn’t happen automatically. It takes a specific attitude and mindset to want to do what is right and desire to receive God’s grace. We should ask ourselves, “Do I want to do what’s right in the sight of God? Am I open to God’s grace to transform my heart and mind to grow in the virtue of justice? Do I want to develop the integrity and character of St. Joseph?”

St. Joseph, Most Just, pray that I may grow in the virtue of justice. Help me to examine my life to see if I am really open to all that God wants of me. Pray the Litany of St. Joseph.

Daily Challenge: Resolve to be completely truthful and just in every interaction you have this day.

Day 9 (June 29): Most Chaste

In 1998, in an apparition to Edson Glauber, a Brazilian university student, the Child Jesus spoke to Edson about the Most Chaste heart of St. Joseph. Jesus said, “Here in this Heart you will find me living, because it is pure and saintly. That all hearts could be like this one, so they could be my home on earth. Imitate this Heart so that you may receive my graces and blessings.” [v]

How many hearts are like that of St. Joseph? Lust is the predominant vice at work in the hearts of many men today. The world is filled with immoral and lust-filled actions. These actions greatly offend God, ruin families, and cry out to heaven for justice. The Scriptures give a clear warning about avoiding immorality:

Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry. (Col 3:5)

St. Joseph is a powerful intercessor in the battle for purity.  If temptations against purity batter your mind, heart, and soul, cling to St. Joseph! St. Joseph is capable of increasing the virtue of chastity in your heart and leading you to true, virtuous love of God and neighbor. The Church needs virtuous and holy priests, and the world needs holy men who love their wives as St. Joseph loved Mary. If men reverence their wives as holy temples, families will be renewed, and the evils of our age that attack the dignity of the human person will be overcome.[vi]

St. Joseph, Most Chaste, pray that I may grow in the virtue of chastity. Help me to be victorious against lust and triumphant over sin. Fight for me against the wickedness and snares of the devil and help me to take refuge in you. Pray the Litany of St. Joseph.

Daily Challenge: Honestly and prayerfully confront and expose any lustful thoughts and actions that you entertain or engage in this day, however seemingly harmless, or insignificant, or habitual. Resolve to bring these to the sacrament of Reconciliation.

[v] From an article, An introduction to the Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph, Accessed May 15, 2020, http://www.catholic365.com/article/8435/an-introduction-to-the-most-chaste-heart-of-st-joseph.html

[vi] Calloway, Consecration to St. Joseph, (pp. 53-54).

Day 10 (June 30): Most Prudent

Prudence is the mother of all virtues and the key virtue in the Christian moral tradition; it is the ability to make right judgments. Prudence helps us to determine our true good in every circumstance. Wisdom and prudence go hand in hand. Wisdom is knowledge combined with the practical experience necessary to use it effectively at the right time or in the right situation. Prudence is the ability to act in accordance with knowledge and wisdom. The Book of Proverbs helps us to see the value of wisdom and prudence:

Take my instruction instead of silver,

and knowledge rather than choice gold.

[For Wisdom is better than corals,

and no treasures can compare with her.]

I, Wisdom, dwell with prudence,

and useful knowledge I have.

(Proverbs 8:10-12)

In every situation in life, St. Joseph was a model of prudence. He prayed and waited on the Lord to reveal the mysteries of his wife’s pregnancy to him. He educated the God-Man, and, in every situation, allowed prudence to govern his actions. Each time Joseph knew the will of God, he acted decisively, swiftly, and accurately. He acted neither rashly nor timidly, but prudently.[vii]

Real life has endless opportunities to exercise the virtue of prudence. Some acts are intrinsically evil, and they must never be done. But that list is short, so most of life requires prudential judgment. Let us pray and ask St. Joseph for an increase in prudence.

St. Joseph, help me to increase in the virtue of prudence. Guide me to do what is right no matter how much I have to suffer for it. Pray the Litany of St. Joseph.

Daily Challenge: Are there situations in my life right now that require great wisdom and prudence to know the right thing to do? If so, identify these and resolve to seek Godly wisdom through counsel and prayer to be prepared to act with prudence.

[vii] Calloway, Consecration to St. Joseph, (p. 55).

Day 11 (July 1): Most Courageous

St. Joseph shines as a model of courage and fortitude. When told by the angel “Do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife,” (Mt 1:20) he courageously obeyed. He travelled many miles to Bethlehem in the cold and wind, only to meet rejection when he got there. He found refuge in an animal shelter for the birth of Jesus. Just days later, he arose early to flee into Egypt saving the Child Jesus from the vicious and murderous threats of King Herod. Faced with so many difficulties, St. Joseph stood tall and confronted the obstacles in his life with manly courage.

The cardinal virtue of fortitude strengthens the will and gives a person courage and a firm resolve to do God’s will, even in the midst of great suffering. Fortitude helps us to overcome any dangers, obstacles, and fears; it enables a person to withstand whatever difficulties may block him from attaining his true goal.

What are you afraid of? Losing your health? Losing your job? Providing for your family? Caring for your parish family? Are you afraid of rejection? Do you fear not measuring up to others? It is said that, in the Bible, God tells us “Do not be afraid!” 365 times – one for each day of the year. Clearly, God calls us to trust in Him and to have courage:

Be strong and steadfast; have no fear or dread of them, for it is the LORD, your God, who marches with you; he will never fail you or forsake you. (Dt 31:6) 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. (Jn 14:27)

At once [Jesus] spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” (Mt 14:27)

It is easy to be courageous when times are good, but it is difficult to be courageous when times are tough. When things get tough, we can call on St. Joseph to help us to be courageous. We can ask for his intercession so that Jesus can infuse us with fortitude and courage through the power of the Holy Spirit.  For it is from Jesus Christ that we receive the grace and virtues, so that we become not just sons of his earthly father St Joseph, but adopted sons of our Father in heaven.

St. Joseph, help me to imitate you and to be courageous, especially in times filled with difficulty and sorrow. Give me the courage to be a good and faithful witness to Jesus Christ in word and in deed. Pray the Litany of St. Joseph.

Daily Challenge: Identify a circumstance in your life where you need greater courage. Ask for the gift of courage and the help of St. Joseph to take the next steps needed to confront your challenge.

Day 12 (July 2): Most Obedient

Obedience requires trust. Lack of trust on the part of our first parents (Adam and Eve) is what caused all mankind to fall into sin. In the Garden of Eden, the devil instilled in their minds doubts regarding God’s trustworthiness and tricked our first parents into disobeying God. Ever since, humanity has struggled to trust and obey God.

In today’s culture, obedience is largely misunderstood. Many people are of the opinion that obedience limits their freedom. To them, freedom means the ability to do whatever they please with few if any limits. In this case, freedom is always from something, but for a Christian, freedom is always for something. The Christian, biblical understanding of freedom is the capacity and ability to obey God. Pairing freedom and obedience seems paradoxical, but in obeying God, we are truly free because each of us becomes the man He created us to be. The very nature He gave us is perfected by the freeing obedience of faith.

We find in St. Joseph a refreshing model of obedience.  Consider how he follows God’s commands through the angel.  He, heir to the throne of David the king, lives the humble life of a carpenter.  Betrothed to the young virgin Mary, he perhaps saw his future life as one of comfort: a steady job, a loving wife, a simple existence.

Then he receives his call: be an earthly father to God Himself. He could have said no, but instead, he listens to the angel, travels to Bethlehem, and sets up a home there after the birth of Christ.  He again listens to the angel and flees to Egypt, and originally sought to return to Bethlehem, but changes his plans in accord with God’s will and returns to Nazareth.

In our lives, sometimes we try to order God around.  We tend to put our wills against God’s and put conditions on what we expect from Him. Yet

even with our attempts to derail His plans for us, God still guides our lives. However, the longer we fight God’s Providence, the longer it will take for us to truly be happy. God has a plan for our lives, and it is in our best interest to listen to Him.  He is God, after all.

Go to St. Joseph to become obedient sons of the Church.

St. Joseph, help me to examine my life to discover what holds me back from trusting and obeying God more fully. Pray for me so that I may have a humble heart and yield to God at all times. Pray the Litany of St. Joseph.

Daily Challenge: Identify an area of your life where you resist obedience to God’s will.  Pray to St. Joseph for an increase of trust so you may experience the true freedom that comes through obedience to God.

Day 13 (July 3): Most Faithful

When a man has faith, he is in possession of something invaluable, something that acts as an impenetrable bulwark against life’s suffering and trials. Think of a man of true faith whom you’ve encountered. Men like this are constructed from something otherworldly, almost as if they don’t live by the same norms, maxims and values most commonly found among men. They have a resolve that defies what most consider reasonable. No matter the era or circumstance, a man of true faith lives with his compass directed towards God, overcoming any and all obstacles.[viii]

St. Joseph is the model of this kind of faith. Joseph knew, with a certainty beyond human reason, that the voice of God had spoken to him to take Mary as his wife, and he responded with generous faith. His faith never wavered through all the uncertainty and trials of the life of the Holy Family. He never doubted the divinity of Jesus or his power to conquer evil. To the world, Jesus looked like an ordinary child, but St. Joseph knew he was God.

The greatest fear of any father is failing to protect and provide for their families. Fathers also have to contend with the innumerable threats that lie in wait for their children in the spiritual and moral sphere. What will be on TV at their friend’s home? Will someone show pornography on their smart phone? What leering looks or vulgar comments might their daughters face? What bullying or peer pressure towards evil will they be subjected to?  In many such situations, fathers will not be able to be present to protect their families.

Therefore, we must rely on the spiritual weapons available to us as powerful defenses: the intercession of our spiritual father, St. Joseph, as well as our own Guardian Angels and those Angels assigned by God to watch over the members of our families. To raise a child today as a faithful Catholic takes a commensurate level of faith: the more severe the danger, the greater the faith that is required.

St. Joseph, Most Faithful, pray for us and for our families! Pray the Litany of St. Joseph.

Daily Challenge: Compose a simple prayer to your guardian angel and ask God to help you be aware of their presence, their spiritual weapons and heavenly aid. Reflect on Ephesians 6: 10-17, ”Put on the Armor of God”.

[viii] From Part 11 – Catholic Masculinity Series: Following the Model of St Joseph, Accessed May 14, 2020, https://fatima.org/news-views/saint-joseph-most-faithful/.

Day 14 (July 4): Mirror of Patience

Be still before the LORD;

wait for him.

Do not be provoked by the prosperous,

nor by malicious schemers.

Refrain from anger; abandon wrath;

do not be provoked; it brings only harm.

Those who do evil will be cut off,

but those who wait for the LORD will inherit the earth

(Ps 37:7-9)

Patience is a virtue that is talked about throughout the Bible in the Old and New Testaments. Being patient is a vital part of trusting in God as our life circumstances are not always what we would prefer. However, patience is a virtue that many people find hard to practice. We tend to want things to happen according to our own timeline. In addition, today’s advances in technology have put almost everything in life at our fingertips. Our meals, entertainment, music, and contacts are instantly available to us. With this capability, it can be very difficult to wait and acquire the virtue of patience.[ix]

St. Joseph exhibited heroic patience throughout his life. St. Joseph did not demand to know the full plan laid out step-by-step before God’s chosen time. We must imagine he was anxious when he could not find a fitting place for Mary to give birth in. We must imagine he was anxious to hear that his family was being hunted. But he patiently awaited the revelation of God’s plan, submitting himself completely to God’s Providence.

We will all experience many trials in life that will test our patience. God allows such trials because he wants us to grow in virtue. A concrete area in your life where you can exercise the virtue of patience is by being merciful to others, especially when you know their faults. While St. Joseph lived with two perfect people, he must have frequently encountered unpleasant and difficult people: employers, co-workers, tax collectors, politicians, etc. You, too, will experience unpleasant people in your life. In such instances, imitate the patience of St. Joseph. Ask God for the grace to love all the people who cross your path.[x]

St. Joseph, pray for an increase in the virtue of patience in me. Teach me to love the difficult people in my life, help me to be still in the midst of the storms that come my way, and to trust that your timing is always perfect. Pray the Litany of St. Joseph.

Daily Challenge: Ask the Holy Spirit to suggest a person or situation where you can exhibit greater patience. Ask St Joseph, Mirror of Patience, to teach you how to practically do so.

[ix] Calloway, Consecration to St. Joseph, (p. 63).

[x]  Ibid.

View Week 3 Prayers

Litany of St. Joseph

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.

Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Noble Offspring of David, pray for us.

Light of Patriarchs, pray for us.

Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.

Chaste Guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.

Foster-Father of the Son of God, pray for us.

Zealous Defender of Christ, pray for us.

Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.

Joseph Most Just, pray for us.

Joseph Most Chaste, pray for us.

Joseph Most Prudent, pray for us.

Joseph Most Courageous, pray for us.

Joseph Most Obedient, pray for us.

Joseph Most Faithful, pray for us.

Mirror of Patience, pray for us.

Lover of Poverty, pray for us.

Model of Workmen, pray for us.

Glory of Domestic Life, pray for us.

Guardian of Virgins, pray for us.

Pillar of Families, pray for us.

Comfort of the Afflicted, pray for us.

Hope of the Sick, pray for us.

Patron of the Dying, pray for us.

Terror of Demons, pray for us.

Protector of the Holy Church, pray for us.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

He has made him lord of his household,

And prince over all his possessions.

Let us pray. O God, who, in your loving providence, chose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of your most Holy Mother, grant us the favor of having him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our protector. You, who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.