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Tag Archives: St. Joseph

The Sin of Lust: Why is it so tough?

The Sin of Lust: Why is it so tough?

When we think about Joseph, we often think about a rugged looking man in brown. He has a beard and often, he is teaching Jesus his trade or holding the baby Jesus in his arms, or leading Mary through the desert to Egypt or Nazareth. The Joseph we hardly think about is the one in the bedroom with Mary, the VIRGIN mother of God. We know Mary was a young woman and that Joseph had asked for Mary’s hand in marriage before the news that she was pregnant, so we know that he desired to be with her in a marital, sexually intimate relationship, and yet the Church teaches that Mary remained a virgin throughout her married life. Thus we can conclude that Joseph, too, remained a virgin throughout his life.

How hard this must have been! We know he was not conceived without sin and yet we also know that he won the battle for sexual purity throughout his life and remained the chaste spouse of Mary. By what graces was he able to do this and by what virtues?

Lust, as we all know, is one of the seven deadly sins, but according to Dante’s Inferno, it is the least serious of the deadly sins. And yet, as Mark Shea points out, it is the one that gets the most attention in our world today (and probably throughout history). While I understand this to be the case, it doesn’t make sense that if Lust is truly one of the least of the deadly sins (obviously, deadly means deadly serious – as in immortal-soul-is-in-danger serious), why is it the focus of our society today? Perhaps it is the initial hook by which evil grabs us and pulls us further down into despair, but I don’t think that’s the case.

In reflecting on St. Joseph and who I believe St. Joseph to be, I find that one of his defining characteristics is his humility! And what a fantastic virtue to attain! Humility, of course, is the virtue by which we conquer the vice of PRIDE, the most severe of all the deadly sins. In fact, pride is found at the base of Mt. Purgatory (again, in Dante’s Inferno) as the foundation of all other deadly sins, including lust!

And so, perhaps here we find the answer we are looking for. Lust is so tough because we are trying to tackle it from the top down rather than attacking it at the ground level as St. Joseph did. Isn’t it the case that when we lust have after another person, it is our pride which sustains the thoughts? “I could definitely see myself with her” or other much worse things. We will naturally see beauty and be attracted to it,  but when we lust after someone, isn’t it nothing more than our pride telling us that we “deserve the enjoyment of that person” or that we have the ability to attain the enjoyment of that person? Pride turns our focus internally and denies the fact that everything we have, including our very own bodies, is a gift from God. Beauty is a gift from God meant to raise our thoughts toward God. Even those moments when we notice death, destruction and evil can be seen as gifts that help us to recognize and truly appreciate the life, creation and good that is God. In pride we see these things as things to be used for us and in lust, we see people in that light.

Humility, though, is the virtue in which we empty ourselves and allow God to fill us as he sees fit. We remember as we hear on Ash Wednesday, that “we are dust and to dust we shall return.” We are NOTHING, we have NOTHING, and we can achieve NOTHING without God, our creator! And St. Joseph, above all (those conceived without sin), knew this and put it into perfect practice. He could have easily “claimed his rights as a husband” and he had every right to do so, but instead he remained humbled by the gift of responsibility both he and his wife were called take on (remember, it was his ancestral line through which Jesus, the savior, was prophesied to be born! Matthew 1:1-17).

When we are able, as Joseph was for his entire life, to recognize all that we have as gifts from God; to recognize that we are nothing without God; to stand in awe at the many wonderful things and responsibilities God has given us; and to see even beauty as another gift from God to raise our minds toward Him, then, by the grace of God, we can start to conquer pride through the virtue of humily and in so doing we will be able to break free, eventually, from the sin of Lust.

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Posted by on April 5, 2011 in Discipline, Virtue

 

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Novena to St. Joseph: Day 9 – Happy St. Joseph’s Day!

Novena to St. Joseph: Day 9 – Happy St. Joseph’s Day!

Here we are! Day 9 and on the feast of St. Joseph, my prayer for you is that these nine days of prayer have been extremely fruitful and you are ready to celebrate this wonderful occasion! So, please pray with me this one last day and get out and enjoy the weather and feast, feast, feast!

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Heart of Jesus all the graces necesary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore: (mention your request here).

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I am confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.

Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Virgin Mother, pray for us.

If you want a wonderful reflection on St. Joesph, check out this link!

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2011 in fatherhood, Prayer

 

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Novena to St. Joseph: Day 8

Novena to St. Joseph: Day 8

We are down to our last two days. Thanks for praying along with me so far. May God bless you and your journey.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Heart of Jesus all the graces necesary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore: (mention your request here).

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I am confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.

Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Virgin Mother, pray for us.

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2011 in Prayer

 

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Novena to St. Joseph: Day 7

Novena to St. Joseph: Day 7

As the last three days of this novena come, I hope you are still with me. Keep the prayers coming and may we all develop the discipline necessary to see our faith grow throughout this season of Lent by the profound example of St. Joseph who by all means exemplified the obedience so necessary in the life of Christ.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Heart of Jesus all the graces necesary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore: (mention your request here).

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I am confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.

Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Virgin Mother, pray for us.

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2011 in Prayer

 

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Novena to St. Joseph: Day 6

Novena to St. Joseph: Day 6

We are closing in fast on the Feast of St. Joseph and I hope that the fruits of this novena are already starting to bare themselves in your lives. I look forward to hearing what you’ve gained by praying this novena.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Heart of Jesus all the graces necesary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore: (mention your request here).

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I am confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.

Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Virgin Mother, pray for us.



h/t: Always Catholic

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2011 in Prayer

 

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Novena to St. Joseph: Day 5

Novena to St. Joseph: Day 5

From the great folks at EWTN comes some fantastic reflections to add to our daily prayers. Here is how they describe St. Joseph:

We know Joseph was a man of faith, obedient to whatever God asked of him without knowing the outcome. When the angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him the truth about the child Mary was carrying, Joseph immediately and without question or concern for gossip, took Mary as his wife. When the angel came again to tell him that his family was in danger, he immediately left everything he owned, all his family and friends, and fled to a strange country with his young wife and the baby. He waited in Egypt without question until the angel told him it was safe to go back.

Here again is the text of our prayer:

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Heart of Jesus all the graces necesary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore: (mention your request here).

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I am confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.

Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Virgin Mother, pray for us.

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2011 in Prayer

 

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Novena to St. Joseph: Days 3 and 4

Novena to St. Joseph: Days 3 and 4

And here we see my need for improvement, already! I’ve missed a day in our Novena together. I hope that you were able to continue it without the reminder. I just ran out of time to post yesterday! If you, too, missed a day, please pray with me now two day’s worth of prayers. May your Lenten journey be fruitful!

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Heart of Jesus all the graces necesary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore: (mention your request here).

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I am confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.

Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Virgin Mother, pray for us.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2011 in Discipline, Prayer

 

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