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Devotion to the Most Chaste Heart of Joseph as an Antidote to the Sickness of Our Times


No one can accuse me of exaggerating when I say that the over-culture, centered in Hollywood and Washington, is a moral cesspool in dire need of Jesus, and with absolutely no justification for trying to lecture the rest of the country about what we should be doing with our bodies, our treasure, or our minds. Every day there are new revelations about very bad behaviors of people in the entertainment industry and the Washington elites, which have conspired to manipulate the culture into a level of degradation that makes Sodom and Gomorrah look like lightweights in the depravity arena. I cannot say that I haven’t experienced these revelations with a certain amount of satisfaction. Not Schadenfreude, an emotion that does not come naturally to me, but with relief. When you have smelled the stink of death long enough, it’s a relief when the rotting corpse is finally unearthed. The revelations are just beginning, and they’re going to get worse, it’s clear. The next down the pike involves a pervert at Nickelodean, and I’m not talking about the man being accused of sexual harassment of adults.

The level of sexual perversion that has been propagated in our culture in just the last decade, while I have been unplugged (almost nothing in the way of TV or movies), really rather boggles my mind. Y’all, they have made an idol of the sex act. Sex is worshiped in this culture to such a degree that among the enlightened “sex-positive” set, it’s pretty much a sin not to pursue the satisfaction of your sexual desires, no matter how illicit they might be. To suggest that it would be better to sublimate desire for the sake of pleasing God or conforming to natural law gets you labeled as a hater. The times are just that upside down. So we are expected to tolerate the victimization of children at the altar of revolutionary progress, rather than make anyone feel bad for their urges. The Sexual Revolution has been an unmitigated disaster, and millions of broken people are the proof. And then there are those many millions of aborted babies.

That chastity is a Christian virtue much in need of cultivation even for material reasons is evidenced by the surging prevalence of untreatable gonorrhea. And yet even in the Church there is evidence that this attitude, the elevation of sexual desire to an essential kernel of one’s identity rather than a natural urge to procreate or temptation to be resisted, has crept in and poisoned the thinking of people like James Martin, SJ. Then again, any priest who is so eager for worldly approval that he’ll go on Saturday Night Live and make Satanic hand gestures while introducing Metallica has little chance of teaching truth. Or even recognizing it. (Pray for him, and for all the souls he’s leading astray.)

So as Christ’s Heart is Sacred, and Mother Mary’s Immaculate, the hallmark of St. Joseph’s is that it is Most Chaste. God graced him with perfection in this virtue to make him a fit guardian of Our Lady and Our Lord as a child. Devotion to the Most Chaste Heart of Joseph has been encouraged, but has yet to catch on. Though the fact that the blog post of mine that most often brings people here from a search engine is this one gives hope. There you will find prayers you can use in your devotions. 

Most Chaste Heart of Joseph, pray for us now, and at the hour of our death.


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Devotion to St. Joseph and his Most Chaste Heart

three hearts

 

So as a Carmelite, I’m devoted not only to Jesus and Mary, but also to St. Joseph. This began somewhat gradually. First, after reading St. Teresa of Avila’s encouragement in her works to devotion to the most holy and chaste spouse of the Blessed Mother (she was a client of his, and his intercession was instrumental in securing a home for the order she founded), I bought a little book of prayers to St. Joseph at the church’s gift shop (now sadly closed). But I barely cracked it open. Then, when spring came here in our new home, the soil heaved up a small statue of St. Joseph, one of those used in securing his intercession when you need to sell your house. (It worked!) I cleaned it up and placed it on my iconostasis in front of the icon of the Immaculate Conception of Most Holy Mary (it has Sts. Joachim and Anne — whose name I’ve carried since baptism — embracing). Seems fitting he should stand with his inlaws, though he didn’t get to meet them until he joined the souls of the just in limbo, where they awaited the opening of the gates of heaven by his foster son.

And then I read that some visions of St. Joseph have been approved as worthy of belief, and that devotion to his Most Chaste Heart is being encouraged (we certainly could use an elevation of chastity as a virtue to counteract sexuality’s idolization and commodification, egads, people). So I began praying to him every morning. He is truly a powerful intercessor, I have found, and I want to encourage others to pray to him, as well. Here’s a prayer that’s almost as old as Christianity (the earliest copy comes from the year 50.) Say it nine mornings in a row for a particular intention.

Ancient Prayer to St. Joseph

O St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the Throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your Heavenly power I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers. O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me, and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for us. Amen.

And if your prayer is answered (and it most likely will be, if it’s conformed at all to God’s will), remember to thank him for his intercession! Not only is that gracious, but it will make him more likely to help you in the future. Here’s a lovely way to say thank you:

 

PRAISES OF ST. JOSEPH

IN the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

O holy Patriarch Joseph, ever blessed be thy soul, which was adorned with all the virtues and gifts of the Holy Ghost.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

O holy Patriarch Joseph, ever blessed be thine intellect, which was full of the most sublime knowledge of God and was enlightened with revelations.

Glory be …

O holy Patriarch Joseph, ever blessed be thy will, which all inflamed with love for Jesus and Mary and always perfectly conformable to the Divine Will.

Glory be …

O holy Patriarch Joseph, ever blessed be thine eyes, to which it was granted to look continually upon Jesus and Mary.

Glory be …

O holy Patriarch Joseph, ever blessed be thine ears, which merited to hear the sweet words of Jesus and Mary.

Glory be …

O dear St. Joseph, ever blessed be thy tongue, which continually praised God and with profound humility and reverence conversed with Jesus and Mary.

Glory be …

O chaste St. Joseph, ever blessed be thy most pure and loving heart, with which thou didst ardently love Jesus and Mary.

Glory be …

O holy Joseph, ever blessed be thy thoughts, words and actions, each and all of which ever tended to the service of Jesus and Mary.

Glory be …

O holy Patriarch Joseph, ever blessed be all the moments of thy life, which thou didst spend in the service of Jesus and Mary.

Glory be …

O my Protector St. Joseph, ever blessed be that moment of thy life in which thou didst most sweetly die in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Glory be …

O glorious St. Joseph, ever blessed be that moment in which thou didst enter into the eternal joys of Heaven.

Glory be …

O happy St. Joseph, ever blessed in eternity be every moment in which, until now, in union with all the Saints of Heaven, thou hast enjoyed the incomprehensible bliss of union with God, with Jesus and Mary.

Glory be …

O my dear Protector! Be ever blessed by  me and by all creatures, for all eternity, with all the blessings which the Most Holy Trinity bestowed upon thee and with all the benedictions given thee by Jesus and Mary and by the whole Church.

Glory be …

O thrice holy Joseph, blessed in soul and body, in life and death, on earth and in Heaven. Obtain also for me, a poor sinner but nevertheless thy true and faithful client, a share in thy blessings, the grace to imitate thee ardently, and to love and faithfully serve Jesus, Mary, and thyself, and especially the happiness to die in thy holy arms. Amen.

 

St. Joseph was made patron of the Church by the Vicar of Christ, so he’s also a good one to pray to to help the whole Catholic world. There’a a wonderful prayer for priests in that little book, and one for the Holy Father and the Church, and for the church militant. Our church hierarchy and our dear priests can’t lead without prayers from the pews, and from all the saints and angels. I encourage you to pray to St. Joseph, for the good of the Church and all the world. That picture up at the top…those flames on all three hearts is the fire of charity, and as this old prayer card shows, it’s catching. Let our hearts be tender tinder for it. Charity: love of God in our neighbor, or love of our neighbor for His sake. Let it burn.