Mainstay of Families

The Foster Father of Our Lord 

St. Thomas Aquinas asks in his treatise on the Blessed Virgin  Mary whether it was fitting for  Our Lord to be born of a wedded virgin - in other words, whether it was right for the Mother of God to be married to St. Joseph. 

Of course, the response is positive. Saint Thomas affirms that it was fitting for the Blessed Virgin  Mary to be wedded to St. Joseph,  even though both of them promised perpetual chastity within  their marriage, for the sake of  Our Lord, for the sake of the  Blessed Virgin, and for our sake. 

To sum things up, God wished  St. Joseph to be the foster father  of Our Lord to protect his good  name, to establish his genealogy  

in the tribe of Juda, to protect his life and to provide for him. 

Giving this virtuous husband to the Blessed Virgin avoided scandal of those who would not have  understood the mystery of the  virginal conception of Christ by  His Blessed Mother, and avoid ed Mary incurring an unmerited  punishment, while protecting  her good name and giving her a  provider. 

God’s plan for the Holy Fami ly also strengthened our Faith  in Mary’s purity and perpetual  virginity, affirmed the necessity  and beauty of virtuous living,  gave us an image of the Church,  the virginal Bride of Christ, and  honoured both the vocations of consecrated virginity and of marriage.

Catholic Fatherhood 

These reflections on the role of  St. Joseph in the Holy Family  shine some light on the role of the father in the Catholic family, last line of defence against  the onslaught of Satan against  the Church, against society and  against souls. 

Authority itself is under attack  because it comes from God and  is given to lead souls to their last end Who is God. This principle is  attacked when the rightful inclination of men to take responsibility and leadership of the family is  undermined under the claims of  “patriarchal tyranny.” It is under fire when the virtues of manhood are undermined by promoting an effeminate culture and lifestyle.  It is undermined when leaders  use their positions as a cloak for cowardice, greed, and malice.  

This atmosphere is one deliberately orchestrated to destroy our  Faith in God as a loving Father and our ability to love and serve  Him through Faith, Hope, and  Charity.


Fatherhood is to cooperate with God

As we know from our preparation for the sacrament of marriage,  the purpose of marriage is to put  God’s will into practice by cooperating with God. Marriage is first of all a sacred contract, which is also a vocation, and therefore a  means of perfection. 

A mother and father cooperate with God by forming the body  for a new human being, of whom  God creates the spiritual soul, in  order to bring new life into this  world and to populate heaven with saints. God wishes every  child to be born into the stability of a Catholic home, with a moth er and father who are committed  to each other for life and who are  therefore able to provide for the  material, physical needs of their  children, to provide them also  with the education that will give  them the means of living a good  life and attaining heaven. This  education is not simply teaching  one to read, write, add and subtract, but also the formation to  virtue and nobility. 

Fathers provide for the family. A great deal of time, effort and self-sacrifice is required for a  father to provide for the material needs of his family. Earning the  weekly pay check is a serious responsibility, often a subject of  concern, worry and stress. More  than that, the current evil forces  in play seem hell-bent on making  it more and more difficult for a  single income family to be able to  provide for even the minimum. 

A Catholic father also provides a home with the atmosphere of  Faith, Hope and Charity that is  the environment were virtue,  self-sacrifice, and future vocations are fostered. This is through  his own practice of the virtues evident in the life of St. Joseph of prudence, justice, fidelity and  chastity. 

Fathers protect the family. St. Joseph protected the good  name of Our Lord and Our Lady  from calumny and scandal. He  even protected them against the  attacks of the devil by hiding  from the evil one the mystery of  the Incarnation. 

Catholic fathers must also protect  the family confided to them by  keeping the enemies of the soul at bay: bad books, magazines,  movies, and literature; bad companions and bad conversations;  the spirit of indifferentism which inclines us to say that religion doesn’t matter as long as you are  generally a good guy. 

They keep these evil influences at bay by carefully protecting  the home from the spirit of the  world channeled through movies, cartoons and the internet. A  father’s role is capital in taking  educating children to generosity,  self-sacrifice and virtue from the earliest age, not least of all by his  example, but also by taking the  time to explain, again and again, the principles of Catholic life.  

Today, instruction in matters of  purity and the facts of life are  necessary earlier than ever. An ounce of prevention outweighs a  pound of remedy in these matters. 

Fathers also protect the good  atmosphere of the home by  

addressing and resolving the  

problems that can arise within the family - disobedience, misunderstanding, lying, dishonesty.  It is always easier in the short term to ignore or avoid facing these faults. Discretion, courage  and perseverance are required to address these things for the good  of the entire family. 

St. Joseph, the Mainstay of Families, Pray for Us! 

“A Catholic father  also provides a home  with the atmosphere  of Faith, Hope, and Charity that is the environment were virtue, self-sacrifice,  and future vocations  are fostered.”