THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
Her Doctrine and Morals
The feast of St. Joseph the Worker
1 May 2016
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The attention of the Church throughout history has taken on various themes. In the early days of the Church, there was much attention given to the Person of Jesus Christ, and a lot of time and energy was spent hammering out precise definitions of Who Jesus Christ is. Thanks to the struggles and devotions of the early Church, we now have clear dogmatic teachings that Jesus Christ is true God and true Man. He is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. He is God become Man not man become God. As God He is from all eternity, as Man He became one with us in the Incarnation. He really and truly is human, and He really and truly suffered and died for us and rose from the dead on Easter Sunday. In this early period, we also find the definition and devotions inculcated toward the Blessed Trinity (One God in Three Divine Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.)
From there, we see that the Church turned to the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. Great devotion was inculcated to God in the Holy Eucharist. Benedictions, Processions, feasts and devotions all were fostered and encouraged to develop our love, appreciation, and gratitude to God for this most wondrous gift.
Closely following these devotions, we find devotion to Mary. She has been given many and varied titles and honors by the Church, so that we may direct our hearts' devotion to her, whom God calls His mother. The Church has set out clearly who she is and what role she plays in our salvation. She is ever virgin; She is Mother of God; She is Immaculate; She is Queen of Heaven; She is our mother; She is Mother of Sorrows; She is Mediatrix of all Graces; Queen of the Rosary; etc. All these glories were presented to us to help us through that time of history and even to the end of time. Mary is our mother and our Holy Mother the Church places her before us, to aid us in the life of grace and in our ascent to God in Heaven.
We also see the devotion to the saints inculcated by the Church; so that we may be inspired by their lives of virtue, and gain their intercession for us in Heaven.
We have been encouraged to devotion for the Souls in Purgatory. To recognize that they are part of the body of the Church, that we can offer them tremendous aid, by our prayers and sacrifices, and they in turn may aid us when they reach their eternal glory in Heaven.
All of this has now set the stage for the devotion to St. Joseph the spouse of the Blessed Mother Mary, and foster father to Our Lord Jesus Christ. St. Joseph has been named the patron of the Church, and every husband and father can find all the inspiration and aid he will ever need in this life in St. Joseph. In these days, inundated with Communism and the Socialist propaganda of workers "rights" men have lost sight of the rights of God. Our Holy Mother the Church has placed St. Joseph at the head of this day, to counteract the evil that the Socialists and Communists have associated with this date.
Every worker can find a role model in St. Joseph. He labored humbly and patiently to provide for the needs of the Holy Family. This feast of St. Joseph reminds us that all honest labor is good and pleasing to God. We must not follow the lead of the world and consider manual labor as something that is low, vile, or degrading. On the contrary, it is the common laborer that keeps the economy running; and because of this, he should be held in the highest esteem. What good would doctors and lawyers be if the majority of the population contracted diseases and died because of a lack of sanitation workers? We may even argue that sanitation workers provide a much more valuable service than either doctors or lawyers.
The labor can find this respect and dignity in the Church as she presents to us the model of the perfect laborer in St. Joseph. If we turn in prayer to St. Joseph in our every need, we will find in him a fountain of spiritual aid in this life. Jesus entrusted Himself and His mother to the hands of St. Joseph; and we have become members of Christ's Mystical Body and therefore should likewise put ourselves and our needs in his hands.
Through the intercession of St. Joseph, may we ever grow in understanding and appreciation of the love that God has for the humble worker. We should all show our appreciation to one another for the benefits that each brings to our lives. All are necessary and all are good and pleasing to God. The ability and talent of working are great graces from God and need to be loved as such by all of us. May the example and heavenly aid of St. Joseph help us in this.
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