Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Monday, March 19, 2012

San Giuseppe - Terror of Demons

Terror of Demons by Joseph Guardo

St. Joseph's Oratory

Today is the solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Virgin Mary. The Litany of St. Joseph lists several of the many titles given to San Giuseppe over the centuries. 1 of those titles is "terror of demons". It is that title I would like to meditate on in light of the escalating battle with the demonic "culture of death" here in the USA under Obama.
I have to start by saying that I have not been able to come up with any information on the origin of the title.  Venerable María de Ágreda in her  book The Mystical City of God does talk about 1 of the signal graces obtained through St. Joseph's intercession: "Seventhly, the demons shall have extreme dread of the glorious name of St. Joseph." (Note: This is a private relevation that has had much controversy over the centuries. You can read more here about how the Catholic Church views  private revelation.) But that seems to be more of a confirmation rather than the source.
But that title does make perfect sense when you think about it.  It ties in to his role as a head of the Holy Family, as Protector of the Holy Family, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Foster Father of Jesus & Redeemer of the Redeemer.
I can already hear some people scratching their head at the last title, "Redeemer of the Redeemer". Actually, that title has a very solid basis in Scripture. We start with Luke 2:22-23 that talks about Joseph observing what was written in the law. This is a reference to the requirement in the Mosaic law found in Numbers 18:15 that requires every firstborn son to be redeemed by his father. Joseph was given the responsibility of being Jesus' father on Earth so it was his responsibility to redeem Him would would one day die to redeem all of us.
Clearly, from this & the other titles related to his role as head of the Holy Family God has given San Giuseppe special graces & privileges to enable him to fulfill his responsibilities. San Giuseppe had authority over Jesus as His father & Jesus obeyed that authority perfectly. (Luke 2:51) As father of Jesus & spouse of Mary he had a greater responsibility than any other man, a responsibility that was his from before creation. (See St. Lawrence of Brindisi's sermons on St. Joseph for more.) He was to be a loving spouse to Mary, caring for & providing for her. He was to be a loving father to Jesus, caring for him, providing food, clothing & shelter as well as training Him. The largest part of that responsibility to care for & provide for was to protect his family from harm. That would include spiritual attacks from Satan & his followers (demons) to keep Jesus from growing up & dying to save us. Since part of that protection was in that spiritual realm, God clearly gifted Joseph with the needed authority over Satan & the demons to do so. & since God never revokes His gifts, that authority over demons continues to this day & will until the end of time. Like Mary's Immaculate Conception, this authority is tied into Jesus' death on the Cross & His shedding of His blood.
With the God given authority over demons vested in St Joseph, you can see why demons are terrified of him. & why he must play an important role alongside Mary in our battling the "culture of death".
Another reason why we need to call on St. Joseph is tied into another of His responsibilities, Patron of the Universal Church.  That title ties back to his responsibilities as head of the Holy Family & the other roles I mentioned as well.
Over the last few weeks a huge part of the efforts of the "culture of death" to promote its agenda has included the Obama administrations attacks on the Catholic Church (as well as individuals) to force it to pay for birth control & even abortions.  The Catholic Church is the Body of Christ, Jesus its head. We are all a part of Jesus' family. We are undergoing what is clearly an attack that is demonic in origin.
By now I hope you are convinced that we MUST bring San Giuseppe in to help us in this battle.
So how do we go about accomplishing this?
Well, the 1st thing is obvious. As individuals we need to start calling on San Giuseppe to add us in the battle. Some of what I am about to share is specifically aimed at battling the "culture of death", others specifically to call on San Giuseppe to protect the Catholic Church from harm, & some things will be a combination of the 2.
Asking San Giuseppe's intercession with God as well as his aide is something I have been doing for quite a long time. In particular, I have been saying a prayer asking him to bring about the closing of Planned Parenthood here in DBQ. That prayer is the Novena Prayer I received many years from the Josephites. (You can find it here with several other prayers to St. Joseph.)
Another prayer you can start praying is what is known as the October Prayer to St. Joseph. This prayer was written by Pope Leo XIII in 1889 & attached to his encyclical Quamquam Pluries. At that time the Catholic Church was under attack & Pope Leo knew we needed St. Joseph's aide. If that was true then, it is just as true today. The prayer is intended to be said at the end of the Rosary. While it was primaririy intended to be prayed in October, it can be used year round. While I am not able to always add it when I am praying the Rosary because of circumstances, I have been adding it when I can. Granted, lately I haven't done so as much as I could. So this is also a challenge to me to do more as well.
A couple years ago I posted 2 prayers to San Giuseppe during the time when the Catholic Church was coming under attack because of various scandals. 1 of those prayers was a Prayer for the Church & the Holy Father. I still occasionally pray them.
These are only a few prayers out there that could be used. An excellent resource is a small book put out by TAN Books called Favorite Prayers to St. Joseph. EWTN  & the Josephites have several prayers as well.
Additionally, we need to spread devotion to San Giuseppe & teach people about what God wants to do through San Giuseppe. Uniting devotion of St. Joseph to that of Mary, esp through the above suggestion of adding the above October Prayer at the end of praying the Rosary.
God has given us the gift of powerful intercessors in the saints in Heaven. Hebrews 12 starts out by reminding us that we are surrounded by them & that they are watching us as we complete the race here on Earth. Anyone who has been to a sporting event knows how the crowd cheers the athletes on. How much more are the saints willing to cheer us on by their prayers before the Throne of God?
& whose prayers are more powerful than those of Joseph & Mary. Mary as the Queen Mother & Joseph because he was Jesus' father here on Earth who He still honors as father in Heaven. Jesus can refuse them nothing they ask if it is according to God's will. & nothing they ask will be for anything but God's will to be done.
Since we are sure that it is God's will that the "culture of death" is defeated, we can feel safe in asking Joseph to aide us, to guide us & to protect us as we do our part in that battle.


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