St Francis Q&A

Monday, March 19, 2007

"For God all things are possible"

Happy Birthday, Madison!! Madison Mehlferber is a fourth grader in our school who has had two major surgeries in the past two weeks. This incredibly courageous and extraordinary girl is doing better now, thanks be to God. Madison turns 10 today! Please leave a comment, wishing her a happy birthday.
Today is the Solemnity of St. Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We take a timeout from our Lenten fast to celebrate the life of Jesus’ earthly father. St. Joseph is a model of so many virtues – chastity being one of the main ones - for all men, especially husbands and fathers. In the Divine Praises, we pray, “Blessed be St. Joseph, her (Mary’s) most chaste spouse. It is fitting, then, to review a question from an anonymous blogger, “Are some people just incapable of chastity?”

Kat responded: “NO. Chastity is attainable for everyone, for some it is just harder to grasp than others because well, if you have lived in a situation where chastity isn't promoted growing up or you fall into habits or sinful actions with others. It is hard to go from living unchastely and being used to doing things with yourself/with others then moving towards chastity and living a chaste life. For some, not all, it starts off with realizing self worth and value of the person you are then expecting other people to treat you with respect and worth. If someone grows up not believing that they have worth it is easy to let others treat them that way and using them. Sometimes to get on that road it takes someone treating you differently then anyone else has ever... treating you with respect and showing you that you have value then slowly the light starts to come on in your head. Well that is my personal experience so far anyway for what it is worth. Also the key is not beating yourself up when you fall back into old patterns.”

“All the baptized are called to chastity. The Christian has ‘put on Christ’ (Gal 3:27), the model for all chastity” (CCC, # 2348). To suggest that some people are incapable of answering the call to chastity is to suggest that God’s power is limited. “For God all things are possible” (Mt 19:26). Now, it does take a person’s openness to and cooperation with God’s Grace to live chastity or any of the virtues. But, even that openness and cooperation is a result of Grace (cf. CCC, #2022). The more that we allow God to mold us and shape us, the more we will live the virtues.

We can look at some great examples of saints to know that everyone is capable of chastity. St. Augustine is one of the best examples – read his “Confessions”, if you haven’t already. The famous quote of this former playboy: “Lord, grant me chastity…but not right now!”

St. Joseph is an extraordinary example of not only chastity, but heroic chastity. What a calling God gave Joseph! He called him to be faithfully married to Mary who a) had become pregnant from someone else (the Holy Spirit)… and b) would remain a virgin. Talk about a calling you wouldn’t think someone could live!. Joseph, a man of deep faith and goodness, “did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him” (Mt 1:24). May each of us imitate the example of St. Joseph by doing what God commands in living the virtues, especially chastity.


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