Joseph: Terror of Demons
By Bud McFarlane, Jr.
I promised some time ago to write about Saint Joseph, Terror of
Demons. I was prompted to ponder this title while visiting the Oratory
of Saint Joseph in Montreal, Quebec. There is a fresco (a carved
stone tablet) there portraying Joseph holding his hand up, a family
behind him, keeping a cowering, ugly, simpering, petrified group
of demons, at bay. "Why is Joseph so calm? Why are the demons
terrified?" I prayed.
Our first clue is Mary. In Genesis 3:15, Yahweh promises to put
enmity (total separation) between mother of the promised messiah
and the serpent. This separation is complete because of Mary's Immaculate
Conception--she is not subject to Original Sin in any way. Joseph
is her husband, her beloved groom, and their marital union and his
virtue places him apart from demonic influence. It is part of Sacred
Tradition that Joseph led a sinless life.
But evil shrinks from Joseph for a related reason. He is pure. Joseph
is pure of body. Pure of heart. Pure of intention. Pure and sinless
because he battled Original Sin. This is just me pondering (as usual)
but I'm coming to believe that demons cannot "see" a man
who is pure. All demons know is force, lies, degradation, and filth.
That is their world, and they want to make our lives just as ugly.
Their sin blinds them, just as sin blinds us mortals.
We are afraid not of the dark, actually, but rather the dangers
which the darkness does not allow us to see. The demons can't "see"
Joseph because he is pure. Purity makes him invisible, just as pure
water is perfectly clear. Evil spirits don't know when, how, or
from which direction Joseph is going to hammer them. Joseph's job,
when Christ was a child and up to this very day, is to protect the
Holy Family, and through our baptisms, we are part of his family.
So Joseph protects us. He will calmly raise his hand and keep the
demons away, if you but ask him.
So let’s pray together...
"Dear Saint Joseph, just as you brought Jesus and Mary to safety
in Egypt, please bring the soul of Bob Hope to heaven. Just as you
taught Mary's son, Jesus, please teach her son Jim Caveizel (portraying
Jesus in Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion’), during his
trials in Hollywood. Just as you provided for your family, please
provide for the impoverished Ukrainian Catholics in Father Gregory's
flock in London. Just as you protected Mary and Jesus from evil
through our courageous purity, ask the Holy Trinity to give us the
grace needed to make contrite Confessions for our impure actions--and
then embrace meaningful penances. Hold up your hand, Brave Joseph!
Serenely stand athwart our demons, literal or figurative, as we
grow to adulthood in the Catholic Faith. Ask your beloved bride,
Mary, to hold our souls in her motherly embrace. Amen."
(Source: CatholiCity.com Message, Volume VII,