Episode 105

Misconceptions of St. Joseph | ACW105


January 4th, 2021

40 mins 53 secs

Your Hosts

About this Episode

What is the reason for confession if Jesus has already forgiven our sins? What misconceptions about St. Joseph would you like to see cleared up during this year? What is the relevance of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the modern world?

Ask Christopher West is a weekly podcast in which Theology of the Body Institute President Christopher West and his beloved wife Wendy share their humor and wisdom, answering questions about marriage, relationships, life, and the Catholic faith, all in light of John Paul II’s beautiful teachings on the Theology of the Body.

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Q1: What is the benefit or reason of confessing sins to a priest when Jesus has already forgiven our sins “once and for all”?? Is this based in scripture? There must be something I’m missing. . .

Q2: Pope Francis just announced the Year of St. Joseph. What misconceptions about this amazing saint would you like to see cleared up during this year?

Q3: Hello Wests! Christopher, I’ve heard you speak about the mysteries of Our Lady of Guadalupe in talks but I am curious if you could give a recap of this miracle and it’s relevance to TOB and to our current world? Thanks!

Resources mentioned this week:

Theology of the Body I: Head & Heart Immersion Course (Online) January 18-29, 2021

[Theology of the Body I: Head and Heart Immersion (Winter Park, Florida) February 7-12, 2021


PATRIS CORDE - Pope Francis

Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love

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Quotes on Joseph:

  1. Although Christ “is born from her like every man ... still Mary’s motherhood was virginal; and to this virginal motherhood corresponded the virginal mystery of Joseph” (TOB 75:2). “In this family, Joseph is the father: his fatherhood is not one that derives from begetting offspring; but neither is it an ‘apparent’ or merely ‘substitute’ fatherhood. Rather, it is one that fully shares in authentic human fatherhood” (John Paul II, Redemptoris Custos 21).

  2. “In taking Mary to his home … Joseph participated in the maternity of his spouse in the measure in which he was vowed to her virginity.… Jesus was truly the issue of their marriage; their virginity was fruitful, their flesh exultant and at peace, in the super-eminent realization of the life-bearing impulse” (Fr. Maurice Zundel, Our Lady of Wisdom).

  3. “The difficulty of accepting the sublime mystery of their spousal communion has led some, since the second century, to think of Joseph as advanced in age and to consider him Mary’s guardian more than her husband. It is instead a case of supposing that he was not an elderly man at the time, but that his interior perfection, the fruit of grace, led him to live his spousal relationship with Mary with virginal affection” (John Paul II, Theotokos, p. 128).

  4. “When one searches for the reasons why Christian art should have pictured Joseph as aged, we discover that it was in order to better safeguard the virginity of Mary. Somehow, the assumption had crept in that senility was a better protector of virginity than adolescence. Art thus unconsciously made Joseph a spouse chaste and pure by age rather than virtue.... To make Joseph appear pure only because his flesh had aged is like glorifying a mountain stream that has dried. The Church will not ordain a man to the priesthood who has not his vital powers. She wants men who have something to tame, rather than those who are tame because they have no energy to be wild. It should be no different with God.... Instead of being a man incapable of love, he must have been on fire with love…. Instead, then, of being dried fruit to be served on the table of the king, he was rather a blossom filled with promise and power. He was not in the evening of life, but in its morning, bubbling over with energy, strength, and controlled passion” (Sheen, The World’s First Love, p. 92).

  5. “Joseph had no suspicion of adultery because he knew the modesty and chastity of Mary. Moreover, he had read in Scripture that the virgin would conceive…. Thus it was easier for him to believe that Isaiah’s prophecy had been accomplished in her than to think that she could have let herself descend into debauchery” (St. Thomas, Commentary on Matthew, I, 117).

  6. “Joseph wanted to leave her for the same reason Peter begged the Lord to leave him, when he said: ‘Depart from me, O Lord, for I am a sinful man.’ …He saw with fear and trembling that she bore the surest signs of the divine presence, and, … as a human being, was afraid of … the profundity of the mystery, and so he decided to leave her quietly” (St. Bernard, In Laudibus Virginis Matris, Sermo II).

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Christopher and Wendy hope their advice is helpful to you, but they are not licensed counseling professionals. If you are dealing with serious issues, please consult our list of trusted professionals.

Featuring music by Mike Mangione.