St. Joseph: The Patriarch For Our Time

Fleeing-to-EgyptToday we celebrate the feast day of St. Joseph, Patron to the Universal Church. As Catholics we rightly identify the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Queen of Heaven and Earth. St. Joseph, then, is the blessed patriarch of our sacred Mother Church.

There could not be a more pressing time than now to unite with the Holy Family in order to save a culture that is internally eroding from the mischaracterizations of patriarchy and femininity.

Several months ago I had the privilege of meeting with the men of our local Newman Center. I was asked to speak about patriarchy, the role of Catholic masculinity when raising a family in the true faith, and protecting the family in the context of sacramental union.

While sitting around a fire discussing these weighty matters, something very concerning struck me; these men had been spiritually neutralized through the organized indoctrination of 3rd wave secular progressive feminism pervasive throughout our society’s education system. The cultural feminist implant, predicated on modernist liberal egalitarianism and postmodern cultural Marxism had been secured deep in their psyche.

They were spiritually confused men.

This is not a proclamation of negative judgment, but the recognition of a reality that is pervasive in our culture and the contemporary Western Church. The identification of the feminist implant became more apparent when I asked the group if they were afraid to speak-up on campus in order to defend traditional marriage. Many raised their hands in reluctant confession, and I fully understand their fear.

A college campus is not a friendly environment for traditional masculinity to rear its patriarchal head. This is a fear that must be faced, conquered, and smashed to pieces.

Our culture has adopted and institutionalized the narrative that men are inherently oppressive, lack higher ideals while slavishly satisfying bodily urges, and must be transformed into nice, obedient, mother-may-I little boys willing to do the bidding of the progressive feminist masters.

Due to this distorted cultural inheritance, men in general, and Catholic men specifically, have lost their proper identity.

Catholic men no longer know who they are, and they no longer know what it means to be a Warrior Saint.

Let’s set the record straight on what Catholic masculinity amounts to:

Catholic men love and honor God, shoulder their cross as they follow Christ, and follow the teachings of Holy Mother Church.

Catholic men are the masculine protectors of their homes, their Churches, and their nation.

Catholic men are those who protect the virtue, dignity, and honor of their women.

Catholic men are those who protect the dignity of the created, hierarchical fraternal order.

To the contrary of this true identity of Catholic masculinity are the progressive egalitarians working to subvert this reality of honorable patriarchy.

It is time for Catholic men confront this lie.

Getting back to the Newman Center meeting, when I started to speak about patriarchy and masculinity in a decidedly positive manner, I noticed something developing in the spiritual demeanor of these emerging Warrior Saints. They naturally recognized their identity within the descriptions I was laying out for them to claim for themselves. This came as naturally to them as hunting, fishing, or athletic competition. Catholic masculinity, true patriarchy, is in the very fiber of the maleness infused in our being created in the image of the Triune God.

Men aren’t the only victims of this deceitful progressive narrative. Women are also confused about their femininity. They are tutored to believe that being feminine is an aspiration toward the masculine, while simultaneously deflating masculinity to a level in which secular feminism is comfortable with encountering. Culturally speaking, you are allowed to be a woman if it means to be more like a man, and you are only allowed to be a man if it is based on the permission of a distorted understanding of feminism. The debasement of gender roles into an egalitarian sameness has rendered them impotent to influence the culture in accordance with the Great Commission.

What, then, is the image of true masculinity and femininity?

I contend that the above image of the Holy Family fleeing to Egypt properly captures the biblical roles of Catholic masculinity in the image of St. Joseph, and Marian femininity in the image of the Blessed Mother.

Saint Joseph is alert, senses aroused, and in a posture of patriarchal protection. He is guaranteeing the safety of Mary and Jesus in such a way that both of them can sleep peacefully despite the heightened levels of danger. A man who knows his role as the patriarch of the family protects them from potential danger. The role of masculine guardian is entirely informed by the faith of St. Joseph, our patron and patriarch. It is his heritage and his rightful duty to fulfill this honorable task.

The Blessed Mother, sound asleep, cradling her newborn infant son, exemplifies the beauty of submission to God and her husband. She is the picturesque image of feminine virtue, embracing her duties as wife and mother by faithfully trusting her husband, while caring for her baby.

If we want to change the culture, we must free ourselves of the secular images we have been catechized into believing through the many years of secular indoctrination.

St. Joseph, Pray For Us!

 

– Lucas G. Westman


*Painting by Carl Heinrich Bloch

 

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