Skip to comments.Was St. Joseph a tzadik?
Posted on 03/23/2012 9:02:55 AM PDT by Teófilo
Brethren, may the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
I remembered that in Jewish tradition, the term for a "just man" is tzadik, and that this term carries a specialized meaning in classical Judaism. The title is given to personalities in Jewish tradition considered righteous, such as Biblical figures and later spiritual masters. The root of the word ṣadiq, is ṣ-d-q (צדק Tzedek), which means "justice" or "righteousness", also the root of Tzedakah (Charity, lit. "righteousness"). The feminine term for a righteous person is Tzadeikas. (Source).Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately.
The unitive way is the way of those who are in the state of the perfect, that is, those who have their minds so drawn away from all temporal things that they enjoy great peace, who are neither agitated by various desires nor moved by any great extent by passion, and who have their minds chiefly fixed on God and their attention turned, either always or very frequently, to Him. It is the union with God by love and the actual experience and exercise of that love. It is called the state of "perfect charity", because souls who have reached that state are ever prompt in the exercise of charity by loving God habitually and by frequent and efficacious acts of that Divine virtue. It is called the "unitive" way because it is by love that the soul is united to God, and the more perfect the charity, the closer and more intimate is the union. Union with God is the principal study and endeavor of this state. It is of this union St. Paul speaks when he says: "He who is joined to the Lord, is one spirit.". Souls thus united to God are penetrated by the highest motives of the theological and moral virtues. In every circumstance of their lives the supernatural motive that ought to guide their actions is ever present to their mind, and the actions are performed under its inspiration with a force of will that makes their accomplishment easy and even delightful. These perfect souls are above all familiar with the doctrine and use of consolations and desolations. They are enlightened in the mysteries of the supernatural life, and they have experience of that truth proclaimed by St. Paul when he said: "We know that to them that love God, all things work together unto good, to such as, according to His purpose, are called to be saints." (Romans 8:28). The form of prayer suitable to persons in the unitive way is the contemplation of the glorious mysteries of Our Lord, His Resurrection, Appearances, and Ascension, until the coming of the Holy Ghost, and the preaching of the Gospel. These mysteries may also be the subject of meditation for beginners and for those in a state of progress, but in a peculiar manner, they belong to the perfect. Union with God belongs substantially to all souls in a state of grace, but it is in a special manner the distinguishing characteristic of those in the unitive way or in the state of the perfect. (Source)I find it right and just that the Jewish definition of "just man" or tzadik and our definition of "saint and mystic" track so closely, for both originate from the same spring of living water. Furthermore, although the Jewish sages' full exploration and refinement of the term tzadik occurred after New Testament times, their refinement of the term may well include traditional insights gained during the intertestamental period.
Nice post. Thanks.
“St. Joseph of Nazareth, chaste husband of Mary, and foster father of our Lord Jesus.”
For a moment there I thought it said that St. Joseph was a Tadjik. Wow! The Holy Family has a Central Asian connection?
Anyway, when you describe him as Mary’s chaste husband, you have kicked over a hornets’ nest. The Biblethumpers will soon be posting, “Jesus had brothers and sisters!!” while dropping unsubtle hints about Mariolatry.
Greetings, el Mío Cid Campeador:
Thank you for the warning. I no longer get into circular arguments. If they want to reject true Catholic belief, that’s their business.
“....while dropping unsubtle hints about Mariolatry.”
Mary: “All generations will call me blessed.”
It is good to be among those of us who venerate Mary the Blessed Virgin, Mother of God.
“My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge.”
would the name “Melchizedek” be related?
We have seen their best. Christianity still flourishes in spite of their best.
I think, Apostolic order is one thing, pertaining to degrees of sanctity, but hypostatic union means consubstantiality and so is quite another, and is properly reserved to the Holy Trinity only.
I would like to see if Suarez's "appertaining to the order of the Hypostatic Union" is really the same as St. Joseph -- or Blessed Mary -- being "comprised" into it. The seond quote, from Giovanni di Cartagena supports the sense of degrees of sanctity better than the sense of true hypostatic union.
“We have seen their best. Christianity still flourishes in spite of their best.”
Hmmm... you really mean “their worst”, don’t you?
As a Catholic I have encountered attitudes among certain self-described “evangelicals” (and I do not reject but rather encourage daily Bible study & reflection) that are straight out of the Ku Klux Klan handbook. So much so it’s laughable. Particularily their notion that the only true Christian martyrs are those who were persecuted by the Catholic Church and who have English surnames.
Not from their perspective.
As a Catholic I have encountered attitudes among certain self-described evangelicals (and I do not reject but rather encourage daily Bible study & reflection) that are straight out of the Ku Klux Klan handbook. So much so its laughable. Particularily their notion that the only true Christian martyrs are those who were persecuted by the Catholic Church and who have English surnames.
The list of qualifiers can grow to quite a length. :)
Very beautiful! Thanks for this post.
All you say is valid. I copied uncritically from a _The Glories of St. Joseph_. I'm sure that you will find some contextual explanation therein that will make sense of this provoking statement.
Yes, and also Zedekiah and Zadok.
In fact, Melchizedek might not even be a proper name, but a title meaning "my king (is) righteous(ness)") which became a proper name by usage.
Interesting word study. Thanks.
Padre Giovanni is less known; in fact I could only find a reference to him that is not taken from Thompson, in Italian. But it is interesting:
The Franciscan John of Cartagena (+1618) highlights that "this trinity of people has brought about our salvation: Jesus, as the author of salvation, Mary, as a mediator, Joseph, as a cooperator." (Google Translate)
Il francescano Giovanni di Cartagena (+1618) mette in evidenza come questa Trinità di persone ha operato la nostra redenzione: Gesù, come autore della salvezza; Maria, come mediatrice; Giuseppe, come cooperatore.
So to him, there is (I assume) the Holy Trinity and then a "trinity of persons", that only shares one person with the Holy Trinity, Jesus, but is otherwise a group of three people.
I think that Thompson took the term "order of hypostatic union", originally meant to indicate a varying degree of proximity to Jesus, to mean an absolute, not relative, hypostatic union of Jesus Mary and Joseph. To say that Mary and Joseph enjoy a special closeness to Jesus is to speak the truth; to say that this puts the three in a hypostatic union qualitatively different from the beatific vision all the saints share, -- is heresy. Does Thompson actually say the latter is not clear, but at least it would had been incumbent on him to clarify this point.
I believe that the author of the quote was referring to what Eastern Christianity means by “theosis” or “deification,” this “conforming to the divine nature” of soken about in 2 Peter 1: 2-11.
The fault of our author here is not one of malice, but of ignorance, as he reached out to incorrect terminology in describing a very biblical facet of the Christian life in his enthusiasm and hurry in communicating it.
For the message remains urgent: theosis is the common call and norm of life for every Christian and not the exception. Christians are not called to be merely ethical, but HOLY, and holiness and SALVATION are tied to the practice of the Sermon of the Mount and, not to faith alone.
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