Klingons are interesting characters. Some embody all the best traits of King Arthur’s Knights or Japanese Samurai while others are hard drinking, carousing, trouble makers best fit for an outlaw biker gang.
Individual and family honor is a hallmark of a true Klingon. A Klingon becomes a warrior by completing the arduous and painful Rite of Ascension. The warrior lives their life seeking battles to fight, enemies to defeat and ultimately to Die Well and enter into Stovokor. Their motto for life is Today is a Good Day to Die.
Saint Joseph is known as the Patron Saint of a Happy Death. Klingons it seems would be a fan.
Joseph’s title as the Patron of a Happy Death has to do with the image of him dying while surrounded by Jesus and Mary. To leave this life and enter into the next with our Savior and His Mother next to us is certainly a first class way to go. But let’s consider some other ideas about Joseph and a Happy Death.
Many of the saints have encouraged us to meditate regularly on our mortality. The point is not to be a downer but to ensure our readiness for that journey we all will take one day. Death may come as a thief in the night and woe to us if we are caught unprepared.
Klingons prepare to Die Well by constant training in the Martial Arts and living a virtuous life (according to their mores). Saint Thomas Aquinas teaches us that those whom God chooses for momentous works He gives grace sufficient to accomplish the task. Joseph’s job description was short but impressive, Be the Earthly father of the Son of God and the husband of His Mother. No other human being (besides Mary) comes close to this calling.
All humans are weighed down by the stain of original sin. But some theologians postulate that some people were freed from its effects before birth so they could better carry out the calling God gave them. It is dogma that Mary never suffered the effects. Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Bernadine hold that both Jeremiah and John the Baptist were sanctified and freed from original sin before their birth. Joseph’s calling was greater than either of these two. In the opinion of Aquinas and others, Joseph needed a grace exceeding that of Jeremiah or John. In their opinion, immediately after his conception, Joseph was freed from original sin’s burden.
This does not mean that he was free from temptation but rather that his spirit was so finely attuned to God’s will that he was able to choose the right path despite the hardships. Recall his momentary thought of divorcing Mary when he discovers she is pregnant or the thoughts he must have considered as he led Mary and Jesus through a bandit infested desert. He readily risked his life to save the life of a child he knew was not his biological son.
Joseph was prepared to risk his life, to die if necessary, to save the lives of Jesus and Mary. He also sacrificed daily to support them doing exhausting physical labor as a Tekton.
Joseph’s life is indeed a model for a true Klingon, a life of self-sacrifice, of facing danger, of total consecration to a higher good. His unwavering yes to the mission God gave him, ensured that he was prepared to meet death no matter how or when it came.
For Joseph, today would be A Good Day To Die!