What have I undertaken, to wish to bring to the light of day what Scripture has covered with a mysterious silence?
As it was the design of the eternal Father that his Son be hidden in the world and that Joseph be hidden with him, let us revere the secrets of his providence without seeking to understand them; and let the hidden life of Joseph be the object of our veneration….
All the same, it must be spoken of and it will be useful for the salvation of souls to meditate upon such a beautiful subject. If nothing else, I will at least say that Joseph had the honor to spend every day with Jesus Christ; that, together with Mary, he had the greater part of his Son's graces; that nevertheless Joseph was hidden, that his life, his actions, and his virtues were unknown. Perhaps from so fine an example we will learn that one can be great without outward show, that one can be blessed without attracting attention, and that one can have true glory without the help of fame, but by the testimony of conscience alone: For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience (2 Cor 1:12). This thought will inspire us to set at naught the glory of the world.
Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, "Joseph's Hidden Greatness." From Meditations for Advent (Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 2012).
Reprinted with permission of Sophia Institute Press.
Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet (1627-1704) known as the "Eagle of Meaux," was a French bishop and theologian, renowned for his sermons and other addresses. He has been considered by many to be one of the most brilliant orators of all time and a masterly French stylist. He is the author of Meditations for Advent, Meditations for Lent, and Meditations on Mary.Copyright © 2012 Sophia Institute Press
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