What the world is in particular need of today is the credible witness of people enlightened in mind and heart by the word of the Lord, and capable of opening the hearts and minds of many to the desire for God and for true life, life without end.”
Pope Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter, Porta fidei, October 2011
Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet was a French bishop, theologian, and renowned orator. His writings are rich in love of Jesus, and tender in their understanding and explanation of scripture and theology. He brings wisdom for his readers to enjoy, and from which we are invited to continue to plumb the depths and riches of God's creation. For words of wit and wisdom from Bishop Bossuet (d. 1704) on St. Joseph's preeminent role as God's trustee, provider and guardian of the Holy Family, please enjoy below. Peace be with you! Author, Reason2bCatholic
by Bishop Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
If the name of trustee is a mark of honor and testifies to probity; if, in order to confide a trust, we choose the one whose virtue is most assured, whose fidelity is most proven, and finally, the one who is the most intimate and most confidential of our friends, then how shall we measure the glory of Saint Joseph? God made him the trustee not only of blessed Mary, whose angelic purity made her so acceptable in his eyes, but still more of his own Son, the sole object of his delight and the unique hope of our salvation. Saint Joseph he made the trustee of the common treasure of God and man: the person of Jesus Christ. What eloquence could equal the grandeur and majesty of this title? He cannot be rightly praised without the assistance of grace. Grace will help me to plumb so deep a mystery….
The first of the treasures committed to his trust—the first, that is, in the order of time—was the holy virginity of Mary, which he had to preserve inviolate under the sacred veil of marriage, and which he always religiously protected as a sacred trust. The second and the more imposing was the person of Jesus Christ, whom the heavenly Father placed in his hands so that he might serve as the earthly father of the holy child. The third you will find most admirable, if I am able to explain it to you clearly. To understand it, we must realize that a secret is a kind of treasure. To betray the secret of a friend is to violate the sanctity of trust. The law says that if you spread abroad the secret of a testament that I confide in you, I may then take action against you for your lapse as trustee. The reason for this is plain: a secret is a kind of trust. From this you will easily comprehend that Joseph was the trustee of the eternal Father because God told him his secret. Which secret? The marvelous secret of the Incarnation of his Son. God’s plan was not to reveal Jesus Christ to the world before his hour had come. Saint Joseph was chosen not only to keep the secret, but even to conceal it. Thus, we read in the Gospel that, with Mary, he marveled at all that was said of the Savior, but we do not read that he spoke, because the eternal Father revealed the mystery to him in secret and under the obligation of silence. Saint Bernard explained: “God desired to entrust to his faithfulness the most sacred secret of his heart.”
How precious you are to God, O peerless Joseph, for to you he confided his three great treasures: the virginity of Mary, the person of his only-begotten Son, and the secret of all his mystery.
Credit: Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet († 1704), known as the “Eagle of Meaux,” was a French bishop, theologian, and renowned orator. / From Meditations for Advent, Christopher O. Blum, Tr. © 2012, Sophia Institute Press, Manchester, NH. www.sophiainstitute.com. Information herein posted under the "rules of fair use" to foster education and discussion in accordance with Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976.
Christianity is not a system of ethics; it is a life. It is not good advice; it is divine adoption. Being a Christian does not consist in just being kind to the poor, going to church, singing hymns, or serving on parish committees, though it includes all of these. It is first and foremost a love relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
When the desire for God touches men’s hearts the world will be made anew. For a man is called to be another Christ. What the world is in need of today is real manhood in the image and likeness of God Incarnate, Jesus Christ. Men: This is the challenge of our time. It is the challenge of our Age.”
Mary, seat of wisdom
Faith resembles a lamp. As a lamp lights the whole house, so the light of faith illumines the whole soul.”
Saint John Chrysostom
Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family, pray for us. Amen.