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But our saintly Lady, who was the humblest of the humble, and whose humility was not to be overcome, prayed St. Joseph not to pay her such honors... They had also humble disputes respecting! their servile employments

 

But our saintly Lady, who was the humblest 
of the humble, and whose humility was not to 
be overcome, prayed St. Joseph not to pay her 
such honors as to bow the knee to her. This 
veneration, she said, was doubtless due to the 
Lord, whom she bore in her bosom; but while 
He remained there, the person of Christ could 
not be distinguished from her own. The saint, 
yielding to her humble desires, rendered this 
worship to the Lord, who was in the bosom of 
Mary, and to her as His mother, only when un- 
perceived by her. 

They had also humble disputes respecting! 
their servile employments. St. Joseph could 


LIFE OF ST. JOSEPH. 103 


not consent to allow our amiable Mistress to 
perform them, and strove to prevent it On her 
part, she did what she could, but waile she was 
retired in her oratory the saint found time to do 
many things, and thus our sweet Lady was frus- 
trated in her desires to be the servant. At these 
times she addressed her meek complaints to the 
Lord, and prayed him to oblige her spouse not 
to hinder her in the exercise of humility. 

This virtue is so agreeable at the tribunal of 
God, that we ask for no common grace whea 
we pray for it; for humility imparts a cer 
tain greatness to all things, and inclines God to 
clemency. The Divine Majesty hearkened to 
the request of our blessed Lady, and his guar- 
dian angel said, interiorly, to the blessed St 
Joseph, “ Do not frustrate the humble desires of © 
her who is above all creatures in heaven or on 
earth. Permit her to serve you in external 
things, and preserve for her in your interior the 
greatest reverence. Render to the Word made 
man, in all times and in all places, the homage 
that is due to Him. You can, meanwhile, assist 
his Mother, and honor ee the Lord of the 
universe who is within her.” 

Having received these orders from ‘the Most 
High, St. Joseph no longer refused her humble 
exercises to our sweet Lady. Thus both offered 


104 LIFE OF ST. JOSEPH. 


to God the sacrifice of their will. The most 
pure Mary, in practising her profound humility, 
and faithful obedience to her spouse; and St. 
Joseph, by obedience to the Most High, with a 
holy confusion to see himself served by her 
whom he recognized as mistress of the universe 
and mother of the Creator, 

Thus our saint was compensated for the hu- 
mility which he could not exervise; for to see 
himself served as he was humiliated him far 
more, and obliged him to abase himself still 
more profoundly in contempt of himself. In 
these dispositions St. Joseph meditated upon the 
Lord, whom the august Mary bore in her chaste 
bosom, adoring and rendering to Him honor and 
glory. Then, in recompense for his sanctity 
. and his respect, mingled with fear, the Infant 
God, made man, sometimes manifested himself - 
in an admirable manner. He saw Him in the 
bosom of His most pure Mother, as through a 
luminous crystal. Afterwards, our incomparable 
Lady conversed more familiarly with her blessed 
spouse upon the mysteries of the incarnation, 
for she knew that he was now informed of the 
secrets of the hypostatic union of the two natures, 
divine and human, within her virginal bosom. 

No tongue can relate the celestial discourses 
that were held between the blessed Virgin and 


LIFE OF ST. JOSEPH. 105 


St. Joseph.- And who can describe the effects 
produced on the gentle and pious heart of this 
holy man, on finding himself the spouse of her 
who was the veritable motber of his Creator, 
and to see her performing for him the duties 
of a simple servant ? 

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