Descendant of the kings of Judah, Joseph is reduced to the offering of the poor; but this causes him no shame, he esteems himself richer than the richest kings, richer than even David or Solomon in all their glory, for Joseph possesses Jesus. Though poor in this world's goods lie sees no disgrace in that. For himself, is not he the spouse of Mary and the adopted Father of Jesus? And Mary? she is the Mother of Jesus. And the Child ? That very Son of David, whose reign shall know no limit, no end, and whose throne shall be eternal!
What is there humiliating in poverty or glorious in riches? If I am poor it is either because I will it or God wills it, and this consciousness frees me from the fetters which turn man into a slave to gold. Shall I then blush at a poverty that assures me independence, liberty, nobility, and grandeur ! No, it shall not be thus. I will desire not only to be but to appear poor, for I wish to be like Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.
Watchword.—Let your requirements be less each day.
14. Saint Joseph and Bossuet.
In 1657 Bossuet preached in Saint Joseph's honour a sermon so beautiful that he was called on to repeat it two years later in the presence of the Queen-mother. It was that sermon which has for text:
Depositum custodi. On the 19th of March 1661 Anne of Austria desired again to listen to the great orator, who, applying to Saint Joseph the words addressed to David when Samuel came to anoint him king of Israel, preached from this text: Quaesivit sibi Deus virum juxta cor suum—" God has sought for Himself a man after His own heart"