|Marriage to the Virgin, Perugino, c. 1448|
When considering the virtues of Saint Joseph we need to keep in mind that God's perspective on human actions is frequently quite different from the world's perspective. We men and women have a habit of giving all our attention to exterior things while neglecting the interior realities. We tend to work against the clock. We accept appearances and give little importance to what is most important. We worry so much about how things will look to others instead of being concerned for the way they ought to be. It is for this reason that the most esteemed virtues are those that are associated with "getting on in life" and lead to success in business. As a consequence, the interior and hidden virtues are rarely practised or, for that matter, rarely understood. Yet these are the virtues that pertain to man's relationship with God. This dilemma (or paradox) is the key to the mystery of true virtue ... Joseph, the honest man, seeks God. Joseph, the selfless man, finds God. Joseph, the hidden man, delights in God's presence. (Bossuet, Second panegyric on St. Joseph) We need to follow the Holy Patriarch's example by seeking God's presence in the course of our ordinary work.
The Virtues of Saint Joseph