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The following is from Book II: The Incarnation; Chapter V, paragraph 418 of the Mystical City of God.

The most faithful Joseph, after being informed of the mystery and sacrament of the Incarnation, was filled with such high and befitting sentiments concerning his Spouse, that, although he had always been holy and perfect, he was changed into a new man.

He resolved to act toward the heavenly Lady according to a new rule and with much greater reverence, as I will relate farther on.

This was conformable to the wisdom of the saint and due to the excellence of his Spouse; for Saint Joseph by heavenly enlightenment saw well, that he was the servant and She the Mistress of heaven and earth.

In order to satisfy his desire of honoring and reverencing Her as the Mother of God, whenever he passed Her or spoke to Her alone, he did it with great external veneration and on bended knees.

He would not allow Her to serve him, or wait upon him, or perform any other humble services, such as cleaning the house or washing the dishes and the like.

All these things the most happy spouse wished to do himself, in order not to derogate from the dignity of the Queen.

Let us ponder two aspects of this short narrative.

First, this thing called holiness; and
Secondly, St. Joseph’s desire to honor and reverence his Spouse on bended knees.

On Holiness

According to an article entitled: What Does ‘Holy’ Mean? (written by John Vennari appearing in Spring 2013 ‘The Fatima Crusader’):

… we have the writings of one of the greatest mystical writers of the spiritual life in the 20th Century: Blessed Abbot Marmion, a great Benedictine abbot, who, based on the teaching of Saint Thomas Aquinas, wrote about (holiness)…

Holiness consists of a double element: it has a negative [absent] element and a positive [present] element.
First, we have to start with the holiness of God, and in God holiness is the infinite distance

from all that is sin,
from all that is imperfect,
from all that is impure.

He is infinitely free from every spot or stain or shadow of imperfection.

That’s the negative aspect, but the positive aspect is that God adheres by an always-present act of His will to to the infinite goodness which is Himself in order to conform Himself entirely to all that infinite goodness is.

Now once we know what that model of holiness is, we see that this model is what we see in Our Lord Jesus Christ.

He was infinitely free from every spot or stain or shadow of corruption, and He always adhered by an ever-present act of His will to the infinite good which was Himself.

The same model of holiness we see for Our Blessed Mother.

She was without stain of sin, She was born without Original Sin, She was free from every spot, stain or shadow of corruption and She always adhered by an act of Her will to the infinite good which is God, in order to conform Herself to His infinite goodness.

On The Reverence Exercised By Saint Joseph To His Spouse

St. Joseph showed reverence to his Spouse because he knew that She was the ‘Mistress of all creation’ but also the ‘Mother of God’ and the ‘Tabernacle of the Messiah.’

Now, if Saint Joseph was impelled to knell on both knees to honor and reverence the Mother of God should we do no less when we enter a church where Jesus is present in the Blessed Sacrament?

Jesus is present to us today just as much as He was to Saint Joseph from the moment of our Savior’s Conception to the time of Saint Joseph’s death (which occurred in the presence of the Virgin Mary and Jesus).

Oh, what a blessed passing from the temporal sphere to the eternal that Saint Joseph experienced!

Let us pray that the grace of a happy death be ours also when the time is right.

And may we never be afraid to genuflect deeply when we approach Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

May we revere Him often and with great love and adoration.

Vivat Jesus!

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