18th Day — Mary's Life at Nazareth
Besides Thee what do I desire upon earth? (Psalm Ixxii. 25.)
1. When the holy family returned from Egypt, they took up their abode in a little cottage at Nazareth. Yet that cottage was the closest approximation to heaven upon earth that ever has been or ever can be found. There dwelt the omnipotent God, the Queen of heaven, the protector of the whole Church of God. This poor and humble dwelling was chosen by almighty God as the most suitable abode for those He loved best.
2. What an unspeakable joy and consolation it must have been to Mary to dwell for those years in familiar conversation with Jesus! To carry in her arms her God, hers as He was none other's, flesh of her flesh, bone of her bone! to enjoy His sweet caresses! To hear Him call her Mother! To gaze on the unveiled countenance of God made flesh! What an ecstasy of happiness for Mary!
3. What happiness, too, Mary found in the company of her chaste spouse, St. Joseph! No husband was ever so thoughtful as Joseph, none so gentle, so unselfish. Such a tower of manly strength! What a pleasure it was to her to obey him! How she watches for every expression of his will! How promptly, joyfully, loyally she carries it out! Is this the way I behave to those to whom I am subject?
Oh, nought did Jesus love on earth
So tenderly as thee!