At the end of our life, we shall all be judged by charity. —St. John of the Cross

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St. Joseph's doubt

Started by Geremia, May 01, 2022, 05:09:34 PM

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Filas, S.J., Joseph: The Man Closest to Jesus, pp. 140-41, re: St. Joseph's doubt (Mt. 1:19: "Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately."):

Augustine, Sermo 51 (PL 38:338), No. 10:
QuoteThe husband was indeed perturbed, but the just man did not rage. He was so just that on the one hand he was unwilling to keep an adulteress; on the other, he would not expose her to punishment. Therefore, he wished to put her away privately. Consider his untainted justice. Many men forgive adulterous wives out of carnal love, wishing to have them even if adulterous; but this just man does not wish to have her. Therefore, he does not love her carnally. Yet he does not wish to punish her. Consequently, he mercifully spares her. What type of person is this just man? Deservedly, indeed, was he chosen as a witness of his wife's virginity.

Chrysostom, In Mt. hom. 4, 3-6 (PG 57:43 ff.):
QuoteSince he was just, that is merciful and self-controlled, he wished to dismiss her privately. Not only was he reluctant to punish her; but he would not even deliver her up. Have you ever seen anyone who so loves wisdom and who is free from all tyrannical bent? He was so free from (jealousy) this plague of the soul, that he refused to inflict pain on the virgin even in the slightest degree. Accordingly, since it seemed that by law he was no longer permitted to keep her, and since it appeared that to denounce her and to bring her to trial was of necessity to condemn her to death, he chose neither course but began to elevate himself above the law. For with the coming of grace, many prophetic types of this sublime institution were to appear. Just as the sun, not yet showing its rays, nevertheless illumines the zenith of the celestial vault from on high, so did Christ, who was about to emerge from the womb, illumine the whole world before His actual appearance.

Do you perceive the moderation of this man? He did not chastise, he mentioned the affair to no one, not even to her who was under suspicion, but he debated the matter with himself, seeking to hide from the virgin the reason for separation. Nor did he say that he wished to cast her off, but rather to send her away, so kind and self-controlled was he. While he was pondering over all this, the angel appeared to him in sleep. And why not openly, in the manner that he appeared to the shepherds and to Zachary as well as to the Virgin? This man was so ready to believe that he did not require such a manifestation.