St. Joseph’s Vocation Was to Be a Veil to Hide Jesus in His Childhood
In order to understand the greatness and dignity of Joseph’s hidden life, let us consider its principle, and admire the variety of the designs of Providence in the different vocations.
I see two in Scripture that seem directly opposed to each other: the first is that of the apostles, and the second, that of Joseph. Jesus was revealed to the apostles, Jesus was revealed to Joseph, but with very opposite conditions.
He was revealed to the apostles so they could announce Him to the entire universe; He was revealed to Joseph so he could keep silent and hide Him. The apostles were lights to show Jesus Christ to the world; Joseph was a veil to cover Him, and under this mysterious veil was hidden the virginity of Mary and the grandeur of the Savior of souls. So much so that Jesus in the hands of the apostles was a Word they had to preach, and Jesus in the hands of Joseph was a hidden Word that was not permitted to reveal.
The divine apostles preached the Gospel so loudly and clearly that the sound of their preaching resounded all the way to the heavens; and Joseph, hearing of the marvels of Jesus Christ, listened, admired, and remained silent.
Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, First Panegyric of St. Joseph
Shadows Loom over the Church in China
In China, the beginning of the 13th National People’s Congress in March 2019 has many expecting a tightening of the country’s religious policies, which could jeopardize the agreement signed by the Holy See and the Catholic Church in September 2018.
The tone was set in a speech on March 11, 2019: Xu Xiaohong, president of the National Committee supervising the Protestant Cult, declared that there are many problems with Christianity in the country, particularly the “infiltration” from abroad. “The anti-Chinese western forces pursue their attempts to destabilize Chinese society, sapping our country’s political power under the standard of Christianity,” declared the high-ranking official to the 2,200 delegates of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
This exclusively consultative assembly takes care of relaying the decisions of the Chinese Communist Party (PCC) to different actors in society, such as the business, media, and sports circles.
“It is only by continuing and applying the fundamental values of Socialism that our Christianity will be able to truly adapt to Socialist society,” insisted Xu Xiaohong, in terms that the Great Helmsman would have approved.
This speech comes as an appeal to intensify the “Sinicization” policy for all religions, a policy solemnly reaffirmed by President Xi Jinping in 2017 during the 19th congress of the PCC.
The ambition of this policy is “to create a sort of public religious sector,” as the Jesuit Benoît Vermander explained to the newspaper La Croix, so that this sector can “reconcile Socialism with the Chinese national tradition.”
Another element worth pointing out is the fact that the economic slowdown and the commercial war with the United States have weakened Xi Jinping’s position in the Party, as the analyst Chen Daoyin explained in Le Monde on March 2, 2019. In order to take back the reins after the National People’s Congress that began on March 5 and prove himself a worthy heir of Mao, the current master of Beijing has no choice but to take further steps in Sinicizing religions and Catholicism in particular.
This is a cause for worry for the fervent defenders of the agreement signed between the Vatican and China on September 22, 2018, and confirms the fears of Cardinal Joseph Zen, former bishop of Hong Kong, who denounced in The New York Times on October 24, 2018, an agreement that could lead to “the annihilation of the real Church.”
There Will Be No Spring for These Swiss Poor Clares
A four-century-long story has come to an end in the canton of Saint-Gall (Switzerland), with the closing of the convent of the Poor Clares of St. Scholastica in Tübach, in the spring of 2019. The future of the buildings remains undetermined.
In April 2019, the last six sisters, mostly elderly, will go to the convent of Our Lady of Good Counsel in Notkersegg. “When I came here 58 years ago, I was the 40th sister,” recalls Mother Gabriela Tinner with nostaligia. She is the last superior of the convent of St. Scholastica.
The convent’s history began in 1617 with the merging of two communities of Beguines in Rorsbach, who were soon incorporated into the Capuchin Order. The community flourished and moved to Tübach in 1905, to these Romanesque and Gothic buildings.
But over time, the numbers of the religious decreased and the post-conciliar springtime never came—to Switzerland or elsewhere.
An unfortunate decline that Islam, for its part, is not experiencing in the canton of Saint-Gall; a monumental mosque—without a minaret because of a referendum—was even inaugurated on May 13, 2017, a very symbolic date for anyone who knows the story of Fatima.
600 Muslims now gather to pray in it every Friday.
There will without a doubt be fewer persons at the last Mass in St. Scholastica to be celebrated on March 24, 2019, by Bishop Markus Büchel, vice-president of the Episcopal Conference of Switzerland.
Sources: Bossuet / FSSPX.News – 3/19/2019
Sources: Reuters / NYT / Le Monde / La Croix / FSSPX.News – 3/19/2019
Sources: Legalis / Gènéthique / La Croix / Alliance Vita / Le Monde / FSSPX.News – 3/19/201