“And so the child grew and came to his strength,

   full of wisdom;

   and the grace of God rested upon him.

And so Jesus advanced in wisdom [and stature] with the years,

   and in favor both with God and with men.’ (Lk 2:39-40,52)



“For eighteen uneventful years …

  every mean and lowly task was part of the Father’s business. …

One wonders why this long preparation

   for such a brief ministry of three years.

The reason might very well be that he waited

   until the human nature which he had assumed

   had grown in age to full perfection,

   that he might then offer the perfect sacrifice to his heavenly Father.

The farmer waits until the wheat is ripe

   before cutting it and subjecting it to the mill.

So he would wait

   until his human nature had reached its most perfect proportions

   and its peak of loveliness,

before surrendering it

   to the hammer of the crucifiers

   and the sickle of those who would cut down

   the Living Bread of Heaven.

The newborn lamb was never offered in sacrifice,

   nor is the first blush of the rose cut to pay tribute to a friend.

Each thing has its hour of perfection.

Since he was the Lamb that could set the hour for his own cutting,

   he waited patiently, humbly, and obediently,

   while he grew in age and grace and wisdom before God and man.

Then he would say: ‘This is your hour.’

Thus the choicest wheat and the reddest wine

   would become the worthiest elements of sacrifice.”

(F Sheen, Life of Christ)



“The hidden life at Nazareth allows everyone

   to enter into fellowship with Jesus

   by the most ordinary events of daily life:

‘The home of Nazareth is the school where we begin to understand

   the life of Jesus—the school of the Gospel.

First, then, a lesson of silence.

May esteem for silence,

   that admirable and indispensable condition of mind,

   revive in us. …

A lesson on family life.

A lesson of work ….’ (Paul VI)”

(CCC 533)



“A mature person is not one who can take care of himself,

   but one who can take care of others.” (J Stenson)


Human maturity “manifests itself above all,

   in a certain emotional stability,

   in the capacity for taking well-weighed decisions,

   and in the upright way of judging events and people.”

(Vatican II, Optatam Totius)


Human maturity leads to serenity,

a layman’s way of describing one of the results

   of fortitude, temperance, justice, prudence.” (St Josemaría)



“If you can keep your head when all about you

   Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; [PATIENCE AND STAMINA]

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you

   But make allowance for their doubting too; [REALISTIC & OBJECTIVE]

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, [PATIENCE]

   Or be lied about, don't deal in lies;

Or being hated don't give way to hating,

   And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;


If you can dream--and not make dreams your master;

   If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim; [REALISTIC & OBJECTIVE]

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

   And treat those two imposters just the same; [HUMILITY]

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

   Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

   And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools; [PERSEVERANCE]


If you can make one heap of all your winnings

   And risk it on one turn of pitch and toss; [COURAGE & BOLDNESS]

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

   And never breathe a word about your loss; [PERSEVERANCE]

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

   To serve your turn long after they are gone, [STAMINA]

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

   Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!" [WILL POWER]


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

   Or walk with Kings--nor lose the common touch, [SOCIABILITY]

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

   If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

   with sixty seconds' worth of distance run, [GOOD USE OF TIME]

Yours is the earth and everything that's in it,

And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

(Rudyard Kipling)



Good manners, politeness, courtesy. (“Please”, “May I…”, “Care for some…”)








“We have to try to assure that

   in all fields of intellectual activity there are upright people,

   people with a true Christian conscience,

   who are consistent with their lives,

   who can use the weapons of knowledge

   in the service of humanity and of the Church.”

(St Josemaría, The Forge, 636)



If you can't be a pine on the top of the hill,
Be a scrub in the valley-but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can't be a tree.


If you can't be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway happier make;
If you can't be a muskie then just be a bass-
But the liveliest bass in the lake!


We can't all be captains, we've got to be crew,
There's something for all of us here,
There's big work to do, and there's lesser to do,
And the task you must do is the near.


If you can't be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can't be the sun be a star;
It isn't by size that you win or you fail-
Be the best of whatever you are!

(Douglas Malloch)




“In order that the desired fruit may be derived from this apostolate

   and zeal for teaching

   (and that Christ may be formed in all),

it must be remembered, Venerable Brethren,

that no means is more efficacious than charity,

for ‘the Lord is not in the earthquake.’

It is utter folly to think that one can draw souls to God by bitter zeal.

On the contrary, more harm than good is accomplished

   by harshly taunting men with their faults

   and bitterly reproving them for their vices.

Even though the Apostle counseled Timothy

   to ‘reprove, entreat, rebuke’ he took pains to add

   with all patience’ (II Tim 4:2)

Christ has left us many clear examples of this. …

What gentleness was shown by the Divine master!

What tenderness, what compassion, towards all kinds of misery!”

(St Pope Pius X, Encyclical E Supremi Apostolatus, October 1903)


Joseph and Mary,

   train me and bring me up as you trained and brought Jesus up.

Jesus, teach me how to be truly human!


C:\Documents and Settings\user\My Documents\RETREAT\crt_12HiddenLife&Maturity.rtf

Revised 24  March 2005