384 • Part III. Christian Morality: The Faith Lived
we can come to understand Christ. Here we discover the need
to observe the milieu of His sojourn among us—places, period
of time, customs, language, religious practices, all of which
Jesus used to reveal Himself to the world. Here everything
speaks to us; everything has meaning. Everything possesses
We cannot depart without recalling briefly and fleetingly
some fragments of the lesson of Nazareth.
The lesson of silence: may there return to us an appreciation
of this stupendous and indispensable spiritual condition, deaf-
ened as we are by so much tumult, so much noise, so many voices
of our chaotic and frenzied modern life. O silence of Nazareth,
teach us recollection, reflection, and eagerness to heed the good
inspirations and words of true teachers; teach us the need and
value of preparation, of study, of meditation, of interior life, of
secret prayer seen by God alone.
The lesson of domestic life: may Nazareth teach us the
meaning of family life, its harmony of love, its simplicity and
austere beauty, its sacred and inviolable character; may it teach
us how sweet and irreplaceable is its training, how fundamental
and incomparable its role on the social plane.
The lesson of work: O Nazareth, home of “the carpenter’s
son.” We want here to understand and to praise the austere and
redeeming law of human labor, here to restore the conscious-
ness of the dignity of labor, here to recall that work cannot be
an end in itself, and that it is free and ennobling in proportion
to the values—beyond the economic ones—which motivate it.
We would like here to salute all the workers of the world, and
to point out to them their great Model, their Divine Brother, the
Champion of all their rights, Christ the Lord!
—Pope Paul VI,
The Pope Speaks