Christ on the Cross, Léon Bonnat (1880)

“My son, if thy mind is to enter the Lord’s service, wait there in His presence, with honesty of purpose and with awe, and prepare thyself to be put to the test. Submissive be thy heart, and ready to bear all; to wise advice lend a ready ear, and be never hasty when ill times befall thee. Wait for God, cling to God and wait for Him; at the end of it, thy life shall blossom anew. Accept all that comes to thee, patient in sorrow, humiliation long enduring; for gold and silver the crucible, it is in the furnace of humiliation men shew themselves worthy of His acceptance.”

Ecclesiasticus (Sirach), 2: 1-5

I can almost see the Blessed Virgin teaching the Holy Child this from an early age. I remember somebody on Twitter quoting Saint Bernard of Clairvaux as saying that the chief virtues of the Christian life are humility, humility and more humility.

At the end of it, His life did blossom anew.