The Holy Ghost proclaims Joseph a just man, and yet as being loth to accuse Mary therefore the holy Patriarch must have been convinced of the perfect innocence of his angelic spouse, if not so, Joseph's resolve would have been contrary to the law and therefore to justice also. Why, then, does Joseph meditate separation from Mary ? It is doubtless that he deems himself unworthy of remaining with her in whom such mysteries were being enacted. What anxiety must not he have suffered in reconciling obedience to the law, with the respect due to the virtue of Mary? Admire the wisdom of this just man, who finds in withdrawing himself a way of conciliation.
However strong the external evidence against our neighbour—let us beware of judging him—I reflect what regret it would have caused Saint Joseph had he allowed himself to judge according to appearances. Do you wish to spare yourself and your brethren sorrow—too often irreparable - judge not your neighbour, speak not and act not against his interests, save in case of publicity, of certainty, or of necessity.
Watchword.—Judge, not and you shall not be judged.
4. Saint Joseph and the Two Professors.
During the time that Father Lallemand was rector of the college at Bourges, as the Feast of Saint Joseph drew near the Rev. Father sent for two young professors, and promised to obtain for them any grace they desired, provided that they would exhort their pupils to devotion towards Saint Joseph.
The two religious gladly consented to the proposal, and their efforts were so successful that on the day of the Feast all their pupils received Holy Communion. The same day the two professors went to the rector, and each of them privately named the grace he desired. The first, the eminent Father Nouet, entreated the privilege of speaking and writing worthily of our Saviour. We do not know the favour desired by the other, we only know that it was obtained. As for Father Nouet, he, on the morrow of the Feast, returned to the rector, saying that he had changed his mind, as, on reflection, he
thought it his duty to ask for some grace more necessary to his own perfection. The rector replied that it was too late now, for Saint Joseph had already granted the favour at first requested.