Here two things in the conduct of Joseph strike me forcibly—its simplicity and its promptitude. The Angel has spoken: instantly, without question or hesitation, Joseph obeys: Fecit sicut prcecepit. Admirable simplicity ! How this straightforwardness bears away the palm from human prudence, with its many calculations— its sinuosities and its deliberations.
True, it is permissible to hesitate, and as already said, we must suspend our judgment and reflect carefully when we are in doubt: Hoec eo cogitante ; but when once God has spoken, whether by the voice of Angel or of man, by a ray of human intelligence or a feeling of the heart, arise and act: Ex surgens ficit sicut praecepit. In the hour of anguish let silence be our wisdom, and the voice of God our light; suddenly the darkness shall be dispelled — all obstacles will disappear; our desires and our designs will be realised, and that far beyond out fondest expectations.
Watchword.—What it is your duty to do, do it resolutely, promptly, and simply.
8. Saint Joseph and Saint Francis de Sales,
Saint Francis de Sales being at Lyons on the Feast of Saint Joseph, preached at the Carmelites. As soon as the sermon was ended, the Superior of the Jesuits came to the Saint and entreated him to preach at their church, dedicated to Saint Joseph. " I confess," replied the amiable Prelate, "that two sermons a day are rather beyond my powers ; still, for love of Saint Joseph, I will do my best." He did so, and it was well seen that Saint Joseph was his saint of predilection. The Superior was about to thank him when the Prelate exclaimed : " But, Father, do you not perceive how entirely I am devoted to Saint Joseph ?"
This same Father being with the good Bishop one day previous to his death, asked permission to make use of his breviary, and remarked that in it there was but one picture, that of Saint Joseph.