But this is a dream ! And on the faith of a nocturnal vision which may prove to be only a delusion, will it be wise to heed the warning and take so strange a course ? This Child is God ! and must He have recourse to flight to escape a tyrant's rage! The vengeance of the angel's message renders the exile yet more appalling : Et esto ibi usque dum dicam tibi—remain in Egypt untill I tell thee to return. But if this vision be indeed from heaven, what a responsibility even then ! At this very moment, perchance, the tyrant's emissaries are at hand, ready to slay the Infant at His Mother's breast.
What step must be taken? Shall he regard the vision as but an idle dream, or at once incur the danger of a hasty flight ? Joseph is as superior to human reasonings as he is to trouble and alarm. In him faith is predominant ; but where shall I seek this calmness, so simple and sublime, free from the hesitation of doubt, unmoved by the storm of passion! Be attentive and obedient to the inspirations with which grace constantly prevents us, then shall we easily discern the true from the false, and neither be misled by vain reasoning nor by the fears of a restless mind.
Watchword.—Calmly obey the voice of Divine inspiration.
18. The Lucky Number.
A young man was about to draw for the conscription. On his way he entered a chapel dedicated to Saint Joseph— des Champs, near Laval. "You know," said he to the Saint, "how I dread military service; less on account of the hardships and dangers of war than because of the idleness and immorality of the barracks. Here is the number which I desire." Saying this he placed the number on the altar and went his way. At the moment of putting his hand into the urn he invoked Saint Joseph, and withdrew the very number he had named. He hastened to the sanctuary and returned heartfelt thanks to the Saint.