Joseph and Mary leave their home only to accomplish the precept of the law; that duty fulfilled, they return to their solitude. Let us also love the calm and tranquillity of a retired life, and only appear in the world when duty or charity demand ; but when summoned by duty, let us accomplish with exactitude and fidelity all that charity, the glory of God, and the good of our neighbour require. So Mary and Joseph return to Nazareth, only when they have fully accomplished all that the law demanded : Et ut perficerent omnia secundum legem Domini. When we have effected any good,we are sometimes tempted to cling to the work that has succeeded so well, and to the persons whom we have benefited. Let us reject this illusion, and escape from the praise and thanks of men. Return to our hidden life, court oblivion, and remain in our retirement until called to quit it by the manifestation of the Divine will or the necessities of our neighbour.
Watchword.—To do good, and to annihilate self.
17. The Little Sisters of the Poor and Saint Joseph.
The Little Sisters of the Poor at Roanne owed 2000 francs. The time of payment was at hand, and the cash-box was still empty. True, they daily found sufficient food for their poor, but 2000 francs were not so easy to find. " Saint Joseph alone can rescue us," said the Sisters ; "let us commence a Novena." They do so, and deposit their request at the foot of the statue of their patron. Before the close of the Novena, the Superioress was sent for by a stranger who had been taken ill at the hotel. " Sister," said the lady, " have you a chamber to spare for me? "—" Madam," replied the sister, " we receive only poor old men ; but I can tell you of a house that will suit you much better than would ours."—" Sister," replied the stranger, " I you do not refuse alms ?"—" Theyare our only resource," answered the Superioress. The lady then took a purse and presented it to the sister, who, on opening it, was overwhelmed with gratitude to find that it contained just the 2000 francs for which they had petitioned Saint Joseph.