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For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith
For the Kingdom of God to come!
Exclusive Representation of the Nativity Scene.
The following example is taken from a letter written from a town in the south of France by a venerable religious full of zeal for the cult of Saint Joseph.
During the novena in preparation for the feast of the good Saint Joseph, there was every day, at his altar, in our church, before his relic exposed, a pious exhortation followed by prayers. People were eager to attend these exercises; the attendance was more numerous than in the past: the devotion was certainly great and trusting.
In the audience was a widowed mother, very embarrassed about one of her sons, aged twenty-four, without a career, and given over to idleness. Seized with complete confidence from the beginning of the novena, she had resolved to ask Saint Joseph to find a position for her son. In order to obtain this, she promised to do the novena with all possible fervor, especially to shake off her lukewarmness in the service of God, to go to confession, and to prepare herself for communion on the feast day.
Three days after the feast of the Saint, she comes to me, desolate, almost desperate:
“Father, go and preach that Saint Joseph refuses nothing either for the spiritual or for the temporal! As long as you like! I will repeat to whoever will listen that this is not true! I prayed your Saint Joseph, and God knows with what confidence and with what sacrifices! He did not obtain anything for me!
– And what do you know about it!
– The thing is obvious. I asked during the novena for a place for my son: this place was presented just on the day of the feast; my son was refused! And don’t say that my interior dispositions were lacking: never have I had so much fervor, desire and confidence. It is done! I will no longer pray to your Saint Joseph. And I have already taken my revenge on him: I have abandoned everything since his feast day, I have given in to every temptation…
– Unhappy! You are ungrateful!… You have been fulfilled; it is certain, your son has been placed… but you no longer deserve it. What! because this place was not found the same day of the festival, does it follow that it will not be found later? You are a wretch! Make haste to implore your forgiveness to Saint Joseph, to beg him not to hold a grudge against you, then confide in him and hope…”
I don’t know who put in me the assurance that this poor widow had indeed been heard and that her son would soon be placed. The lady understood, humbled herself and waited with confidence.
Four or five days later, she came to me all joyful, saying: “Father, my son is placed where I wanted him to be, and where he was refused! We did not do anything for that, they came to take him: Saint Joseph did everything! Help me to thank him! Ah, how I am going to repair his honor, and tell the people to whom I acted as Satan, that I was mistaken, that I was heard!…”
Since then, this woman remains pious and fervent; she was, once only a good Christian. She allowed me to tell this story.
Some souls believe that they give more strength to their prayer by accompanying it with ultimatums and threats. This is not at all advisable. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts; His ways are not our ways. His infinite wisdom knows how to answer our supplication and God always gives us what is best for our soul. Let us know how to wait for His wisdom and His time!…