Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wisdom from… (19 Mar)

FRANCIS DE SALES: Joseph, the father of Jesus

Who can doubt that when Joseph reached the end of his life, his divine foster child in his turn carried that saintly father from this world to the next, to Abraham's bosom, to be taken to himself in glory on the day of his ascension?

A saint who had loved so deeply during his life could not but die of love. Unable to love his dear Jesus as he wished amid the distractions of this life, and having completed the service required by our Lord's tender years, it only remained for him to say to the Father: "I have finished the work which you gave me to do"; and to the Son: "My child, to my hands your heavenly Father entrusted your body on the day when you came into this world; now to your hands I entrust my spirit on the day I leave this world."

Such, I believe, was the death of this great patriarch, the man chosen to perform for the Son of God the tenderest and most loving offices possible, apart from those fulfilled by his heaven-sent wife, the true mother of that same Son.
(TLG, ??)

As bishop of Geneva, St. Francis worked zealously to bring the people of Chablais from Calvinism back to Catholicism. Together with his friend Saint Jane Frances de Chantal he founded the Order of the Visitation.

ST AUGUSTINE: It Is God Who Initiates Conversion

Did you make it possible for yourselves to merit God's mercy because you turned back to him? If you hadn't been called by God, what could you have done to turn back? Didn't the very One Who called you when you were opposed to him make it possible for you to turn back? Don't claim your conversion as your own doing. Unless he had called you when you were running away from him, you would not have been able to turn back.
-- Commentary on Psalm 84, 8

Prayer. Let me not be my own life. I have lived badly on my own account and been death to myself, but in you I live again. Speak to me, O Lord.
-- Confessions 12, 10


Thinking of the grandeur of Saint Joseph, consider the words, "Lord, look with favorable eyes on the good and upright of heart." [cf. Ps 36:11] I would like to say a few words about this saint whom we love so much because he has cultivated love in every heart. My God, how good and upright this great saint must have been if the Lord gave him the lofty privilege of being entrusted with His mother and His Son! With these two responsibilities, he could have been envied by the angels. Could anyone in all heaven possess any greater privilege than this? Who is there among the angels who could be compared with the queen of angels? And who can compare with the Son of God Himself? Yet Saint Joseph was closer to them than anyone else.
(Letters 671; O. XV, p. 33)


EVERY statute is a declaration of war, to be backed by arms. Every tribunal is a revolutionary tribunal. In a republic all punishment is as sacred and solemn as lynching.
('What's Wrong with the World.')

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