“For your kindness is before my eyes, and I do according to your truth” (cf. Ps 26:3). Acting is a deliberate act, the decision of a will to do something. Johann Gottlieb Fichte says that the value of a person is not decided by what he knows, but by his actions.
The greatness of St. Joseph lies in his silence which is not passive; on the contrary, he acts. What he hears, he immediately carries out, “…do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus. […] When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commended him and took his wife into his home. He had no relationship with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus” (Cf. Mt 1:20-25). St. Joseph is a man of God, who immediately equates his will with the will of God. He does not ask incredulously as the priest Zachariah. He believes God’s messenger and then he does with what he was entrusted. However, that is not a one-time act. He took Mary into his home and when she bore a son, he named him Jesus. Later, after another dream when the angel of the Lord appeared to him, “He rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt.” And again, “He rose and took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel.” When it was dangerous to settle in Judea, “warned in a dream, he departed for the region of Galilee” (Cf. Mt 2:14-22). Joseph, despite obstacles, dangers and difficulties, acted according to the word of the Lord. He acted immediately. He did not postpone it. Both Mary and Jesus’ lives were in danger.
Founding a new Order by a person who is often ill and bedridden, it seems to be nonsense. Blessed Alphonse Marie never thought about it. She wanted to serve the Lord in an Order, which already existed. Yet, the Savior Himself asked her to do it. On September 4, 1848, she heard His voice, “During the holy Sacrifice of the Mass I will enlighten your confessor regarding the new Order and its founding. Soon I will let you know, my daughter, the form and the manner in which it is to be established” (PERRIN, J.: The Life of Mother Alphonse-Marie, p. 42). As soon as Blessed Alphonse Marie recognized the goal and the manner of the new work, she began it in God’s name, without hesitation. She told Father Reichard of the plan, which appeared so clear and compelling before her mind’s eye. First of all, the new religious family needed its own abode. There was a need to negotiate with people who knew nothing about the work. So, at the beginning, Father Reichard rejected the proposals. Blessed Alphonse Marie could not be put off so lightly. She continued to encourage the priest and kept asking. During the night of May 21, 1849, the Savior appeared to her and said, “Tell your confessor, that he must begin this work of mine” (Ibid, p. 45). Then Father Reichard no longer hesitated and started buying a house, but in Alphonse Marie’s room the two worked intensively on the Constitutions of the Order. Who will assume the burden of guiding such a work, of actualizing the mandate of the Lord? For Blessed Alphonse Marie was frail, infirm, and for the third time had been confined to bed for almost four years. Yet, trusting to the Lord, she left her parental house on August 28, 1849, to take responsibility for leading the new Order. If Blessed Alphonse Marie had hoped that now she would be able to serve God in the quiet, solitary little Convent, she was mistaken. People came her too, with their varied needs and problems. In fact, the number of visitors increased. And she continued in doing good. She was Superior and Mistress of Novices at the same time; she was an administrator, farm worker and housekeeper. She had no secure source of income for the next day, no past experiences that could be as a councilor, no tradition that she should follow, no benevolent benefactor… Yet, with God’s help, she fulfilled her mission. When requests for help came to the Convent, Blessed Alphonse Marie, with great zeal, went to the sick, encouraged them, cared for them and took care of salvation of their souls. In the Convent, she distributed meals in the morning and at noon to numerous children, and many of them also received clothes. One evening, when she prayed before the Tabernacle, the Lord commanded her to tell her daughters to meditate more on His sufferings. When she answered that she will tell them in the morning, she heard a voice saying that she should tell them this evening. She carried out the order immediately.
Like St. Joseph, also Blessed Alphonse Marie acted immediately. They carried out the will of God, to save immortal souls.
Encouraged by the example of St. Joseph and Blessed Alphonse Marie