Confidence – Tenth Day of October
“Have confidence.” — St. Mark 6:50.
Those persons who proceed in the management of their affairs with artifice or dissimulation sin against the providence of God, and render themselves unworthy of His paternal care, while God protects those who walk with simplicity. — St. Vincent de Paul.
A wicked page was jealous of another page, who by his piety had won the esteem and affection of the king, and determined to destroy him. He accused him of a criminal attachment for the queen. The king, believing this calumny, was terribly indignant. He resolved to put the pious page, whom he looked upon as a monster of ingratitude, to death at once. Having sent secretly for the master of a forge, a man capable of any crime, he said to him: “Tomorrow morning I shall send a page who will ask you, ‘Have you executed the king’s orders?’ You will then instantly throw him into the fire, as I have reasons for destroying him.” The mast of the forge promised to obey to the letter. The next day the king called the innocent page, who knew nothing of that of which he had been accused, and ordered him to go to the forge and deliver the message. The page, making a respectful inclination, started to obey. But God protects His own. On his way he passed a church where Mass was about to be said, and he entered and assisted at the Mass. Another Mass followed, and as there was no one to serve it, he offered to do so. While his devotion thus kept him in the church, the kind became impatient, and said to the wicked page: “I am anxious to know if the man at the forge has done as I commanded; hasten there and ask him if he has executed my orders.” He departed immediately, and arriving there he asked: “Have you executed the king’s orders?” “I will do so instantly,” the man replied. Seizing the unfortunate page, he threw him into the furnace. The innocent one, arriving some time afterwards, was told to go back and tell the king that he had been obeyed. Imagine the king’s astonishment upon beholding the page whom he supposed was dead. He asked him where he stopped by the way. His truthful reply, while discovering his piety, also manifested his innocence. The king esteemed and loved him from henceforth, and thanked God that He had permitted the imposture to be discovered and punished.
Lord, Thou hatest those who dissimulate, and Thou lovest those who walk in simplicity, let me never us artifice or deceit.