The Curé of Ars had an interview one day with a rich Protestant. The servant of God did not know that he had the misfortune to belong to a sect, and spoke to him, as he was accustomed to do, of our Lord and the saints with the warmest effusion, ending by putting a medal into his hand. The other said, on receiving it:
"M. le Curé, you are giving a medal to a heretic — at least, I am a heretic only from your point of view. Notwithstanding the difference of our belief, I hope we shall both be one day in heaven."
The good Curé took his hand, and fixing on him his eyes, which expressed his lively faith and his burning charity, he said, in a tone of deep compassion and tenderness: "Alas, my friend, we shall be united above only inasmuch as we have begun to be so upon earth; death will make no change. Where the tree falls, there it lies."
"M. le Curé, I trust in Christ, who said, 'He who believeth in Me shall have eternal life.'"
"Ah! my friend, our Lord also said other things. He said that whoever would not listen to the Church should be regarded as a heathen. He said that there was to be but one flock and one shepherd, and He appointed St. Peter to be the head of that flock." Then, speaking in a more gentle and insinuating voice, "My friend, there are not two ways of serving our Lord — there is only one good way; and it is to serve Him as He wishes to be served." Thereupon the good Curé disappeared, leaving that man penetrated with a salutary uneasiness, the forerunner of divine grace, by which he was afterwards happily overcome.