On this Feast of St. Joseph, Italy led the world in a rosary, asking Mary to pray for us and through her Son, bring an end to this pandemic. Our family got the notice the day before, and made the “mistake” of praying the rosary on the eve before St. Joseph’s feast day. At that point we had heard that Italians were initiating a prayer across Italy. But Pope Francis loved the idea and invited the world to join, and so when we said it a second time on the actual Feast of St. Joseph, we knew that people in the US and around the world were praying with us.
Feeling so alone and isolated, the world-wide prayer was a balm for my spirits. The news changes every day, and the original deadline for the quarantine, April 3, has been extended indefinitely. We cannot imagine our summer or our fall. We have no idea what will happen to international or even local travel. We do not know what will happen regarding jobs, schools or home. All of it seems likely to change, and we do not know if it will be for the better or the worse.
What I do know, however, is that only one thing really matters, which is participating in the mystery of Christ. The eternal Son became a human being, taking on flesh and living with us. He did this that we might join in the divine life. In my Baptism I have become an actual child of God. These are times that burn away all the things that can seem so important that are not really important. They are times that bring to light the amazing reality of being ordered toward God and how we are not just bodies, but we are spiritual creatures. Even Plato and many ancient Greek philosophers said it–we are like “amphibian” creatures, having one foot in this material realm and yet in another way we are located in the divine, everlasting, spiritual realm. I am full of hope, full of peace, full of love for God, my loved ones, and for the human race that is so dear to me and suffering so much at this time. Lord, I trust you and love you!
“Blessed is the one who trusts the Lord, whose hope is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream.
It dears not the heat when it comes, its leaves stay green.
In the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit.” (Jer. 17:7-8)