What’s not to love this month? The weather is splendid in my hemisphere. The April showers are over and the May flowers are in bloom. The long winter is over, but it’s not very warm yet. It is Easter season, and the earth itself seems to be observing a perpetual feast.
It begins with a burst of glory: the feast of Saint Joseph Worker. He is the silent knight, the man chosen by God to be the Savior’s guardian angel on earth. He was the only human person Jesus addressed with a divine name: Abba. He was the great man to whom God submitted in obedience (Luke 2:51). And he left no spoken word in the historical annals. He is a marvel to me.
Saint Joseph was the first believer to be consecrated to Mary. He made his Marian consecration more than 1,500 years before the birth of Saint Louis de Montfort.
It is therefore good and right that this month, which begins with Saint Joseph, should be entirely consecrated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. An ancient tradition associates it with this moment of pleasant beauty in nature.
At no time of the year do we feel more strongly the bonds of family in the Church. We draw closer to Mary, our mother. We draw closer to Saint Joseph, our Father. And we are home. Each household has a certain style, a certain order of customs received from time immemorial. The Church is no different. We honor our father and our mother, as the commandment says and as it has been understood from Sinai. We extend our honor beyond our biological or adoptive parents to those who exercise authority or extend love, “in loco parentis,” (“in place of a parent”) by law or by providence.
The Church is a family and the month of May is a time of family reunion. It is a time, I believe, for us to explicitly recognize the fellowship that God has established for our salvation. For there are not several churches – one in heaven, one on earth and one in purgatory. We believe in a holy, catholic and apostolic Church. We believe in a Church that is both heavenly and earthly, a truly universal Church, reaching to the starry heights of heaven and descending to the valleys of the earth.
To think like a Catholic is to have this sense of the communion of saints. To know this communion is to move forward in life with hope and confidence. Because we are never alone. We are like children among elders who are strong and dominate our enemies.