Abbé Pierre said, “The greatest evil that can happen to human beings, even to little ones, is to think only of themselves. The one and only rule which leads to goodness and to happiness is to look after the weakest.”
I work at King’s College, a Holy Cross institution in the United States. This part of the country used to be a huge coal mining area. The children of the owners of the mines had great opportunities to attend fine private universities.
The month of April is a opportune time to have an encounter with Saint Joseph and to share with him in the silence and peace of his presence a face-to-face at the depths. A time for seeing and being seen by one who knows all too well God’s love. A gaze of goodness and confidence, the gaze of Joseph can sooth, promote trust and encourage. In this exchange of glances, Joseph can disclose to each their inner life, and it gives us an opportunity to confide in him.
May Saint Brother André be a source of inspiration and hope for each one of us during this time when we are all under the influence of the coronavirus pandemic. Brother André reminds us that there are no dilemmas or hardships which cannot be surmounted or overcome. There is always a path of hope for those who have confidence.
To live resurrected is to let yourself be infused, be flooded by the gently refreshing light of the Risen Christ. It is the wellspring of hope which breathes new strength and life into our hearts, now shaken and bruised by loneliness, sickness, adversity, or worries of our days.
What we are living through with the Coronavirus, reminds us of the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918. Brother André and his contemporaries felt the weight of it heavy upon them. Today, many families are living in restlessness vulnerability, causing real upheaval in their lives.
With his friend, Saint Joseph helping, Brother André planted hope in hundreds and thousands of people who were seeking a way forward. He showed them realities that we often have a tendency to forget.
Once the celebration of the passion and death of Christ is over on Good Friday, the liturgy seems to “hit the pause button.” The ensuing silence invites each to go inward. With the Blessed Mother, and Jesus’ disciples, we enter a time of mourning.
We contemplate the Cross, symbol of suffering for human beings, symbol of our suffering. Depending on the person, suffering might mean long illness, adversity, failure, violence, grief… Right now, for all of us it means: COVID-19 pandemic. But the cross of Christ is special. It is for each and every one absolutely unique. Victory of love, it is our only Hope. Today, we celebrate neither suffering, nor death. Today, we celebrate the immense love that Christ and God have for all women and men without exception.