By Mary Beth Bracy –
“You say you want a revolution … we all want to change the world,” sang the Beatles decades ago. Today, perhaps more than ever, many of us long to see the world transformed and search for signs of hope. It has been said that adoration of the Holy Eucharist, devotion to Our Lady and the intercession of St. Joseph will bring about the final victory. Although it may seem far off—with riots in the streets, political strife and threats of conflicts between nations—we have confidence that Jesus, Mary and Joseph are with us. In his last address to the young people of Rome and the world, St. John Paul II proclaimed that the secret to living well is to stay in the sweet company of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist:
In an epoch marked by hatred, selfishness, the desire for false happiness, by the decadence of customs, the absence of father and mother figures, instability in numerous young families and by widespread frailty and hardship, to which many young people fall prey, we look to you, Jesus in the Eucharist, with renewed hope. In spite of our sins we trust in your divine Mercy. We repeat to you, together with the disciples of Emmaus, Mane nobiscum Domine!, “Stay with us, Lord!”
Throughout Church history, when hope seemed lost, enemies were defeated through Eucharistic adoration and the Rosary. Recall the story of St. Clare of Assisi who bravely carried the Blessed Sacrament to the front of her convent when the Saracens sought to pillage and destroy. The ferocious fighters fled in fear! Consider the Battle of Lepanto when Christendom was almost trampled in Europe. Pope Pius V’s call for devotion to the Holy Eucharist and the Rosary, and the faithful’s fervent response, again saved the day. Even in modern times, Our Lady interceded for her people in the Philippines; one of the most poignant moments in the peaceful EDSA revolution was when what appeared to be a religious sister stood in front of an army tank with her Rosary!
In his book Consecration to St. Joseph, Fr. Donald Calloway recounts the numerous blessings that flow through the hands of the Guardian of our Redeemer. One has only to visit St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal and view the hundreds of crutches to see the vast numbers of people who have been healed through his intercession. True stories of conversions, deliverance and other miracles abound through his patronage.
So, how will the Holy Family help our families survive this time of upheaval since, in the words of St. John Paul II, “As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live”
1. Turn to the Real Presence of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament for nourishment, renewal and strength.
In the Eucharist you restore to the Father all that comes from Him and thus bring about a profound mystery of the justice due to the Creator on behalf of the creature. The heavenly Father has created us in His image and likeness; from Him we received the gift of life, whose preciousness from conception until death we become particularly aware of when it is threatened and manipulated. (St. John Paul II)
During this crisis, we are reminded of the sacredness of every human life, especially the elderly and most vulnerable. Many people feel helpless and alone during these times of trial. Yet, our Eucharistic Savior never abandons us. If we are unable to go to a church, we should unite ourselves to His Sacred Heart in the Blessed Sacrament through Spiritual Communion. Spend time with Jesus in the Holy Eucharist daily, if you are able to, or pray to unite yourself to Him by a Communion of desire. He will nourish, sustain and carry you through every trial.
2. Always carry and pray the Rosary; it is like we are holding Our Lady’s hand.
Pray together as families and friends, whenever and however possible, to support each other in faith until the final victory. Our Lady always helps lead us closer to Jesus, her Son, and the Rosary helps us to meditate on the mysteries of His life. It may be prayed before the Blessed Sacrament and, with quiet reflection, helps lead to contemplation. The Rosary may also be prayed while walking or riding in the car. St. Padre Pio instructed: “Love the Madonna and pray the Rosary, for her Rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today. All graces given by God pass through the Blessed Mother.”
3. Ask for St. Joseph’s help every day.
St. Joseph, terror of demons, is a powerful guide and protector in these times. He is a beautiful reflection of Our Heavenly Father’s love for us. There is a “Memorare to St. Joseph” that may be prayed daily:
Remember, O most chaste spouse of the Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who implored your help and sought your intercession was left unassisted. Full of confidence in your power, I fly unto you and beg your protection. Despise not, O Guardian of the Redeemer, my humble supplication, but in your bounty, hear and answer me. Amen.
All of us want to see a new heavens and a new earth (Rv 21:1). Though we may have to suffer a little now (1 Pt 1:6), nothing compares to the glory that awaits us (2 Cor 4:17). Let us hasten the day (2 Pt 3:12) and pray for the triumph of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the chaste heart of St. Joseph!
About the author: Mary Beth Bracy is published in Catholic newspapers and magazines, and is an author of Catholic books, including Behold the Lamb and The Little Way of Healing Love Through the Passion of Jesus: The Stations of the Cross with St. Thérèse of Lisieux.