As from this Friday evening, there will be no public Masses in England and Wales, owing to the coronavirus. This is a heavy burden to lay upon the people of God, but we pray for our bishops, who have had to take this costly decision, and ask the help and protection of Our Lady:  ‘We fly to Thy protection, O Holy Mother of God. Do not despise our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O Glorious and Blessed Virgin’.

Today we are praying specially for Canon David Oakley, to be ordained Bishop for the diocese of Northampton today. May he be richly blessed and his ministry be fruitful.

The image below is of a statue of St Joseph which we have in our monastery. It shows his thoughtful wisdom so beautifully.

Pope Benedict XVI, who was baptised Joseph, has said of him: ‘The Gospel, as we know, has not kept any word from Joseph, who carries out his activity in silence. It is the style that characterises his whole existence, both before finding himself before the mystery of God’s action in his spouse, as well as when — conscious of this mystery — he is with Mary in the Nativity. … On that holy night, in Bethlehem, with Mary and the Child, is Joseph, to whom the Heavenly Father entrusted the daily care of his Son on earth, a care carried out with humility and in silence’.

Humility and silence – these are qualities both of Joseph and of Mary. May we also learn them, and ask dear St Joseph to pray for us specially this day. May God bless you.