When The Skies Are Grey!
On September 18, we celebrates the memorial of St. Joseph of Cupertino, a mystic who was perhaps most famous for his ability to fly. His father, a poor carpenter, died before his birth and his mother, who was unable to pay the debts, lost her home and gave birth to Joseph in a stable at Cupertino, Italy on June 17, 1603.
Joseph began having mystical visions when he was seven, and was often so lost to the world around him that the other children made fun of him giving him the nickname, "open-mouthed" for his gaping manner. He had an irascible temper and read very poorly, giving others the impression that he was dumb and good for nothing. Aside from that, he was so continually drawn into ecstasy that it was impossible for him to be attentive to the tasks at hand. Thus, when he secured a job, he lost it very quickly.
He finally managed to obtain a post taking care of a stable in a Franciscan convent near Cupertino. Upon realizing his holiness and aptitude for penance, humility, and obedience, it was decided that he could begin studying for the priesthood.
Joseph was a very poor student, however during his final examination, the examiner happened to ask him a question on the one topic he knew well. He passed and was admitted into the priesthood. It was also soon recognized that though he knew little by way of worldly knowledge and had little capacity to learn, Joseph was infused with a divine knowledge that made him capable of solving some of the most intricate theological quandaries.
For the last 35 years of his life as a priest he was unable to celebrate Mass in public because he would often, without being able to help it, be lifted up into the air when he went into an ecstatic state, which happened at nearly every Mass. It took only the slightest reference of anything having to do with God in order for this state to be induced in him.
Despite being moved from one friary to another, because of the disruption he caused by his ecstasies and the persecutions he endured from some of his brothers who were envious of his gifts, he remained profoundly inundated by the joy of abandoning himself to Divine Providence. He died on September 18, 1663 and was canonized in 1767 by Pope Clement XIII. He is the patron of air travelers and students preparing for exams.
Am sharing this story for us to see how Jesus can intervene in very desperate situations that we sometimes feel like he doesn't see. This child grew up feeling rejected, and that is probably why he was having anger problems. He had so many weaknesses. And even the spiritual gifts he had were like weaknesses as a child, because they were more of a problem than a gift that time.
This year poses a very difficult time for students, and especially candidates, and their families. There were those who were due to graduate from university who will have to wait, we are not even sure there will be exams this year. The airline industry is most affected and all pilots, and staff of airports and aeroplanes are grounded.
Saint Joseph had so many weaknesses. Yet Jesus helped him. Our uncertainty should not be a source of discouragement. But it should draw us closer to Jesus. We need to ask Jesus, if you could do this for St. Joseph, who was so badly off, then my Lord, give me strength.
Exodus 33:14 My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.
Moses was feeling unsure of himself, after being called to lead the people of Israel. He was asking God to give him someone to help him. And to help him to be steadfast so that he can always find favor in Him. God responded and said, my help will go with you! You will find rest.
It's the same with all who are facing job loss, hunger, sickness and to the students to whom the teachers are not around to help. Stay focused. The Lord is responding and giving you peace and rest, if you seek him like Moses did. And like St. Joseph of Copertino.
May all those sitting exams this year, all those who are sick, all those who have lost jobs, all those in aviation industry, and every one anxious about future find rest in Jesus.
May you have blessings from heaven, and peace in abundance!