The editorial of the month

This month by Teresa Caldecott Cialini

Lent is in full swing and though we may be weary or find ourselves coming up short, we “hunger and thirst for holiness”. How striking is the kind of heroic holiness exhibited by Saint Nicholas Owen (“Living Stones”), Saint John Ogilvie (feast on the 10th), Saint David (1st March), and Saint Patrick (17th March). Their lives, lived radically for Christ in different ways but all resulting in so much fruit in these lands, can inspire us when our resolve is flagging.

Saint Joseph, whose Solemnity falls on the 20th this year since the 19th is a Sunday, can also be a wonderful lenten companion. How like him to step aside to make way for Mother’s Day! Saint Peter Eymard said, “Devotion to Saint Joseph is one of the choicest graces that God can give to a soul”: the quintessential man of few words, he has much to teach us about care for the vulnerable, attentiveness to God and the courage to follow where He leads—even when it is into exile or the wilderness.

Alongside the theme of the holiness of spiritual fatherhood that Saint Joseph embodies, in March we also find a running theme of spiritual motherhood, with Mothering Sunday, the ecumenical “Women’s Day of Prayer”, and the Annunciation on the 19th, 3rd, and 25th respectively reminding us of the role women play in the Church. There is much to unpack in these two primal vocations for men and women, vocations underpinning all other vocations. Our lively cover art, depicting the Annunciation in vivid colour and intricate detail, and the dynamic El Greco of our art essay this issue, provide some starting points for contemplation.

By the time we come to the end of this month we are well into Passiontide, with the veiling of crosses and images in church—objects that have been part of our habitual environment all year—dramatically decluttering our sensory input. Thus the scene is set for the great story of Holy Week, just around the corner.