A St. Joseph Intervention
March 24, 2021 | Fr. Claude Lombardo, MC
A couple of years ago, I was traveling in Argentina to visit my family. To reach my destination, I needed to take two buses. With the first bus ride, I was supposed to arrive at a connecting station at 4:50 am, and from that station, I was going to quickly get into a second bus that was scheduled to be leaving at 5:00 am. It was a very close connection. So, I started to pray fervently to St. Joseph to allow me to arrive in time to be able to catch the second bus and so to reach my final destination without delays.
As I was praying, I fell asleep and woke up at the connecting station. Realizing that it was already 5:05 am and that the connecting bus had already left, I made my way to the station’s café. I was not feeling well, so I ordered a cup of tea and sat alone at one of the tables.
At that early morning hour, the station was empty. Since the next bus was leaving in 1 ½ hour, to make good use of the time, I started to pray the Breviary. A few minutes later, a woman approached my table. She was distraught and she asked me if we could talk. “Of course!”, I replied. She sat and while crying, she explained how she had been waiting for her lover for two hours. The man did not show up and she was in pieces.
That was the beginning of the conversation. She also said that she was Catholic and that, in the past, she was part of faith formation and Bible study groups. Then, little by little, she lost her path and she was now in a very different situation.
I took the opportunity to explain how providential our encounter was. I was there, at that station, for the very first time in my life, due to a delay in the bus connection. I was wearing a cassock, which made my identity as Priest so evident. At dawn, there was nobody else there and she could recognize and approach me without obstacles. I helped her to see how Our Lord was giving her this special opportunity.
On my part, I reflected on and understood that St. Joseph had a clear purpose in not allowing me to catch the earlier bus and in being able to meet this woman.
After a conversation that lasted 45 minutes, the lady asked me to hear her Confession. There in the middle of a deserted bus station, she confessed her sins. How great the Providence of Our Lord and the intercession of St. Joseph!
The lady was waiting for a lover who abandoned her but found the real Lover of her soul who was waiting for her to give her the real and only love she needed.
My prayer for you this week as we prepare our hearts and minds for Holy Week next week is that you will see the hand of our Lord in every situation, just as I did in the train delay. If we but pause throughout our days, allowing the Lord to guide us by being docile to his most perfect, Holy Will, we will see His beauty in moments like these…
For His Church,
Fr. Claude, MC
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