Choose Your Weapon: A Mask Or The Rosary?

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin

Driving around New England in days gone by it wasn’t at all unusual to see cars with Rosary beads dangling from the rear view mirror. In recent times, however, I’ve witnessed a new phenomenon – the Rosary’s been dethroned from its place of honor by a face mask hanging from the mirror. It’s understandable I guess – having the mask displayed in such an obvious place is a convenient reminder for drivers to use it every time they get out of the car to enter some public place.
The competition between the Rosary and a mask raises an interesting question however. In dealing with the virus, which do you depend on more: prayer or precautions; faith or science; God or government?
The answer should be obvious. It’s not an either-or dilemma; it’s a both-and solution! Of course we should do our best to follow the directives and recommendations that health care experts and government officials implement. They’re intended to promote the common good. But there’s nothing wrong either, in fact there’s a lot right, about asking God, and his angels and saints, for their intervention as well.
And that’s the way a Christian should approach every situation. Every problem we encounter, every initiative we undertake, should be addressed with a combination of human initiative and divine assistance. To approach a problem without God’s help is to lose a key ally, but to seek a solution without human ingenuity is irresponsible.
There are many examples we could point to. Dealing with a health crisis? Listen to your doctors but ask Jesus to heal you. Have a big exam coming up? Study hard but pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Dealing with a family problem? Seek professional counselling but ask our Blessed Mother to help your family. Going on a long journey? Plan wisely but invite St. Christopher to accompany you. Looking to buy a new house? Do your homework, get advice from friends, but ask St. Joseph, our heavenly real estate agent, to help you close the deal!
Experience has shown, time and time again, that the combination of human effort and divine assistance is a powerful weapon. The well-known words of St. Augustine summarize the question very well: “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”
Something to think about: Are you dealing with any difficult situations or big decisions right now? Are you taking charge and praying hard?