When writing my blog, one of the first tasks I perform is to choose my “featured image.” It seems that picture will set the tone for the words that will follow and usually it matches up with my title.
“A picture speaks a thousand words,” and in this time of the corona virus, we are seeing images before us that seem to be surreal. We cannot escape them because they are ever before us. Our neighborhoods look like “ghost towns” and if you see any kind of life, it is the new look of masked people walking the streets and driving by in cars. There are no traffic reports to listen to anymore because, simply, there is no traffic. Everyone has been sent to their rooms and the world has been brought to its knees. As I wrote on my last blog, it is a “Cry for Life.”
This is my first depicted image that set the tone for my title, “Breathe, World, Breathe.”
It’s an image of a chalk rosary drawn by a little girl in New Jersey and sent to her cousin in Italy. It’s a “cry for life” from a little child praying for a friend’s brother. The center simply states: “Breathe, Joel, Breathe.”
That “cry for life” for Joel reached a group of 52 people here in Westbury, New York to pray for a young man who lay critical in a hospital on a ventilator. Was it coincidence? Absolutely not!
And so, “Breathe, Joel, Breathe” became our mantra and with rosary beads in hand, this little image was a battle cry against an unseen enemy.
In this image the “weapon” against this horrific virus is clearly seen. What is it?
It is the Rosary! A chain of beads with “mighty power” to change the laws of nature and to turn a virus around. This image speaks volumes! Take it into your heart and act on it.
Cardinal Robert Sarah
Before I move on to the next image that I added, I would like to quote from a speech that Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship gave on April 14, 2020.
“When everything collapses, only the bonds of marriage, family and friendship remain. We have rediscovered that as members of a nation, we are bound by invisible but real bonds. Most of all, we have rediscovered that we are dependent on God,” he insisted.
The author of the “Power of Silence” remarked on the “wave of silence that has swept through Europe, adding, “Many have found themselves alone, in silence, in apartments that have become like hermitages or monastic cells.”
Cardinal Sarah continues with these words:
“What a paradox! It took a virus to silence us. The question of eternal life cannot fail to arise when we are told every day of a large number of contagions and deaths,” he added.
Cardinal Sarah suggested that we use solitude and confinement to “dare pray.” What if we dared to transform our family and our home into a domestic church?” he asked. “A church is a sacred place that reminds us that in such a house of prayer everything must be lived in seeking to direct everything and every choice towards the Glory of God.”
The Glory of God
What happened to us? What happened to the world? What happened to our values? Will we be able to reclaim them?
Did we give Glory to God in our homes; in our workplaces and communities? Or did we give glory to consumption and the race for money, material things and pleasure? I just read something that a person wrote on their Instagram page: “I found that I had no hobbies except to go out to dinner and spend money.” Clearly this person has been reflecting in the silence of their heart when sent to their room.
Did we “breathe life into our society” or were we living as a “culture of death” mindlessly passing bills to abort children at the end of nine months and then celebrating by lighting up landmark buildings in pink to mark the occasion of that legislation. Where was the Glory of God?
Just that act alone caused my own knees to tremble and made me ashamed to be living in such a state that would pass such a “death sentence” to innocent life within the safest place in the world, a mother’s womb.
On this tour of images, I depict an innocent one resting. . . resting and sleeping in a family of love, secure to know that he will be able to “breathe.”
This image speaks volumes for itself. It’s an Instagram image that I found of a priest on Holy Thursday celebrating Holy Mass from his bed. It was his 47th birthday and he states that he looks “mad” but he is not. It was due to the muscles being weak not only in his face but in his entire body.
Yet this priest speaks of surrendering to the good God “for the gift of life and for what You did and do for me.” Clearly, he is speaking of the death of Jesus on the cross to redeem the human race and bring salvation to all of us.
In his thanksgiving to all who are responding with prayer and messages, he finishes with these words, “I asked my Guardian Angel to fly to you to take my gratitude and blessings. I asked the Heavens to answer you and I won’t be able to do it myself.”
So we have been sent to our rooms. For those who worship God, we have not been able to seek solace and consolation at the foot of the altar and before the Tabernacles because our Churches have been closed to the Celebration of the Mass. Yet, Planned Parenthood continues to welcome those seeking abortions. One cannot understand that. “Breathe, world, breath” and yet “death, world, death.”
Isn’t it enough to hear the horrific numbers announced on the radio each morning. 800 die daily in Manhattan alone. Yet, we are adding to that number with little lives that were to be born into this world. It just always seems to go back to that Cry for Life doesn’t it?
Yes, they are the vulnerable ones and now we find ourselves in that same place. Vulnerable and Fearful!
Who Do We Call Upon
Who do we call upon? I give you the image above and with it, the Answer! We call upon HIM! He is our doctor and Divine Physician. He is the true “respirator of life.” We’ve had a disconnect haven’t we? We took our own respirators off, thinking we were in control.
So I find myself again going back to the words of Cardinal Sarah:
“The so-called almighty man appears in his stark reality. All at once, he is naked. His weakness and vulnerability are glaring. Being confined to our homes, will, I hope, enable us to turn once again to the essential things, to rediscover the importance of our relationship with God, and thus the centrality of prayer in human existence. And, in the awareness of our fragility, to entrust ourselves to God and to his paternal mercy.”
The image that St. Faustina is holding is the one that all eyes are focused on this week. It’s the sacred image of Jesus depicted as “Divine Mercy.” In 1931, Our Lord appeared to St. Faustina in a vision. She saw Jesus clothed in a white garment with His right hand raised in blessing. His left hand was touching His garment in the area of the heart, from where two large rays came forth, one red and the other pale. She gazed intently at the Lord in silence, her soul filled with awe, but also with great joy. Jesus said to her:
Paint an image according to the pattern you see with the signature: Jesus I Trust in You. . . I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over its enemies here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I, Myself will defend it as My own glory (47,48). . . I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the Fountain of Mercy. That vessel is this image with the signature: “Jesus, I trust in You.” (327) I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and then throughout the world (47).
The Life of Souls
St. Faustina asked what the rays denoted in the image and she heard these words in reply:
The two rays denote Blood and Water. The pale rays stand for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red rays stand for the Blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the depths of My tender mercy when My agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross. . . Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him (299). . . By means of this image I shall grant many graces to souls. It is to be a reminder of the demands of My mercy, because even the strongest faith is of no avail without works. (742)
Begging and Pleading for the World
And so we beg and plead for God’s Mercy to be upon the world. We place ourselves under Our Lady’s Mantle and implore the Mother of Mercy to restore the world back to Goodness and Grace. May we all use this time of “silence and solitude” to restore our lives back to God from where all life flows forth into our souls. We were created to have abundant life.
Again, I leave you with words taken from Cardinal Sarah’s speech:
Cardinal Sarah said that many people have been saying he hopes that “nothing will be the same” once this is over. He added,
“But I am rather afraid that everything will start again as it was before,
because as long as man does not return to God with all his heart, his march towards the abyss is inescapable.”
Let us Worship God Once Again
Whatever your Faith is. . .
Come Back to God
Worship and Give Thanksgiving
for the “Breath of Life.”
I close with my last image in thanksgiving to all the Doctors, Nurses, Caregivers, EMT workers, Ambulance Drivers, Hospital Personnel; All those on the front lines whether they be in service or down on their knees praying and pleading for the world. May God hear our “Cry for Life.”
©2020 Anita Guariglia
Little Baby/Lillian DeMarco
Chalk Rosary/Lillian DeMarco
Divine Mercy Quotes taken from
“Divine Mercy Message and Devotion Booklet”