What’s not to love about this month? The weather is splendid in my hemisphere. The April showers are over, and the May flowers are in bloom. The long winter’s over, but it’s not yet beastly hot. It’s Easter season, and the earth itself seems to observe a perpetual festival.

It begins with a burst of glory: the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. He is the silent knight, the man chosen by God to be the Savior’s guardian angel upon the earth. He was the one human person whom Jesus addressed with a divine name: Abba. He was the great man to whom God submitted himself in obedience (Luke 2:51). And he left not a single spoken word in the historical record. He is a marvel to me.

St. Joseph was the first believer to be consecrated to Mary. He made his Marian consecration more than 1,500 years before St. Louis de Montfort was born.

And so it is indeed right and just that this month, which begins with St. Joseph, is dedicated in its entirety to the Blessed Virgin Mary. An ancient tradition associates her with this time of pleasant beauty in nature.

At no time of year do we feel more strongly the bonds of family in the Church. We draw close to Mary, our mother. We draw close to St. Joseph, our Father. And we’re home. Every household has a certain style, a certain order of customs received from time beyond memory. The Church is no different. We honor our father and our mother, as the commandment stated and as it has been understood since Sinai. We extend our honor beyond our biological or adoptive parents to those who exercise authority or extend love, “in loco parentis,” (“in the place of a parent”) by law, or by providence.

The Church is a family, and May is a time of family reunion. It’s a time, I believe, for us to recognize explicitly the communion God has established for our salvation. For there are not multiple churches — one in heaven, one on earth, and one in purgatory. We believe in one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We believe in one Church that is both heavenly and earthly, a Church that is truly universal, reaching to the starry heights of heaven and down to the valleys of earth.

To think like a Catholic is to have this sense of the communion of saints. To know this communion is to go forward in life with hope and confidence. For we are never alone. We stand as children among elders who are strong and who tower over our enemies.