Today would have been the perfect chance to be up on Scout Scar but that is not allowed so I am getting on with The Pickwick Papers and have read Patris Corde, the Pope’s letter on Saint Joseph. You might think they are pretty different but in the gentle character of Mr. Pickwick I think you can find some of Saint Joseph. The Pope speaks about Joseph representing all those who work quietly for others, the ordinary people who are so often overlooked yet serve us all whose qualities we have discovered in the course of the pandemic. Joseph’s example helps us all when we realise through his life that ‘faith in God includes believing that he can work even through our fears, our frailties and our weaknesses…At times we want to be in complete control, yet God always sees the bigger picture.’ I can imagine Joseph’s fears at his betrothed’s seeming disgrace, his fears when he is told the new family have to flee. Yet he accepts God’s plan for them. Pickwick exhibits all the qualities of a bumbling old eccentric who others see as quite odd. He gets himself into the strangest and most humbling of situations, but for the good of others and his goodness always shines through. Not only that but he has confidence in doing good whatever the personal cost and he takes responsibility for his fellow Pickwickians, for all their failings. He is a man of integrity, like Joseph. I have to admit there has been some Netflix watching of the easiest type too, which has not risen to the quality of either Dickens or indeed the gospel.