St. Maximilian Kolbe has had a presence behind these stone walls in ways profound and mysterious. He has been a gateway to Christ through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
In eleven years of writing from behind these stone walls, I have never gotten through a summer without a summer rerun. The reasons have always been similar: postal delays, a post lost in the mail, no ribbons for my typewriter, etc.
This year, just as in your world, Covid-19 imposed another hindrance.
Social distancing requirements translate in prison into lockdowns and closures. Visitors and volunteers have been banned for months. The various resident units are kept isolated from each other. Many work sites are shut down. As the only Law Clerk in the prison library, my work site is still open but my hours are cut to just a few each day.
This summer’s rerun is related to that. The post I wrote for this week is sitting on my desk in the Law Library where I brought it to purchase a photocopy. I have learned the hard way not to mail the only copy in existence. The library has since been unpredictably closed due to a summer staff shortage so my post is still sitting there.
Sometimes such things have been a blessing in disguise. I promised last week in “Pornchai Moontri in Thailand, Patrick O’Brian at Sea” that between now and Pornchai’s departure in September we would have a few posts about that other force that holds us captive, Divine Mercy, and how it has infiltrated our prison.
The best place to begin is at the beginning. Ten years ago this month, I introduced readers to a very special invitation received from a Patron Saint who had mysteriously entered our lives. It was this post that first drew the attention of Catholic League President Bill Donohue who shortly thereafter recommended These Stone Walls when he was interviewed on EWTN.
We encourage you in is time of political chaos and social turmoil to revisit a most important time in our lives. Perhaps it will become a pivotal grace for you as well. We extend to you a very special invitation that was extended to us: