1. Life is hard.
St. Theresa of Avila describes our desire for comfort as an impediment to holiness. In the Salve Regina, we cry out to Our Lady “from this valley of tears.” Years ago, I walked around the Benedictine Cemetery in Latrobe, PA and encountered the tombstones of a family. This family lost four children in one year (must have been the Spanish Flu), and they lost other children young. I stood there for thirty minutes and prayed for them and the heartache they experienced.
We just told everyone three weeks ago on Ash Wednesday, “Remember you are dust and unto dust you shall return.” I guess the Church was serious.
2. Love is stronger than death.
Knowing the fragility and difficulty of life can/should lead us to greater abandonment to Him who has conquered death. The resurrection is our proof and hope that Love is victorious.
In seminary I was assigned to visit a children’s hospital every week the semester I arrived. Talk about unprepared! Yet, I quickly found that the most important thing was being present and loving those who were carrying these greatest burdens. Continually, I had children say things to me like, “If Jesus did that for me, I can do this for Him.” I can’t recall a single child who struggled to lift their eyes to Jesus. Parents? Yes, much harder for them.
3. Signs of grace and wonder.
After we announced that public Masses were suspended, a parish mother sent me a great picture of her son play praying Mass! Now we have started streaming daily Mass at 9am each day, so the mom sent me the picture below. Notice that they had Fr. Folmar streaming on the computer to the right, and her son is ‘concelebrating’ with Fr. Folmar!! My smile can’t be contained! Thanks mom for sharing and I hope it puts a smile on your face!
4. Stay connected.
Your priests will be streaming on the parish Facebook page. Masses and devotions are archived there, so if you can’t watch live, watch when you can.
Every day: 9am Mass, 3pm Chaplet of Divine Mercy, 6:30pm Rosary
.Friday only: Stations of the Cross 7pm in English, 7:30 in Spanish.
Sundays only: 12 Noon Mass in Spanish.
5. Make lots of spiritual communions.
Finally I share with you my favorite communion prayer. You can alter the phrase “about to receive” and instead pray “unable to receive.” It is from the Byzantine Rite Mass:
O Lord, I believe and profess that You are truly Christ, the Son of the living God, Who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first.
Accept me as a partaker of Your mystical supper, O Son of God, for I will not reveal Your mystery to Your enemies, nor will I give you a kiss as did Judas, but like the thief I confess to You:
Remember me, O Lord, when You shall come into Your kingdom.
Remember me, O Master, when You shall come into Your kingdom.
Remember me, O Holy One, when You shall come into Your kingdom.
May the partaking of Your Holy mysteries, O Lord, be not for my judgment or condemnation, but for the healing of my soul and body.
O Lord, I also believe and profess that this, which I am about to receive, is truly Your most precious body and Your life-giving blood, which, I pray, make me worthy to receive for the remission of all my sins and for life everlasting. Amen.
O God, be merciful to me a sinner.
O God, cleanse me of my sins and have mercy on me.
O Lord, forgive me for I have sinned without number.
pax et bonum,
Father John Mosimann