As I am writing this, Sunday Masses in many of the Dioceses in our country have been cancelled. I expect the same announcement from our own Diocese to follow soon. I don’t imagine any of us thought we would be in this position a few weeks ago. These are interesting times to say the least! The world and our country are certainly going through uncharted territory in facing the Coronavirus pandemic. As challenging though as this time may be for all of us, it also offers its opportunities. Opportunities to grow in our faith in God, to deepen our reliance on Him alone. I recently came across a quote from St. Augustine: “Bad times, hard times, this is what people keep saying; but let us live well, and times shall be good. We are the times: Such as we are, such are the times.” Regardless of what is going on around us, we have the opportunity to respond in trust, in courage, and with grace and dignity. It is a good time to remind ourselves of the basic truths of our faith; that we are loved, deeply and eternally by God, that we are in His hands, and that He will bring us through this, as difficult as it may seem at times.
As we adjust to this new reality, I would like to encourage us all to enter more deeply into our Lenten journey. We face the real possibility that we may not be able to celebrate the Eucharist publicly for weeks, likely through Easter. Yet we are not alone. God is with us and reminds us “Be not afraid!” Although we may not be able to receive Him in the Eucharist, we can still meet Him spiritually any time we open our hearts to Him through prayer, the reading of Scripture, spiritual communions, or loving acts of support to our family or neighbors (even if it must be from 6 feet away! 🙂 Here at the parish, we will be reaching out to you through our online presence, social media updates, and livestreaming of Masses. His grace is there for us all! May this time be an awakening for our hearts as we realize what a gift we have in our faith, in the Eucharist, in our church, in being able to worship in the freedom of our own homes. I close with these words of St. Thomas More in a letter to his daughter as he faced down the very real likelihood that he would give his life for his beliefs: “Nothing can come but what God wills…and even if it should seem very bad, it shall indeed be for the best.”
Please know of my prayers for you all. May God bless us and protect us always.
Peace and Good!