First Friday of August 2020

The Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus « custodinosdormientes

On this first Friday of August as the world continues its downward spiral of chaos and despair, we mustn’t lose hope in God. Even amid all the continuous news of new ‘co-vid’ related deaths and erupting violence, we mustn’t lose faith … Even as we stare with heavy hearts at the devastating pictures of utter destruction coming out of Lebanon, we mustn’t lose hope in the Lord.

In fact, it is precisely at times like these that we need Him more. During these uncertain times, we should be making God the priority in our day. If we are to hope to get through what is coming around the bend, we mustn’t hesitate in our resolve… we must turn back to God… We cannot continue on this path of destruction, without God. What else is there?

As we watch the continuous cycle of news… with one bad story immediately after the next, what else will get you through? Where else will you gain your strength when everything around is crumbling? God is calling each of us. He is our peace, our hope and our strength. On this first Friday of August as the news of the world gets bleaker and bleaker…. look to the Lord. He is waiting there in the Eucharist. Waiting to touch your heart. Waiting to heal all the wounds the world has thrown at you. God is love. He is mercy. He is peace. Allow Him to heal your wounded soul. Make it a good first Friday my friends.

 

Litany of the Sacred Heart

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother by the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, united substantially with the word of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Divinity, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is well pleased, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who invoke Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, saturated with revilings, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, crushed for our iniquities, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, made obedient unto death, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord,
Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
V. Jesus, meek and humble of Heart.
R. Make our hearts like unto Thine.

Let us pray

Almighty and Everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Thy Well-Beloved Son and upon the acts of praise and satisfaction which He renders unto Thee in the name of sinners; and do Thou, in Thy great goodness, grant pardon to them who seek Thy mercy, in the name of the same Thy Son, Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end.

AMEN.

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Good Friday of Lent

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On this Good Friday of Lent as we go through these final days of Lent towards Easter, I wanted to write a good post … but instead, I stumbled across a post from Father Bill Peckman that says everything I could hope to say on a day such as this, in such a beautiful and heartfelt way.  Anyway, it is a bit long but well worth the time. Have a blessed Good Friday my friends… Easter is drawing near.

From Father Bill:

I have been preparing my short homily for today and have found much I want to say given the current state of affairs. So I am going to give the long version here. The Church tells the clergy to keep the homily short on this day.

Homily for Good Friday (Long Form)
Imagine if you will the vantage point of Jesus on Good Friday

IN the last 24 hours you have not slept

IN the last 24 hours you have been stripped completely naked; the first time so Roman soldiers, known for the gleeful brutality, could whip you with cords with pieces of metal embedded in them. Your blood and pieces of your flesh are all over the floor. In their cruelty, the Roman soldier weave a crown of thorns and thrust the on your head. The second time you are stripped naked is when you are nailed to a cross for the amusement and ridicule of those around you. The humiliation of your nakedness that the Romans want you to feel is the same humiliation Adam and Eve felt in the garden after the fall when they knew they were naked. There will be no fig leaves for you…only derision.

In the last 24 hours you have seen your closest friends abandon you. One sold you for 30 pieces of silver. One denies even knowing you three times. Only the youngest is there at the foot of the Cross watching you die a horrific death. You knew this would happen; but you allow it to happen so that what needed to be done would be done.

In the last 24 hours you have experienced excruciating pain. Imagine walking with a heavy cross on your shoulders, digging into your already severely lacerated flesh. Your leg, back, and buttock muscles have been torn into by the scourging. Every step introduces a new wave of pain. You are continually yelled at and beaten as you struggle with every step. More of your blood strews the road between the place of condemnation and place of your execution.

Your every breath now causes pain. As your blood drains out of your body, your strength evaporates. To speak requires raising yourself on the nails in your hands and feet. For 6 hours you are humiliated and tortured for all the world to see. You endure ridicule and blasphemy.

Bonus: your mom gets to watch all this. She gets to watch you bleed to death. She gets to watch you struggle for every breath. She gets to hear every taunt, gloating, and cruelty thrown your way. She gets to watch you die. She gets to hold your lifeless body in her arms.

Your response? “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” The mercy, love, and forgiveness you have preached for the last three years will find their most perfect pulpit now.

You do this knowing that people will deny it happened, make little of it, fight over what it means, or treat it as if it is unimportant. You do this knowing people will kill in your name. You do this knowing that like your disciples who abandoned you, so will many who claim to follow you abandon you for the idols of wealth, power, pleasure, entertainment, worldly honor, sports, sexual pleasure, apathy, or sloth. You do this because you love every single one of those people as you also loved your disciples, the Sanhedrin, the Romans…indeed all of humanity. This love will be so overwhelming that many will not be able to believe such a love could even exist.

This is why you came. As the Second Person of the Trinity, you could experience none of this. Sharing in the Love of the Father and Holy Spirit , you are sent through the Incarnation into this world, taking flesh in the womb of the Blessed Mother so that you may share in that suffering and by doing so, reunite fallen humanity back to an eternal relationship to the Father. Your suffering and death accomplish this.

On this Good Friday, we remember the brutal suffering and death of Jesus and the boundless love with which He did so. Yet, at every Mass we directly participate in this as we receive His Flesh and Blood through the Eucharist. We are given the benefit of the sacrifice Christ made for us. We participate in the one sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.

This is why is such an abomination that most Catholics do not go to Sunday Mass, do not believe in the Real Presence, do not confess their sins. It says that what Christ did for us is not enough for us to inconvenience our lives, our schedules, or transform us in the slightest. It says we trust in more of what our idols have to offer than what Jesus offered on the Cross. In says what I want is more important that what God was willing to do for us. It says the love of God isn’t enough to satisfy me. Imagine what it will feel like having to own up to this before the face of God when we die!

Let us understand then, that God still loves us. His Son’s death was done for each of us. That death is meant to change us to the better. That death is meant to transform our hearts to where we can love as He loves. So this Good Friday cast out your idols. Allow Mass to inconvenience you and your schedule. Allow confession to be the foot of the Cross at which you lay your sins. It is only through the Cross that you can have the eternal life promised by the Resurrection.

AS Jesus tells Thomas after the Resurrection, ” “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”

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5th Sunday of Lent – Entering the Passion-tide

Stock Video Footage of sun rays illuminating a valley ...

Give me justice, O God,
and plead my cause against a nation that is faithless.
From the deceitful and cunning rescue me,
for you, O God, are my strength. (Psalm 43: 1-2)

As we ‘celebrate’ this 5th Sunday of Lent, we are just now entering the period of time in the Church’s’ liturgical calendar, referred to as Passion-tide. Normally, as we enter the Church for Mass on this Sunday, we find that all the holy water has been drained from the fonts and we see that all of the statues are covered with purple veils, from the looks of it, something has changed… Normally, with the images covered, our hearts and minds are prompted to meditate on what is coming next. That time in the world’s history in which Christ went off to the Garden to pray before He was to bear the weight of the world’s sins. It was a time of intense suffering and desolation as He went off alone to prepare for the  Sacrifice that was soon to be made. The Sacrifice He made out of love for man, by allowing for Himself to be condemned for something He did not do and by dying for us so that our sins might be forgiven.

Normally, it is during these days of Passion-tide, that we are called to walk the road with Christ as He made His way to Calvary. It is a brutal walk…. not for the faint of heart… Yet, as Christians, we are called to participate, somehow, even in our meagerness, to try and ease the burden of the Cross He carried for us and our salvation. He calls each of us to this road. We are each called to ponder and meditate on that fateful day. These stark disciplines of veiling the statues are to help us to remove all the distractions of the world and allow ourselves to be veiled in the same darkness that had shrouded the world… including His followers... of being ‘without‘ Christ, while they waited for His Promise to be fulfilled.

If your Church has remained open for private prayer, find the courage to go and spend some time with the Lord hidden in the tabernacle. If you are able, try to notice how empty and bare the altars with the veiled statuary make you feel.  In the quietness of God, let  your eyes rest upon Him in the tabernacle. Let your heart rest on His presence in the Eucharist. Let yourself meditate upon His Passion and how He suffered for each one of us. Blow by brutal blow... how He endured it all… patiently and without complaint. As we meditate upon His great love for us, let us unite our hearts with His and pray for those who suffer today.  Those who are suffering their own brutal blows. Those who will be forced to spend their last moments on this earth… separated from everyone… those who will not only suffer… but especially, those who will die alone… and pray for them.

This year, Lent has been different. We didn’t have to wait for this 5th Sunday of Lent, for our Passion-tide to begin… No, because of this virus and everything that it has taken with it, we have been physically separated from Christ in the Eucharist for fourteen days. Restrictions have been imposed upon us as a means of trying to contain the spread of this pandemic. Restrictions that teeter on the border of all out fear... This year, Catholics, the world over, have been called to sacrifice our religious obligations … Our ‘oneness‘ with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. We have been ‘convinced’ that our health security comes with a deep, deep price… We are being told that the Rock upon which Christ built His Church has been deemed by those in government authority to be ‘non essential’….

It has left many a hearts to ache, and I can honestly say,  it is a sacrifice that I would not have made on my own. .. it is a much more difficult Lent than the one I had chosen for myself. But I shouldn’t complain. God knows what we need. Especially now, as I hear about all of the faithful who are being left to die alone. Don’t kid yourself, with these new restrictions, many are dying without family and without the sacraments, it has become clear to me that God is calling for the rest of us to do more. He is calling us to do a small part in carrying His Cross of Redemption.

During these days of Passion-tide, let us not neglect our duty in serving and loving God just because Mass has been canceled. Many churches remain open for private prayer… but even if you are praying from home, there is much we can do. From right where we are. These ‘social distancing’ restrictions are forcing us to examine our faithfulness to the Lord. Are we going to allow ourselves to fall into the chaos of the world and leave Christ alone? This goes back to a message we have heard all of our lives … “we are to find Christ in everyone we meet”. Have we succeeded? Are we looking at our neighbors, or those we rush past in the stores as Christ? I ask, Are we even looking at them anymore? Dear Lord, help me in my littleness to have the courage to do Your Will….

At a time when the Church calls us to focus our attention on Christ’s suffering, are we recognizing the suffering in our neighbors? I am not trying to undermine the Lord’s suffering by any means… but we are Christians are we not? And in many places the churches are closed, and many have been ‘physically’ separated from Christ in the Eucharist. What are we doing? Are we living disciples of Christ and doing His work? I know we will never be “Christ”, but that is what we are called to do. To be Christ.

Have I lost my mind? No. We are called to follow Him. To do as He would do. Not just pray as He would pray. I don’t think it is just a cliche… something that sounds good. We are actually supposed to be Him in the world, to the world. Or have we abandoned the Lord and our Cross of redemption altogether? Christ died for us… freely giving of Himself so that we might live. Are we giving? Or are we so concerned with our own well being and safety that not only are we  neglecting  our duty to God but to our neighbors as well? Perhaps we might reexamine our own motives for how we live each day.  Just what am I getting at?

Well, for starters, everything has been stripped away. All those ‘normal’ distractions, that so often pull us away from our Christian duties. Isn’t it ironic that during this time of Lent when we are supposed to rid ourselves of worldly distraction, that God has allowed for this. He has allowed everything to be taken away. The good and the bad. The nonstop sporting events as well as everything that vies for our time… that vies for our hearts... Some might think there is another reason for all of this, and perhaps there might be. But as a faithful follower of Christ, I’d have to stake my life on the fact that God is indeed in control of all of this. He will not abandon us and He will get us through this, as He does everything else, to help us become the best He created us to be. Stay strong my friends and God bless.

Good Friday: On the Mystery of the Cross and of Human ...

Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless

and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible

look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us 

so that in difficult moments we might not despair

nor become despondent

but with great confidence

submit ourselves to Your Holy Will

which is Love and Mercy Itself. Amen.

Jesus I trust in You.

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Prayer from Fr. Bill- During This Time of Pestilence

The following is from Father Bill Peckman on a post he wrote for facebook. It is beautiful, and there are plenty of things to think about as you pray and read through it. Enjoy….

As I am watching the Urbi and Orbi the following prayer has welled up in my heart:

My Precious Lord,

The world says, “If you are the Son God, accommodate and approve of my faithlessness and half-heartedness toward you. Accommodate and approve of my abandoning your altar and your house so that I may worship whatever idol I choose. Facilitate my abandonment of the Day of the Lord and may my idols bless me abundantly. “

Because you are the Son God, have mercy on me for my half-heartedness, faithlessness, abandonment of your House and your altar. Forgive me for my abandonment of the Day of the Lord as I pursued idols. By your grace, help me lay aside and destroy every idol I have allowed to control my life, energy, and time. Welcome me back into your House and to your Altar. Create a new heart in me O Lord.

The world says, “If you are the Son of God, accommodate and approve of my abuse of your gift of sexuality. Accommodate and approve of every denigration of my own flesh and the flesh of my neighbor. Ignore the consequences of our denigration, including the violent end of what children are conceived so that I may do as I please.”

Because you are the Son of God, have mercy on me for my recklessness, denigration, and abuse of the great gift of sexuality. Make me aware of the holiness of my body and body of others. By your grace help me to turn from all debasement of the flesh and so be fit as your disciple. Create a new heart in me O Lord.

The world says, “If you are the Son of God, accommodate and approve of my greed, wastefulness, gluttony. Accommodate and approve of my neglect of the welfare of my neighbor; facilitate my accrual of whatever I desire so that I may do as I please.

Because you are the Son of God, have mercy on me for the times I placed my wants before others needs. Forgive me of the neglect I have shown to those around me. Fill my heart, O lord, with your love, that I may love as you love. May that love be shown in my selflessness, charity, and mercy. Create a new heart in me O Lord.

The world says, “If you are the Son of God, overlook all my sins, and allow me into heaven; not because I wish to be with you, but so that I can be perpetually self indulgent. Facilitate my open rebellion of you and Your Father. Be pleased to have me as your rival and not your son or daughter. Accommodate and approve my disregard of you for now and eternity so that I may do as I please.

Because you are the Son of God, forgive me my sins, wash me in your waters of purification, feed me with Your Flesh and Blood so that I may have life now and for eternity. Draw me from presumption, disbelief, and all self-destructive behaviors that separate me from you so that I may come into your Kingdom as you Son or daughter. Create a clean heart in me O Lord.

O Lord, when this pestilence has passed, show me the way to you in all things. Guide me away from the deceit of the Devil and into your own truth. Welcome me again into your House and to Your altar, which I pledge to never abandon for another idol again.

Amen.

Jesus with Euchariistic Heart

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Laetare Sunday… We Are Supposed to Rejoice?- Sermon From Fr. Royce Gregerson

“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him. We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work.”

It would seem that Christ’s words in the Gospel are being fulfilled. Amidst a global pandemic and a prohibition of any public gathering that precludes the possibility of the faithful’s participation in the Eucharist, we seem to be in a spiritual night when the work of the Church cannot be accomplished. In this grave and unprecedented situation in the life of the Church, it would be easy to start assigning blame. Some would blame the iniquities of the world, or even sin within the Church – God’s just punishment for a world, and maybe even a Church, gone astray. There is definitely some truth here. We are in need of a big “wake up call.” But this idea is also insufficient.

Our Lord tells the disciples today that the man’s blindness is not because of his sin or his parents’ sin, but “that the works of God might be made visible.” And this, my brothers and sisters, is the point of departure for our own reflection today. What are the works of God that He wants to make visible, here and now?

It is deeply ironic that the first Sunday on which we are not able physically to gather as the Body of Christ is Laetare Sunday, when the Church bids us rejoice in the midst of Lent. Rejoice? Rejoice?

(To enjoy the rest of this brilliant sermon click on the following link.)

 What do we have to rejoice about? 

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A Reminder For the Faithful

 

fulton sheen priests need to be priests

During this difficult time when it seems that every aspect of our faith is being tested, or worse yet, stripped away, we the faithful have got to stay firm. We have got to buckle down on our prayer life. Many of our wonderful priests are posting Masses and other liturgical devotions online … we must participate, just because the bishops have locked us out of our traditional Lenten devotions . God is Still calling us. We mustn’t slack in our prayer life. God is still calling us to holiness. He wants us to be strong. Never has He called anyone to cowardice… be courageous… be not afraid…Listen to what God is calling you to do… do not shriek in fear and hide!

On this Friday of Lent do not forget to walk the path of Calvary with Our Dear Lord. Even if there are no public acts of devotion, do not hesitate to make the way of the Cross at home. There are many websites that have the Stations of the Cross, and I know that some of the local parishes are streaming them online. It is absolutely necessary that we do not forget this is a day of penance and abstinence … as are all Fridays of Lent. Even when the bishops have issued dispensations for Mass, we are still encouraged to use this time, this ‘suffering’ as a means of growing closer to the Lord.

Remember, the Church has faced many difficult times in Her long history… we have had courageous priests… courageous bishops… and now dear faithful reader... He is calling us to show the same kind of courage that only God can ask. Don’t fear and fall into anger. Pray and be calm. Allow the Lord to put your miserable little self  into action. Don’t settle for ‘just enough‘…. do more… always strive for holiness… always strive to be a saint. God bless!

images.duckduckgo.comJesus

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Feast of St. Joseph – Pray For Us

Traditional Latin Mass Community of Saint Mary Magdalen ...

Spouse of the Blessed Virgin, and Foster Father of Our Dear Lord Jesus

Oh St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.

Oh St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your divine son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, our Lord; so that having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.

Oh St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while he reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss his fine head for me, and ask him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for us. Amen

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St. Corona- Patron Saint Against Epidemics

As the world finds itself in the grip of the global Covid-19 Pandemic, many people are discovering and turning to a little known 2nd-Century Catholic Saint named Saint Corona, whose relics have been preserved since the 9th century, in a basilica in Anzù, Italy.

While little is known about the life of Saint Corona, it is generally accepted that she was martyred during the reign of Emperor Antoninus in the year 165 A.D. in Damascus.

The most common pious legend around Saint Corona involves another Saint, St. Victor, a Roman soldier of Italian ancestry, who was stationed in Damascus. Saint Victor was tortured for refusing to renounce his faith- including having his eyes gouged out, before ultimately being beheaded.

While Saint Victor was being tortured, the sixteen-year-old Saint Corona comforted and prayed for him. Because of this, she was arrested and interrogated by the Romans and found to be a Christian. According to some accounts, Saint Corona, was tied between to two bent palm trees and torn apart as the trunks were released. Her relics were transferred to Aachen around 1000 A.D. by Emperor Otto III.

In two separate investigations in 1943 and in 1981, the relics were dug up and confirmed to belong to St. Corona and St. Victor. Saint Corona is especially venerated in Austria and Bavaria as the patron saint of treasure hunters, since her name means “crown’ and since coins often feature the crown of the ruler who issued them it seemed fitting. She is often invoked for protection against epidemics.

Saint Corona’s feast day, along with Saint Victor, is May 14th.

from ucatholic.com

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The Prophetic Voice of the Lord

Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent
Lectionary: 238

Reading 1 Daniel  3:25, 34-43

Azariah stood up in the fire and prayed aloud:

“For your name’s sake, O Lord, do not deliver us up forever,
or make void your covenant.
Do not take away your mercy from us,
for the sake of Abraham, your beloved,
Isaac your servant, and Israel your holy one,
To whom you promised to multiply their offspring
like the stars of heaven,
or the sand on the shore of the sea.
For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation,
brought low everywhere in the world this day
because of our sins.
We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader,
no burnt offering, sacrifice, oblation, or incense,
no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you.
But with contrite heart and humble spirit
let us be received;
As though it were burnt offerings of rams and bullocks,
or thousands of fat lambs,
So let our sacrifice be in your presence today
as we follow you unreservedly;
for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame.
And now we follow you with our whole heart,
we fear you and we pray to you.
Do not let us be put to shame,
but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy.
Deliver us by your wonders,
and bring glory to your name, O Lord.”

For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation, brought low everywhere in the world this day because of our sins. As we sit in our living room watching the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on t.v., listening to the readings from the daily Missal, I am struck once again at the truly prophetic nature of God and His Holy Mother Church. With the fast pace in which this ‘virus’ seems to be traveling over all of the continents of our world, our president has once again imposed new guidelines for the citizens of the United States. Today, many of the bishops have made the difficult decision to close the doors to all the Catholic Masses as well, and we the faithful are left to watch the Mass on television and pray at home. Thankfully, we have EWTN, where the daily Mass is being shown several times a day, so we are still able to follow the daily readings and make a ‘Spiritual Communion’ in which to offer to the Lord.

But it just feels so different... everything about this is causing my gut to turn and topple. Last night, I was watching the news late into the evening, that coupled with a glass of iced tea, propelled me late into the wee hours of the morning, going over everything in my head.  One of the most damaging things I did during this time, was to goggle Wuhan China. Now, I am not even sure if what I viewed was the real deal or not, but it was eerie. There are street cameras all over the city, and nobody is seen in the streets. Wuhan China looks like a ghost town. It is very unsettling, to say the least.

Every time I was roused from sleep, I sat in the living room and prayed. There is such an unsettling feeling to those long hours of night when fear is attempting to gnaw at your soul… So there I sat, clinging to my rosary beads. I offered the Blessed Mother my simple prayers asking her to intercede and ask the Lord to comfort me in this time of distress. The hours dragged on. The pit of my stomach felt like a hollow void filling with anguish and (gasp!) fear, as the hours drug on, I could feel it spreading to my chest. I could actually feel my heart thumping in my chest. I prayed harder. One prayer in particular that I prayed was the final prayer from the Divine Mercy Chaplet…

Eternal God, in Whom Mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us, and increase Your Mercy in us, so that in difficult moments, we might not despair, nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your Holy Will, Which is Love and Mercy Itself … Amen

It wasn’t until sometime just after 4 a.m. that I was able to fall asleep. It had been a difficult night. But, God gave my tired body, and my weary soul comfort. And yet, there are still so many unanswered questions about this whole thing. And if for but a moment, I begin to take my eyes off of God,  I will wish that I hadn’t… for it is a frightful picture they are painting. The future of returning to a normal life seems to vanish the longer I listen to the news media peddle their fear. I know better. But lack of sleep makes me weak. ‘Uncharted territories’… make me uneasy… I know all of this… I have been here before… this vacuum of fear that threatens everything I have ever held close and dear. But that is why, this reading, this Word of God is so prophetic… If we calm those voices inside our heads, and place our  trust in the Lord, He will calm our hearts, and His Mercy will wash over us. Trust no man… Trust only in the Lord… God bless you my friends, stay strong.

“So let our sacrifice be in your presence today
as we follow you unreservedly;
for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame.
And now we follow you with our whole heart,
we fear you and we pray to you.
Do not let us be put to shame,
but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy.
Deliver us by your wonders,
and bring glory to your name, O Lord.”

 Oh Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my Trust in You.

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In These Uncertain Times, Trust in the Certainty of God

                                                                Jeremiah 17: 5-10
Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his arm, whose heart turns away from the LORD. 6)He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. 7)“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. 8)He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” 9)The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it? 10)“I the LORD search the mind and try the heart, to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.”
Once again, as the world continues to crumble under the weight of this new virus, and any thoughts of normalcy seem like a thing of the past, we find ourselves dumbfounded by the president’s words, that the borders of our country are being closed in an effort to curb the spread of this brand new ‘virus.’ We are left a bit numb by the domino effect of businesses and schools closing one after the other, in all of our towns. Many of us can not even fathom March without the usual basketball madness… a madness we all could enjoy… not like this madness… And then there are the cancellations of all the other sporting events throughout the nation. Many of us can’t believe what is going on and don’t quite know what to do. We are unsure of what to do and feeling a sense of loss because our ‘normal’ is being interrupted.  Not only are we dealing with loss of entertainment, but for some, there is a loss of income … This can be quite difficult, but mostly, we are suffering because our sense of peace that comes from living our days in our ‘relative routines‘ has been shattered.
Many people are upset, some think that all of this is going too far… In reality, what we should be doing is using these ‘freed up’ hours spending more time in prayer and listening to the word of God. It is the Lenten season, after all. A time for prayer, fasting and alms giving. If you look at the daily Mass readings, once again we are met with the prophetic nature of God’s Holy Word. How long will it take you to realize that preparing yourself for the pandemic is not the time to neglect your daily prayers?
Even when we see the throngs of people buying up all the toilet paper and disinfectants, we need to stay calm. Stay away from the chaos of the crowds and don’t allow yourself to lose hope. Don’t be sucked into the fear. Even though we might be tempted to feeling alone or panicked, we mustn’t fret. God is speaking to us. Just as He always has. He is reminding us of who we are … and who we are to Trust. When the ways of man spin in turmoil or chaos, we must recollect our hearts, and hanging onto the frayed ends of our sanity we must quiet our hearts and our minds so as that we are not distracted. For it is only then, that we will encounter the peace of the Lord.
He is waiting for us with His mercy. Remember, He told St, Faustina that His heart is a well spring of Divine Mercy that He wishes to wash us with. It is a message that we cannot continue to ignore. Trusting in God’s Mercy is the only thing that will save us.
It seems that we have begun to spiral…. reeling towards the madness of a godless world. For many, there is no distinction between truth and lies. There is so much deceit in the hearts of evil men, that we don’t know what to believe about the progression of this virus. The stories of the severity of this virus seem to change from moment to moment… the news stories seem to just be stoking the flames… and rallying people into a frenzy. It is hard to believe anything you hear on the news… it feels so political so scripted and rehearsed … There is just something about all of this that feels like the truth is being hidden from the public.
You must remember, that even if is as bad as your worst fears, do not give into the temptation to be overcome with fear.  Do not be afraid. The devil lives in our fears. He is a creature of opportunity, and he will come to us in those dark moments when we start to put our reliance in ourselves. Slow down and remember that God is in control. We must stop and listen to our Loving Father. We must Trust in His Love for us. And we must know, we must believe that He will never abandon us to the world. He will be the strength we need to get us through these coming days.
I’d like to finish with the closing prayer of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, it is one of my favorites and has gotten me through those dark hours of night when it seems the morning sun will never come. Stay strong my friends, and remember, your strength is of the Lord.
Eternal God, in Whom Mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible,
look kindly upon us and increase Your Mercy in us,
so that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent,
but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy Will,
Which is Love and Mercy Itself. Amen. 

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