These last few days have been traumatic on each of us in light of COVID-19 — the Coronavirus. As churches and businesses are shut down, we may feel isolated and frightened. This situation is unprecedented, because we do not fully know how it began or how worse it will become. The unknown can be scary and unsettling.
Now with the announcement of our church closed, we may feel our church has abandoned us too. Do not fear, do not fret. We need to know that the Lord Jesus is with us. Sometimes however, in our busyness or anxiety, we forget that. How ironic that this happens during the season of Lent, a time where we are supposed to get away from a regular pattern of life and be close to God.
Instead of fretting, may we take the time to go to the Lord. Let him know your worries and anxieties. I find the Psalms of the Bible like Psalm 16, 25 or 62 help me with that. Take time to pray for the many who have COVID-19, those who have died and their families that God will heal them of their grief. Take time to pray for the doctors, nurses, medical staff, and first responders who are on the front line of the virus. May God help them and protect them.
Many of you are probably anxious about not being able to receive Holy Communion until after Easter. Again, do not worry. You can make a spiritual communion with the Lord. St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) said: “When you do not receive communion and you do not attend Mass, you can make a spiritual communion, which is a most beneficial practice; by it the love of God will be greatly impressed on you.” Maybe you know someone who is alone and needs just a voice to hear. Make that call today.
Like everyone, we are figuring out how best to respond to COVID-19. Here at the parish, please know, if you are at home alone, isolated, you are never really alone. Even though we will not have Mass in public, your priests and I will still be celebrating Mass privately each day. We will have your intentions at that Mass as well as the proper intention that was given to us for that day. When Mass is being prayed, you are there. We will also be offering privately the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Holy Rosary every day from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Please join us spiritually wherever you may be as we pray for one another.
You know, Church, each of us is connected to one another through Christ by virtue of our Baptism. Know also that in your heart, Jesus is with you helping you and guiding you. Just call on His name. As we go forward, not knowing what lies ahead for each of us, may we place our trust in the One who is all knowing and all powerful and will never leave His children like orphans. Know that you and your families and loved ones are in my prayers each day especially during this time of crisis. May God bless you always and may The Blessed Virgin Mary bless you with her child, Jesus, each and every day.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel pray for us, Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!
~ Fr. Mario
Corona Letter 3
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