The Spiritual Works of Mercy during the COVID19 Pandemic
My Dear Parishioners,
This Thursday, May 21, 2020 is our celebration of the Ascension of Our Lord. The obligation to attend Mass on Ascension Thursday is lifted, as on Sundays. I will have the Holy Day Mass posted on our website, some time after 5:00 p.m. Thursday. Unfortunately, we are not able to broadcast the Holy Day on the radio.
This was supposed to be the weekend for the men of the Archdiocese to be ordained priests. This Sunday they would have offered their First Mass. (That date has been tentatively moved to June 20, 2020). So many important things in our lives these days have to be changed. Whether you are moving or adjusting a graduation, wedding, baptism, birthday celebration or an ordination it is difficult to change. We pray for all those who have had to make adjustments during this time of crisis.
I thought it might be good to continue our reflection on what we can do. This is what I found on the US Bishops website.
The Spiritual Works of Mercy during the COVID19 pandemic
The Spiritual Works of Mercy have long been a part of the Christian tradition, appearing in the works of theologians and spiritual writers throughout history; just as Jesus attended to the spiritual well-being of those He ministered to, these Spiritual Works of Mercy guide us to “help our neighbor in their spiritual needs” (U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults).
COUNSELING THE DOUBTFUL
- Reassure and support those who may be especially anxious during this time.
- If someone asks you for advice, orient your response to Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
INSTRUCTING THE IGNORANT
- With public celebration of Masses unavailable, learn and/or teach someone else how to make a Spiritual Communion.
- Take this time to recommit to your own study and formation and, for those home with children, take advantage of this time to reflect on the faith as a family.
ADMONISHING THE SINNER
- Being confined in close quarters for long periods of time with families or housemates can test us in more ways than one, so be supportive in helping others find their way and correct their mistakes.
- Recognize the reality of spiritual warfare in daily interactions and strive to cultivate the corresponding virtues needed to resist your personal temptations.
COMFORTING THE SORROWFUL
- Write a letter or send a card to someone who is suffering and let them know you are thinking of them.
- Remember that a few moments of your day may make a lifetime of difference to someone who is going through a difficult time.
- Consider sharing links to spiritual resources with those who may be isolated, such as livestreamed Masses, so that they can participate in community worship from home.
- For families, this time may maximize opportunities to exercise forgiveness, so take this time to model the importance of forgiveness both for this life and the next.
- If the sacrament of Reconciliation is not available in your parish at this time, commit to making a regular examination of conscience. (By the way St. Joseph has confession 4-5 pm Saturday)
- Learn and/or teach your family members the Examen prayer and/or the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
BEARING WRONGS PATIENTLY
- Practice developing and strengthening the virtues of temperance, prudence, fortitude, and justice.
- When frustrated with someone, step away from the situation, take a few deep breaths, and pray the Our Father, asking God for patience.
- Commit to praying the Stations of the Cross once a week.
PRAYING FOR THE LIVING AND THE DEAD
- Pray the rosary with family members, via video conference or conference call if needed, for all those who are suffering from the effects of this pandemic.
- Keep your own book of prayer intentions, writing down the names of those who you are keeping in your prayers, and let people know that you are praying for them.
- Ask a friend or family member if there is anything you can pray for them about.
God Bless You!