Greetings from Marian Center family. We pray that you and your loved ones are well. What a strange and surreal time we are living in. Obviously, it feels like our country has been turned on its ear and depending on who you listen to, the outlook can be hopeful and positive or it can be somewhat dismal and longsuffering.
As we’ve said so many times in these emails, our mission is to bring joy, through the intercession of Our Lady, Cause of Our Joy, to our readers and this mission is especially important today. In this edition, we prayerfully offer some resources to carry on in these trying times and let God’s supernatural gift of joy increase in your hearts!
So, let’s push the storm clouds away and focus on some good joyful stuff!
Bring on the Joy!
It seems a little cheeky to be talking about joy, as so many people have been thrown into the maelstrom of illness and fear, but this article, Only One Path Can Truly Bring Us Joy, offers a different perspective. Joy is different from happiness. So while these times aren’t necessarily happy, one can still have great joy in the midst of it all. We needed this article to bolster us- the headlines are so grim and this was a helpful “shot in the arm.”
This Sunday is Laetare (“rejoice”) Sunday. Because it is mid-Lent, priests will be wearing rose-colored vestments rather than the traditional violet. Much like Advent’s Gaudete Sunday, this Sunday is meant to inspire a sense of hope and renewed commitment to our Lenten penances. And we could really use that now! To learn more about Laetare Sunday, click here!
This Sunday’s readings (the 4th Sunday of Lent), have an overwhelming message of hope and joyful expectation- a nice change, both for our current situation and for being in the middle of Lent. Especially now, we are called “to live as children of the light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth.” For Dr. Scott Hahn’s reflection on these readings, check out this link.
Masses everywhere have been suspended because of the Coronavirus. Thanks be to God, we live in a day and age where we can use technology to “attend” Mass even when we can’t be there in person. There are many resources for this online so we won’t barrage you. However, if you are having trouble finding a livestream of Mass in your own area, check out this comprehensive resource!
Keep Holy the Sabbath
Even though you cannot physically attend the Mass on Sunday, it is still important to keep Holy the Lord’s Day. This article, 10 Things You Should Do Until Public Masses Return, is a great resource on ways to celebrate Sundays with your family.
Did you know that there were a ton of saints who lived through pandemics? Saints are our intercessors and we can be strengthened in our Faith by looking to them. For some inspiration in this time of uncertainty, follow this link to learn more about a few of these saints.
This coming Wednesday, the 25th, is the Solemnity of the Annunciation! Once again you can (and are supposed to!) relax your Lenten observances and celebrate when the Angel Gabriel was sent to Our Lady to announce the role she would have in being the Mother of God. Her “yes” is such an example! Check out The Annunciation: When Angels Held Their Breath for a lovely read on this most wonderful feast day!
Not being able to go to Mass has been a hardship to be sure. We need Jesus more than ever and it hurts to not be able to receive Him. We found a hope-filled story from the National Catholic Register about priests and bishops who have literally been taking Jesus to the streets by way of Eucharistic processions. What a beautiful witness and how sorely this is needed in these times!
As you all know, the rosary is a powerful weapon. Think of what praying the rosary did during the Battle of Lepanto! Well, we are immersed in our own Lepanto and we need Our Lady’s intercession more than ever. There is a worldwide campaign to pray 5 million rosaries, imploring God’s mercy and Our Lady’s help in these troubling times. Please pray with us for this most important intention!
Here are a few ideas of crafts and things to do with the kids this week to celebrate the Liturgical Year. To help kids reflect on this Sunday’s Gospel and celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation, follow the links below.
—Jesus heals the blind man
—12 Simple Ways to Celebrate the Annunciation
Marian Center Update
For the health and safety of all, the Marian Center will be closed and not have regular hours until further notice. We are open on an appointment only basis. If there is something that you need, we can be available for you. Just give us a call at 231-347-6279.
Remember, trust in the Lord. We are just a phone call or an email away. We ask you to join us all in praying for the well-being of all people, and in a special way for the medically vulnerable, those who are in nursing homes and those who are out on the front lines.
To Christ Through Mary,
Katie Moe and Lori Mercer
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