Good morning from our safe, appropriately distanced, sterile home to yours! Wow- in just a short few weeks, our greetings to one another and methods of communicating have shifted dramatically! Our common vocabulary now includes things like “social distancing” and “personal protective equipment.”
Luckily, while the landscape of the world seems to be quickly changing, Our God does not! We were chatting with a priest friend over text messaging this week and his simple but true words stuck with us: “HE is in control!” It’s hard to remember that when everything seems to be whirling out of control, but those words are absolute bedrock and can be leaned into during times like this.
So, today we’ll include some new resources to help get you through this pandemic as well as some other helpful and timely pieces on Lent and suffering.
Lent for Everyone
Lent is a time that many Christians look forward to because it can serve as a sort of reset- a way to remind us of what is truly important and purify us for the great celebration of Easter. What no one saw coming was that this Lent would be one that almost the whole world population would participate in. And yes, while it has led to undeniable suffering and heartache, it has also brought unexpected blessings- a reset that has ushered in some good. This article from Catholic Exchange explores this unforeseen event.
Hope Is More Contagious Than Fear
During this time of quarantine, let us not lose hope! The words “Be not afraid” are mentioned hundreds of times in scripture, many of them by Our Lord! If He cares for the sparrows of the field, He will not forget us! This short piece helped us to remember that the hope we all crave so desperately right now is offered to us. Jesus knows of our fears and anxieties and He is here to embrace us with His hope!
Special Papal Blessing
Yesterday, Pope Francis gave a special Urbi et Orbi blessing from an empty St Peter’s Square, to pray for the world during the coronavirus pandemic. For the full text of his homily along with pictures of this historic event, follow this link. If you watched this live, you may have noticed the beautiful Crucifix that was in St. Peter’s Square. There is a special story about this Crucifix that dates back to the 1500s. To learn more about this miraculous crucifix and what it has to do with the black plague, read this article.
You may remember that the Marian Center will be featuring a large exhibit of Marian Apparitions from around the world this summer (if the coronavirus situation has settled and it is safe). One of the panels in the display tells of the amazing apparition of Our Lady of Zeitoun. The incredible thing about this Egyptian apparition is that it was witnessed by millions of people! Check out this article to brush up on your knowledge before you see the exhibit this summer, God willing!
Time for Prayer
Many folks are spending a lot more time at home these days, and that can be a huge blessing in disguise. With the extra time you’ve got, consider praying the rosary (or praying more than one if you already do one a day!) We found some great meditations for strengthening us during this pandemic and we also found a great source for an online rosary if you don’t want to pray alone.
We learned something new this week- there is a St. Corona! We don’t know a lot about her as she was one of the early martyrs, but what we do know is nothing short of courageous and inspiring! Check out her story here! St. Corona, pray for us!
This Sunday’s Gospel tells the story of Lazarus. Here’s a link to some crafts and activities for kids to help them learn about Lazarus and how he was raised from the dead.
We have heard so many stories of people coming together to help others during this time of need. Read this inspirational story of cloistered Dominican Nuns in New Jersey who have started sewing masks to help fight the spread of the coronavirus
The readings for the 5th Sunday of Lent have a consoling message full of compassion. We hear of having God’s own spirit in us and, combined with John’s Gospel telling the story of Jesus’ friend, Lazarus, there is a sense of expectation and hope. To read a meditation about Jesus turning our sorrow to joy (as he did for Martha and Mary), click here.
Marian Center Update
We continue to remain closed during the current Covid-19 crisis. If you need an item from our bookstore, please call us and we can make arrangements.
Please be assured of our prayers for you and your intentions during this unprecedented and tumultuous time. May you be enfolded in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and may Our Mother Mary comfort and strengthen you today and in the weeks ahead.
To Christ Through Mary,
Katie Moe and Lori Mercer
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