The tabernacle is empty

Hello to you and yours on this Holy Saturday! We come to you once again from Joy Valley where we (probably like you) feel a strange tension. We are still in a time of penance and yet Easter celebrations begin tonight. We are seeing the signs of Spring and new life blooming and yet our world is feeling the weight of fear and stress. Such interesting times… 

In these final hours of waiting for the resurrection, it seems that we can truly identify with how the disciples must have felt- uncertain, fearful, confused, but still hopeful. To maintain this hope, we have had to turn off our televisions and stop reading the news feed on our phones.

We invite you to join us as we intentionally and hopefully turn our eyes away from the constant barrage of scary news and fix our gaze upon the stone that has been rolled in front of Jesus’ tomb. Watch and wait with us. Thankfully, we know how that story ended and we know how it will end in our own day.

So, without further ado, let’s get into this.

Holy Saturday
This day always feels strange (even more so this year!)- the tabernacle is empty, there is no daily Mass, and the last time Mass was celebrated, the altar was stripped. The triduum is so rich with memory and tradition, but sometimes we feel at a loss with regards to Holy Saturday. Well, we found this resource from that outlines how the Church views this day and gives some practical suggestions for observing it. 

Death and the Hope of Eternal Life
Of course, death is on everyone’s mind these days. Both with Good Friday just past and with COVID-19 ravaging our world, we are all forced to deal with the reality of it. It can certainly be a depressing topic and one that leaves us anxious. We have felt this ourselves as we look at our children and wonder if things will be okay. In our search for hope, we found this article by Scott Hahn that lifted us and we really wanted to share it. Please read! 

The Meaning of Easter
Like many of you, we absolutely love Bishop Barron. He just has a way of speaking that keeps us engaged all while really teaching us the incredible Truths of the Faith. His work is all over the place, but we found this YouTube video called The Meaning of Easter, to have fantastic historical and theological insights that we never knew. Check it out- it’s about 13 minutes long. 

Octave of Easter
The celebration of Easter doesn’t end when the kids go to bed on Easter Sunday, in fact, Easter is a season that lasts for 50 days ending on the Feast of Pentecost. The week following Easter Sunday has special significance and is called the Octave of Easter. To learn more about it, check out this article

Seal the Home!
As many of you know, the Feast of Divine Mercy takes place the Sunday after Easter. Recently, with the outbreak of the coronavirus, there has been a movement to place the image of Divine Mercy on our front door. Check out this article or this video that explains the hows and the whys!

Divine Mercy Novena

The Divine Mercy novena started yesterday (Good Friday). If you forgot to do the first day, don’t worry, just catch up! To join the millions of Catholics worldwide praying the novena, follow this link

Marian Minute
Christian tradition asserts that Our Lady was the first person to see the resurrected Jesus. This article from Opus Dei describes Mary’s vigil as she waited for her Son to rise from the dead. It is beautifully written. May we mimic her prayerful anticipation today!

Nifty News
Many priests have been torn during the pandemic- they want to practice heroic virtue and minister to their people, especially the sick. They also understand why it is prudent to keep away from their flock in order to not spread the virus should they be asymptomatic carriers. In Chicago, a team of young priests who are healthy and have no underlying conditions have come together to specifically work with the sick and dying. PLEASE pray for the protection of these young men as they selflessly administer anointing to those most in need! 

The Shroud of Turin, believed to be the burial cloth of Jesus, will be viewable via television and social media from April 11th thru April 17th. Apparently the public request to venerate the Shroud was so overwhelming, that the bishop of Turin decided to make it available for viewing- a rare occurrence. To read about this unprecedented event click here. To view the livestream, click here

Kids’ Corner
Since we are all home with the kids, you might be looking for activities to do with the little ones during the Easter season. We found our old standby, CatholicIcing to have some fantastic ideas– there’s one for all 50 days! 

Sunday Readings
The readings for Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord feel quite short against the backdrop of the Holy Week readings! Before the gospel is read, the Easter Sequence is read or sung. To learn more about this sequence, read this piece. To read a meditation from the Vatican for Easter Sunday, check out this link

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. As always, we keep you and your intentions in our heartfelt prayers during this time. 

If you are able, please consider a donation to the Marian Center. We could use your help. Thank you!

To Christ Through Mary, 

Katie Moe and Lori Mercer

P.S. Please forward this email to friends and encourage them to sign up for our email newsletter.  

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