Quaran-gesima

 

For us Catholics, Lent is supposed to be a time of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Its length of forty days leads to its Latin name “Quadragesima.”

During this time of coronavirus, I have been quarantining at home since even before the executive order in New York State and the bishops’ decree there be no public sacraments in churches. It is difficult to say what I think about the bishops’ decision. Part of me agrees with it and part of me is horrified, so mostly I try not to think about it but instead to pray for relief and grace and protection.

Last Thursday our pastor announced that he and other area pastors had been instructed by our local bishop to bring the Blessed Sacrament outside and bless our nation. As our parish’s Facebook page says,

At 12 noon on Thursday, March 19, per the request of Bishop Colacicco to reassure our Parishioners of the continued pastoral solicitude of our Priests, Fr. John along with many other Parish Priests, offered a simple Benediction at the front doors of our church with the Monstrance in hand. The intention was to seek God’s mercy and forgiveness, to ask protection against the spread of the Corona Virus and to end this pandemic. Not to violate the emergency executive order prohibiting gatherings, we were told NOT to notify anyone of this Benediction beforehand, but to publish the Benediction afterwards.

This public act filled me with hope and peace. I rejoiced knowing that this had been done, especially because it was the feast day of St. Joseph, the Terror of Demons!

This time has been very difficult, but at the same time, on a personal note, the forced isolation helps me to realize how much time and energy I put into our parish’s celebration of Lent. As a cantor, I lead many services at our church, which always takes a lot out of me. My children serve on the altar and as lector. We have no outside obligations this year. I will be home all of Holy Week this year. Rather than focusing on the songs and the order of the service as I tend to do when I am responsible for so much during the liturgy, I have leisure to focus on the prayer itself. This is a true blessing, and one of those unintended consequences of this terrible time.

I feel much more peaceful going into Laetare Sunday and rounding the corner of these days as we spin down towards Holy Week. There are no pamphlets to coordinate with the religious ed director or psalms to rehearse or any of the many mundane things that go with the public performance that is part of the Mass. I hate not having the sacraments available to me, but at the same time, the opportunities for grace abound and I have the leisure to see them.

I pray I never live through another Quadragesima like this one and that I can return very very soon to my church and worship our Lord in spirit and in truth, receiving Him sacramentally as well as spiritually, but I also thank the good Lord for His graces during this Quarantine, and His help in making it holy. It is my Quaran-gesima this year.

May you all find peace and blessings this and every day.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 13 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    Soon and very soon!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmW-Tz6DFdc

     

     

    • #1
  2. Ultron Will Inject You Now Inactive
    Ultron Will Inject You Now
    @Pseudodionysius

    Quadragesima

    • #2
  3. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    Ultron Will Inject You Now (View Comment):

    Quadragesima

    oops…

    • #3
  4. Ultron Will Inject You Now Inactive
    Ultron Will Inject You Now
    @Pseudodionysius

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Ultron Will Inject You Now (View Comment):

    Quadragesima

    oops…

    Septuagesima, Sexagesima, Quinquagesima, Quadragesima….

    • #4
  5. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Our bishop’s halt to public sacraments only covers this weekend and the next two, through Palm Sunday.  (Archdiocese of Atlanta.) If not extended, we will return to church for the Triduum.  We can only hope and pray.

    • #5
  6. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad: It is difficult to say what I think about the bishops’ decision. Part of me agrees with it and part of me is horrified, so mostly I try not to think about it but instead to pray for relief and grace and protection.

    I would say I’m embarrassed for us. Maybe ashamed. Think of the risks the Church has undertaken to provide the Sacraments to the faithful in the past. Priests imprisoned in the Tower of London and executed just for saying Mass. Priests seeking out leper colonies to serve and eventually succumbing to the disease. So many martyrs and saints are made in times of distress much more severe than this! It seems so . . . cowardly.

    I’m especially disturbed that the elect and the candidates will not receive the Sacraments at the Easter Vigil. They’ve been preparing all year and we’ve been praying for them during that time. I don’t see why it couldn’t be arranged to have them come into the Church in small, family groups at the Easter Vigil. This is a very big deal to postpone. It just seems wrong.

    I think the political choices are unavoidable. The gubmint must be seen to be “doing something.” But, the episcopate choosing not to trust the Lord (nor trusting the faithful to use good judgment under the circumstances) seems like a breach of trust — of faith! 

     

    • #6
  7. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Ironically, I’ve had to abstain from receiving Eucharist since Lent began because I’m eliminating wheat from diet to see if it fixes my Burning Mouth Syndrome (I like to think of it as Isaiah’s affliction), which I’ve had going on five years now, and the first thing the diocese did in response to flu was stop offering the Precious Blood. So y’all are just joining me in my Lenten Eucharistic abstention with all the Masses canceled!

    • #7
  8. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    Think of the risks the Church has undertaken to provide the Sacraments to the faithful in the past.

    The National Catholic Register has a great interview with a Deacon who is a doctor I believe and was in Africa during the ebola epidemic. He describes priests working through their fear with great faith to keep the churches open and bring the sacraments to the people. I’d link if I could find it…

    • #8
  9. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):
    I’d link if I could find it…

    Found it: “Doctor: Keep Calm and Take Practical, Prayerful Action Amid Coronavirus”

    • #9
  10. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    I’m especially disturbed that the elect and the candidates will not receive the Sacraments at the Easter Vigil.

    Agreed. My nephew was originally going to be baptized this weekend. A baptism is too important to delay.

    I’m not sure about the American bishops’ decision to exclude parishioners from the Mass and Eucharist. My gut reaction was that it’s the wrong decision because Christians have risked execution from the first century to celebrate the liturgy and to receive “the source and summit of the Christian life.”

    Furthermore, saints like Pope John Paul II kissed lepers and dared other contagions to show the afflicted that they are loved.

    But prudence is a Christian virtue. Risking invisible contagions that one might spread to others is different than risking one’s own execution. So at least the correct course might not be obvious.

    Also, the Lord has already brought good fruits from the restrictions. My parish instituted 24/7 adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. It has enriched my own spiritual life.

    And Americans now appreciate first-hand what it is like to be deprived of the sacrament, which could help us all when access is restored. Last Rites are still offered to those most in need, while we all learn to incorporate spiritual communion into our prayer routines.

    • #10
  11. Nerina Bellinger Inactive
    Nerina Bellinger
    @NerinaBellinger

    Color me another conflicted Catholic regarding the suspension of public Masses.  It really, really bothers me from a spiritual standpoint and I can’t help being a little paranoid about the whole “freedom of religion and freedom to assemble” parts of the Constitution.  I’m trying to balance prudence and fortitude and failing miserably.  I’m in Rochester, NY and our Bishop delivered an emotional homily this past Sunday.  For those interested:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynWKSmjGVNI

    Our priest has the church open from 7:30 – 4:30 everyday for the faithful to visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.  It’s something, at least.  

    • #11
  12. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Last Rites are still offered to those most in need

    Yes my bishop has urged his priests to offer Anointing of the Sick to all who need it, but I’m not sure the authorities will permit that either.  I’ve been reading stories about coronavirus patients in the ICU being strictly quarantined with no visitors allowed.

    • #12
  13. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Last Rites are still offered to those most in need

    Yes my bishop has urged his priests to offer Anointing of the Sick to all who need it, but I’m not sure the authorities will permit that either. I’ve been reading stories about coronavirus patients in the ICU being strictly quarantined with no visitors allowed.

    Oh, no! That’s totally unacceptable. 

    • #13