Be hopeful, take courage, trust in Him!

There’s a lot to be said for seeing the positive side of things when things around us can seen dismal at first glance. I know that some of the positive things we’ve already seen in this short time of facing Covid-19 have been things like the heroism of individuals who sacrifice their own health and well-being to safeguard that of others, a coming together amongst families and friends and within communities, we’ve grown in appreciation of others and of what we have, and prayer has become more important to us: the intimacy we know that we need with the Lord. To be honest, I’ve even heard the birds singing more in the morning, and have appreciated those moments of bright sunshine, and the flowers blossoming in the church garden.

Our Catholic Faith gives us an inherently positive outlook, because our faith is hope-filled. If we can still have hope in the face of death (which we do, because of the Resurrection) then I don’t think that’s there’s anything that can take our hope away. That’s not to say that we won’t struggle, or question at times, but knowing that Jesus has conquered those things that probably seem the darkest in our existence – suffering and death – then we can be sure that He will get us through our present struggles, and that He is with us in the midst of them.

I don’t know if you managed to see the Holy Father giving his extraordinary ‘Urbi et Orbi’ blessing the other night – a powerful scene in which he walked across a deserted St. Peter’s Square and then concluded by giving Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament to ‘the city and the world’. It was a powerfully moving moment – a vision of hope and light amidst desolation, confusion, and darkness. There was Jesus for us, vulnerable too in the Sacred Host, in all it’s fragility (like us) but awesomely present, too, as the Living God who shines His light upon us, fills us with His blessings, and points the way forward to all mankind.

It is indeed a clichĂ©, but how does one manage without faith in Jesus Christ at a time like this? – We know through Him that God is with us, and that is so precious, so strengthening, so hopeful.

My aunt and uncle finally got back home to Britain yesterday, after having been stuck in the U.S.A. after several weeks’ holiday. I suppose that they felt a great sense of relief returning to their home after all of that uncertainty. There is still much uncertainty in the present climate: loved ones whose health we are worried about, how long all of this will last, will I still have my job, will my company survive this pandemic, how will I cope with the continued isolation and the fear of what might happen to my health… I think these are very natural questions… there is much uncertainty… But one thing we can always be certain of, and one thing that we must constantly cling to is the certainty of our Catholic Faith… the Cross, and the Mysteries that the Church will soon celebrate (albeit with mostly empty churches across the world) give us the certainty that we are loved and cared for by God. When we see, even in our homes, the image of the Son of God nailed to the cross for our salvation then we should be certain that the Lord is at our side in this very moment. Have faith, be of good cheer, trust in the Lord!

Below I’ve posted a beautiful sung version of the Divine Mercy Chaplet which I hope you will enjoy praying along with. The whole thrust of this devotion is trusting in the mercy of God – trust, we’re told, is the vessel by means of which we receive great graces from God.

God bless you and yours and keep you holy and healthy,

Fr. Martin

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