My apologies that I didn’t post anything yesterday – probably a relief!!! I finally managed to venture out properly yesterday and do some shopping, and in some senses it brought a bit of normality to life, at least being out and about and seeing other people – even though from a safe distance. Still, it all continues to feel very unreal.
Routine is very important to most of us, I think, being the creatures of habit that we are. So being out of our routine is difficult. Trying to find a good routine, a healthy and fruitful routine in present circumstances is important for lots of reasons (and I’m not pretending to be a psychologist or anything else in saying this), we know that a routine of healthy eating, exercise, study, work, and of course prayer, are very important to our well-being, to our happiness and sanity. Yesterday, when I was out, I saw many people jogging, running, cycling, more than I’ve ever really noticed before, and, I suppose, if people are taking the opportunity to look after their physical health in what could otherwise be moments of idleness then that is a good thing.
As people of Faith, then, I hope that we’re brushing up on our own spiritual routine at this time, and setting into place some good habits that we might have neglected up until this point, because this is a great time to start cultivating some good spiritual practices: a daily Rosary (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjFYu2p_KlU), reading of the Gospels (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4HTHskfpN8), silent meditative prayer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyA0Qj6FFEg), prayer of intercession for others and ourselves, spiritual reading (lives of the saints, etc.). We could, if we’re sensible and committed in this time form some excellent spiritual habits that will stand us in good stead well into the future (and anyway, this is a lot of what Lenten penance is really about). This is time not to be wasted – we can see it as an opportunity from God – but time from which to profit, and the greatest profit will be that which benefits our souls, our relationship with God, and ultimately our eternal salvation. So while I’m not saying don’t watch the television, how about drawing ourselves away from the incessant and repetitive and sometimes depressing news programmes and putting ourselves into the presence of God through prayer? The God who lifts us up, who fills us with the joy of His Spirit, the God who gives us hope beyond all hope!
And, if as a family you don’t already take time to pray together how about doing that, how about actually coming together and praying for your needs and for God’s blessing upon you? I know that even families can be reticent about praying together, that in our british-ness we can feel a little embarrassed about it all, yet this is a wonderful time to be drawn together by the love and the grace of God and to pray for and share the things that really concern us at this moment, a time to come together and open our hearts in trust to the Lord. This kind of family prayer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93NI4uweB6k) – the family being the domestic church – is very powerful. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lw6-dmXHKvI)
I apologies for my ramblings, I was going to talk about something completely different, but there you go!
It feels very strange not having my parishioners about, although I know you’re all around. It feels very strange not celebrating Holy Mass with you in our churches, but as this greater family of faith we are united by the Holy Spirit, we are still living and united members of the Body of Christ, as that unity that we have as children of the same Heavenly Father, is always there as we live in His grace. Even though you cannot at this time join me for Holy Mass, by uniting yourself to this sacrifice in spirit, through your spiritual communion, you will still receive an abundance of God’s graces, albeit in a different fashion. Each time Holy Mass is celebrated that fountain of God’s graces is unsealed and poured out upon the world, the fountain of graces that spring from the Cross and from Calvary, and with open and properly disposed hearts we share in those graces. Continue, then, to be of good cheer, know that the Lord is with you, and use this time to draw closer to Him in the ways that you can in these circumstances. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wv-vnoUVTeI) Draw close to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and She will bring you to the Sacred Heart of Her Son.
God bless you and keep you and let His face shine upon you!