Update from Pastor, Fr. Jeff VonLehmen - March 27, 2020
Blessings local and from around the world.
The Purpose of daily meditations for parish families with Padre.
Friday, March 27, as you may have heard, Pope Francis has given the world an “Urbi Et Orbi” (local and world blessing.) This is really an early Easter blessing upon the world. Great news!!
Many of you on lock down are scrambling to keep sanity, balance and hope.
I am encouraged to hear from those of you who are receiving daily inspiration via email and online reflections from around the world and country. Parishioners are listening to EWTN, Fr. Robert Baron, Scott Hahn, Lisa from WWP, the list goes on.
It is awesome that each of you is finding strength and much needed hope from media resources. These are important sources of graces.
The connection parishioners have to each other and to the parish is also a source of a local grace. The Mass and daily weekday meditations on St. Patrick Shrine Media are simply a way of facilitating that unique grace between us and for us. There has been an expression of gratitude for the Mary’s Mantle novena via local email and good fruit for those able to participate. Parishioners have shared they are experiencing the blessing of prayers answered for themselves or for another parishioner or family member. That’s what I call a local grace.
Also based on what I heard so far from parishioners is that one of the graces of the local Mass and the weekly meditations here is that it offers the comfort of home, a familiar place, familiar voices and familiar setting (and unfortunately familiar jokes). It says very clearly that the Lord is here for you locally through the parish community. It is a very important grace and connection! How many of you have found your way through difficult times by the prayer and service of another parishioner? So, this is the important grace of the local parish praying and worshiping together.
The morning meditations simply help to facilitate our close connection. One purpose of the daily mediations on our web, is that at some point each day, a family may stop and pray together the psalm for a few minutes after watching the meditation. Families are looking for things to do other than on-line work or on-line school. Families may be exercising together or playing games, as well. All very important. Here is just one more thing that might help the family here locally by facilitating a “home-made” meditation. This week I will add a virtue each day the family can practice (Each virtue the family practices can be written on your Easter eggs as you color them perhaps?) St. Thomas Aquinas said you see all of the virtues of love in the cross. So, what a great time for each family to try a virtue a day. Just reading the psalm each day, will build inner virtue and self-control. The more space the family can give God together even for a few moments, the more He will be in control of our hearts, thoughts and behaviors.
All of this, is to provide a way, for the Lord to care for you locally, a local grace to complement the graces from around the world and from so many good Christian and Catholic resources.
Christ’s peace as we make the most of this time of closeness!!
P.S. In the days ahead, you will hear more about the Holy Week services under our current conditions.