I have been wanting to get a least one blog post out this week because I felt the need to reach out to my readers and followers. We are living through unprecedented times with this COVID-19 outbreak. I said to my wife today that it affects everyone we know – family, friends…everyone! There are times when it feels surreal and I think I am going to work up from a dream.
With us all understanding this, I know deep down in my heart and soul that Our Lord Jesus Christ has a plan and that his merciful love will triumph. God never abandons us, most especially in times like this. It is a bit disappointing that we can’t get access to the spiritual graces from the Holy Eucharist since so many dioceses have canceled Masses, however, we should be obedient to our Bishop (see article below). I would encourage you to go to Reconciliation if your parish is still offering it. Our parish is offering Confession, but they are sitting outside instead of inside the confessional. My wife and I went today.
Four weeks ago, I was a wreck and my anxiety was through the roof because I saw that this virus was spreading and would likely be on the shores of the USA soon. My wife encouraged me to start praying, The Surrender Novena.
I have been praying it every day and it is helping me cope with the stress and uncertainty that we live in today. The other reason I have been praying it is that I am still looking for a new job after being laid off from the parish I’ve worked for the last 6 ½ years. My job search has become increasingly more difficult with the virus shutting down businesses. We have bills and debt that need to be paid. Although I know eventually a new job will come, this novena has been a great help for consolation and peace.
I would also encourage you to pray the prayer to Our Lady of Monte Berico. As Shaun McAfee says, “she is the perfect intercessor right now.” To learn more about Our Lady under this title, please click here.
Another great Saint to turn towards in these difficult times is the Patron of the Universal Church, the foster-father of Jesus, and today’s solemnity – Saint Joseph. I have written on St. Joseph many times over the years. I would highly encourage you to put your trust in him. If there is one person in the New Testament that knows about dark times, it would be St. Joseph, but with trust and confidence in God, he did exactly what he was told and protected Our Lady and Jesus completely.
The last thing I recommend is Praying the Rosary. If you have not been praying the daily rosary during this time, let’s all start today! At 9:00 PM in Rome (4:00 PM EST, 1:00 PM here in Arizona), the Holy Father will be praying the Rosary and he has asked the universal Church to pray with him. My family and I will be praying the Rosary with the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist. Let’s do what Catholics do best when our backs are up against the wall – PRAY!! The Holy Rosary has saved Christendom more than once.
Our Lady of Monte Berico…Pray for Us
Saint Joseph…Pray for Us
Saint Rocco…Pray for Us
St. Charles Borromeo…Pray for Us
All Holy Men and Women…Pray for Us
Catholic Resources for Mass and Podcasts:
1. NewAdvent.org (a great resource of Catholic articles at all times, not just during this crisis)
4. Live Mass from Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (Traditional Latin Mass)
5. The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter – Our Lady of Walsingham (I wish Phoenix had a parish!)
6. Franciscan University of Steubenville: Holy Spirit Friary (Daily Mass at 12:05 PM)
7. 10 Things You Should Do Until Public Masses Return (Patti Armstrong at National Catholic Register)
11. Ascension Press Facebook Page (Praying the Rosary today!)
13. Magnificat (Free online issue through May)
14. Formed (check your parish bulletin or website – some parishes provide membership for their parishioners)
16. Live Stream Mass from the Motherhouse of the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist.
18. The Upper Room (Steubenville Conferences)
19. A Message from Fr. Dave Pivonka, TOR (Franciscan University Steubenville President)
20. Live Liturgy (Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church)
I will add to this list as I find more. If you know of any, please feel free to post them in the comment box below.