Hello again,How are you holding up? I am fine. I want to send you some links to help you with your spiritual enrichment during this time of confinement.First, Elke sends the Sunday Playlist: (thanks Elke)https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkzaCrU7PUC90BQKnR83a10iWOBRHIxiCYou can sing along and worship as you would have at OLM! You can also donate to help struggling OLM families by going to: http://www.ourladyofmercy.info/the-good-neighbour-fund/Please remember that daylight savings time goes into effect this Saturday evening. Put your clocks one hour ahead Saturday night before going to bed. I don’t think it will be as difficult losing an hour of sleep this year!  :)I know I have not been inundating you with emails and spiritual links. I have always been in favor of encouraging Catholics to have an adult faith and to trust in their own spirituality. The clergy does not have a monopoly on spirituality. Please don’t rely on us too much, you can access God just as easily as we can. One group of nuns have been asking us priests to celebrate 20 Masses a day so that God will end this crisis. I know they have good intentions, but let us never forget that Jesus had to wait 3 days after his death to rise from the dead. If the Son of God had to wait the appointed time, so must we.Yes, we need to pray, but we need to accept God’s will. It’s right there is the Lord’s prayer. THY WILL BE DONE. God did NOT cause this crisis, Man did. Although God can help us sanctify the situation.It would be a tragedy if we did not get to know God better during this time. One of the biggest challenges for us to grow in spirituality is that we have no time. Right? So, now we have the time. Are we using it well or are we running from the silence? Are we moving from device to device, TV to telephone, WhatsApp to Facebook? Why not STOP and listen to His voice. I promise you, a peace that you did not know before will enter you. Silence is good for the soul. Besides, you are never really alone.There was a story of a man who was so BUSY, so busy with so much to do. He had work, he was focused on advancing in his career, there was exercising, time with friends, hobbies, TV, emails, text messages, meetings, and so much going on. He was so busy that he did not have time to go to church, no time to help his neighbor in need, no time to even notice the suffering and pain of others. He was REALLY BUSY. When he died, and was before St. Peter, there was a review of his life. And St. Peter said, Wow! according to this review, you did nothing for others. You were going non-stop all the time but did not use any time for God or your neighbor. I am sorry, but you can’t get into heaven. The man protested: But God is a good God, please, go plead on my behalf, you must do that for me. And St. Peter said: I am so sorry, normally I would do that, but I am too busy. You might say I am bad, but the rule here is that I must treat you in the same way you decided to live your life. It was your decision, not mine.My advice, for what it is worth, is don’t try and fill up your time so that it passes by more quickly. Use it to better your heart and soul. Cherish every moment. Pray for those who are truly suffering. This time of crisis will end one day. It would be a shame if we went back to our former way of life without having taking advantage of the many graces God bestows upon us, in good times, and in bad.Be blessed and trust in God! (Joke at bottom),Fr. Ron

Now I am going to copy many links to many resources provided by our friends at Redemptorist publications:


Reflections, news and prayers to lift your spirit

PRAYER


Pope Francis

Pope Francis called for all Christians to respond to the coronavirus pandemic “with the universality of prayer, of compassion, of tenderness”, adding, “Let us remain united. Let us make our closeness felt toward those persons who are the most lonely and tried”.

Speaking after the traditional recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father called on all Christians to join together in prayer. “In these trying days, while humanity trembles due to the threat of the pandemic, I would like to propose to all Christians that together we lift our voices towards Heaven.”


Urbi et Orbi Blessing Friday 27 March 5pm

Pope Francis invites all the Christian faithful to participate in a special time of prayer led by him at Saint Peter Square on Friday, 27 March 2020. The ceremony will include readings from the Scriptures and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  It will conclude with the Pope imparting the Urbi et Orbi blessing which is usually held only twice per year, at Christmas and Easter, from the balcony over the entrance of Saint Peter Basilica.  The prayer and blessing will be live-streamed on the Vatican News website (www.vaticannews.va) at 5:00 pm.


Spiritual Exercise

We encourage you to sit in stillness for ten to fifteen minutes and open your heart to receive God’s gift of the Holy Spirit.

This spiritual exercise will deepen your awareness of the presence of the Holy Spirit in your heart and give you confidence that the Spirit will be with you in everything you do to make Christ known.

  1. Centre yourself; sit upright, two feet firmly on the floor; breathe rhythmically with deep breaths, in and out, from the abdomen; clear your mind of all preoccupations.
  2. Bring yourself to bodily stillness.
  3. Now welcome in your heart this gift that Jesus has for you: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid” (John 14:27).
  4. Quietly repeat those words of Jesus and hand over to him all worries or trouble.
  5. You may find it helpful if you name to God a specific area where you need healing or forgiveness.
  6. Now be still for some time in the presence of God as you welcome the Holy Spirit into your heart.
  7. As you are about to finish your time of prayer, focus again on your breathing while you relax in God’s presence.
  8. Bring yourself gently back to your daily concerns.

May you receive that peace of Christ each day.


Good News From Around The World

Prior to many US states going into lockdown a priest in Maryland was offering drive-thru confessions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Father Scott Holmer administered the confession every day in the parking lot of St. Edward Church in Bowie. He sat on a chair while cars pulled up to him. Fr Scott kept a distance of 6-feet between himself and those wishing to confess.

Every cloud has a silver lining
In the battle against global warming, scientists say that the number of people staying in their homes has caused levels of air pollutants and warming gases to fall. In fact, it’s down almost 50 percent on this point in time last year.



Air Conditioning BrokeThe Catholic Church’s air conditioning broke down, so they had to hire a man to crawl around in the ducts and figure out what was wrong. As the man peeked down through one of the vents in the sanctuary, he saw little old Mrs. Murphy kneeling by the altar, apparently saying her rosary.

Since the man was a fundamental Baptist, he thought it’d be funny to try and mess with the lady’s mind. In his best authoritative voice, he said, “This is Jesus. Your prayers will be answered.”

The little old lady didn’t even blink, just kept on saying her prayers. The man decided maybe she didn’t hear him, and tried again.

“This is Jesus, the Son of God! Your prayers will be answered!”

Again, she didn’t react at all. Mustering up a big breath of air, the man decided to try again. “THIS IS JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD! YOUR PRAYERS WILL BE ANSWERED!”

The lady looks up and says, “QUIET DOWN! I’M TALKING TO YOUR MOTHER!”