Monday Miscellany: Unexpected Graces

HE IS RISEN!!! ALLELUIA!!!!! Easter is 50 DAYS LONG and I’m so happy to have a reason to celebrate. As we experience the joy of His Resurrection all over again, I’ve been reflecting on how many unexpected blessings have come out of this pandemic. Catholics everywhere are experiencing a renewed love and appreciation for the Sacraments. We’ve all been given a much-needed break from the busy-ness of our everyday lives. The Christian community as a whole has drawn closer together. Divisions have melted away, and people of all races, faiths, and political viewpoints are standing together in solidarity and lifting each other up instead of tearing one another down. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this happened during the liturgical seasons of Lent and Easter. Things may be hard right now, but God is bringing new life to so many barren places.

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How the Story Ends

File:Cristo crucificado.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Christ Crucified by Diego Velázquez

I’ve been meditating on the Passion of Christ this week and thinking a lot about the endings of stories. There are so many different kinds, and they evoke so many varied emotions. Endings can be happy, sad, satisfying, confusing, or they can leave you wanting more. As a certified bookworm, I’ve breathed many a sigh of regret as I turned the last page in a book, wishing I could rewrite the ending, or that there was a sequel, or that the story just wasn’t over yet.

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Monday Miscellany: Holy Week Edition!

Holy Week is here at last and my heart is rejoicing! It has been a long, long Lent, and I am so ready to enter into the mysteries of Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection. Holy Week always reminds me that the story of our salvation is truly the world’s greatest love story. God’s love for us will overcome all things, no matter how dark or scary they seem. He has conquered sin and death, and if that’s not worth celebrating, I don’t know what is!

This year, with so many people staying home, Holy Week is bound to look a bit different. But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate! There are so many amazing (and free) resources being made available so that we can still experience the rich traditions of the Church at home, by ourselves or with our families. Today I want to share some of these resources in the hopes that they will help you have a prayerful, grace-filled, and blessed Holy Week.

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Responding to the Coronavirus with Grace

The panic around COVID-19 has increased dramatically over the last few weeks as it suddenly got a lot closer to home. I think most people never expected the coronavirus to be more than a news story, never expected it to have much of an effect on their personal lives. It’s safe to say that at this point, nearly everyone in the world has been affected, either directly or indirectly, by the pandemic.

Last Friday, March 13, we were notified that our diocese had canceled all public Masses until further notice. I was absolutely stunned. I was prepared for the closing of schools but not for this. The following Sunday, we watched a live-streamed Mass. While I’m very grateful for the modern technology that allowed us to watch the Mass that day, I missed being present in church, missed worshiping in community, and most of all, I desperately missed receiving the Eucharist.

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40 Days in the Desert: How to Have a Spiritually Fruitful & Transformative Lent

The Lenten season is fast approaching! And yes, Lent is a time of penitence and fasting, but it can also be a time of spiritual growth and renewal. When we let go of the worldly things we’ve been holding onto a little too tightly, we allow space for God to enter in and transform us. Lent is a wonderful opportunity to grow in patience, perseverance, and holiness, and a much-needed reminder that a little suffering can be good for us. Below are some suggestions for ways to make your Lent more fruitful.

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3 Things on the Feast of St. Francis de Sales

Let us do three things, my dearest daughter, and we will have peace: let us have the very pure intention of will to do all things for the honor and glory of God; let us do the little that we can toward that end, according to the advice of our spiritual director; and let us leave it to God to take care of all the rest.

St. Francis de Sales

Intention. God can perform amazing works through us when we offer him our sincere desire and intention to do His will. Just this simple act of wanting to please God can help us to discern what steps we should take to achieve that goal, and furthermore, we can trust that He will give us the graces we need to accomplish it. In this instance, it really is the thought that counts. Our Heavenly Father knows that we will need His help in order to carry out His will, but He desires that, like obedient children, we be willing to say “yes” to His plan.

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