We need no words to state the seriousness of the crisis of the coronavirus around the world and throughout our country. We are aware of the sacrifices we must take in order to play our part in slowing its spread, saving lives and enabling the health system to continue its vital work. These things are our duty before God.
There are other important aspects of this moment in our history that are less prominent in our media and conversations. At this moment we stand before God – this is never to be forgotten. Together we turn to God in prayer, at this moment as never before in recent memory. Our faith in God is the bedrock on which we live. Prayer is the first and loving expression of this relationship. Prayer is an acknowledgement that we are not in ultimate control of our lives or of our world. That is so clear at this time. Prayer is an expression of our turning to God for that grace which alone can heal us, strengthen us and give us the resolve and generosity to do all that is rightly expected of us today. Please make this a time of prayer, personally, in the family and wherever you happen to be.
The highest form of prayer is the celebration of the Holy Mass. This is at the heart of the rhythm of the life of the Church, of prayer which sustains us all. The present crisis will not disturb that rhythm. Mass will continue to be celebrated, day by day. The prayer of the Church will continue day by day. What will temporarily change is the manner of our participation in those celebrations of the Mass. In response to the pandemic and present mandates, which we must follow, public participation in the celebration is not possible for now. This is a sacrifice we have to make. It is not easy for any Catholic, but it is what we must do.
We want to make it very clear that the teaching of the Church is that, in these circumstances, the obligation of attending Mass on Sundays does not apply, as Bishop Robert Guglielmone granted dispensation for our Sunday Mass obligation for the weekends of March 21-22 and March 27-28. Please have no doubt about this. This does not mean that we lose our love of the Mass or our desire to take part in the celebration of the Mass. Mass will be celebrated, day by day, privately, in our Parish. There are many ways of taking part in this prayer. Associate yourself with the celebration of the Mass when broadcasted on our website and/or spiritually. Read the Scriptures of the day. Use some of the materials that are available to be close in your heart. Learn again the practice of spiritual communion. If you can participate in the Mass through your computer, mobile device or tablet, then go to our website where the celebration and other prayer services are being streamed including Sunday Mass at 8:00 A.M. There are many ways in which we can deepen our participation in the Holy Mass and our life of prayer in these strange and stressful days. They are an opportunity for us to do so.
Furthermore, being unable to attend Mass is the experience of many, many Catholics around the world. They are deprived of the Mass through distance, or through violence, or through persecution. We can unite our experience with them and, like them, return to the Mass with fresh love and enthusiasm when again it is possible for us to do so – in bigger numbers than ever. In the intervening time, let us not self-deprived ourselves from visiting our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament, who remains hidden in the tabernacle. Let us stop by on any day of the week to simply converse with Him, present really and truly a few feet away from the pews, as the doors of the church will continue to open every day from 10:00 A.M. through 2:00 P.M. so we can come close to our Lord in the Eucharist – reserved in the tabernacle.
Last but not least, let us encourage each other. Let us pray for each other. Let us turn to our Blessed Mother for her undeniable protection. To Jesus through Mary, may He continue to protect and richly bless you and your respective families!
Act of Spiritual Communion: O my Jesus, I love You, I adore You, I hope in You, my God so good. I believe that You are truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar. Although I cannot now receive You sacramentally, I desire to receive you into my soul, and ask that You may at least come spiritually into my heart. Lord, keep me always in communion with You, and never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
Corpus Christi Catholic Church 2350 Augusta Hwy | Lexington SC 29072 Tel 803.359.4391 | Fax 803.359.8885