We offer you messages of hope and blessing, needed all the more in these dark days.
Friends, stay safe and well in body and soul.
We look forward to church buildings opening again so we can come together to joyfully celebrate our faith in the Lord. But the Church has never and can never close!
An Always Open Church
“The church does not need to ‘open’ because the church never ‘closed’.
The work of the church is essential.
The work of caring for the lonely, the marginalized, and the oppressed is essential.
The work of speaking truth to power and seeking justice is essential.
The work of being a loving, liberating, and life giving presence in the world is essential.
The work of welcoming the stranger, the refugee and the undocumented is essential.
The work of reconciliation and healing and caring is essential.
We who make up the Body of Christ, the church, –
We love God and our neighbours and ourselves so much
that we will stay away from our buildings until it is safe.
We are the church.”
- Bishop-elect Deon K. Johnson, Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Missouri.
Alone I can Say but together we can Talk.
Alone I can Enjoy but together we can Celebrate.
Alone I can Smile but together we can Laugh.
That’s the beauty of human relationships.
We are nothing without each other.
We are not here for ourselves alone.
It is incumbent upon us to realize how our actions or inactions profoundly affect our soul health, relationship with all beings, and the diverse and complex biosphere of the Earth.
We need a voice and a vision from which to awaken the heart of the world and to rescue ourselves from endangering the spirit of life.
Injustice and war strike more deeply into the sacred web of creation, generating a hopelessness and despair that wound all our souls.
The integrity of our planet and the fate of ecosystems are dependent on an excavation of our hearts and minds—and our souls and spirits.
We need to discover a more generous benevolence and a sturdier vow of humility.
– Beverly Lanzetta
A prayer that carries everyone to the Lord
Watch, O Lord, with those
who wake this night or watch, or weep.
Give your angels and saints
charge over those who sleep.
Tend your sick ones, O Lord Christ,
rest your weary ones,
bless your dying ones,
soothe your suffering ones,
pity your afflicted ones
shield your joyous ones.
And all for your love’s sake.
– St Augustine
If I can
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
Jesus Christ is Alive!
The encounter with the Risen Christ, who frees us from the fears that paralyse us, urges us to go beyond ourselves, beyond our security and comfort, the sense of “it has always been so”.
We are challenged to take the path of the Gospel, which is always new because it is the Word of eternal life.
The encounter with the Risen One becomes mission and proclamation of new life.
Those who have encountered him, those who live as his friends and identify with his message, must inevitably speak of him and bring others his offer of new life: Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!
So what should we proclaim?
We must never tire of proclaiming with our voices and witnessing with our lives that Jesus Christ is alive and that with his Resurrection, he has conquered death.
We must declare that death, hatred and fear do not have the last word, but the life of the Risen One is the definitive word on the story of humanity and our personal stories.
We must cry out that darkness has not conquered the light, but it is the light of Easter that flickers over every night and radiates the beginning of the day without a sunset. God will never abandon those he created and destined for life, love and hope!
The world, the Church and our fraternities need to hear this message: we are the bearers of these glad tidings, so we generously offer to all the good news that springs from Easter!
From the Easter Letter of our Minister General, Michael Perry OFM.
A Living Flame
“Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary.
What we need is to love without getting tired.
How does a lamp burn?
Through the continuous input of small drops of oil. If the drops of oil run out, the light of the lamp will cease, and the bridegroom will say, “I do not know you” (Matt. 25:12).
What are these drops of oil in our lamps?
They are the small things of daily life: faithfulness, small words of kindness, a thought for others, our way of being silent, of looking, of speaking, and of acting.
These are the true drops of love that keep your religious life burning like a living flame.”
- Mother Teresa
There are hints that this road we now travel is not all about death and grief.
What new learnings is the Spirit provoking in Pandemic time?
What new empowerment might be growing?
Air pollution has lulled. Nations are agreeing to cease making war.
There is more prayer. More family and community focus.
More Earth awareness. More global consciousness and compassion.
The oneness of all living beings is being felt at a new level.
Wonder and imagination seem to have taken on new dimensions.
Every day I hear enthusiastic stories about the healing beauty of creation,
about the joy of experiencing oneness with animals, trees, flowing waters.
Awakenings of huge proportions are sparked by noticing
one azalea bush blazing in the sun, one goldfinch peering the window,
starlight reflected in a pond, one breath of fresh, clean air after an April rain.
As we recover, however long it takes and whatever devastation must be endured and grieved,
may we stay alert to new awakenings and new learnings.
Our world is being reshaped.
May we remain vigilant to the mystery of divine mercy at work.
What is happening for you as you travel this dark Pandemic Road?
How is this time alerting you to see new possibilities for creation?
What is strengthening and deepening in you?
–Ann Dean, Dayspring Church
On Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope Francis said that the Lord’s patience and kindness towards Thomas is an example for us in these days.
A Worse Virus
On this feast of Divine Mercy, the most beautiful message comes from Thomas, the disciple who arrived late; he was the only one missing. But the Lord waited for Thomas.
Mercy does not abandon those who stay behind.
Now, while we are looking forward to a slow and arduous recovery from the pandemic, there is a danger that we will forget those who are left behind.
The risk is that we may then be struck by an even worse virus, that of selfish indifference. A virus spread by the thought that life is better if it is better for me, and that everything will be fine if it is fine for me.
It begins there and ends up selecting one person over another, discarding the poor, and sacrificing those left behind on the altar of progress. The present pandemic, however, reminds us that there are no differences or borders between those who suffer.
We are all frail, all equal, all precious.
May we be profoundly shaken by what is happening all around us: the time has come to eliminate inequalities, to heal the injustice that is undermining the health of the entire human family!
Let us learn from the early Christian community described in the Acts of the Apostles. It received mercy and lived with mercy: “All who believed were together and had all things in common; and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need” (Acts 2:44-45). This is not some ideology: it is Christianity.
Friends, may we feel in our bones, even now that we are hardwired for love and joy.
Stay safe and well in body and soul.
Nothing is Wasted
“Jesus says, There’s only one sign I’m going to give you: the sign of the prophet Jonah.
Sooner or later, life is going to lead us (as it did Jesus) into the belly of the beast, into a situation that we can’t fix, can’t control, and can’t explain or understand.
That’s where transformation most easily happens. That’s when we’re uniquely in the hands of God.
Right now, it seems the whole world is in the belly of the beast together.
But we are also safely held in the loving hands of God, even if we do not yet fully realize it.
The life and resurrection of Jesus reveals that God uses tragedy, suffering, pain, betrayal, and death itself, not to wound or punish us, but to bring us to deeper union.
In such a divine economy, everything can be transmuted, everything can be used, and nothing is wasted.”
– Richard Rohr OFM
“Tomorrow shall be my dancing day.” Friends, may nothing rob us of the joy of Jesus Risen!
Stay safe and well in body and soul.
The Sun Dances on Easter Morn
I have an early childhood memory of my mother leaving a basin of water out in the back yard on a bright Easter Sunday morning. She then invited us to look in basin and watch the sun dance!
“The sun dances on Easter morning”, she told us.
It’s the kind of message of joy and hope that we all need during these difficult days.
Easter reminds us that, as Pope Francis keeps saying, we must never let ourselves be ‘robbed of hope’.
An old medieval carol about the life of Jesus promises that “Tomorrow shall be my dancing day”.
We still have a long way to go in the fight against Covid-19 and its consequences.
There will be many more sacrifices to make before this is all over.
But as surely as Christ rose on Easter morning, we will come through this, hopefully as better people, strengthened by the experience.
– Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh