Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As our adjusting to and coping with the ever-changing landscape of the coronavirus pandemic continues, I write to check in with all of you, and to let you know that you and your loved ones remain in my fervent prayers and heartfelt hopes for the safety and wellbeing of all. I want to acknowledge with gratitude and praise the good and generous work being done by our parish and school staff, our teachers and our volunteers. Their generosity and creativity in response to these extraordinary and challenging conditions continues to be a blessing to us and to our broader community. While we have had—during Lent of all seasons—to reduce, and even to temporarily cancel, a number of our usual services and planned activities, we remain as committed as ever to trying to faithfully fulfill our parish’s mission as mandated by the Lord.
I also want to thank our OLG parishioners for the many expressions of prayerful support and encouragement you have offered to me and to others who serve you at OLG. Believe me, receiving these communications has been a blessing. The coronavirus crisis is breaking new ground for all of us, and though it clearly involves some deeply worrisome elements, it is also true that there have been moments when grace has been given and good things have come forth. For example, we’ve heard from parents who have found joy in having the opportunity to spend more time with their children and to do things with them—games, jigsaw puzzles, exercise, watch movies, etc.—that have been enjoyable and unifying for the family. Some have commented on how good it has been to take in our live-streamed Masses, and so to begin the day in a prayerful mode. Others have noted that, while receiving the Eucharist has become less available, they have been spending more time with the Word of God by reading and reflecting on the Sacred Scriptures via the daily Mass readings or Bible study. Some have been discovering new ways of praying (Lectio Divina, the Liturgy of the Hours) or recovering old prayers that they’d lost touch with (the Rosary). One person even mentioned how he had experienced a deeper appreciation of what it means to truly observe the Sabbath as a day of rest.
Yes, the coronavirus has disrupted our lives, and this is going to continue for a while yet and will almost certainly get worse before it begins to get better. Not only that, we cannot minimize or appear to discount the suffering, the loss and the hardships that people are facing financially, emotionally, physically and psychologically. As we do so, let us remember and be renewed in the positive power of prayer. A form of prayer that some six months ago was introduced to me by a dear friend, a form to whose benefits I can personally attest, is petitionary/intercessory prayer to Our Lady, Undoer (Untier) of Knots, who also happens to be, as I learned more recently, Our Lady of Seattle!
is one way to pray to her. I hope you will try it and join me in praying it daily.
God bless and protect you all,