Lord, Save Our Souls from Spiritual Plague
“May happiness and holiness always abound in your life and flourish in your homes. And may the Eucharist… be the center of our life, the source of our happiness and holiness.” – St. John Paul II, Homily, Feb. 2, 1981
I haven’t written anything for this blog in a while, but I feel called to do so now. We are surely in trying times. We are gripped with fear and many are suffering. Our world is in great need of reassurance and comfort – a peace that only God can provide. I am one of those people who turn to God in crisis, when I need help and healing, and I point people to God for the same reason.
Now in my Detroit Archdiocese, we have been denied the comfort and healing of holy Mass. The edict comes from our Archbishop, who says he is following the guidelines of our governor that we not hold large gatherings due to spread of the Coronavirus.
If the decision was mine, which it is not, I would not listen to a woman who has the blood of unborn children all over her hands, as does Gretchen Whitmer. Especially about spiritual matters. But as I said, the decision is not mine.
Lots of people believe cancelling Masses is the right thing to do. They have been dispensed from the obligation to attend on Sundays, so they are fine with this. I, for one, do not attend Mass to avoid sin. I attend Mass because I need Mass. I need the Eucharist. It is my life's blood.
I have been told by people holier than me that I should not criticize the Archbishop and accept the situation. But everything inside me cries out -- this is wrong! I am no Catherine of Siena, by any means. But she felt it necessary to criticize the Pope when she knew he was wrong. John the Baptist criticized Herod when he knew he was giving scandal to the faithful. I may be no saint, but I cannot be silent about this. Banning Mass during times of crisis is WRONG.
During the plague in medieval times, the people had recourse to God, and He heard their prayers. One only has to look at the bi-annual pilgrimage to Oberammergau to know how they pleaded with God and gave Him honor during their crisis, and He heard them because of their faith.
I am a regular adorer in Eucharistic Adoration, which incidentally has been cancelled as well. My team was the last to adore on Tuesday evenings, so we had the privilege of reposing the Eucharist into the tabernacle.
I have had the great honor of holding Jesus Christ in my hands. Just like Mary did at the Nativity, and at the foot of the cross. And just like the priest does every time he offers holy Mass and distributes communion to the faithful.
Now the priests in my archdiocese can offer private Masses. They, and those lucky enough to attend those Masses, will continue to receive Christ daily. But that same Blessed Sacrament is no longer available to the majority of the faithful. Christ’s Bride is excluded.
Imagine a husband who cares for a wife and two young children. A famine comes and the family is starving. The husband, who is a skilled hunter, has the ability to go out and bring home wild game. Imagine he did so, but told his starving wife and children they could not eat. He says, “Take comfort dear. This fast is only for a time, and it is for your own safety.”
Priests are the husbands of the Church, which is the Bride of Christ. Telling the Bride she cannot have the Eucharist, even for a time, is no different than the husband not feeding his family.
Times of crisis frequently bring those away from the Church back. The Catholic Church needs to encourage people to come to Mass, not to stay home. Many would likely return during this time. But the doors are shut! I thought we wanted to help people believe in the Real Presence again. Saying we should stay away because of fear of illness is no way to achieve this end. It only confirms a lack of belief!
I hope I would never be afraid to receive the presence of the Divine Physician – the one who attracted crowds of the sick and suffering during his time on Earth.
May God have mercy on our archdiocese, and have mercy on the faithful who so hunger to receive Him. Lord, save our souls from this spiritual plague.