According to a decree issued today by the Vatican’s Apostolic Penitentiary, a plenary indulgence is being granted for Catholics who are afflicted with COVID-19 and those who care for them, as well as those who pray for them.
The Oratory of Saint Joseph at Mount Royal is a magnificent structure, its imposing dome dominating the highest point of the cosmopolitan city of Montreal. In the incomprehensible ways of God, this majestic basilica, the largest church in Canada, is named for and dedicated to one of His humblest creatures: the carpenter of Nazareth, whose feast day we celebrate on March 19th.
We might as well admit it right up front – this is a Lent like most of us have never seen in our lifetime. A killer virus is sweeping the planet. We’re virtually quarantined in our homes; the kids are off; events are cancelled; the churches are closed; and we’re all drowning in toilet paper (or trying to). Could it get any worse? Probably, but let’s not go there.
It is our duty to pray especially for the souls of our family, friends, and benefactors. Pray especially for our priests, and consecrated religious. We tend to “canonize” our clergy and loved ones immediately after their death. Fr. Frederick Faber tells us: “We are apt to leave off too soon praying for our parents, friends, or relatives, imagining with a foolish enlightened esteem for the holiness of their lives, that they are freed from purgatory much sooner than they really are.”
We’ve all had one – the day that starts off bad and gets worse by the hour. The car won’t start, the cat got out, your boss just imposed an impossible deadline, the kids came home with the stomach bug and the dishwasher stopped mid-cycle. This is known as a bad hair day, and it could be a total loss if not for the saving grace of a thing called passive mortification.
The three temptations of Jesus are familiar to all of us – the temptation for sensual satisfaction, the thirst for power, and the desire for worldly recognition – but, as the Spanish exorcist Father Jose Antonio Fortea explains, these temptations become much more subtle and dangerous when they are imposed on the devout.
by Kathleen Beckman
Lent’s forty days of prayer and fasting offer a process of healing and liberation. In Lent we place ourselves nearer to the suffering servant, Jesus Christ. We ponder the Redeemer’s suffering. We remember that Christ’s Passion sanctified all human suffering. We relate to His pain because we are touched by the corporate weight of sin and evil in the world. It rubs against us in ordinary life. The Christian is called to push back the tsunami of sin and evil. Read the rest…
Even though all of us were created by God to do Him some definite service in this world, the reason why some of us find it so difficult to discern what that service is supposed to be is because we have a tendency to over-complicate the discernment process. Maybe this Lenten season is the time to get rid of that bad habit.
The priest abuse scandal is a disgrace, as was the Pachamama debacle at the Amazonian Synod and the dissident priests who are running amok, promoting everything from same-sex marriage to goofy New Age gimmicks like the Enneagram; but every time I start to attack the Church for its pitiful condition I feel a check in my spirit and instantly think of a meme someone posted on Facebook a few months ago – “Why would I give up Jesus because of what Judas did?” Why am I blaming the Church for what a few bad actors are doing?
When I was invited to attend the FOCUS conference, SLS20: “Made for Mission” in Phoenix Dec 30-Jan 3, I jumped at the chance. The prior year’s event, SEEK2019, had been attended by some friends who declared it life-changing. And to have it in my backyard? Count me in!