March 14, 2020
Dear MODG Families,
We are living in unprecedented times. The concern over the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has resulted in a kind of social distancing we have never seen before. Air travel, ocean travel, gatherings of all kinds have been stopped or impeded. What is of most concern to us as Catholics is the fact that many of us are now deprived of the sacraments, as our dioceses stop public Masses. Some of us are fortunate enough to live where Mass is still allowed, but many of us are not. Who would have thought before this week that I would write those words!?!
When my children were young, and sometimes not eager to go to Mass, my husband and I would say, “Children, going to Mass is the most important thing we can do in our day. There are people all over the world who can’t go, or risk their lives to go, and all we have to do is get in the car and drive seven minutes. We are going and we are grateful.” When we said those words, we didn’t think we were going to be among those who couldn’t go to Mass.
Last night as I was contemplating this situation, and thinking about you, my friends, who are not able to go to Mass today, or tomorrow (Sunday!) or, in some cases, even at Easter (!!), I wanted to share a few thoughts and resources with you. I hope you are already aware of these, but I want to make sure you are, so I decided to write:
- This is Lent, and God has evidently determined a real Lent for us this year. A dear friend of mine said: “No Eucharist: truly a severe forced Lenten penance and a profound desert experience! But we have so much for which to offer this sacrifice…so we continue to pray!”
- In that spirit, I think we are all being called to extra prayer and sacrifice for an end to the ban on the sacraments. God can do all things; He can change the situation in every way it needs to be changed so that we can all have access to the sacraments. Let us dedicate our prayers and sacrifices to this end.
- There are some important resources for us in this desert time. Magnificat has offered their online Mass book free of charge to all Catholics. We can read the prayers with the whole Mystical Body every day, even if we can’t physically go to Mass. https://us.magnificat.net/free
- EWTN offers live streaming of Mass both Sunday and daily: https://www.ewtn.com/tv/shows/sunday-mass-live
- There is a publication I get that listed even more resources in its Saturday, March 14th issue: https://catholicvote.org/getloop/
- There is a lovely Spiritual Communion prayer that Magnificat published in their email about the free subscription offer:
- Jesus, really present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar, since I cannot now receive thee under the sacramental veil, I beseech thee, with a heart full of love and longing, to come spiritually into my soul through the Immaculate Heart of thy most Holy Mother, and to abide with me, thou in me, and I in thee, in time and in eternity. Amen.
- Lastly, I want to bring to your attention the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ. In Mystici Corporis Christi, written by Pope Pius XII in 1943, the pope taught that in the mystical Body of Christ we are TRULY united with Christ. We share in His life, as the branches share in the life of the vine. It is the same Life. “The Divine Redeemer and the Society which is His Body form but one mystical person…” (#67), thus, “all the gifts, powers, and extra-ordinary graces found superabundantly in the Head as in their source flow into all the members of the Church, and are perfected daily in them….” (#77). This means that even when we can’t get to Mass we are sharing in the fruits of every Mass being offered anywhere in the world, and it also means that when we can assist at Mass we should be intentionally praying for and including in our offering those members of the Mystical Body who can’t be at Mass.
So, let’s live this doctrine by intentionally availing ourselves of the graces that are ours through Christ’s life present in us as members of His Body, and also let us intentionally include every person in our MODG community when we go to Mass.
May God bless and keep you throughout this ordeal. You are in my prayers, and the prayers of every member of our administration and staff. The Haydens and I were fortunate enough to be able to go to Mass this morning, and we prayed for every one of you.
Laura Berquist, Founder
Mother of Divine Grace School