Finding strength in a time of lockdown
The early Church Fathers, based on images St. Paul deployed in the Bible, compared spiritual strengthening to athletic fitness training (yes, this was a significant part of ancient Greek life – gymnasium is a Greek word – think Olympics). It was more difficult then, because they couldn’t do it online!
I encourage you to seize the opportunity lockdown has forced on us to train yourself to lean on God, and to strengthen your faith over the next month with these online opportunities – and spread the word:
1- All in-person masses are cancelled, but you can receive Spiritual Communion by joining any number of virtual masses. I will be offering this every Sunday at 11am. Links available by tomorrow: https://www.stthomasmoremtl.ca/ or https://www.stwillibrordparish.org/ (with Wednesday and Friday masses as well).
2- I continue to hear Confessions by appointment in the parish office and Sacristy, or on your doorstep in the SouthWest – I will also bring Holy Communion. If this Sacrament of Reconciliation is not part of your spiritual discipline, now is the time to change that – call me to discuss (514-768-4741).
3- Families: Our new PCL, Alexandra is wonderfully creative and energetic. She has put together a virtual Family Faith Formation & Sacramental Preparation programme. Online information sessions are Tomorrow (Saturday) 11am and Monday, January 11th at 7:30pm -- Register for one of these sessions by email: Alexandra Johnson: email@example.com
4- I am offering again Bishop Barron’s 6-week course on The Sacraments, Thursdays at 7pm. Note the starting date change, now: 21 January. Register with me by phone or email.
5- And Tuesday evenings at 7:30pm, starting January 26, a special study program: The Bible and the Church Fathers designed by St Paul Center. Email me for more info. As described by the coordinator:
- Each session will start with the Holy Rosary, followed by a short video (20 to 30 minutes) and discussion and explanation of different points. Fr Robert Assaly, an expert in early Christianity, will be with us throughout the program.
6- Baptism prep will be offered online, for Baptisms anticipated mid-February. Call the office.
More next week.
O God of peace,
Who hast taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved,
in quietness and confidence shall be our strength:
By the might of Your Spirit lift us, we pray, to Your presence,
where we may be still and know that You are God;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.