Just what are we to think of these wild times?
The oft-quoted Charles Dickins’s A Tale of Two Cities comes to mind, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…”
Personally, I think Bishop Athansius Schneider nails it HERE at LifeSiteNews. (Be sure to read it.) He notes that not even the Third Reich dared to do what’s happening to us right now, especially as pertains to the government and the Church. In his latest book, Christus Vincit, he warns of a coming One World Government, which in the article above, he refers to as a “Sanitary Dictatorship.” Frightening, no?
But you know who else was predicting this years ago? Catholic author Michael O’Brien. Have you read any of his literature yet? If not, pick up Father Elijah. You likely have time on your hands, after all. And that book is a page-turner.
What else can we do besides read great literature?
Of course we need not despair, even though I am tempted to. Early last week, right before the Terrible Ban on Everything, our family went to Confession, and alas, I did confess despair. My priest–God save him!–quietly asked me if I was familiar with the Gospel passage about Jesus sleeping in the boat during the storm from Matthew 8?
“Yes,” I responded.
“And when the disciples woke Jesus, what did he say to them?”
“Why are you afraid, O ye of little faith?” I sighed.
My priest continued, “But I don’t want you to dwell on that. Rather, I want you to remember that he was in the boat. He was there all along, in the storm, and he’s here now. I want you to thank Jesus for being in the boat with us. He hasn’t abandoned us.”
I found great comfort in that, and it’s been my prayer lately. Thank you, Jesus, for being in the boat with us.
Besides personal prayer? What else?
Here are a few other thoughts:
- While I hate to encourage more screen time, I will say that Dr. Taylor Marshall and John Henry Weston are spot on HERE.
- But more importantly, are you saying a daily family rosary?
- I know I talked about the difficulties of fasting recently, but are you fasting? Even if it’s something small? Perhaps you could give up creamer in your coffee? Or refrain from adding salt or pepper to your dishes? Or give up ice cubes? Anything is better than nothing! Start small, if you’re new to this.
- Get yourself to confession. Today. Who knows where this is going to end? If the governors of California, New York, and Illinois can put everyone on “house arrest,” then your governor can too. Call or email your pastor. If he’s worth his salt, he’ll figure out a way to legally hear your confession.
- Encourage your pastor to do 24-hour Adoration, if your state’s not on “house arrest.” Even if no more than 10 people could legally attend, and of course observing “social distancing” laws of 6 feet, this would be a beautiful way to keep Churches open.
- And finally, encourage your priest to do processions. I will be eternally thankful to our priest for noticing which way the wind was blowing last week, for we had a lovely procession with prayers against pestilence last Sunday.
But we need more processions.
Daily processions. Perhaps priests could walk the streets with a Cross Bearer and two Acolytes, while reciting the Litany of Saints and Prayers against Pestilence. This could be done daily, at say 3pm. The faithful could park their cars along the way and pray. Or the more bolder of the faithful could follow behind, keeping “social distancing” laws of 6 feet.
No really, processions are so important that I’ll leave you with two examples of exemplary priests from the past. I pulled this information from newadvent.org. It’s an online Catholic Encyclopedia. We really need to get this done.
- St. Gregory the Great and the plague in Rome.
As the plague still continued unabated, Gregory called upon the people to join in a vast sevenfold procession which was to start from each of the seven regions of the city and meet at the Basilica of the Blessed Virgin, all praying the while for pardon and the withdrawal of the pestilence. This was accordingly done, and the memory of the event is still preserved by the name “Sant’ Angelo” given to the mausoleum of Hadrian from the legend that the Archangel St. Michael was seen upon its summit in the act of sheathing his sword as a sign that the plague was over.
- St. Charles Borromeo and the plague in Milan.
Personal visits were paid by him to the plague-stricken houses. In the hospital of St. Gregory were the worst cases; to this he went, and his presence comforted the sufferers. Though he worked so arduously himself, it was only after many trials that the secular clergy of the town were induced to assist him, but his persuasive words at last won them so that they afterwards aided him in every way. It was at this time that, wishing to do penance for his people, he walked in procession, barefooted, with a rope round his neck, at one time bearing in his hand the relic of the Holy Nail.
Now those were men.