Have Mercy, O Lord, We Humbly Pray

04-19-2020Pastor's LetterFather Gregory Wilson

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Recent natural disasters in the Southeast have devastated an already stressed population. Tornadoes left 32 dead, 9 from South Carolina alone, and destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses. We intercede for all those affected by these natural disasters even as we continue to pray for the over 24,000 killed in the USA – about 120,000 worldwide (both figures as of the writing of this column) in just a matter of weeks during the current pandemic. May our merciful God grant eternal rest to those who have died.

We celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday as we implore God’s gracious mercy on our world. The Gospel passage for this Sunday recounts two appearances of Jesus to the Apostles: the first on the evening of the day of Resurrection, and then again the following Sunday. We note that the very first gift Jesus gives is His merciful forgiveness through the ministry of the Apostles, upon whom He breathes the Holy Spirit: “He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained’” (St. John 20:22-23). Thus, the Sacrament we call Confession / Reconciliation / Penance was born. At present, you and I yearn for the day when this Sacrament is fully restored in practice. Until then, we are reminded of the importance of remaining in a state of grace, i.e., living without committing mortal sin. (We should try, of course, never to commit any sin, but especially deadly/mortal sin!)

In celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday, we will stream the sung Divine Mercy Chaplet 4/19 at 3pm. We plan to have a PDF guide posted on our webpage.

Praying the Divine Mercy chaplet is easy. It is not the rosary, but we use regular rosary beads to keep us on track with the prayers. Go to www.thedivinemercy.org and look under “The Basics” menu for how to pray the chaplet. It is typically prayed at 3pm, the traditional time when Our Lord died upon the Cross. While the rosary is a prayer of meditation, the Chaplet was intended primarily as an active prayer of intercession, a way of opening the floodgates to the Father's mercy, so that He can pour out His merciful love upon the world through His Son.

I wanted to give you an update on our parishioner, Deacon Will Frei, who is preparing for ordination to the priesthood this summer. The current plan is still in place. Our bishop plans to ordain Deacon Will along with Deacon Michael Cellars to the priesthood at the Cathedral on July 10. If this is modified in any way, I will let you know. Likewise, the soon-to -be-Father Frei plans to offer a Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving here at St. Mary’s on Sunday July 12 at 5pm. Please continue to pray for both Deacons Will and Michael as they prepare for a life of service as your priests. I am hoping that Deacon Will can come to Mass next week, so you may get to “see” him, if only virtually.

Be the mercy of God for others,

Father Wilson