Pope Francis has been teaching us both in word and deed about repentance. This is part of the Lenten journey. But how do we, in our current day and age, practice repentance when the Sacrament of Confession is unavailable?
Much like Spiritual Communion, an Act of Contrition is a powerful means of Grace. Of course it cannot replace a sacrament, but in God’s mercy he gives and supplies grace particularly in extra-ordinary moments of history like we find ourselves in.
Take a look at the two pictures below which includes an explanation and a couple versions of the Act of Contrition. More will come on this topic in following days.
Yesterday, Pope Francis made a special address and gave a special blessing called Urbi et Orbi. Typically this solemn blessing is made at Easter and Christmas each year. This year however, an empty St. Peter's square and empty basilica are the backdrop to a prayer that has become a plea to God for respite from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Indeed Pope Francis has dispensed some of the normal conditions for receiving a plenary indulgence, which is imparted as part of the blessing. One merely must participate in the prayer and have the intention of receiving it as well as praying for the intentions of the Pope. In this case we are praying for the end to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are two effects of sin: on one hand a broken relationship with God, on the other hand our sins damage the world and our relationships with others. As we know, Confession forgives the guilt of sin and heals the division created by sin between our hearts and Jesus. An indulgence is typically a prayer or act that the Church describes as beneficial in healing the worldly (temporal) damage made by our sins. That by our prayers and acts of piety we may inwardly be transformed from ways of error.
You can watch here this beautiful address and prayer:
One of the best ways to manage stress or anxiety is to make lists of things that need to happen. At least that's under usual circumstances. Sometimes we don't have anything to do. That's when we have to be intentional about building a routine, especially as our lives have been upended and we are required to stay home.
Check out these helpful ideas on managing stress in the form of organizing daily life at home. Creating a new routine and working on mental, spiritual, and physical health.
I have just come across this awesome way to bring inspiration to kids and families during our quarantine time. Hope is a theological virtue, we pray for the grace of hope but we can also share it. Happy heart hunt is an awesome way to spread hope and joy during this time. As children cannot be at playgrounds or parks, seeing hearts in the window is an inspiring way to spread hope. Take a look:
Pope Francis has released the following prayer for our current crisis. Pray this often for the abatement of COVID 19.
you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus' pain, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of the Roman People,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.
Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial, but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Okay okay... so I get it... Yesterday was his feast day, but I'm still thinking about it and so should you! Here's why...
Husband, father, parish leader, and life-long student. Reflecting and contemplating on life as it comes at us. All glory and praise to Jesus Christ King of Kings! May the Mother of Jesus intercede for us all, and Saint Joseph lead us in ways most pleasing to our Heavenly Father.