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Quinquagesima

It’s starting to look a lot like Lent, my favorite season of the year. The feel of Spring is in the air on a sunny morning, heralding the return of the Light of the World, the soul’s Spring. The “Misses” have been busy with decorating and directing and printing, Miss Janet, Miss Sarah, and Miss Theresa. The “Mrs’s’” have as well, meal planning and cooking. The men of the schola, our new and old choir members, our intrepid servers and so many helpers one way and another, are looking lively for the celebration of our Forty Day Fast and Spiritual Feast.

Sit down at the table and tuck in. For perhaps the majority of our members, if you were to hit even one or two Lenten exercises now and again, it would be something historical. For some, coming to Mass seven Sundays in a row, without missing any, would be a good goal. But have one, do something. Plan your Lent, pray it.

Start your Lent well, with coming for ashes. This sacramental of penance is offered all day long, twelve hours straight, from 6:45 AM until 6:45 PM. Consult the schedule and come. Stay for a Mass or Stations or devotions. For those who live far away or just can’t make it, just ask a priest on Sunday, and he will give you the ashes.

Remember the Sunday morning Stations start next week, and this Friday at the traditional time of 7:30 PM. Mass and a supper mark every Friday evening in Lent at St. Gertrude. Much is offered, help yourself to something.

The help you have offered in the way of food of late is certainly cheering. It’s so nice when you have a sick person to care for not to have to worry about the whole planning/shopping/cooking drill. Thank you! What an easy way to save your soul, to end up with the sheep: “I was hungry, and you gave Me to eat!” I’m always impressed when I see other churches arrange daily meal deliveries
to families in need, for weeks on end. That’s the spirit.

Fr. Cekada’s first week home had a few difficult days, which are doubtless to be expected. But at the same time, regardless, he has made impressive progress. A nurse and a therapist are visiting regularly. Fr. Cekada was dying to see the new organ, and see it he did on Thursday. He even played for awhile. Fr. McKenna did the honors for transportation, and remarked on how much good it did him. Please do keep up your prayers for Fr. Cekada.

I close with a beautiful thought on Holy Face Sunday, a promise made by Our Lord to St. Gertrude the Great.

“The following revelation was one day made to St. Gertrude. Our Lord showed Himself to her in the state in which He was when He had been bound and tied to a pillar between two executioners, one of whom lacerated His flesh with thorns, whilst the other lashed Him with scourges, both of them struck Him on the Face, and It appeared to St. Gertrude in so disfigured a state, that she was penetrated with grief; nor could she retain her tears every time the thought of the vision recurred to her mind. It seemed to her as though Jesus Christ turned His Face from one side to the other, but that each time that He turned It away from one of the executioners, the other struck It more ruelly, and then turning Himself towards her, He said:

‘Have you not read what is written of Me: Vidimus eum tanquam leprosium? (Is. 53) We have seen Him in a state as pitiable as that of a leper.’ Then St. Gertrude answered: ‘Alas! Lord, what remedy can now be found which would be capable of softening the sharp sufferings of Thy Divine Face?’ And the Savior said to her: ‘If anyone meditated upon and considered My sufferings with tenderness and compassion, and charitably prayed for sinners, his heart would be to Me as a salutary balm and it would assuage My sufferings.’”
(The Manual of the Holy Face, pgs. 102-103. You can get this book in the Gift Shop.)

May Our Lord make His Face to shine upon you, and grant you peace!
– Bishop Dolan