Lent I

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
I did some tweeting last week. Fat old robins, dispensed from the fast, are ruling the roost here, patrolling the still brown grass as we wait for winter to surrender to spring, ready in the wings to roll on in. On Wednesday March came in with ashes. Many of you came as well to receive the sacramental of ashes, and start your Lent well. Added bonus: First Wednesday. Along with ashes Our Lord’s earthly father came in with the Lamb nestled in his arms. Ask the Carpenter to open his toolbox: prayer’s there, plenty of quiet penance, and perseverance for those who work alongside of the Foster Father these forty days.

Three of the forty will be dedicated this year to one of the favorite devotions of Polish St. Casimir, patron of youth and single folk and Lithuania: Nocturnal Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. When he found the church door shut he would pray on the porch, his pure heart at the foot of the altar. There he would meditate on the Passion.

St. Casimir’s royal father sent him to invade Hungary and claim the proffered crown. “Not at the price of blood,” this wise teenager replied. His father punished him, but would not give up, and sent him to rule Lithuania, but Casimir died en route, of “the disease of the blessed,” TB.

As Covid suddenly disappears, war arrives, on schedule, to take its place, more or less according to plan for the Great Reset. These Communist propagandists all follow the same script: Again, an elaborate hoax. They love them. But the suffering is so real. The poor, the little people don’t matter. They don’t love them. They never did. Don’t be whipped up by the media, don’t join the crowd and fall for the ruse. The Holy Face is our weapon versus Communism, and the devotion to the Immaculate Heart our refuge.

Please remember our Fr. Valerii. As of Friday he was trapped in his apartment building, with constant bombing and a local sniper, surely out of food or almost, and quite cut off, save for his phone. Pray for him and his family, victims of the execution of the latest stage in the domination of mankind. Nobody sees it, but perhaps you will, if you see with the eyes of Christ, compassionate, all comprehending. Jesus Christ, and no one but Christ, must reign.

The last activity of the opening days of Lent was Saturday’s Altar Boy Day. We were expecting up to 35 knights of the altar. Our MCs were lined up to each give a talk, assisting “emcee” Fr. McGuire. The servers and deacons, by the way, did a fine job with the complicated ceremonies of Ash Wednesday. During Lent, the deacon and subdeacon wear chasubles folded up front, which they remove when they perform the functions of their office. The deacon has many, and dons a “Broad Stole” from the Gospel until after Communion. This curious vestment represents the rolled up bandeiro-like chasuble they wore over the left shoulder in the early centuries. The most ancient ceremonies are maintained for penitential days.

The deacons continue their studies and duties and Mass practice. They are doing well, even though “pushing it” one of them tells me. This Ember Week is one of our “quiet weeks” around here, to enable us to get into the Lenten groove. But many, like our future priests, are working steadily and quietly to prepare coming events. But let us all “prepare the Pasch.”

Take advantage of the Stations and the Friday evening Recollection, and your own quiet meditation, each morning or evening, on the Passion of Our Lord.

Blessed Lent!
– Bishop Dolan