Mutual support in the midst of trying times
I want to make use of this article, in the interest of giving encouragement and support as we all persevere together through this difficult time in the Church, to speak of an opportunity at the parish for all of us to come together for prayer and mutual support.
As of my writing of this article, there is much in the world news in giving divergent opinions and assessments of who among bishops is telling the truth and for what purpose each is putting forth the statements that they are making. Acknowledging that such division within the Church has several impacts, including the weakening of the unity of the whole Body of Christ, I want to encourage everyone to look to the Lord Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary in prayer. As I continue to monitor what is going on amoungst our Church’s leaders seeking to take from various news outlets what information is helpful in communicating what is going on and how to respond to it, I continually find myself coming back to the very simple and beautiful truth that in the end God wins – and so we must remain in Him at all times. Therefore, the message of hoping in the Lord, placing our trust in him through prayer, while praying for all in the Church must remain at the forefront. Likewise, the reality of being present to people in their needs, pointing all toward Jesus (especially as He comes to us in the Eucharist) and towards Mary is becoming an ever-greater priority.
To that end, at the promptings of a few parishioners and of the deacons, I want to invite everyone to come to what is simply being calling an opportunity for prayer, conversation, and support in the midst of the Church’s current circumstances. The opportunity to gather will take place on Tuesday, September 4, beginning at 6:30pm. We will begin in the Church with a time of communal prayer for our Church in crisis: for victims of sexual abuse; for the clergy; for all the faithful; for healing and purification within – perhaps praying a Rosary or the Chaplet of Divine Mercy together – the details are still to be determined. From this time of prayer, we will move out into the gathering space (or down to the social hall, if necessary) for a time of conversation, allowing each who desire to share their thoughts or concerns, to ask questions, and to find mutual support in one another. After our time of sharing and conversation, we will move back into church for more time of communal prayer as a fitting conclusion to our evening.
I intentionally want to make this time of prayer and conversation as informal as possible so that all can come and find mutual support from our Lord in prayer and from one another in our sharing in this time of trial. My hope is that this opportunity can help each one of us to be strengthened for the journey ahead and to continue to open our hearts to Jesus’ presence among us in our trials and sufferings. For we are all on this journey together and as I said in my recent preaching on the crisis at hand, the Church exists to lead people to Jesus Christ, who is our Savior that brings us to heaven. The more we can continue to let Jesus into our pain, our uncertainties, and our discouragements, the more we will be able to rely upon him and remain in him. Please come and join in this time of prayer and mutual support this Tuesday evening at 6:30pm.