Perfect union with God

Communication, community and discipleship are essential in our faith journey. Recent Holy Fathers have encouraged the use of technology for evangelization, but they could never have imagined what we are experiencing today! In 2002, Pope John Paul II made cyber history when he published an official document on the Internet. He said, “Put out to sea in evangelizing the world with the help of the Internet.” Pope Benedict XVI, on World Communication Day in 2010, said, “If the Internet is used with confidence and conscientious responsibility, it can offer useful opportunities for spreading the Gospel message.”

The need for spiritual connection has never been more important in our society. A universal pandemic has changed the way we live, and how we worship God. Our church doors are closed, and people are discouraged from gathering publicly for any reason. Our gratitude for the gift of faith and the promises of God are held close to our heart. “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

We navigated through our Lenten journey in the quiet of our homes and made sacrifices we never imagined. We entered Holy Week without blessed palms, unable to attend the Chrism Mass, the washing of the feet, or veneration of the cross on Good Friday. I believe the Easter Season will begin with a greater appreciation for the rituals we celebrate in our Church.

God bless the priests, who through technology allow us to view sacramental Communion within spiritual Communion prayer. The opportunity to view live-streamed Holy Hour is a blessing. An emotional priest shared that at 6 a.m., as he was placing the Blessed Sacrament on the altar for Eucharistic Adoration, he noticed two parishioners kneeling on the sidewalk outside the window of the chapel. May we never allow the gifts of sacrament and grace to be taken for granted! “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).

For centuries the saints enjoyed Spiritual Communion when unable to attend Holy Mass. St. Thomas Aquinas often wrote about the rich benefit of Spiritual Communion, and St. Teresa of Jesus believed that by this beneficial practice, the love of God was greatly impressed on her. St. Catherine of Siena had questions about whether a Spiritual Communion had any real value compared to sacramental Communion. Christ appeared to her holding two chalices. In a golden chalice was sacramental Communion, and in a silver chalice was spiritual Communion, and Jesus assured her that both were pleasing to Him. The Eucharist is a sacrifice offered up and a sacrament received. We offer ourselves to God, and God gives Himself to us.

This spring many events, activities and family gatherings have been canceled. Pray for the people who spent the year preparing to join the Church through the RCIA program, the First Communicants, those who prepared for Confirmation, and all the plans changed for Holy Matrimony. Encourage everyone to remain faithful in prayer as they anticipate the joy of rescheduling these sacraments.

The experience of this Lenten season will never be forgotten. The glory of Easter will be celebrated at home through the Internet, and it will be memorable. I pray the crowded pews we typically find during Christmas and Easter will become a regular Sunday experience all year. The alleluias are coming soon in the Easter Resurrection, Divine Mercy Sunday, the Ascension of Our Lord, and Pentecost. God bless everyone for keeping the Church alive on the road to Calvary! I pray we can enter the Upper Room on Pentecost Sunday, and be filled with the Holy Spirit! Keep soldiering, soldiers, Christ is counting on you! Amen!