Beloved Friends in the Body of Jesus Christ at Church of Our Redeemer:
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, AMEN.
We have the spiritual tools to live through dangerous times, faithfully. Right now, more than perhaps at any time in our lives, we must remember that the first and greatest commandment of our faith is to love God, and the second is to love our neighbor as ourselves. (There is nowhere in the Gospels a footnote that says, “…except when your neighbor is sick.”) There is no virus that can defeat our souls, united in Love.
We are protected spiritually by that love, and St. Paul tells us how to make that protection even stronger. “Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand, therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you able to proclaim the Gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the enemy. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times, in every prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:10-
[We can visualize doing this great prayer of protection as we say it.]
“All the saints…”: that’s you and me and all the ones we love. Perfect love casts out fear, and praying for each other directs us toward perfection. Sometimes the best prayer is to simply name the person or people for whom one is praying, and to lift them up to the Lord in silence, just as we lift our hearts during the Eucharist. You can also say Morning and Evening Prayer; to use the regular Sunday form that begins on page 76 with the opening sentences for Lent, use the scriptures Laura Harrigan is sending you, and the link with specific instructions for this Sunday. I will be fasting on Fridays until this pandemic has subsided. You are welcome to join me if you wish. I will be praying for and with you. Don’t forget to use your Lenten resource materials daily. If you didn’t get Springs in the Desert, or the childrens’ book on Saints, please let Laura know. She will be working her usual hours at the church. There are now plenty of books.
My telephone number is 304-839-1124. You may call me at any time. I will be sending Laura a homily for the Sundays on which the church remains closed, and something for the children, as well. Be of good cheer, be kind to each other, and pray for each other, for the Church, and for the world. Peace be with you.
Love in Jesus Christ from Mother Georgia+