Sunday, March 29, 2020

The Longest Lent--Consecration

I purchased this little Eastern orthodox icon to celebrate the Feast of St. Joseph. I have it on the wall above the family computer and my eyes are often drawn there. What a treasure to have the smaller scenes around the Holy Family.  

I confess I've taken the ability to attend Mass for granted. I'm not a daily communicant--I'm too lazy to get up in the morning and get dressed. Usually, I'm petting the cats in bed while I read my Bible and scribble a few thoughts. But I like being able to go when I want, especially on special feast days. I miss praying together with my church family. I miss singing in the choir. I miss receiving Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament--He is the Divine Physician and He comes to us in His Entirety. He heals our whole self--body, mind, soul. The sacraments have power, the priest's hands are set apart and holy to do the work of God. I've been very much troubled by our bishops forbidding public Mass or gathering for any other devotions, even outdoor ones, and also confessions and anointing of the sick. Isn't the soul more important than the body? Isn't the Mass more important than being able to go to the grocery store? The worst is not knowing how long this is going to last. Truly, I feel this loss most acutely and despite the numerous online resources, including Mass on EWTN, which I've been tuning in to for many years, it's just not the same. Oh, how I feel in solidarity with all the persecuted Christians throughout the ages. When I first heard of the closures, on St. Patrick's Day, I cried. And I find myself crying more and more. It's a grief I cannot explain. And then to watch Pope Francis in a desolate St. Peter's square for a special urbi et orbi blessing. Sad and beautiful.     

On the Feast of St. Joseph (March 19), I was able to go to our lovely little church to make my consecration. At first, I worried that there might be too many people for all the cars parked but they were beach-goers! The church was empty and it was so peaceful to sit with our hidden Jesus. I couldn't help but reflect on the hidden life of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in Nazareth, the holy conversations they must've had, what a perfect family! I was able to pray the Stations by walking around. And finally, a prayer composed during the time of the plague to St. Roch. Note the dog and the biscuit :) I prayed for you all too. May God bless you and protect you from all dangers, may He draw you ever closer to Himself.


Mirka Breen said...

We need everyone's prayers. I love the directness of the Orthodox icon.

Faith said...

The icon is beautiful. I love how the Eastern tradition has always portrayed Joseph as a young man.
I am (tearfully!) missing Mass and the Eucharist, as well. But I've been so struck by the idea that we finally have the ability to feel something of the thirst that Christ feels all the time, for each one of us. The lack illuminates the incredible graces we usually have showered upon us in that regard, and I hope I won't soon forget this feeling!

Vijaya said...

Mirka--I don't even know why I like the orthodox icons so much but I do!

Faith--yes! When someone asked Mother Angelica about how St. Joseph is depicted and whether she thinks he was young or old, she said that old men don't walk to Egypt! I love that. I have to really search for the upsides of missing Mass--and one thing that struck me is that no more unworthy reception. How many times did I receive Him without a proper disposition? Mother Teresa has "I thirst" in all of the order's chapels. She felt His thirst for souls so deeply.

Jenni said...

I really enjoyed seeing your Orthodox icon. It reminds me of my travels in Russia. I feel the loss of my church fellowship very much. Our pastors are doing Bible studies and teachings live via Facebook, but I miss worshiping together and communion, of course.
This situation is difficult on many levels, but I'm trying to focus on what I can do to serve my family, pray for those who have it much worse than I do, and keep my eyes on Jesus.

Vijaya said...

Jenni, I didn't know you traveled to Russia. I just came across a book mentioned by Rumer Godden--the Kitchen Madonna! I think you'd like it very much.
I didn't expect this grief. You are right, at this time, keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and serve the people God has placed in our lives and pray, pray, pray.