Spiritual Enrichment Suggestions During the COVID-19 Crisis
In the Book of Exodus, we read how the Israelites, during their 40-year wandering through the desert, were fed with manna from heaven (Exodus 16).
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus, lead into the desert for 40 days to be tempted by the devil, reminds us of the importance of being fed by the word of God (Matthew 4).
Today we wander through the desert of uncertainty and fear due to coronavirus. Like the ancient Israelites, and Jesus himself, we, too, are in need of nourishment – spiritual nourishment – in order to change our perspective and Love First. To that end, we are offering you the following suggestions for spiritual enrichment:
1. “Attend” mass and share spiritual communion by watching Holy Family Sunday mass on YouTube by accessing the parish website, holyfamilyparish.org.
2. View weekly Wednesday reflections from Fr. Terry or Fr. Rich on the parish website.
3. Receive free daily email meditations, on a variety of spiritual topics, from Fr. Richard Rohr by subscribing on the Center for Action and Contemplation website, CAC.org.
4. Receive free daily email reflections, based on the scripture for the day, from the Jesuits by registering on jesuitprayer.org.
5. Access the daily scripture readings by going to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website (usccb.org) and click on Bible, Today’s Reading.
6. Read one or more of the following recommended books:
· Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of St. Francis of Assisi by Richard Rohr
· Jesus: A Pilgrimage by James Martin
· In God’s Womb: A Spiritual Memoir by Edwina Gateley
· The Passion and the Cross by Ronald Rolheiser
· Between the Dark and the Daylight: Embracing the Contradictions of Life by Joan Chittister
· Here and Now: Living in the Spirit by Henri Nouwen
· O Lord, Open My Lips: The Psalms in the Liturgy by Dianne Bergant
· Open Mind, Open Heart by Thomas Keating
· Jesus: A Gospel Portrait by Donald Senior
7. Pray daily this beautiful prayer composed by our Director of Liturgical Arts, Gene Garcia:
Heavenly Father, We thank you for the gifts and blessings you continue to bestow on us in the midst of our current challenges. We come to you with our anxiousness and concern during these uncertain times.
We pray for all those who are sick and stricken by illness. We pray for all those caring for those who are sick, and we ask that you deepen our human understanding to gain further insight into treatment and cures for the coronavirus and all disease that affects us.
You are the Great Healer. We place our trust in you. We pray for your healing Spirit to comfort all those who suffer. Bring peace and calm resolve to our world and our homes. Let this time be an opportunity for us to draw closer to one another In our common humanity and frailty. Let us not place our individual needs above those of others as we strive to love as you loved us first.
We pray all these things, and we bring all our fears before you, In Christ our Lord, Our Great Counselor and Redeemer – Amen!