The times in which we live have been repeatedly characterized as “uncertain times.” However, two things remain certain: Although many of us are experiencing insecurity, confusion, and unrest, God is not uncertain. Our heavenly Father’s plan is unfolding according to Divine Providence, giving us innumerable opportunities during this holy season of Lent to sacrifice ourselves without complaint; to offer charity and almsgiving to our neighbor; to persevere in worshipping God in spirit and in truth at home, even if separated from our parish church; and above all, to experience the silence and solitude of the desert in which Jesus spent forty days detached from the world and in communion with His Father. Secondly, we have become acutely aware of how intensely we rely upon our own human ingenuity, medical technology, and a robust economy. God alone is the rock of our salvation; Our Lord alone is the Good Shepherd. He admits of no competition to His love and therefore exposes the idols that offer a counterfeit and temporary sense of security.
At this time, most of us are attempting to maintain some semblance of normalcy in our homes and families. Likewise at the seminary. Although our routine has been interrupted, we are pressing on towards our goal and even amplifying our spiritual exercises. We are aware that many Catholics are experiencing the pain of separation from Our Lord’s presence in the Blessed Sacrament. Consequently, we have initiated a constant vigil. As long as we remain at the seminary during the virus crisis, a seminarian or priest will be adoring, praying, and interceding for our community, diocese, Church, and the world around the clock. The spiritual good of your family and your intentions are our primary concern. We are accompanying these Holy Hours with nightly processions, employing the traditional prayers against plagues and pestilence.
The seminary itself is considered a “household” so we have all been on “shelter at home” for nearly two weeks now. As a result, we have been able to have both classes from our in-house professors as well as on-line. Yet it is not all prayer and study. Although limited to groups of less than 10, our seminarians continue to play sports, take Rosary walks, and enjoy each other’s company with everything from board games in Latin to musical ensembles. On Sunday, we had a class vs. class cooking competition and will be sharing the results with you later this week.
There is much for which to be grateful. During uncertain times, we can be certain that God’s grace is abundant. Thank you for the charity of your prayers and be assured that you are remembered in our prayers, continuous vigils, and processions with the Blessed Sacrament.