Pastor's Page

Dear Family in Christ,

Over the past few weeks we have been hearing a lot of positive encouragement from Saint Paul. While at times he does admonish his churches quite strongly, often he is encouraging, affirming, bolstering. A friend of mine likes to say, “Find out what works and do more of that!” Paul tells his communities: “Yes, yes! More of that!!” Last week the emphasis was on humility, harmony or unity, and selflessness (we might say being big-spirited aka magnanimous!).

Today, Paul reminds us to do two things. First, put away our anxiety and turn to prayer: “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.” We can put away our worries, fears, and nerves, by simply turning to the Lord in prayer. Lift it up in prayer. This sounds like the sage advice of Saint Padre Pio, “Pray, hope and don’t worry!” (We will be hearing more from Padre Pio in November, when we spend a month with the Saints!)

Second, Paul tells us to center our lives on whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and gracious. If there is any excellence - consider these things! Quite a list! We could summarize it like this: focus on the higher noble things. Or, find some noble things and do more of that!

As my good buddy Father Jim observed: virtue is the answer. He thinks that the pandemic would be over in this country if the American people were more virtuous. The prudence to do the right thing. The temperance to moderate our desires. The justice to seek the common good. The fortitude to stick by the hard right choice. Instead our situation grinds on as our people do not choose the higher nobler way. The best example to this end is South Korea, who have kept their numbers close to zero with strong social norms. While virtue may not be the WHOLE enchilada, it is part of the secret sauce. There is no substitute for virtue.

What virtues are most important for our home life? Hope - the hope that we can overcome the present adversity, the hope for a better tomorrow. Gentleness - we all could be more gentle with each other during these days. Take the time to really listen to each other and hear what the other is saying. Patience - as the present moment seems to stretch on into the horizon, it is time to pray for and to practice patience. Which virtues do you find most helpful to make it through this pandemic?

Yours in Christ,
Fr. Wilson

Parish Calendar