Hello Dear Friends! Thanks for joining us for this time of prayer from the Chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary at the Museum of Family Prayer and the Father Peyton Center in Easton Massachusetts. During this time of Covid 19 restrictions each day at 11:30, Monday through Friday we will be offering a brief homily for the day and we will pray the Holy Rosary. I am Father Jim Phalan, National Director of the Family Rosary. We thank you for joining us, for being prayer partners with us at this time when it is so important that we come together to pray and to support one another, TRUSTING IN THE LORD. Things may be uncertain but we are certain of God’s love and that he always leads – particularly when we carry our crosses – always into new and greater life! Our Holy Mother Mary is always with us, guiding us to Jesus.
Sisters and brothers in Christ, these days some of us may feel hopeless, confused, and fearful about the COVID-19 pandemic. We hear numbers for the countries affected, for the people who have contracted the virus, and for those who have actually died. We hear advice on how to take care of ourselves and those around us.
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Better Lent than never. Or something like that. I’m so far behind I’m starting to get frazzled. Case in point: our Lent Tree. Or I should say, the absence of our Lent Tree. Because even with the ashes on our foreheads already smudged into oblivion, I still hadn’t gotten around to making it. For the Lent Tree I paint a bare-branched tree to put up on the wall next to a basket of paper leaves and a glue stick. Then throughout Lent when a good deed is done, the good-deed-doer glues a leaf on the tree. So what begins as a bare winter tree becomes festooned with a profusion of glorious green foliage by Easter (hopefully, if we’ve been good-deed-doer-gluers) as the Lent Tree passes from stark winter to verdant spring. My lack of progress on the Lent crafting was partly due to my Vision of Grandeur. I dreamt of creating the most perfect Lent Tree ever beheld by the wide and wonder-filled eyes of man (or at least by my children), the memory of which would be handed down in family lore from generation to generation. The result was that I found myself bound by tight chains of aspiration which constricted me into total inactivity. It would take hours, I speculated, maybe days, to create The Perfect Lent Tree. And as hours and days are scarce of late, I wound up doing nothing. In stepped my mom (a mother of eight who knows all about the scarcity of time resources). “You can still do it,” she told me, “we haven’t had a full week of Lent yet.” (She can also find a positive spin on just about any situation, she’s a world class champion of the Pollyanna game — as a mother of eight she’s had lots of practice in looking for bright sides). “But,” she warned me, “you better do it soon. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be.”
My children (and husband!) really like video games. Although I often discourage this addictive habit in favor of them choosing to be active and play outside, I must admit there are times when an exciting round of Legend of Zelda or Animal Crossing has brought our family together, in the same room, and provided evenings of family entertainment. Recently, the winter weather and a bout of a flu-like illness resulting in several sick days has given us opportunities for several rousing gaming marathons in our living room. I realized that gaming is not all bad, as it brought us together, in one room, for some family fun and healthy competition. Upon examination, I was even able to draw some parallels between the video game world and the pursuit of the spiritual life.
At times the Word of God shocks us awake. Today we hear of two rich people. One is nameless, living for himself, and the other shares his wealth with others.
In a sermon he delivered in a Baptist church, the Rev. Martin Luther King preached about the Drum Major Instinct that characterizes some people today.