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A Note of Lent

April 2, 2020

Bishop Joseph N. Perry, Archdiocese of Chicago

Dear Friends in Christ,

As we approach the feast of the Resurrection on Sunday, April 12, we may well feel like we are entombed by precautionary measures that have altered the rhythm of life these days given the threat associated with coronavirus. All this is certainly without precedent in our lifetimes. We struggle daily enough with the cold and flu and other physical discomforts and can find relief in most instances with over-the- counter meds. And, let’s admit it, we Americans are not used to plagues of this nature and scope that hit other areas around the world.

The austerity of Lent and what the season can mean faces us dramatically. What is God saying to us in this time of anxiety and misfortune? It is a time for prayer and sober reflection on our dependence upon the mercy of God. What prayer can we recite together as a household while we are waiting on the Lord?

For we cannot heal ourselves. While churches are closed these days for sake of the fright connected with contagion, once they are reopened we hope many more unused to the regimen of weekly ritual focus upon God might be inclined to reorder their lives and join us.

I’ve been busy telephoning the priests of the vicariate, family and relatives and friends to make sure everyone is alright. With the exception of one of our priests who is hospitalized with the virus, everyone else appears to be alright. Thank God!

While we already have made necessary changes to our lifestyle and readjusted certain habits, we might measure which of these we might carryover once this is all over, what needs particular attention on our parts for a better quality of life and spiritual tone to our busy lives.

Certainly, a healing in response to a bad turn with health is one of the gifts of God. “But first, seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all things will be added unto you. Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.” Matthew 6, 33-34. Blessings and good health I wish for you and all who are important to you.

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