A New Plague Upon Us

Lent is a time for getting ready for Easter. This year, like many others, we decided to concentrate on spiritual preparation. We focused on our prayer life with attendance at daily mass as often as possible. This week saw a premature end to all that.

On the 18th March it was announced that there would be no more public masses after St. Joseph’s day on the 19th. As it happened I came down with some nasty symptoms and we decided we should self isolate just incase it was the dreaded lurgy. I think it is just a heavy cold but you can’t be too careful.

So we found ourselves at home on St. Joseph’s day with our plans in tatters. Then we saw the message from the Holy Father asking people to join with him in reciting the Rosary at 9.00 pm Rome Time. That translates to 8.00 pm Coatbridge time. So that’s what we did. We have decided that we will continue this for the rest of Lent as our spiritual preparation.

There is a historical link to this. The last time that mass was not publicly available in Scotland was back in the time of the Reformation. We recently celebrated the feast of Saint John Ogilvie as a reminder of that. How did those Catholic communities, many tucked away in the Highlands, keep the Faith alive?

They used the Rosary. So here we are, hundreds of years later, turning to the Rosary again as our main spiritual exercise. There are masses being offered in private but with a webcam broadcasting the service in real time. You can join in on your computer or, as I have found, on your smart TV. The bigger screen lets us feel we are really there.

I don’t know how long this is going to last. I don’t know how many will survive this plague. I can only wish you a safe and Holy Lent. Keep the Faith if you have it. Perhaps you can take this time to find it again if you have lost it. Don’t worry if you never had it God is watching over you anyway.

Stay safe and look after each other.

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