From the Pastor: Offer It Up!
You have often heard me say, “Offer it up!” In fact, sometimes I can come off as a bit too cheerful about tragedy. “What a blessing! Be sure to say ‘Thank you, God, for this penance. It was certainly not something that I would have chosen on my own, but you knew that it was good for me so you allowed me to have it!’” This is especially helpful to remember during Lent, for sometimes we have the opportunity to accept great penances during a time when we, deep down, at least, are truly willing -- and perhaps even eager -- to suffer with and for Our Lord, yet we have chosen some penance without the efficaciousness of the one that He has in store for us. Be thankful, as St. Paul told the Colossians that he was, “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church.” And just look at what God has provided for all of us this Lent! Coronavirus!
Whether or not you ever get the virus, you are already suffering because of it. Don’t waste that suffering! “Thank you, God, for none of us would have ever thought about this penance, let alone chosen it. Our lives are being disrupted. The government is intruding where it has no right, the bishops and priests are in lockstep with the government, sacraments are being hidden away like the last roll of toilet paper, and job losses are beyond measure. Why? Why, O Lord, do you allow such things? Because they are good for us? Oh, right, I forgot. Thank you. We deserve much worse and yet you chose to reprimand us and teach us and refocus us all at the same time instead of destroying us. What a relief!”
How is this possibly good for us? First of all, look at what we have done to God and see how easy we are getting off. We are the ones who have abandoned the Faith. Most Catholics don’t even go to Mass, let alone believe it is the Sacrifice of Our Salvation. Heck, look at McCarrick and his cronies, those he promoted, those he bribed, those he covered for, and those who covered for him, and tell me that bishops believe what the Church teaches. We have undermined the meaning of the Mass; watered down the sacramental rituals; failed to teach the Catholic Faith to our children in our families or CCD or Catholic schools -- even into advanced studies; accepted without blinking such “Catholic” leaders as Pelosi and Biden; contracepted and aborted and ingested porn and embraced divorce with the same gusto as our secular neighbors; we applaud and promote “progressive” priests and bishops who openly profess grave immorality (as long as they don’t use our own children to live what they preach) because they let us off the morality hook; we made excuses for Pachamama worship in the Vatican Gardens and churches; we have, in short, made a mockery out of the Faith and treated the only Church founded by God Himself as if she was a whore. We use Her, abuse Her, and keep her around only for the occasional and quite hypocritical display of affection when we want to fool either God, ourselves, or someone else. Yes, like Israel of old just before Divine Retribution was given, we have embraced paganism while keeping a veneer of real worship, just in case there really is only one true God. We deserve His wrath and we all know it. Yet he has chosen to offer forgiveness and healing through the coronavirus instead. “Thank you, Lord!”
Let us now take a look at some of the good things that He might want us to get out of this mess. Let us begin with the family meal. Restaurants are closed. Shops are closed. Gatherings of all sorts are forbidden. What are families to do for meals? How about sit down at the dining room table and eat together? No more sports activities taking away little Jimmy. No goat yoga for mom, no basketball championship for dad. Everyone can finally be together! There will even be time for (gasp!) A FAMILY ROSARY! Next, look at what this is doing for homeschooling. Until last week, homeschool was scorned with demonic hatred. Now it is being encouraged and even forced! Just wait until parents see how little or exactly what the little tykes have been learning! And although people are currently panicking about how to stay home with the kids without killing them, many moms just might discover that the joy of being with the children is much more rewarding than the job which she had been brainwashed in thinking was necessary if she was to be “fulfilled.” Finally (although there are many more examples which could be given, so look for them) maybe the priests and bishops will start really thinking about why they got (or should have gotten) ordained in the first place. With no more meetings, no more Masses, and no more sick calls, do the clergy rejoice like third graders with a snow day? Or do they, like those same children a week into the blizzard, long for something “real” to do? The laity will be facing the same issues, though from a different perspective.
So in the end, rejoice, for this penance is good for us. God is separating the sheep from the goats. We don't know how or when this will end but for those who choose to pick up their cross and follow Him, salvation is close at hand.
With prayers for your holiness,
Rev. Fr. Edwin Palka