Nine Days That Changed the World – Coincidence?

Pope St. John Paul II’s 1st Visit to Poland as Pope – June 2-10, 1979

(9th centenary year after the death of St. Stanislaus, Patron of Poland)

The following two paragraphs were part of Pope St. John Paul’s homily on the Eve of Pentecost, June 2, 1979.  Please be mindful that he was speaking to millions of Poles who had lived under atheistic communist dictatorship since World War II.  He was surrounded by communists and their military at this Mass.  They, who had tried for decades to silence the Catholic Church.  They, who had closed Catholic churches and attempted to limit Catholics’ access to the Mass and the Sacraments.  He did not begin his first visit to Poland with platitudes to the ruling party!

To Poland the Church brought Christ, the key to understanding that great and fundamental reality that is man. For man cannot be fully understood without Christ. Or rather, man is incapable of understanding himself fully without Christ. He cannot understand who he is, nor what his true dignity is, nor what his vocation is, nor what his final end is. He cannot understand any of this without Christ. (My emphasis).

Therefore Christ cannot be kept out of the history of man in any part of the globe, at any longitude or latitude of geography. The exclusion of Christ from the history of man is an act against man. Without Christ it is impossible to understand the history of Poland, especially the history of the people who have passed or are passing through this land. The history of people. The history of the nation is above all the history of people. And the history of each person unfolds in Jesus Christ. In him it becomes the history of salvation.

St. John Paul ended his homily with the following prayer to the Holy Spirit in his homily on Saturday, June 2, 1979, the Vigil of Pentecost:

Let your Spirit descend.
Let your Spirit descend.
and renew the face of the earth,
the face of this land. Amen.

Was it coincidence that this Pope from the Iron Curtain was to visit his country for nine days – the length of days the Apostles prayed from the Ascension to the Coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost; the first Novena?  Was it coincidence that his first public Mass was on the Vigil of Pentecost?  Communism was doomed at the conclusion of the above prayer by the Successor of St. Peter whom the Holy Spirit had chosen to be pope less than a year before.  In less than a decade Communism was all but gone in Eastern Europe beginning in Poland.

Nothing is coincidence with God.

How applicable are St. John Paul’s words to us.  How we can learn from his example and prayer.

It is no coincidence that we find ourselves nine days from Pentecost.  Let us learn from Pope John Paul to ask – implore – God, the Holy Spirit, to come upon our families, our parish, our diocese, our nation, our world during these times of crisis.  We can pray as he did:

Let your Spirit descend.
Let your Spirit descend.
and renew the face of the earth,
the face of this land. Amen.

Please consider praying the Novena to the Holy Spirit over the next nine days (Friday, May 22 – Saturday, May 30) for a greater fervor for Mass and the Sacraments; for many to return to Our Lord and His Church; and for religious liberty of the Church wherever She is being persecuted.

The Novena to the Holy Spirit can be found at:

https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/devotions/novena-to-the-holy-spirit-for-the-seven-gifts-309

God bless

FRVW

(Please know that I hope to write a second post on Friday re: Holy Communion Outside of Mass and related topics.)

An Angel’s Jealousy?

Dear Holy Trinity Parishioners!

Please forgive my tardiness in getting out information to all of you regarding our status at Holy Trinity.

Bishop Burbidge has asked us, along with all the parishes in Prince William, Loudoun, Fairfax, Arlington and Alexandria to wait two more weeks before we consider having public Masses.

The Bishop is very aware of our desire for public Masses and reception of Jesus in Holy Communion.  Therefore, he has extended the option to administer Holy Communion outside of Mass.  Yes, Mass is the Holy Sacrifice of Christ re-presented in time.  Yes, It is the greatest Action in history.  We pray that we will soon be able to participate at Mass in person.

St. Maximilian Kolbe once remarked: If angels could be jealous of man, they would be for one reason: Holy Communion.

Beginning tomorrow, Saturday, May 16th we will offer Holy Communion within the Rite of Holy Communion Outside of Mass.  Immediately following our 9:00am live streamed Mass each day, the priest will conduct a brief Holy Communion Service at the outside Adoration Chapel doors under the archway.  Parishioners in the state of grace will be able to walk up to Father to receive Jesus in Holy Communion.  You can then return to your car to make your thanksgiving after Holy Communion until Father gives the closing blessing.  Examples of Thanksgiving Prayers after Holy Communion would be:

Soul of Christ: https://jesuitprayer.org/custom/cards/anima-christi.pdf

Litany of Humility: https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/devotions/litany-for-humility-391

Prayers of the Angel of Fatima to the shepherd children: http://www.fatimacentennial.com/fatima-prayers

As we have further access to Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist we are asked to consider the following reminders – for complete details please see the diocesan website www.arlingtondiocese.org and Bishop Burbidge’s announcement at http://www.arlingtondiocese.org/coronavirus/:

Dispensation from obligation to Sunday Mass remains for everyone

Those vulnerable are encouraged to avoid public gatherings

Those sick and/or coughing are asked to avoid liturgical celebrations

We are asked to maintain 6 foot distance between persons

10 person group limit (inside the church)

Face coverings are expected

Disinfecting one’s hands before receiving Holy Communion is expected

Each communicant has the right to receive Holy Communion in the manner he chooses – on the tongue or on the hand

The faithful are asked to prayerfully consider reception of Holy Communion in the hand

No one may receive Holy Communion while wearing gloves

Please know that it will be a joy to offer you Our Lord, really, truly and substantially present in the Holy Eucharist!

May our reception of Jesus increase our love for Him and His Church; increase our love for each other; and increase our peace and joy in these times.

God bless

FRVW