Dear family,

I want to share with you some of the insights I have learned because of the Coronavirus.

During Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, I like to look at the empty tabernacle and the stripped altar and think what it would feel like not to be able to go to Mass and receive Holy Communion.  This year I got a feeling of what it would be like.  You might say to me, “You are a brother and don’t have to miss Mass.” Because I wanted to share in your suffering, I did not go to Mass three days in a row.  Fr. Mark, my superior, asked if I went to Mass.  I told him I skipped it so I could suffer with all of you.  He knows me well so he said, “You do not like long homilies so you would enjoy it.”  It is true that I do not like long homilies but the Mass is a lot more than the homilies, thank God.

Because of my experiment, I got to experience what it would be like not to go to Mass and receive Communion.  I felt I should thank God for making it so easy for most people.  It might only take five or ten or thirty minutes to get to a church.  God loves us so much.  If you have love it will cast out all fear.  I learned if I thank God for all the gifts He gives me (hands, nose, eyes, ears, family, friends, rain snow, sun and everything else).  I see how much God is loving me and I know He is taking care of me in these hard times.  If I am thanking God, it is hard to complain about the things I do not have. We even have to thank God in the midst of this crisis. So I thank Him for permitting this crisis because He has helped me to grow spiritually through it. He always brings good out of evil.

I am praying for each of you by name because the Blessed Mother knows each of you by name and I give you all to her.

God Bless,
Br. Leo Mary, MFVA

12 thoughts on “Thanking God in the Midst of this Crisis

  1. Thank you for sharing why you missed Mass 3 days in a row. It makes you think of other things and then you know
    what it means to be at Mass. You do an excellent service assisting at the Mass on EWTN. I agree with you that I also do not like long homilies. God Bless You.

  2. Thank you Brother Leo. Many years ago I had thought about this very thing…what if for the 40 days of Lent we were sacrificed from recieving Communion. Would I as well as others experience the loss. Like we missed our medication. And here we are in 2020…experiencing this exactly..and longer. May Jesus the Christ have Mercy and we receive Him Wholely very soon.

  3. Brother Leo, thank you for not only praying for us, but to make such a sacrifice! It is very humbling and beautiful to offer up the Mass to “share in our suffering” . To see all of our religious and priests reach out so much, brainstorm ways to still make some of the sacraments available to us, praying and fasting for us, is a gift from God. A gift for us to see how much are consecrated religious and priests really do love their flock. And that is such a great comfort to us all. Thank God for all of you at the Franciscan Missionaries. I am thankful to watch all of you pray, bring Mass to our homes, everyday on EWTN, and the posts you share on the EWTN FB page. Many of us asks for courage in the days to come, not knowing what is ahead. We will be praying for all of you too.

  4. Dear Brother Leo,
    What a heartwarming way to identify with all of us! Yes, it really is suffering not to receive the Holy Eucharist. And I agree with you that it’s important to keep thanking and trusting God. Thank you most of all for your prayers ! 💖🙏💖🙏💖

  5. You said it right, Fr. Leo… God always brings Good out of Evil. He us a wonderful Father. Always seeing what is best for us. He’ll hear our cries for the forgiveness of our sins…and God, in His infinite Goodness, can’t stay angry when his children ask for forgiveness…with sincerity and fervor. And

  6. Thank you Brother Leo Mary MFVA for sharing. This has been a really hard time not having a job and yet I see it as a gift from God since my Mom had open heart surgery to remove a mass that was close to her heart. It allowed me to stay with her in the hospital and watch over her. Stopping the nurses from giving her Haldol for one and not letting the Hospitalist send her to a nursing home.

    The day they discharged her from the hospital was the last day that visitors would be allowed to see thier loved ones untl.they got discharged. There were two rooms that were marked with big signs of Isolation in bright red letters. Little did we know this was the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic.

    I thank God with all my heart my Mom is home where she belongs and I am blessed with the honor of taking care of her.

    Not being able to go to Mass and receive the Body and Blood of Christ. To participate in Mass it’s heartbreaking. I know that we can do Spiritual Communion and I believe with all my heart that Jesus comes out of love for us and the Spiritual Communion prayer was part of my morning and evening prayer.
    I miss Mass and long for the day when we finally get to return to St Maria Goretti’s.

    Both my Mom.and I are blessed and grateful that EWTN has Mass and we look forward to it every day along with the Devotions and the Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

    I feel blessed to spend time with Pope Francis adoring the Blessed Sacrament and feel like I’m right next to our Holy Father spending time with Jesus. This is a honor.

    Not sure how it would be without EWTN and not being able to watch Mass and receive Spiritual Communion at Mass to be spiritually fed and nourished with the Homily and prayers, acts of contrition and Devotions. I’m grateful that I don’t have to know how it would be not to be able to watch Mass.

    Jesus and Our Blessed Mother are more present to us and I realize that I need to pray the Rosary more and the Chapelet of Divine Mercy as well as Spiritual reading.

    I remember We are an Easter People.

    Taking care of my Mom is a gift. Realizing that we need to pray more to grow in faith, for the conversion of our world, for a deeper and closer relationship with Jesus and Our Blessed Mother to pray for everyone and to learn to love as we are loved. Always ask Jesus to have Mercy on us and create a new heart in us and to love one another like Jesus loves us.

    Even though at this moment I may not be sure what the future holds I know that we have a Family with EWTN as well as our families and friends and Jesus is closer than we realize and so is our Blessed Mother. The Rosary is very powerful and in praying the Rosary many miracles will come to life.

    God bless you always and in all ways.

    Laura

  7. Dear Brother Leo,
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful words and for the sacrifice you made for all of us. Not being able to attend Mass and receive the Eucharist along with not being able to visit with my 86 year old mother has been the hardest part of this quarantine. I am able to watch Mass on EWTN and have for a long time. It has been a salvation during this time. Yesterday the video with Fr. John Paul Blessing all the hospitals and nursing homes brought me to tears. It was so powerful! May God continue to Bless all of you!
    Tasha Parrish

  8. Thank you Brother Leo for reminding us what we have. Please pray for my nephew Steven , he is 17 and has extreme social issues. He couldn’t finish high school because of his anxiety. So for the past 2 years he’s been home and won’t communicate with his mom or anyone. He just sits in his room. I don’t know if it’s depression? Mom is recently divorced. They tried counseling but he won’t speak. He finally told her he needed help. She’s is a faithful women and we’ve all prayed for her and her son. Please keep him in your prayers. Thank you , God Bless You.

  9. Thank You Brother Leo ! ! ! We all seem to suffer not being able to be in church, but Jesus is always with each one of us.

  10. Thank you, Brother Leo, for doing what you did, missing Mass. I am very thankful that we now have EWTN and close-captioned Masses because I have a severe hearing loss and it means so much to me to be able to follow. I have marked the calendar the last time I was able to go to Mass and Communion so that, if God wills, I am looking forward to the time when we can all go back to the Mass and Sacraments in the church. I will soon be 87 years old so I spend a lot of time praying, both in the morning, and in the evening, and at night when I go to bed. I told my children I feel the Lord God has kept me here to pray, and since I have a big family, I have plenty of people to pray for. I pray that none of you, both Clergy and workers will become victims of this virus. Thank you again.

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