Words of Hope – FLG President’s Note

19 March 2020
Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Dear Friends

My wife and I were talking last night about…everything…and as often happens, she provided me with some excellent insights.  I’d like to share just a few thoughts today.

  1. Shortages.  The pandemic is causing a lot of stress and anxiety; I know I feel it daily.  A large part of my stress is related to those empty store shelves.  Last night I got to thinking about the things that are not in short supply, including: water, electricity, natural gas, gasoline, produce, and dairy products.  This is of course a partial list, but it really got me to thinking how fortunate we are to have such dedicated people working hard in the face of his pandemic to keep the water, trucks, gas, and electrons flowing!  Please join me in praying for them!
  2. Public Masses.  The suspension of public Masses has been a huge point of controversy.  I will leave the arguing to others.  I may be a little slow on this, but it finally dawned on me last night that while I would not choose this, it does present a wonderful opportunity for my family to grow closer together in our spiritual lives.  We already live our faith daily.  We pray together, etc…and…now that we are deprived of attending Holy Mass we can explore ways of compensating as best we can.  Things we are going to try/add include praying the Divine Office as a family, performing Acts of Spiritual Communion, praying more rosaries together (check out this challenge, BTW!), and I’m sure more will come to mind.
  3. Public Masses…me or God?  Don’t get me wrong, I will be very happy when I am again able to attend Holy Mass.  My distress over being unable to has, however, forced me to asking myself, “Am I upset about being unable to attend Mass because I’m going to miss it, or because I will be unable to participate, in person, with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass because God is Good?”  In other words: Is this about me or God?  Is my disappointment selfish?…yes (at least in part)…and I’m working to root that out!  Please pray for me in this effort!
  4. There’s Still a Lot of Good Out There.  I learned last night that Black Button Distilling, based here in Rochester, has committed to making ethanol-based hand sanitizer and providing it to healthcare organizations at cost.  This will be a wonderful service to our local community and it a great example of people coming together in a time of crisis.  Thank you to everyone who will have a hand in this, and a special thanks to Jason Barrett, Black Button’s President!

There is much more I could say, though I think Fr. Mike says much of it quite nicely.

Please join me in praying for an end to this pandemic.  And, in the meantime, let’s all work to keep ourselves, families, and neighbors physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy!

In Christ,
Tom Carroll
FLG President