Coronavirus rouses world from delusion of omnipotence
Father Raniero Cantalamessa, OFMCap (Preacher to the Pontifical Household) : Homily for Good Friday
Excerpt from the Homily delivered April 10, 2020 at St. Peter’s Basilica.
“… The cross of Christ has changed the meaning of pain and human suffering—of every kind of suffering, physical and moral. It is no longer punishment, a curse. It was redeemed at its root when the Son of God took it upon himself. What is the surest proof that the drink someone offers you is not poisoned? It is if that person drinks from the same cup before you do. This is what God has done: on the cross he drank, in front of the whole world, the cup of pain down to its dregs. This is how he showed us it is not poisoned, but that there is a pearl at the bottom of this chalice.
And not only the pain of those who have faith, but of every human pain. He died for all human beings: “And when I am lifted up from the earth,” he said, “I will draw everyone to myself” (Jn 12:32). …
The pandemic of Coronavirus has abruptly roused us from the greatest danger individuals and humanity have always been susceptible to: the delusion of omnipotence. A Jewish rabbi has written that we have the opportunity to celebrate a very special paschal exodus this year, that “from the exile of consciousness”. It took merely the smallest and most formless element of nature, a virus, to remind us that we are mortal, that military power and technology are not sufficient to save us. As a psalm says, “In his prime, man does not understand. / He is like the beasts—they perish” (Ps 49:21). How true that is!
God does this with us sometimes: he disrupts our projects and our calm to save us from the abyss we don’t see. But we need to be careful not to be deceived. God is not the one who hurled the brush at the sparkling fresco of our technological society. God is our ally, not the ally of the virus! He himself says in the Bible, “I have . . . plans for your welfare and not for woe” (Jer 29:11). If these scourges were punishments of God, it would not be explained why they strike equally good and bad, and why the poor usually bring the worst consequences of them. Are they more sinners than others?
No! The one who cried one day for Lazarus’ death cries today for the scourge that has fallen on humanity. Yes, God “suffers”, like every father and like every mother. When we will find out this one day, we will be ashamed of all the accusations we made against him in life. God participates in our pain to overcome it. “Being supremely good” – wrote St. Augustine – “God would not allow any evil in his works, unless in his omnipotence and goodness, he is able to bring forth good out of evil.”
The word of God tells us the first thing we should do at times like these is to cry out to God. He himself is the one who puts on people’s lips the words to cry out to him, at times harsh words and almost of accusation: “Awake! Why do you sleep, O Lord? / Rise up! Do not reject us forever! . . . Rise up, help us! / Redeem us in your mercy” (Ps 44, 24, 27). “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (Mk 4:38).”
Read the full text here: vaticannews.va
Following the instruction of Most Reverend Bishop Bryan Bayda and civil restriction concerning the gatherings of persons, all weekday, Sunday and Feast Day Divine Liturgies are hereby closed to the public. This means that our priests will continue to celebrate these liturgies with limited assistants, such as a cantor, for the given intentions, especially for the parish, the sick and deceased. The faithful are dispensed by the Bishop from the canonical obligation to attend Sunday and Feast Day Liturgies.
During this time of trial let us raise our prayers to the Lord, Physician of our body and soul, for the spiritual strength and bodily health so much needed in these days. May He help us through his peace to overcome our anxiety and fear. Through the prayers of the Mother of God and all the saints.
Rt. Rev. John Tataryn, Pastor.
What is a Dispensation from Liturgies?
A dispensation from the diocesan Bishop releases Catholics from fulfilling their Sunday obligation (Divine Liturgy). Since public Liturgies are cancelled in the Eparchy of Toronto until further notice, this means that if you live in the Eparchy, the right thing to do is to stay home for your safety and the safety of others. Though there is a sadness for not being able to participate in the Divine Liturgy the faithful are encouraged to offer up their suffering for the sake of those who are seriously ill and for those who have died.
- What should I do if I can’t go to Church on Sunday?
- How Do I Make a Spiritual Communion?
The answers to these questions are on our Liturgy and Prayer Page.
All baptisms (Rites of Initiation) are cancelled until further notice.
Baptism, confession and anointing of the sick will only be administered in danger of death. Please call the parish office in such emergencies to make arrangements.
For weddings please call the parish office.
Parish office tel: 416-244-5333
The Holy Mystery of Reconciliation (Confession)
Bishop Bryan has issued a decree on General Absolution which the pastor may administer over the next several weeks.
The conditions for receiving General Absolution are:
- do an examination of conscience in advance.
- have contrition for sins and a resolution to do better with God’s help.
- to follow up with individual confession at the nearest opportunity.
To receive general absolution you must ask for it when coming to bless your baskets on Easter Saturday. See the schedule below for times.
The Divine Liturgy and Holy Eucharist
Please continue to pray and set-aside some time every day to read scripture and pray, especially on Sundays. Some helpful prayer and links are found on our Prayer page, below is the Prayer for Spiritual Communion. As well, make efforts to connect with friends and family by phone and in prayer. Please remember that the clergy of our parish continue to pray for you, and we ask that you remember us in your prayers.
If you would like to dedicate a Divine Liturgy for a particular intention please do not hesitate to call or email the parish office.
Tel 416-244-5333 or email: email@example.com
Prayer for Spiritual Communion
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart! I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
We strongly recommend that all funerals be conducted in funeral homes. Gathering restrictions must be followed, in consultation with relatives of the deceased. Persons who are at risk should not attend.
A memorial liturgy can be planned for a later date. Public receptions following a funeral are not to take place on church property.
- Lenten Mission – listen online on March 30, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.
- Information for all other Lenten and Easter Services will be posted closer to the actual dates.
- Parish Sviacheny has been postponed.
Dear parishioners and friends,
Please keep in mind that the parish office is still open, the clergy and staff are still hard at work. The parish has ongoing expenses and bills have to be paid.
You can still make your regular donations by mail, in person or donate online. If you are sending donations by mail (cheque only, no cash), please indicate the purpose of the donation. Your Easter gifts of love for the clergy can also be mailed in or dropped off in person.
We are still taking intentions and donations for vigil candles as well. Our clergy will continue to pray for intentions and our staff will light the vigil candles for you in the church as you pray at home.
Please consider making a donation using the button below. You can pay through Paypal or by Credit Card. To request an intention, first enter the amount and method of payment then press donate to enter the details. Please write a brief description or provide the name for the intention where it says “Write a note” before entering your payment details. Thank you.
Щоб скласти свої добровільні датки, просимо натиснути жовту кнопку “Скласти Пожертву”. Ви можете це зробити за допомогою Paypal або кредитної картки. Якщо подаєте прохання про молитву/намірення на Службу Божу, перш ніж вводити платіжні дані, прохання стисло описати ваше намірення або подати ім`я/імена, де написано “Написати замітку”. Щиро дякуємо!