Lord, how good it is for us to be here -- Matthew 17

Browsing The Corner Office

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Mar 12, 2020

Dear Friends,

Love and Mercy is our call during our Lenten Season, how are doing making them a reality?

Our Tri-Parish Retreat is next week, March 23, 24 and 25.  Our theme for the Retreat is “Reconciling Embrace: Living in the Hospitality of God’s Heart”.  Our presenter is known to most of us, little introduction is needed, but we are happy Fr. Bob Kennedy is going to be with us to inspire us and help us draw closer to our God.  Mark your calendar, it is only a week away, details are on the front cover of this Bulletin.

With all the ‘stuff’ going on that could tend to depress us, I thought I would share a couple messages that have a lighter tone about serious matters taking place in our lives these days.  One is about pretzels and one about the corona virus.    

It’s Official!  Pretzels are a yummy snack to be sure.  However, did you know that the pretzel has its origin as an “official food of Lent”?  The first pretzels were made using only flour, water and salt.  Milk, eggs and butter were not included in pretzel recipes because these foods were typically not eaten during the Lenten fast.  Today, we abstain (go without) meat on Fridays during Lent.  And on two days in Lent, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, we fast (eat less food) as well.  Tradition tells of a young Italian monk in the early 600s, who wanted to prepare a special Lenten bread of water, flour and salt to remind his brother monks that Lent was a time of prayer.  Once he created the dough he rolled it into thin strips and shaped each in the form of crossed arms to resemble a person praying.  The finished product was called bracellae, the Latin word for “little arms.”  From this word, came the German translation, bretzel which has since been changed to the familiar word pretzel.

A Pretzel Prayer:  Dear God, we ask You to bless these pretzels which we are about to eat.  Each time we eat them, may we be reminded, especially in this Season of Lent, of our brother and sisters in mission countries.  Help us to remember to pray for those who need our prayers each day. Keep Your loving arms around us, O God, to protect us.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.  

With so much news that needs to be taken seriously relative to COVID-19 (the corona virus) I thought I would share with you some advice sent to me concerning the virus.  This advice comes from a few illustrious saints and even a couple of notorious sinners.  These tidbits of advice are somewhat humorous, but they are practical as well.

  • "Stay calm and don't lose your head." – St. John the Baptist
  • "This is not the Apocalypse." – St. John the Evangelist
  • "Wash your hands often." – Pontius Pilate
  • "Avoid greeting people with a hug and kiss." – Judas
  • "Don't touch your eyes, nose, mouth or any open wounds." – St. Thomas the Apostle
  • "Pets and other animals cannot spread this disease." – St. Francis of Assisi
  • And, finally, "Avoid going to China." – Fr. Matteo Ricci (Italian Jesuit priest and one of the founding figures of the Jesuit China missions in the late 1500’s, he was not martyred, but is a candidate for sainthood.  Interesting biography, I encourage you to google him.)

I wish you a peaceful and successful Lent!

Let us continue to pray for and take action to bring about peace in our world!

In peace and courage, 

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