Father David’s Letter
Dear Friends in Christ,
Happy Pentecost!!! Christ is Risen, Ascended, and Glorified, Alleluia!!!
Sometimes the Holy Spirit is called the “forgotten” Person of the Holy Trinity. That is an interesting assessment. Would you agree with it? Is the Holy Spirit “forgotten” in your life?
Whenever we make the Sign of the Cross, we always do so “in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” And we hear the Holy Spirit mentioned in many of our prayers. But beyond this more ritualistic expression, on a personal level, how often do you intentionally praise and pray to the Holy Spirit?
To look at it another way, when you have a heart to heart with God, how do you imagine Him? Do you think of the physical form of Jesus? Do you conjure in your mind an “Old Wise Man” type of image of God the Father? You know, how we often picture God as children – the old man with the long white beard and the tall staff and the kind but strong face with fathomless impenetrable eyes. Yeah, that image. (Though the Father is pure spirit and does not have a “physical” form as such.) Or we might imagine one of many faces of Jesus, the Incarnate Son. But how do we envision the Holy Spirit when we pray?
When we think of God in prayer we can sometimes create physical images of him, simply because we are corporeal beings and it is difficult for us to imagine spiritual mysteries and realities without projecting and incorporating our physical senses into them. Humans don’t like the abstract. Or at least we don’t want to remain there. And we can’t. We have to function in a physical world, and we need everything to somehow fit into our empirical categories.
Yet, God doesn’t “fit into” our empirical categories. Case in point….. Try to answer a child who asks, “When was God born?” (meaning the Spirit of God, not Jesus), or “Who are God’s parents?” (again, not referring specifically to Jesus), or “What was there before God?”, or any number of similar questions. Oh sure we can give tight, pithy, theological answers – and we do (i.e. “the Spirit of God wasn’t born”, “God doesn’t have parents”, “nothing existed before God”), but how often in such instances do we find ourselves basically shaking our heads and throwing up our hands and exclaiming “well, it’s a mystery.” Probably often! The reason being, even if we can’t articulate it as such, because the Nature of God IS a Great Mystery, and not a Mystery to be solved (like a “whodunit”), but rather a Mystery to be Encountered and Experienced (like a sunset or a marriage bond.)
The Holy Spirit is truly a Mystery. We use physical concepts and images such as fire, breath (“Ruah”), wind, and even a dove to try to describe Him, but in the end we really can’t. All we can do it seems is grope for ideas, concepts, and analogies. But what we DO know……. The Holy Spirit is REAL. The Holy Spirit is GOD, FULLY God, and NOT just PART of God. The Holy Spirit is a PERSON, NOT an idea or an impersonal “force.” The Holy Spirit exists in an Eternal Communion of Perfect Love with the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit has been active in our world since the Dawn of Creation. The Holy Spirit worked with the Father and the Son to bring about our Redemption. The Holy Spirit Breathed into us Life, and later New Life. The Holy Spirit came to the Church to rest upon, commune with, and spiritually ignite the Lord’s Disciples.
And, the Holy Spirit Lives within You and Me!! Don’t ever forget that, or forget Him.
COVID-19 Mass Directives
As some parishioners do not feel comfortable attending Mass for at this time, you are encouraged to watch Mass on ETWN, local channels, and on St. Mary’s, St. Patrick’s and Holy Apostles’ websites. Here is the link to Spiritual Communion and Chaplet of the Blessed Sacrament: https://www.virgosacrata.com/spiritual-communion.html
To attend Mass, please remember to bring your face mask! This a requirement to wear a mask during the Mass. You can remove the mask when receiving Communion. Hand sanitizers are available in the church for your use as well. Our highest prioritiy is to keep our parishioners safe! We are following all the directives issued by the Diocese of Rockford and the Archdiocese of Chicago regarding social distancing, sanitizing, etc.
Don’t forget that you can also tune your car radio to FM90.3 to listen in the parking lot and then receive the Eucharist after the Mass.
Here’s something to SMILE about! 🙂
St. Mary’s Church is now connected with AMAZON.SMILE! What is Amazon.Smile? Amazon is dedicated to giving back to charitable organizations like our parish. When you buy online at Amazon, you have the opportunity to have .05% of your purchases donated to St. Mary’s by Amazon. When you sign up for AmazonSmile, you’ll be asked to select from over a million of charities to support. But you can skip this step and click on our unique link. Then you’ll be taken to smile.amazon.com and then automatically asked if you want to support St Mary Church. Our unique charity link: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/36-2182123
Don’t forget to sign up for St. Mary’s MyParish App today!
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enhance your spiritual life and get updates on what’s happening at St. Mary! Just text App to phone number 88202 or visit myparishapp.com to download. St. Mary’s will not automatically be one of your choices because we are a national parish which means we have no boundaries. Just type in St. Mary 1407 and the site will be available for you to click on and join. Keep yourself up to date on parish events, daily readings, messages, Pope Francis messages, and programs to enhance your faith journey.