People have written from all over the world. They sense that this is an important moment in the Church in the United States. I concur. Surely that accounts for the amount of email which has been sent.
Most of the email is directed in a few vectors. First, people are concerned in part for me, because I had a strong rapport with the ExO. Thanks. Also, people are praying for the soul the bishop, which is gratifying beyond my meager means of expression. Additionally, many express hope and prayers for a good successor. On that note, there are – and I have to smile wryly at this, given that I have been at this internet thing now since 1992 – those who sent consolations along with sentiments like, “I pray for a good successor, but I doubt you’ll get one.”
Gee, thanks. That’s so very consoling. But, as I said, I have to smile.
There are two types of … well… people out there. One of them are the type who are unhappy only when they are unhappy. Yes, I too am deeply concerned about Bp. Morlino’s successor. However, when I catch myself lapsing into a black mood, I immediately take out my Rosary and pray a decade or do something else to get my head back into a better place.
We do not let the Enemy prevail. No, sir!
I’m not going to be that type. There are times to lament our state. There are times to inform about problems. There are also times to get to work.
Moving along, often when I write a post, I impose the title when I’m done. Not this time. I wrote “thoughts and deeds” with intention.
My dear readers, I have relied on you for years. I count on you now more than ever.
If you, too, think that this is an important moment in the Church in the USA, and if you want to be of help, yes, please express your condolences in a note. But, if you are optimistic or pessimistic, please do something concrete.
If you write about prayers, then really do pray.
If you are concerned, then please offer fasting and works of mercy.
Do we not sometimes use the image of “storming heaven” for certain petitions? That strikes me as more than just – as deeply appreciated as they are! – words in a note.
Take on something penitential or works of mercy.
Last night I received a phone call from a 90 year old priest – 90 – who said that he was going to offer Masses and other penances for the sake of a good successor to Bp. Morlino. I know this priest well and I believed every word. He’ll do it.
For my part, I have set a program of action.
First, continue to pray for Bp. Morlino. While I am not overly concerned about the state of his soul, and I am rock solid confident that he received the sacraments, being a bishop is a prospect to make anyone tremble. Pray and then pray more.
For my part, for example, I just celebrated a Holy Requiem Mass in the Chapel of the Crown of Thorns in Notre-Dame de Paris. Yes, Paris, and, yes, the Crown of Thorns. (I’m with a small group. I was on the road when the bishop died.)
I also went to the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal in the Rue du Bac and said a Rosary for the Bishop’s successor (btw… today is the anniversary of the Apparition of Lady at that Chapel). For Mass I used the special form in the appendix of the Roman Missal. [MORE HERE.]
Moreover, I spent an hour at Sacré Cœur de Montmartre (the Mountain of the Martyres) before the Blessed Sacrament exposed. While submitting my desires to God’s will, I have in my mind and heart lifted up three men whom I want God to send to Madison as the new bishop.
If you would like an intention for your own fasting, fast for my list, especially Numero Uno on that list. He also happens to be such an obvious choice that the decision should really be quite easy… ceteris paribus, all other things being equal. Of course, they are not equal at the moment.
Since news of the ExO’s death, when saying Mass I have tried at the Offertory to visualize my petition as being joined with the drops of water which are transformed in their mingling with wine, raised to the altar on high after the consecration. I trust God’s promises. I am confident.
Without doubt, powerful forces are lined up on strongly differing sides.
I am one little garden variety priest. A nobody.
However, for reasons only God knows, he did this Holy Orders thing to me and I intend to use the arsenal I was given! For reasons only God knows, I have this electronic platform as a force multiplier, and I intend to use it!
There is an old phrase, that the most dangerous weapon in the world is a marine with his rifle. And then… there’s the priest with his chalice, friends. Heck, there’s the priest, alter Christus, and mere raising of his hands. I think this is why vets and old priests tend get to on so well. We get each other.
I’ve told you the priest stuff I am doing.
I’ve been so bold as to you give, dear readers, your tasks.
Let’s work on these things together: concrete prayers and actions for Bp. Morlino and for a good successor.
I, for one, think that this is an important and telling moment for the Church in the USA.