April 19, 2020 – Father’s Ramblings

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Last week the state legislature extended the governor’s emergency powers to the end of the month. Governor Whitmer, in turn, extended the lockdown orders until the end of the month. Knowing this was coming, Bishop Walkowiak extended the restrictions on Mass and gatherings until the end of the month as well. What we have been doing will be going on for a couple more weeks.

Thank you to everyone who have been sending in their tithes and their CSA pledge cards. We have taken measures to limit our expenses, but there are many expenses out of our control.

Thank you for helping us to keep going. To you who are not able to do so at this time, do not feel bad. This is an extraordinary event, and some of you have lost jobs or had your hours cut or find you have increased expenses. If all you can do right now is pray, that is plenty.

In the meantime, we are in the great Easter Season. “The Lord is Risen! He is Truly Risen!” This great Easter acclamation summarizes the great Easter event. Jesus is Risen! There is no other news greater than this. Sin no longer needs enslave us. Death is no longer something to be feared. The Lord is Risen, and in Him we are truly free.

Though we are free, we may not be feeling free. Many in the media and in government are fostering fear. We have all undoubtedly seen the effects of fear in those we care about. With the changes in life there may have been the return of past sins or an increase in the patterns of sin. Being in closer and longer contact with family members may have shortened our fuses or brought to the surface tensions and problems that we have been avoiding. We may not be feeling the freedom of Christ’s Resurrection right now.

If we are feeling bound by fear, know that the fear is not from the Lord. Fear is a tool of the evil one to keep us enslaved. I am not encouraging anyone to flout the law, but this situation tells us a lot about politicians and those in authority when they rule by fear. My first encouragement would be to limit your consumption of news and media. Yes, we need to know what is going on, but we can do that with minimal consumption to the disaster hype-train that is the modern media. Remember the old saying: you are what you eat.

If sin has returned to our lives or gotten worse during this time, the first thing we should be is patient with ourselves. In times of upheaval, Satan finds easier access to our lives. Our good habits easily fall by the wayside, which makes room for the bad habits to come back or increase. There are many things we can do about this. First, we can change the situation. If we have more free time on our hands, let’s find something better to do with that free time. If the computer is in an isolated spot, bring it into the living room. Change the situation. Second, the Lord is still with us. I am still hearing Confessions at the regular times. Jesus is still in the tabernacle waiting for a visit.

If family problems have manifested because everyone is closer together for longer periods of time, we are again called first to patience. There are solutions to many problems, but there are few overnight cures. It is an opportunity, though, to truly ponder what is bothering us. Often we overlook things or let them build up because we are busy with so many other things. Often it is easy to say “I don’t like [fill in the blank]”, but the “I don’t like [fill in the blank] because…” consideration is much harder. It is worth taking some time to truly consider what is bothering us and why because then we have a better chance of finding help to solve the problem.

The Lord is Risen! He is truly Risen! We have been set free, but maybe we need some help to live that true freedom. Never be afraid, never be ashamed, to ask for help. We need Christ to free us, and Christ works in many ways.

May the Lord bless you with peace and joy this Easter Season!

–Fr. Ferris

Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron R. Ferris Ordination Date: June 6, 2009 Pastor, St. Anthony Parish (Saranac) and St. Mary’s Parish (Lowell) 402 Amity Street Lowell, MI 49331 Phone: 616-897-9820
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