Father Leo and Father Aaron will offer daily reflections during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reflection by Fr. Aaron Kuhn for Monday, April 6, 2020:

Things aren’t always as they seem, are they?  I mean, just take a look at Fr. Leo and I.  One of us is quiet and soft-spoken, a gentle soul who always listens carefully, patiently and obediently carrying out his work.  The other is boisterous, one of kind, an unforgettable demeanor who can sometimes be a little ridiculous, always ready to get it done.  But hey, Fr. Leo can also be boisterous and a little bit ridiculous at times.  You see, things just aren’t as they seem sometimes.  But in all seriousness, that’s so true.  Appearances can be deceiving and we can struggle to see clearly and rightly.  We often times see the stress, and the toil, and the pain, and the confusion but fail to see the victory.  And the reality of sin can make itself known as a sort of fog or distortion, or separation from truth.  A fog, a distortion, a separation that blinds us and keeps us from loving God and loving others.  As we enter into the Paschal Mystery more fully, especially during Holy Week, we are reminded that we are people of hope, called to constantly proclaim the Gospel message of Christ, the Truth, and in doing so, we proclaim that the sin and pain of the world will not have the final say.  God remains faithful and loves us to the end.  May the humility, and service, and radical self-giving love of Christ be made a part of our life and may we see clearly not only the cross but the victory that Christ wins for us.

Reflection by Fr. Aaron Kuhn for Sunday, April 5, 2020:

“Your power is awesome, Father, and wonderful is Your holiness.  In Your presence the earth both trembles and stands still, for You shattered death’s power by the cross.  Rise to help Your people: give Your light, and grant salvation to the meek of the earth, that they may praise Your name in heaven.”  I take yet another beautiful psalm-prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours for today’s reflection.  I wonder how many times I’ve seen that prayer or prayed that prayer without giving it a second thought.  Often times it is easy for me to overlook these prayers when I’m praying the Liturgy of the Hours but what beautiful prayers they are.  And this can happen in anyone’s prayer life, you can overlook the beauty of the prayer being prayed or you can be in such a routine that the prayer becomes only words that you say rather than fullness of prayer that you offer.  And so, I encourage you to really take the time to perhaps slow down with your prayer, be deliberate about your prayer so that you might enter into that prayer more fully.  Perhaps consider adding a new prayer to your “prayer routine.”  If it throws you off a little and if you fumble with it, good, it will help you to focus all the more on what you’re doing.  When we “say” our prayers, whether verbally or mentally, they don’t have to be perfect or delivered with great eloquence.  They need only be sincere.  They need only to come from the heart as we recognize our complete dependence upon God and the need for His mercy.  And take a few moments to pray and reflect on that prayer I opened with.  Indeed because of God’s awesomeness and His conquering of death, the earth both trembles and stands still as it recognizes God’s almighty power and His due reverence.  May we always be meek and humble of heart so that we might praise the Lord in Heaven for all eternity.

Reflection by Fr. Aaron Kuhn for Saturday, April 4, 2020:

We have been preparing now since Ash Wednesday.  We have hopefully taken heed to our need for prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.  Hopefully our Lenten disciplines that we have undertaken have borne fruit in our life and have drawn us closer to God.  Perhaps we’ve discovered things in our life that we want to work on, areas that we especially need Christ’s healing.  Wonderful.  Now is the time to seek that healing.  Maybe you slipped up on your Lenten disciplines…how has that drawn you closer to Christ?  Has it allowed you to recognize your need for God in your life all the more and your complete dependence on Him?  I pray that it has and if so, wonderful.  I pray too that repentance and conversion have been part of your Lenten journey.  I think we can safely say that the last few weeks of this season of Lent have certainly been like no other.  Again, I pray that you have embraced this Lenten season with even greater vigor and that the challenges presented to us have enflamed your heart for God.  As we now enter into Holy Week, I encourage you to embrace this holiest of weeks.  That you deeply consider what the Lord has done for you and what it is that we will celebrate in the Sacred Triduum.  Take the time now to continue that preparation.  May Holy Week for you bring even greater repentance and conversion as Christ pours out His love for you and gives you His peace.

Reflection by Fr. Aaron Kuhn for Friday, April 3, 2020:

“Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous.  Teach me to serve You as You deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to seek reward, except that of knowing that I do Your Will.”  For those of you reading this from St. Peter Parish, you will recognize this as our Prayer for Generosity, which we generally conclude our intercessions with at our Saturday Vigil and Sunday Masses.  The prayer is attributed to St. Ignatius of Loyola, a 16th century saint whose spirituality is expressed simply as “for the greater glory of God.”  Many will recall that this prayer was very much a part of our 2018 Parish Stewardship Renewal.  And although we cannot, at present, come together to say this prayer, I encourage you, just as Fr. Leo asked each of us when he gave us this prayer, to pray this prayer daily, with grateful and humble hearts.  Offer it sincerely as you work to know and carry out God’s Will.  Our stewardship continues even in the midst of challenge because we’ve come to know that stewardship is not a program that can come and go but a way of life that remains, one which we fully embrace as we recognize all that we have as a gift from God.  In doing so, we offer all that we have back to the Lord for His greater glory and to carry out His Will.  May you embrace your life of stewardship all the more and in times of challenge, may the Lord give you strength and peace as you approach Him with gratitude and humility.

Reflection by Fr. Aaron Kuhn for Thursday, April 2, 2020:

St. Hilary of Pointers is a 4th century saint, known to be a staunch defender of the faith (especially against Arianism which denies the divinity of Christ).  Yet he was also known to be a very gentle and courteous man.  He once wrote, “Little children follow and obey their father.  They love their mother.  They know nothing of covetousness, ill-will, bad temper, arrogance, and lying.  This state of mind opens the road to Heaven.  To imitate our Lord’s own humility, we must return to the simplicity of God’s little ones.”  This reminds me of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark when He became upset over His disciples trying to keep the children away from Him and He says, “Let the children come to me, do not prevent them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.”  Jesus is not suggesting that we be childish, not at all.  Rather, He is reminding us of our complete dependence on God and how, like children, we should always be yearning to know more and understand more and discover more about God.  That helps to draw us closer to Him.  And that quote from St. Hilary of Pointers reminds us of our need for humility and simplicity of life while pointing out many of those things that weigh us down, turn us away from God, bind us to sin.  And so, I encourage you to examine your own life, identify those things that hold you back from growing in holiness, and then to seek that humility and simplicity of life in all that you do as you recognize your complete dependence upon God.  May you know God’s love and peace and truth in your life and show God’s love and peace and truth to the world.  St. Hilary of Pointers, pray for us.

Reflection by Fr. Aaron Kuhn for Wednesday, April 1, 2020:

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”  This short, simple prayer is a powerful one that both proclaims our faith and humbles us by asking mercy for our sinfulness.  Sometimes there is a loss of the sense of sin in our life.  It’s easy and even attractive at times to fall into relativism concerning morality.  Or we may want to blame our sinfulness on others or on circumstances.  But God gives us free will, the ability to always turn toward God and to say yes to His Will or to turn away from God and what He calls us to (that is called sin and can never lead to true happiness).  Bishop Fulton Sheen spoke of people’s tendency to have their sins explained away rather than having them forgiven by the Lord.  But denying our sinfulness and our need for God’s mercy only worsens things for us as we turn away from God more and more rather than asking for God’s grace to help us deal with our troubles, our temptations, our sinfulness.  And so, this prayer points us to our faith in Jesus Christ who is the Son of God.  It recognizes our own sinfulness and it calls out for God’s mercy.  Don’t be fooled by its simplicity.  When said with sincerity, it is quite powerful in our life.  And perhaps consider including the following in the prayer…”Jesus I love, Jesus I trust you.”  I encourage you to say this prayer every day, perhaps throughout the day, with sincerity of heart, allowing the Lord to enter more fully into your life and your sinfulness so that he can bring about healing and wholeness for you and give you His peace.  “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.  Jesus I love you.  Jesus I trust you.”

Reflection by Fr. Aaron Kuhn for Tuesday, March 31, 2020:

In today’s Daytime Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours, I was particularly drawn to two of the Psalm-prayers.  The first was this: “Saving God, by the Resurrection of your Son, You have given light to our eyes, and they shall not sleep in death for ever.  Look upon the sufferings of Your Church so that our hearts may rejoice in Your saving help and sing You songs of praise.”  The second was this: “God of wisdom and Truth, without You neither Truth nor holiness can survive.  Safeguard the Church You have gathered into one and make us glad in proclaiming You.”  I thought these were beautiful prayers, speaking in a particular way to today’s isolation, uncertainty, anxiety.  The prayers recognize the Church, the Body of Christ, composed of you and me with Christ as its Head while they also recognize and pray for the sufferings of the Church…the challenges, the persecutions.  The short prayers encompass so much as they also remind us of our need for God in our lives for without Him “neither Truth nor holiness can survive.”  We need the Truth of Christ and we need to proclaim it or else our lives will fall into shambles.  And we need holiness in our lives, holiness in ourselves and holiness in others so that we might enjoy the perfection and glory of Heaven.  And the prayers are also prayers of intercession, asking God to safeguard the Church and to fill us with joy in proclaiming Christ to the world.  Finally, the prayers recognize God’s almighty power, calling out to Him as “Saving God” and “God of wisdom and Truth.”  Again, these are simple and short prayers but very powerful.  Perhaps you might find them useful in your own personal prayer life and in your own reflections as you strive to draw ever closer to the Lord.  May we indeed rejoice in God’s saving help, be made glad in proclaiming Him, and sing Him songs of praise for all of His works, for all that He does for us, for all that He bestows upon us.

Reflection by Fr. Aaron Kuhn for Monday, March 30, 2020:

Often times when I’m praying the Liturgy of the Hours I’m reminded that Jesus Himself prayed those same Psalms that I’m praying.  The same Psalms that are part of every Eucharistic Liturgy that we celebrate as well.  That reminder always causes me to stop for a moment and to consider all the more what it is I’m really praying.  What a beautiful way to draw closer to Christ.  The Psalms speak to each one of us as they express a range of emotions that we all experience…joy, sorrow, anger, repentance.  And that is but one reason why the Psalms are great to pray with.  The Psalms, while prayers themselves in some sense, also help us to pray, they help to lead us into deeper prayer as they reveal God’s heart to us all the more.  One Psalm that I’m especially fond of is Psalm 127, in particular the first part of the Psalm as it reminds us of our need for God and His Blessing,  “If the Lord does not build the house, in vain to its builders labor; if the Lord does not watch over the city, in vain does the watchman keep vigil.”  For me, and I hope for you as well, this is a reminder of our need to have God at the center of everything we do, that without Him, all that we might do is done in vain.  And yet the Psalm still recognizes the human work performed as well…by the builder, by the watchman.  The work God has called you to, whatever it is in your state of life, is important.  But we are reminded that all that we do is accomplished through God alone.  May we always keep Him at the center of our lives.  And so, I encourage you to think about how you might use the Psalms to enter more deeply into your own prayer life.  And I encourage you to listen carefully to the Psalms proclaimed during the Liturgy as they are an integral part of the Liturgy itself and of the Word of God.  May God’s peace be with you now and always.

Reflection by Fr. Aaron Kuhn for Sunday, March 29, 2020:

Gaudium et spes, the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the modern world from the Second Vatican Council reminds us that “all human activity, in daily jeopardy through pride and inordinate self-love, is to find its purification and perfection in the cross and resurrection of Christ.”  All too often, we see pride and vanity in the encounters of the world.  They stand in the way of forgiveness and healing, compassion and charity.  They work against the building up of the Kingdom of God.  Pride and vanity can creep into all of our lives.  Maybe there is already evidence of it in yours.  Left unchecked, pride and vanity become infectious and hurl us into a life of unhappiness where we replace God with ourselves as the center of our lives.  Pride and vanity dismiss the great gifts given to us by God alone as mere objects to be used or consumed or manipulated and we find ourselves chasing after more and more and more to try to fill the void left by moving Christ from the center our life.  Indeed we should take great care in doing the work that God has called us to do and be proud to do it.  And we certainly love ourselves as we love God and others.  This is neither pride nor vanity but rather a recognition of the great gifts and responsibilities bestowed upon us by God alone.  I encourage you, especially during this season of Lent, to look closely at your own life and to be honest with yourself.  How might you embrace humility more fully in order to weed out any pride that is keeping you from living a fully Christ-centered life?  How might you remove the vanity in your life by growing your love of Christ through your encounters with others?  Where can you show true compassion and charity more fully and what in your life is in need of forgiveness and healing?  Christ has come for us so that we can fully embrace these challenges.  We are called to live for Christ and indeed, all of our activity, from the ordinary to the extraordinary is to find its purification and perfection in the Paschal Mystery, the Life of Christ.

Reflection by Fr. Aaron Kuhn for Saturday, March 28, 2020:

“The greater and more persistent your confidence in God, the more abundantly you will receive all that you ask.”  This quote is attributed to St. Albert the Great, a saint from the thirteenth century who was canonized and declared a Doctor of the Church on December 16, 1931 by Pope Pius XI.  As we live out our Christian lives, this quote from St. Albert the Great is a wonderful reminder to us of our need to place our full trust in the Lord and to be persistent and persevering in our faith and in our prayer.  Sometimes things happen in our life and we might wonder just where God is in all of it.  Things may seem to be so difficult that we just want to give up.  Perhaps we’ve gone to the Lord in prayer time and again seemingly with no response, no answer.  These are precisely the times that those words from St. Albert the Great are all the more critical in our lives.  With the temporary fast from the Holy Eucharist, or the current slowing of social interaction, or fear of the unknown, or some other significant challenge that has come into your life, perhaps you have wondered where God is in all of this, perhaps you have felt like you are at your wits end.  Take some time to consider your trust in God.  Consider how persistent your confidence in God really is.  Strive each day to increase your confidence in our Almighty God.  In doing so, you will receive what you ask for with ever greater abundance.  May God’s peace be with you now and always.

Reflection by Fr. Aaron Kuhn for Friday, March 27, 2020:

What is the holiest thing you have ever encountered?  C. S. Lewis once wrote “Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.”  What a profound, beautiful, and true statement.  In this particular time of challenge with the current virus situation, we have found ourselves, in part, separated from one another and our fast from the Holy Eucharist continues. That line from C.S. Lewis points to two especially important things for us…our desire and need for others and our desire and need for Christ in the Holy Eucharist.  I urge you to really look at how you can be present to others in these times.  We are united together in Christ through faith and although our personal encounters with others have been interrupted for a time, our desire and our need for others remain.  There are many, many ways to be present to others, giving us the opportunity to recognize all the more the dignity and sanctity of all human life, flowing from the fact that every person is created in the image and likeness of God.  And I urge you to also consider how you might recognize all the more Christ present in your life in the absence of the Holy Eucharist?  Our fast from the Holy Eucharist should be bringing us closer to the Lord and into a deeper union with Him as we enter more and more into true repentance and conversion.  Jesus commands us to love God and to love one another.  The two are inseparable.  We cannot truly and fully love God unless we love every other person unconditionally, unless we recognize that every other person is the holiest thing in our lives next to the Blessed Sacrament.  And when we love every other person unconditionally, we then show our love for God.  When you look upon another, may you see holiness, may you see the image and likeness of God.  And when others look upon you, may they also see holiness, may they also see the image and likeness of God so that we might all be brought into the fullness of life.

Reflection by Fr. Aaron Kuhn for Thursday, March 26, 2020:

Faith, Hope, and Love…the three Theological Virtues infused in us through Baptism, meant to bring about our true and eternal happiness.  Faith is our response to God.  To believe is to surrender to the Will of God and it requires a commitment of one’s whole self to God, freely and completely.  In our suffering, the Lord works to bring our faith to perfection and although suffering is difficult, we can and do persevere through God’s abundant grace.  Hope has been revealed to us in Jesus Christ and is made available to us through faith.  Hope is not some kind of wishing but rather it is confident trust in God’s blessing and promise of Eternal Life.  In any difficulty or challenge, hope should be immediately stirred up within us as we remain on guard against presumption and despair.  Presumption is that prideful thinking that God’s salvation and forgiveness will be granted despite no real repentance and conversion.  It disguises itself as hope as it destroys true faith.  Despair is the opposite of hope and is often fueled by pessimism.  Love (or charity) is the greatest of the Theological Virtues.  God is Love itself and the way that leads to life is characterized by charity.  Love is expressed in our words and our actions toward both God and toward one another.  Moved by charity, one is able to love God above all things and to love our neighbor in a supernatural way just as Jesus Himself has commanded us.  Charity is found in both great heroic deeds but also, and often times more often, in the simple daily acts of love…patience, kindness, compassion, gentleness.  Indeed, charity is the source of the Christian life and the foundation of Christian holiness.  Let us pray now and always for an increase in Faith, Hope, and Love so that we might come to the fullness of life and happiness and lead others to that same fullness.

Reflection by Fr. Aaron Kuhn for Wednesday, March 25, 2020:

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.  May it be done to me according to your word.”  These are the words spoken by Mary in response to the Angel’s message that she would bear a son, not just any son, but the Son of God.  The Church has celebrated today with great joy that encounter between Mary and the Angel, the Solemnity of the Annunciation.  The Annunciation’s central focus is on the Incarnation, that is, God becoming Man.  Additionally, we can never overlook Mary’s role in this, her complete cooperation with God’s grace and His Will.  Mary is a most perfect example for all of us in living out our Christian lives and of always saying yes to God’s Will no matter what it is.  Mary is not so different from you.  She is set apart for a particular role but you also are set apart for a particular role in God’s plan of salvation.  No, it is not Mary’s role…that is hers.  It is your role.  And don’t think that Mary somehow had it so much easier, that she just wouldn’t understand things.  Mary found herself young and with child though she had no relations with a man.  Mary watched her Son Jesus grow and then watched His unimaginable suffering on His way to Calvary.  And then Mary stood at the foot of the Cross and watched her Son die.  By no means did Mary have it any easier than any of us.  Yet she remained faithful to her yes.  How?  God gave her all that she needed to carry out His Will.  Likewise, He gives us all that we need to carry out His Will, not our will, His Will.  And so in these challenging times I encourage you to reflect on God’s Will for you and how you are responding to that.  Finally, Mary is a wonderful intercessor for us.  We invoke her maternal help in this time of pandemic and I encourage you to ask her to intercede for your own needs as well so that we may all carry out the Will of God in the world.

Reflection by Fr. Aaron Kuhn for Tuesday, March 24, 2020:

Joy is interesting, isn’t it?  Often times joy is misunderstood or misrepresented.  Joy is sometimes confused with happiness, especially worldly happiness.  Of course we recognize and give thanks for all of the good that God has bestowed upon us and upon the world in this earthly life.  But true Christian joy is not worldly happiness.  Joy is not tied to the fleeting moments of pleasure or wealth or power.  Rather, joy is tied to our call to holiness and living out that call each and every day.  And a life of holiness is not one of perfection.  A life of holiness is not one absent of sorrow or trials or pain, suffering or challenges or grief.  Rather, a life of holiness always seeks the Will of God, despite all of these things.  And that holiness strengthens and increases our joy.  Joy is our ability to rejoice which is where the word comes from originally.  We rejoice in the hope that the Lord has given us through the Paschal Mystery that we celebrate and engage in each and every day.  And joy radiates from us even in the midst of difficulty.  We have found ourselves in a challenging time, a very unusual time for all of us to say the least.  But do not let this challenge before us be an obstacle to your growing in holiness.  Let it not overshadow your Christian joy.  The world needs that Christian joy now and always.  And so, I encourage you to really consider how you are carrying out the Will of God in your life each day.  Consider how the Lord may be calling you to reach out to others in these challenging times (perhaps with a phone call, a note in a card, a trip to the store, or countless other ways).  Look for ways to grow in your holiness, to do the Will of God all the more, so that your joy might be intensified and in turn radiate to others.  St. Matthew in his Gospel writes “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.”  In striving to live this out each and every day, we will, without a doubt, have intense and lasting joy.

Reflection by Fr. Aaron Kuhn for Monday, March 23, 2020:

Although today’s reflection is being pushed out a little late in the evening it gives us a great opportunity to reflect on something I urge all of us to do, a daily examination of conscience.  And it is most fitting to do this at the end of each day.  In it, yes, we acknowledge our own sinfulness, especially those times throughout the day when we turned away from the Lord and what He was calling us to.  And we certainly recognize our need for God’s mercy.  But the daily examination of conscience can be so much more.  In doing your daily examination of conscience, I urge you to really take the time to reflect on the entirety of your day.  The use of what St. Ignatius called “The Examen,” or an adaptation of it, may be useful.  First, give thanks to God.  As you go over your day, remember specific things that you are thankful for.  Next, pray for God’s light, that you may see as He sees, asking for the grace to see His active presence in the day.  Then, replay your day again, discovering where God was.  Perhaps choose a moment or two and ask yourself, “Where was Jesus in this?  What is God trying to say to me?”  Then, express regret as you acknowledge before God the times in this day when you failed to respond to His generous love.  Finally, look toward tomorrow, preparing yourself to meet God anew in the moments, places, and people of the next day, closing with a prayer.  In these times of challenge and in all times, this is a great spiritual exercise to undertake and to make part of your life.  You can do it individually but perhaps consider doing it as a family as well.  What a beautiful way to end your day with your family.  And the more we do a daily examination of conscience in this way, the more we will see God present and active in our life.

Homily for the Fourth Sunday of Lent

By Monsignor Leo Enlow

One of the valuable lessons that I learned from the early days of my priesthood is the treasure that I had in my mother and father.  Parents are the greatest of treasures and for a priest they are extremely important.  For parents provide a home, somewhere the priest can always return for time away from the parish.  They are a source of encouragement for they were always a phone call away.  No matter what hour, I could call and find a ear to listen and a voice to encourage.  I was blessed by my parents having been gifted with time with them—mom being 86 and dad being 89 when they died.  But as so many gifts, what happens.  We so often take them for granted until we no longer have them with us.  So when their deaths did occur, needless to say I wasn’t quite ready.  Yes I knew that life was not forever, but I was personally shaken when they were no longer a phone call away.  I truly missed them, their encouragement, they always being there for me, and after they died, I had this yearning for them, praying in the meantime that they were with God in heaven.

Something similar as been happening in our society and in our Church.  The greatest gift that Jesus Christ has gifted us was with the Sacrament of the Eucharist.  As a child growing up, we never ever thought about missing Mass on the weekends.  One just didn’t do it.  If one did then confession was in order as missing Mass was a serious offense.   And so as a cradle Catholic, one who was raised Catholic from infancy, we would come to the Eucharist each and every Sunday.  This was our gift from God, and when gathered, this was our gift to Him.  Yes, so often we would celebrate out of force of habit, we’d come to Church because that was what was expected.  Perhaps we didn’t think of it as a gift—but it was.  And it wasn’t until this coronavirus which has us sheltered down that we realize that this gift is missing from our lives.  I miss celebrating it with you and for you, I miss your presence each and every weekend, and I miss our worship together as the St. Peter family.  And you know, now that we cannot celebrate this gift publicly I think you and I will miss it even more.  What we took for granted is now experienced as a void in our lives, a treasured missed by all of us.    And perhaps as we feel this way, maybe it will help us refocus our lives, just as when my parents died I had to refocus my life.  What we thought was always there now makes us realize that it is a treasure that should have never been taken for granted.    Maybe each of us can grow in our appreciation of the presence of the Eucharist in our lives and see it as a gift that it is.  Only then will this time away from it will be able to reap some positive benefits for us.

When we think of the Eucharist, I often think of Fr. Delix Michel and his people in our sister parishes in Haiti.  The people in the mountain churches that he serves do not have Mass in their Church each weekend.  Instead, Fr. Michel is able to get to some of the outlying mountain Churches maybe just once or twice a month.  If these people in the mountain Churches come to his main church, they have to walk some five to ten miles to Passe de Rein.  I thought to myself, yes, these people have a love for the Eucharist—some will walk this distance, others will be unable, but when they do celebrate it, they have a true appreciation if it as a gift from God.

So as we await the return of the Eucharist to a public celebration, and it will, let’s remember the people of Haiti who long for it as we do, yet, are unable to celebrate it as we do on a weekly basis.  This is faith, this is commitment to our Church, and this is realizing how the Eucharist shapes, molds, and transforms each of us into the Body of Christ.  As we fast from it because of the concern for our physical health, let’s grow in our yearning and longing for it as the Sacrament that provides food for the journey until we all reach our final destiny with God in heaven.  May each of us see the Eucharist as a gift to be treasured and a gift to be appreciated, and perhaps we will never again take it for granted.  May all of us in time appreciate it as a gift for years to come.  Then and only then will this fast take root and help us grow.

Reflection by Fr. Aaron Kuhn for Saturday, March 21, 2020:

To whom shall we turn?  In times of challenge and uncertainty, this may be a common question.  Of course, we turn to Christ in all our needs for He is the giver of all that is good and the center of our lives.  But we are reminded, also, of the Communion of Saints, whom we are united to as members of the Body of Christ.  We look to the Saints in Heaven as models for us, models of holiness to which we are called, and we seek their intercession for our needs.  Each one of us has a Universal Call to Holiness, a call to faithfully cooperate with God’s grace and to not just live a life of virtue but a heroic life of virtue.  The Saints are perfect examples for us and powerful intercessors.  In every age, God has raised up Saints.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that in especially difficult times, the Saints have always been the source and origin of renewal.  God’s power is manifested in the Saints.  You are called to holiness and heroic virtue.  You are called to be a Saint.  I encourage each of you to implore the intercession of the Saints in all your needs and the needs of the Church, the Body of Christ.  Take some time each day to learn about a different Saint and how they lived that life of holiness that you are also called to.  What Saint will you implore today?  What Saint will you learn more about today?  What will you do today and each day following to live a life of holiness and heroic virtue, reflecting Christ to the world?

Reflection by Father Aaron Kuhn for Friday, March 20, 2020:

Our Antiphons for our Lenten Daytime Prayers in the Liturgy of the Hours give us much to reflect on. The Midmorning Antiphon, “The time of penance has come, the time to atone for our sins and to seek our salvation,” reminds us of our need for repentance and conversion now and always, ceaselessly working for the salvation of our soul and the souls of others. The Midday Antiphon, “As I live, says the Lord, I do not wish the sinner to die but to turn back to me and live,” reminds us of God’s desire for each of us to spend Eternal Life with Him. The Midafternoon Antiphon, “Armed with God’s justice and power, let us prove ourselves through patient endurance” reminds the faithful that with God at the center of our lives, we not only can but do endure even in the most challenging times for it is the Lord that strengthens us. It is indeed a challenging time for all of us but we remain steadfast witnesses to Christ who gives us hope and desires for each of us the ultimate good, Eternal Life with Him. May these times of challenge help each one of us to recognize all the more our own need for repentance and conversion as we turn to the Lord in trust and confidence. Please know of our prayers for you and I urge each of you to keep one another in prayer as well. May the Lord give you comfort and peace now and always.