Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus!
Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ!
This coming Tuesday is the birthday of St. Philip Neri. It is the 505th anniversary of his birth. It is hard to believe that it has already been five years since we celebrated the fifth centenary of his birth. Time certainly flies, but the message of St. Philip is certainly as relevant as ever!
A few practical notes. As you may be away, the state has mandated the use of masks while inside public buildings. Officiants of religious services are exempt. The state has required us to ensure that you are aware of this policy and we have placed signs at the doors.
We have also become a little lax in some of our practices. Please remember that you should approach the communion rail only by the center aisle and then return to your seats by way of the side aisles. Please also try to leave a little more room between persons at the rail, unless you are from the same household. I would like to not have to put tape on the floor but in order to avoid this, I need your cooperation.
Please also remain conscious of how you are receiving communion, and help the priest avoid coming into unnecessary contact with you. This is generally a good practice to evaluate from time to time to ensure that we receive Holy Communion well and that it doesn’t become just a routine act!
Remember, the Sunday obligation to attend Mass is still dispensed with at the moment. If you do not feel well, please stay home. It would not be a virtuous act to come to Mass, in general, if you are ill. It is a matter of justice and charity to ensure that we do not cause others to get sick, with whatever we may be sick with.
Remember, there are those who take the coronavirus seriously and others who are more skeptical. Remember, charity is always required for each person. Be courteous of people’s boundaries, as we do not know what risk factors they may or may not have.
Lastly, remember that our actions while at Mass reflect upon the Church. So always ensure that you are acting virtuously and prudently. Remember, throughout history, when there has been political, social, or cultural upheaval, there have always been those who look to cause unnecessary trouble.
Please find this reflection on St. Philip Neri from the Roman Breviary for meditation this week. May St. Philip continue to keep the Oratory, the parishes, and each of us under his safe intercession and protection. Have a blessed week ahead!
“Philip Neri was born in Florence of good and devout parents. Giving up a large inheritance from his uncle, he went to Rome, where he studied philosophy and the sacred sciences and dedicated himself wholly to Christ. He became a priest out of obedience and gave himself up completely to the saving of souls. Through hearing confessions, in which he persevered to the last day of his life, he brought forth innumerable sons for Christ. Desiring to nourish them with the daily bread of God’s word, with frequent reception of the sacraments, with constant prayer, and with other exercises of piety, he founded the Congregation of the Oratory. His heart was wounded by the love of God, burning with such ardour that it could only be contained within his breast because the Lord miraculously enlarged the breast by breaking two of his ribs, and forming an arch over the heart. Philip was famed for the gift of prophecy and for his wonderful penetration of the thoughts of men’s hearts. He kept his virginity always intact; and he had the gift of distinguishing those who cultivated purity by a good odour, and those who did not by a stench. At the age of eighty, in the year of salvation 1595, he fell asleep in the Lord.” – Roman Breviary