My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It’s only two sentences long, so I’m going to share our entire second reading for this weekend here in my little email to all of you:
“Brothers and sisters: The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.” - ROM 8:26-27
My question to all of us (myself included) is, “So, how’s your prayer life these days?” In recent communications, people are sharing that it has been difficult to actually pray. There is so much for us to pray about and to pray for, and yet to actually get ourselves into the spirit of prayer seems to be the most difficult thing. One would think that with so much time on our hands, taking more advantage of prayer opportunities would come more naturally, but it doesn’t. Perhaps in the very inability to pray, and being distressed by that inability, we are actually praying. It’s often in the wordless, deep groanings of our hearts that we have prayed our most effective prayer because the Spirit himself has heard and interpreted those groanings before our Heavenly Father. Of course, it’s wonderful to be able to articulate our prayers even in the depths of our own hearts, but even when we can’t, and we’re pained by that, we can continue to keep our hearts open to the workings of the Holy Spirit as he intercedes for us. So, don’t give up on praying. When the words fail, just open your heart afresh to the presence of the Spirit and ask him to pray with you and for you. That invitation and that kind of prayer never fails.
In an email this morning from Bishop Weisenburger he shared with us the following news: “I am delighted to inform you that our beloved Fr. John Lyons has been bestowed the papal honor of “Chaplain to His Holiness” with the title of Reverend Monsignor. I hardly need to take note of his devoted ministry as pastor, canonist, exemplary administrator on the diocesan level, and co-worker to his brother priests as the basis for this honor. Warmest Congratulations Monsignor!” Many of you know Msgr. John as pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle parish and former pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul parish. He has held a number of important positions at the diocesan level including being the former judicial vicar for our diocese. I would invite those who know John to send him a note of congratulations for receiving this honor.
This has been a relatively quiet week, so there isn’t much more to share with you at this time. I encourage you to continue to do all that you can to stay healthy and safe. I so very much look forward to seeing you for even the briefest of moments this weekend as we share in the privilege of receiving the Eucharist. Please know that you’re ever in my prayers, and if you feel you’ve run out of things to pray for or pray about, then pray for me, OK?
With deepest brotherly love in Christ,