Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The coronavirus pandemic has shaken our world – and our lives. Like in the aftermath of 9/11, we feel like the world has changed; but we don’t know yet what the “new normal” will be. But as a people of faith, we trust in the power of prayer and in the providence of our loving God; as a people of hope, we know that God will never abandon us; as a people of charity, despite our own fears and anxieties, we stand in solidarity with all our brothers and sisters who are infected or affected by this pandemic.
Lent this year will in many ways be a true desert experience as we necessarily impose on ourselves some “social distancing”. With the disruption that the coronavirus has brought and will bring to our lives, we, too, may be tempted as the Israelites were in the desert to grumble against God – and perhaps not present our best selves to our spouses, loved ones and our neighbors.
Let us pray that even while we maintain some social distance physically in these days, Jesus will help us bridge any spiritual distances between ourselves and Him or among ourselves.
I invite you to join me in praying for protection in time of pandemic:
you always brighten our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who, at the Cross, took part in Jesus’ pain
while remaining steadfast in faith.
O loving Mother,
you know what we need,
and are confident you will provide for us
as at Cana in Galilee.
Intercede for us with your Son Jesus,
the Divine Physician,
for those who have fallen ill,
for those who are vulnerable,
and for those who have died.
Intercede also for those charged with
protecting the health and safety of others
and for those who are tending to the sick
and seeking a cure.
Help us, O Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who took upon Himself our sufferings and carried our sorrows,
so as to lead us, through the Cross,
to the glory of the Resurrection.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Thomas G. Wenski
Archbishop of Miami