That’s the Spirit

By John Hertz:  The other day I passed a Catholic church that had a sign out “Masses and services temporarily postponed.  Church open for adoration and prayer.”

I thought, That’s the spirit.  Pun intended.

Here in California the Governor on account of the pandemic virus COVID-19 has ordered us to stay home, and operations with physical mingling to pause, unless essential.  Even to a disaster one can overreact.  One had better not underreact.  Some of each can be found.  I report what one church announced.

I’m not a Catholic.  I’m not even a Christian (I’m a Jew, Christians’ older brother – which reminds me how rich brown – no capital letters in his name – used to say he was everyone’s rich brother).  You may be a Muslim, or Baha’i, or pagan, or none of the above – pun intended.

If you’re a Catholic, here’s my applause.  For the rest of us, here’s another of my maxims.  Let us do as well in our way as they in their way.

6 thoughts on “That’s the Spirit

  1. Church and other services are on line now. I know the Reform Rabbi in my area is having online services.

  2. Two full weeks before Illinois’ governor ordered Shelter In Place (and he was one of the early ones to do so) the Presbyterian church where I ring handbells suspended all church activities (including services), except for staffing the food pantry.The Methodist church in whose basement the community theater I volunteer for has rehearsals and performances did likewise at about the same time.

    As a counter-example, a friend of mine told me that her mother’s Baptist church was continuing to hold services in defiance of the Governor’s order because, she reported her mother saying, “God would preserve them from illness.” Apparently they were not familiar with the saying, “the Lord helps those who help themselves. <sigh>

  3. Or story of the person in the flood who turned aside repeated rescue attempts and drowned; when he started berating St. Peter about God not helping, the answer was “What do you mean? We sent you two boats and a helicopter!” And today’s news told of a pastor (in Arkansas IIRC) who said his flock would lick the floor to prove their faith and immunity. (Maybe we should send him Kool-Aid?) Some people don’t realize that they are in effect demanding that their God prove his existence — which is at least arrogant; I forget whether those they despise as Papists would consider it heresy.

  4. @Chip Hitchcock

    Papist here. 🙂 I’m not inspired to dig out my copy of the Catechism to double-check, but I’m pretty sure it would be classified as the sin of presumption: As Christ himself said, “Thou shall not put the Lord your God to the test”. It is also an instance of ingratitude towards God’s gifts, as He gave us the intelligence to discover the causes of disease and how to avoid them and they are turning their backs on it.

    In eastern Nebraska the bishop ordered all masses to be closed to the public–priests are still saying mass (as is proper) but in empty churches. As a result parishes all over Nebraska (and the US) are figuring out how to live stream so that parishioners can be present while at home.

    So far as I know, the decision to leave the church open or lock it up is being handled by the parish’s pastor. Mine has gone the middle route by locking the church, but having spare keys made; anyone wanting to go in for adoration or prayer can go to the rectory and ask for a key.

  5. My (Episcopal) church has been doing Sunday Morning Prayer over Facebook Live for two weeks now, and assorted other services and get-togethers via Zoom. I think most houses of worship are doing it now, at least in the hotspots.

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