As you know, the bishops of Metro Manila have decided to remove all public celebrations until April 14, including Holy Week. It's really a hard decision to make and follow... especially here in the Philippines. But it's about everyone's health! It's a new way to live our Lent.
May I suggest other ways, creatively repeating the three traditional pillars of our Lent: fasting, prayer and sharing.
The fasting of encounters (sometimes worldly) is imposed on us.
Let it become an opportunity to be fully in family and community: by meeting us more, by taking the time to listen to us, to tell stories, to flip through a photo album, to watch videos, to play together... to read too.
Let's take care of our diet, especially vitamins, another way to fight the virus...
As of readings, I recommend Pope Francis' encyclical "Laudato Si" and his Exhortation after the Synod "The Beloved Amazon": these two letters will help us to understand the stakes of this epidemic and to consider some necessary changes so that our country remains a beautiful and hospitable home for all.
Let us pray for the people affected by the virus, for their families, for nurses, doctors at the outposts, researchers, rulers civil servants... for our families.
On Sunday, with the family, let's participate in an online Eucharist in an appropriate space, with flowers, candles, a Bible...
Why not read the Gospel every day, with the comment of Pope Francis that he gives every morning in the House of St. Martha in the Vatican (see: firstname.lastname@example.org www.vatican.va).
Why not participate in an online retreat?
Let us not be afraid of our frailties and vulnerability: our Lord takes them upon him and makes them a path of growth and resurrection!
As we know, the poorest will suffer the most from this epidemic.
So continue to support your associations, listen to your neighbors and employees: they are probably in very difficult situations. Let's be ready to help.
Good Lent, therefore, in solidarity by supporting and encouraging each other, by remaining in touch.
Please follow the government's instructions and actions: it is a way of loving our neighbor as ourselves.
Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. Take care!
Our Assumptionist communities are praying for you.
Fr. Bernard Holzer a. a.