God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress. Therefore we fear not, though the earth be shaken and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea.

Yesterday was a good day in the Dorhauer bunker.  We quietly celebrated my wife’s birthday; the day before that (Sunday), we quietly celebrated the baptism of our newest grandchild – Nicholas David.  As the threat of this virus continues, it is at times like this I thank God for the family that I have.

Sunday was a hard day for me spiritually.  I really didn’t think too much leading into the Masses over the weekend.  Fr. Siefert and Msgr. Ramacciotti, along with Deacon Preiss and Acolyte Fitzgerald said the 4 weekend Masses for the congregation.  My wife and I were present for the hymns and responsorial psalm, but that was the extent of those present in the church.  The family was missing and I struggled internally knowing the church was empty.  But was it?  Was the Mass valid?  I struggled with this thought throughout most of the morning until I realized that the family was there – maybe not physically, but they were watching/participating in their homes.  More importantly, Christ was there.  He was present in the Spirit of our priests, deacon and acolyte; He was present in the sacrament blessed at the Holy Altar of God; His chorus of Angels sang along with my wife.  So yes, these Masses were/are valid and at this time, very important to maintain the spiritual direction of the flock.

I made a comment to Fr. Siefert after one of the Masses that this had to have been a valid Mass.  Because we are streaming the Masses (on Instagram Live – just follow us @stmmchurchmass), we are able to see those who are present at the Mass whenever they “log” in.  In his curiosity, Fr. asked why I thought it was a valid Mass.  I said, its pretty simple – people were still coming in at the homily and leaving right after Communion.  🙂

Seeing how well the Instagram Live worked with the Masses, I decided to try and use it during the baptism of Nicholas.  I’m glad I tried that.  Using Instagram Live allowed not only some of our children to watch the Baptism – they couldn’t be there because of the County mandate of no more than 10 people, but it also allowed many more of my extended family and friends witness this sacrament.  Sunday turned out to be a rather blessed day…thanks be to God.

Yesterday, we used technology to celebrate my wife’s birthday.  She (and Richard) spent most the day prepping, preparing and sending virtual classroom material to their students.  It was a frustrating day trying to understand how to load and post the subject matter and get it to their students at home, but by the end of the day, for the most part, they were successful in their tasks and were even getting responses from their students showing that they had done the assignments given to them.  God Bless Kathy Wiseman for all of her patience helping my wife and son through the programming part of this.  After a long day for them working, I hopped online and ordered dinner for her, paid online and went and picked it up without ever having to leave my vehicle.  Later in the evening, my children in LA set up a “game night” online so that many us were able to play games with each other while we were all sitting in the safety of our home bunkers throughout St. Louis and all the way to LA.  They all sang “Happy Birthday” to Sarah too.

So do I have a point to this?  Of course.  We must all learn to make the most of these trying times and use the technologies available to us to celebrate life – both spiritually and physically.  Having said that, NOT everything we do has to be on a computer or cell phone either.  Nothing beats pulling out the Rosary and praying for an end to the corona virus.  Got a good book you can read?  Got the Good Book – the Bible – that you can read?  Take a nice long walk and appreciate the world around you.  How about a pen and paper and writing down your thoughts throughout the day?  Borrow the grandkids colors and coloring books…when was the last time you did that?

Do something great for our Lord today – learn to accept that you might not have control over everything in your life right now but understand there is someone who does (and no, it is not the Federal Government) – God.  God is in control.  God has always been in control and God will ALWAYS be in control.  Take sometime to be with God today – log onto His blog and let Him inspire you.  God never disappoints.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.

But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion – inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us so that in difficult times we may not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence, submit ourselves to Your holy will which is Love and Mercy itself.

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