The Movement Control Order (MCO) was nullified and a Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) was implemented effective 1 May 2020. A few friends of mine shared that through the nine-day Novena Prayers and intercessions of St Joseph the Worker, the Government relaxed the restriction order which paved the way for the re-opening of the economy and allowed certain sectors to recommence business, in compliance with a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). There were also some who were of the view that the Government should have waited until the completion of Phase Four of the MCO which was to end on 12 May 2020, before any relaxation was allowed. Now that it’s been almost a week since the implementation of the CMCO, we have begun to adapt to the new norm as a way of life and that too with a renewed spirit!
The month of May, the month of the Rosary, began with the feast of St Joseph the Worker, our Patron Saint, on Friday, 1 May 2020. During this Marian month, we express our love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary as we devotedly pray the Rosary. On the feast of Saint Mark, the Evangelist, which was on 25 April, the Holy Father Pope Francis, invited the faithful to pray the Rosary at home and to include two other prayers as its conclusion, as well as the Litany of Our Lady, if possible. (I will provide the two suggested prayers of the Holy Father at the end of this article. You can always print them out and leave them on your Holy Altar at home and pray). During this month of the Rosary, we should continue to make the Rosary recitation an effective weapon to attain inner peace within ourselves and to combat the Coronavirus pandemic.
This weekend (9 and 10 May 2020), we celebrate Mother’s Day. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us are prevented from celebrating this event with our mothers, and many will celebrate this day with heavy hearts, in the midst of an increasing number of infections – affecting more than 3.83 million people worldwide, with more than 265,000++ deaths, and the numbers look to be rising.
We may find it difficult to grab a bouquet of flowers for our mothers this year, and we may not be able to take them out to lunch or dinner. Many may be wondering how to keep everyone safe and healthy while making Mothers’ Day more significant and meaningful. Instead of spending money on flowers or an expensive meal, may I suggest putting together a short video clip or creating a montage of old and new photographs of your respective mothers, siblings, children and the entire family. Invite your mothers and others to spend virtual time together and for those who are away from home, you could always have an online video meeting via Zoom, Google Hangout, Facetime, Skype, etc.
I am sure you may have many more great ideas for celebrating Mothers’ Day this year. Just remember that all you need is to spend quality time with your mother and get your blessings from her, even if it is just online. Although we may postpone celebrations this year by staying at home and limiting our contact with people outside our own homes, we can still show our appreciation, gratitude, love and care for our mums.
Let us not forget to show our gestures of love to mothers who have no one to celebrate with, or are unable to celebrate the day due to the pandemic or financial strains. We remember mothers who are infected by the Coronavirus and those who have died from it. Remember to say a decade of the Rosary for them as a sign of care and love, to unite us all.
To ALL mothers – “Wishing you a Blessed Mothers’ Day!” God bless you with good health and a good life. May the Lord’s Love, Compassion, Strength and Grace be with you always.
FIRST PRAYER TO OUR LADY
You shine continuously on our journey
as a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who, at the foot of the cross,
were united with Jesus’ suffering,
and persevered in your faith.
“Protectress of “ALL PEOPLE”,
you know our needs,
and we know that you will provide,
so that, as at Cana in Galilee,
joy and celebration may return
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform ourselves to the will of the Father
and to do what Jesus tells us.
For he took upon himself our suffering,
and burdened himself with our sorrows
to bring us, through the cross,
to the joy of the Resurrection.
We fly to your protection,
O Holy Mother of God;
Do not despise our petitions
in our necessities,
but deliver us always
from every danger,
O Glorious and Blessed Virgin.
THE SECOND PRAYER
“We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God”.
In the present tragic situation, when the whole world is prey to suffering and anxiety, we fly to you, Mother of God and our Mother, and seek refuge under your protection.
Virgin Mary, turn your merciful eyes towards us amid this coronavirus pandemic. Comfort those who are distraught and mourn their loved ones who have died, and at times are buried in a way that grieves them deeply. Be close to those who are concerned for their loved ones who are sick and who, in order to prevent the spread of the disease, cannot be close to them. Fill with hope those who are troubled by the uncertainty of the future and the consequences for the economy and employment.
Mother of God and our Mother, pray for us to God, the Father of mercies, that this great suffering may end and that hope and peace may dawn anew. Plead with your divine Son, as you did at Cana, so that the families of the sick and the victims be comforted, and their hearts be opened to confidence and trust.
Protect those doctors, nurses, health workers and volunteers who are on the frontline of this emergency, and are risking their lives to save others. Support their heroic effort and grant them strength, generosity and continued health.
Be close to those who assist the sick night and day, and to priests who, in their pastoral concern and fidelity to the Gospel, are trying to help and support everyone.
Blessed Virgin, illumine the minds of men and women engaged in scientific research, that they may find effective solutions to overcome this virus.
Support national leaders, that with wisdom, solicitude and generosity they may come to the aid of those lacking the basic necessities of life and may devise social and economic solutions inspired by farsightedness and solidarity.
Mary Most Holy, stir our consciences, so that the enormous funds invested in developing and stockpiling arms will instead be spent on promoting effective research on how to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.
Beloved Mother, help us realize that we are all members of one great family and to recognize the bond that unites us, so that, in a spirit of fraternity and solidarity, we can help to alleviate countless situations of poverty and need. Make us strong in faith, persevering in service, constant in prayer.
Mary, Consolation of the afflicted, embrace all your children in distress and pray that God will stretch out his all-powerful hand and free us from this terrible pandemic, so that life can serenely resume its normal course.
To you, who shine on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope, do we entrust ourselves, O Clement, O Loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary. Amen.
Rev. Fr. George P.