Blessed Solemnity of the Annunciation—the highest degree of feast day in the Church!
This day has always been important to us here at Annunciation Ministries. It is a commemoration of the moment in human history that changed everything—for God so loved us that He took on human flesh to reveal His love. At the Annunciation, God the Father announced His will to Mary through the Archangel Gabriel, God the Spirit became the spouse of Mary, God the Son became incarnate in Mary. Mary’s receptivity to the Father’s will is a model for each of us. Like Mary, we seek to be receptive to God’s will and allow our lives and marriages to reveal Christ to the world.
Today we reflect on our namesake and our mission and pray in a special way for all of our ministries and those who serve in them, those who (by God’s grace) may have benefited from them, and those we have been privileged to collaborate with. On this Solemnity, therefore, we want to let you know that you are in our prayers and we thank God that our paths have crossed.
Also, as we celebrate the Solemnity during this worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, we thought we would share the following resources we have stumbled upon as well as ideas generated by our team members for this time period.
RESOURCES: Most, but not all, relate to the pandemic. We have not vetted them all, but trust in the good will and orthodox faith of the host organizations. Perhaps something here will be helpful to you or those you know and love.
- Pope Francis Prayer, March 25th and 27th
- Virtual Retreat with Sean Cardinal O’Malley, OFM Cap.
- A message from Archbishop Thomas Wenski: Trust in the Power of Prayer
- Bishop Barron 2-minute video: Bishop Barron’s Spiritual Lesson While Hunkering Down
- Bishop Barron 7-minute video: Bishop Barron on God, Tsunamis, and the Problem of Evil
- Bishop Barron 13-minute video: Bishop Barron on the Coronavirus Quarantine
- Bishop Barron 30-minute video: Hope During the Coronavirus
- Bishop Barron 1-hr 12-min video: The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist // Bishop Barron at 2020 Religious Education Congress
- Anything by Bishop Barron J!: Word on Fire; Bishop Barron’s Youtube Channel
- Daily Mass from Word on Fire
- USCCB Resources: Building Family Bonds During Covid-19
- Ascension Press: Spiritual Guidance and Resources During Covid-19
- Fr. Mike Schmitz: How Should Catholics Respond to the Coronavirus Pandemic?
- Fr. Mike Schmitz 7-minute video: Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen?
- Daughters of St. Paul: Touching the Sunrise
- Dynamic Catholic: Resources for Children and Adults
- Good News Book Fair: How Can Parents Help Their Children During This Health Crisis?
- The Good Catholic: Digital Content to Strengthen Your Faith
- The Angelus Project: You can sign up to get weekly emails with pictures of various renditions of the Annunciation.
- John and Teri Bosio’s free online program for couples: The Virtues
- The Thomistic Institute: Livestreamed Quarantine Lectures
- Pray-As-You-Go new Pray-As-You-Stay Prayer Series
- Magnificat free online access
Some ideas from our some of our team members:
- Mass: Daily Mass online.
- Daily Prayer Period/Prayer with Scripture/Lectio Divina: If you do not currently have a dedicated prayer time, particularly prayer with Scripture, now may be a great time begin. For those who attended our Parish Marriage Missionaries Formation Weekend, there is a guide for this in your workbooks. Bishop Barron speaks about this in this video: Bishop Barron on the Coronavirus Quarantine and in this oneHope During the Coronavirus and you can also find a short guide here: SpiritualDirection.com or utilize the Pray-As-You-Stay Prayer Seriesthat offers guided daily meditations or Magnificat free online access.
- Other prayer: Rosary, noon Angelus, evening Examen Prayer.
- Fiat Couples Groups: Meet online via group video conferencing (many are available for free). Also schedule extended family group chats, distant friend group chats, etc.
- Seek out good recreation: Movies about saints, documentaries, Catholic children’s shows, etc. Many parishes now offer parishioners free access to Formed.org which has numerous books, movies, documentaries, etc. Check with your parish if you have access. Create activities:Scavenger hunts inside or outside, cook/bake together, read together, write letters, call extended family, create a schedule, etc.
- Recommended books: Three to Get Married by Fulton Sheen; Reed of God by Caryll Houselander; He Leadeth Me by Fr. Walter Ciszek, SJ; Soul of the Apostolate by Fr. Jean-Baptiste Chautard; Abandonment to Divine Providence by Jean-Pierre de Caussade; any of Fr. Jacques Phillippe’s books (Searching for and Maintaining Peace; Interior Freedom; Time for God; In the School of the Holy Spirit; etc.)
Please know that we are praying for you, your family, our country, and our world during this difficult time. And, we thank you in advance for any prayers you offer for us, Annunciation Ministries, on this our feast day!
May the love of God, made flesh through Mary’s yes, continue to bring each of you peace and continue to radiate from your lives. May Mother Mary help each of us to receive God’s love, with the purity and devotion with which she received it. May she also help each of us to share that love with others, uniquely, within our sphere of influence. May she place her loving maternal mantle around the world, and bring the comfort that a loving mother always does.
Heavenly Father, pour out Your Spirit into the world. Fill the hearts of Your faithful and kindle in them the fire of Your love. Comfort those who have lost loved ones. Heal those who are ill. Restore them quickly to good health. Protect us from new cases. Bring peace to anyone worried or experiencing fear. Be with all in the medical field, law enforcement, government, Church leaders and leaders in all fields having to make decisions, and all who work in other areas serving the common good today—food supply, childcare for children of those working, research for cures and vaccinations, public safety, economic stability, etc. Give them all wisdom, skill, peace, and rest. Please end this pandemic soon and help us find a cure. In the meantime, draw all people ever deeper into an awareness of Your love and peace, and Your good and loving will to share Your divine life of love with us now and forever. Help us to know and experience what Your Son’s life, death, and resurrection revealed, namely, that suffering and evil does not come from You yet, in Your Divine Providence, You permit it and can bring a greater good from it than had it never happened in the first place. Help us trust You. Help us find our peace and joy in You, come what may, in weal or woe, knowing You only will our good and love us immensely.
St. Gabriel, help us to know the will of God.
Mother Mary, help us to live the will of God.
St. Joseph, intercede for our families.
Holy Family, protect our families.
Holy Spirit, be with us.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.
Sincerely in faith and with much love on this Solemnity,
Kari J. Colella
Tags: Marital Spirituality, Marriage Enrichment, Marriage Ministries, Marriage Preparation, Married Couples, Parish, Parish Marriage Missionaries