Friday, April 10, 2020



Words: Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
Please, see 1982 Hymnal # 474 for music

1. When I survey the wondrous cross
Where the young Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

2. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

3. See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

4. Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were an offering far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

May Jesus' passion give you strength to pray for and forgive those in your life you find it difficult to forgive.

Thursday, April 9, 2020


Words: James Montgomery (1771-1854)
Please, see 1982 Hymnal # 171 for music

1.  Go to dark Gethsemane,
Ye who feel the tempter's power;
Your Redeemer's conflict see;
Watch with Him one bitter hour;
Turn not from His griefs away;
Learn of Jesus Christ to pray.

2.  Follow to the judgment hall;
View the Lord of life arraigned;
O the worm-wood and the gall!
O the pangs His soul sustained!
Shun not suff'ring, shame, or loss;
Learn of Him to bear the cross.

3.  Calvary's mournful mountain climb
There' adoring at His feet,
Mark the miracle of time,
God's own sacrifice complete:
"It is finished!" Hear him cry;
Learn of Jesus Christ to die.

Then Jesus came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, ‘So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ Matthew 26:40-41

Please, consider praying for all who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic especially those who have lost loved ones, jobs, received notice of impending pay cuts, for first responders and all ongoing research work to find a lasting cure to this pandemic. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2020



Author: William Walsham How
Tune: Herongate

1 It is a thing most wonderful,
almost too wonderful to be,
that God's own Son should come from heav'n,
and die to save a child like me.

2 And yet I know that it is true:
He chose a poor and humble lot,
and wept and toiled and mourned and died
for love of those who loved Him not.

3 I cannot tell how He could love
a child so weak and full of sin;
His love must be most wonderful
if He could die my love to win.

4 I sometimes think about the cross,
and shut my eyes, and try to see
the cruel nails and crown of thorns,
and Jesus crucified for me.

5 But even could I see Him die,
I could but see a little part
of that great love which, like a fire,
is always burning in His heart.

6 It is most wonderful to know
His love for me so free and sure;
but 'tis more wonderful to see
my love for him so faint and poor.

7 And yet I want to love Thee, Lord;
O light the flame within my heart,
and I will love Thee more and more,
until I see Thee as Thou art.

What in this song deepens your appreciation of Jesus' love for you?

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Meditation for Tuesday in HOLY WEEK

There's a wideness in God's mercy

Please, see (1982 Hymnal) Hymn ## 469 and 470 for music

There's a wideness in God's mercy
Like the wideness of the sea;
There's a kindness in his justice,
Which is more than liberty.
There is welcome for the sinner,
And more graces for the good;
There is mercy with the Savior;
There is healing in his blood.

There's no place where earth’s sorrow
Are more felt than up in heaven;
There is no place where earth’s failings
Have such kindly judgment given,
There is plentiful redemption
In the blood that has been shed;
There is joy for all the members
In the sorrows of the Head

For the love of God is broader
Than the measure of the mind
And the heart of the Eternal
Is most wonderfully kind.
If our love were but more faithful,
We should take him at his word;
And our lives would be thanksgiving
For the goodness of the Lord

Words: Frederick William Faber (1814-1863)

1. What does "There's no place where earth’s sorrow, Are more felt than up in heaven;" evoke in your understanding of Christ's passion?

Monday, April 6, 2020

Meditations for Holy Week 2020

This will be the first of DAILY meditations I intend sharing with you while we are "apart" this Holy Week. Each meditation will be in two parts: lyrics of a hymn and, a couple of questions for your private reflection. Okay to share your reflection with me, thanks.


Ah, Holy Jesus, How Hast Thou Offended
 Ah, holy Jesus, how hast Thou offended,
That man to judge Thee hath in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by Thine own rejected,
O most afflicted.
Who was the guilty- Who brought this upon Thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone Thee.
'Twas I, Lord, Jesus, I it was denied Thee!
I crucified Thee.

Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered;
The slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered;
For our atonement, while we nothing heeded,
God interceded.

For me, kind Jesus, was Thine incarnation,
Thy mortal sorrow, and Thy life's oblation;
Thy death of anguish and Thy bitter passion,
For my salvation.

Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay Thee,
I do adore Thee, and will ever pray Thee,
Think on Thy pity and Thy love unswerving,
Not my deserving.
Words: Johann Heerman (1585-1647; tr. Robert Seymour Bridges (1844-1930)
Please, see Hymn #158 of the 1982 Hymnal for music

1. What in this hymn strengthens your faith at this time?
2. What in this hymn challenges your faith at this time?

Fr. Vincent

Friday, April 3, 2020

Re: The Observance of Lent and Covid-19

Chapter 49: The Observance of Lent
1 The life of a monk ought to be a continuous Lent. 2 Since few, however, have the strength for this, we urge the entire community during these days of Lent to keep its manner of life most pure 3 and to wash away in this holy season the negligence of other times. 4 This we can do in a fitting manner by refusing to indulge evil habits and by devoting ourselves to prayer with tears, to reading, to compunction of heart and self-denial. 5 During these days, therefore, we will add to the usual measure of our service something by way of private prayer and abstinence from food or drink, 6 so that each of us will have something above the assigned measure to offer God of his own will with the joy of the Holy Spirit (1 Thess 1:6). 7 In other words, let each one deny himself some food, drink, sleep, needless talking and idle jesting, and look forward to holy Easter with joy and spiritual longing
My reflection:
My caveat: I am NOT a Benedictine scholar and have no extensive experience in Benedictine spirituality but I'd like to start a conversation on the above chapter of the Rule of St. Benedict.

St. Benedict obviously wrote for another generation and audience - his monastic community - but I find this particular chapter on "the observance of Lent" especially #1 above "the life of a monk ought to be a continuous Lent" challenging for two reasons: 
1. some christians hold the view that the christian life should be "a continuous Easter and not Lent" because Easter gives meaning to Lent. 
2. some christians also hold the position that without the observance of a holy and disciplined Lent, Easter would not make much sense. 

I think St. Benedict suggests this latter position in #7 above "let each one deny himself some food, drink, sleep, needless talking and idle jesting, and look forward to holy Easter with joy and spiritual longing".

Questions for further reflection:
1. As a person of faith, how has the Shelter in place and Safer at Home time impacted your Lenten observance and spirituality, preparing you for Easter?

2. As a person of no faith, how has the Shelter in place and Safer at Home time impacted your spring season so far preparing you for a post-Covid-19 lifestyle to transform our shared humanity? 

3. For all of us, have we been so preoccupied with just surviving the COVID-19 pandemic that we have not used this time as an opportunity to cultivate and deepen our spiritual/interior or religious life in preparation for the celebration of Easter or a post-Covid-19 world? 

I'd appreciate your thoughts and comments. Please, leave a comment for me below. Thanks.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Of COVID-19: "Who sinned?"

Lectionary Readings for The Fourth Sunday in Lent - March 22  
As Jesus walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

My reflection:
There are still many including some prominent tele/megachurch evangelists  in our contemporary society who still subscribes to the theory of a direct causal relationship between wellness and sin. You may have even heard similar versions from some who are attributing COVID-19 to being a "spiritual attack on humanity" or "signs of the end-times" or even a generational attack based on Exodus 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me" - King James Version - or that humanity is being punished by God for the sins of one nation which has finally caught up with us. I do not know where you stand in all of these but I ask you consider sharing your thoughts with me by leaving a Comment. 

1. Do you see a direct causal relationship between wellness, sin and COVID-19? What is the basis of that relationship? 
2. How does that (basis) shape your understanding of individual and corporate social justice responsibilities? Or of the incarnate God's concern for humanity or even the Psalmist's thoughts in the portion of Psalm 23 below: 
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I shall fear no evil; * for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; * you have anointed my head with oil, and my cup is running over. Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, * and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

3. If the John text above is considered at "face-value" what works of God might (possibly) be revealed to humanity through the COVID-19 pandemic?