Make a Donation
March 25, 2020

Note from the Assistant Managing Editor:

If I could name a theme for this week's newsletter, it would be found in the title of our reflection from Pope Benedict XVI: "Building Our Life on Christ."

"For people who believe there is a God, doing the 'sensible' and 'human' things are possible because we have hope.  For those who don't have that hope, no amount of toilet paper or cans of Spam stacked in the garage can make anyone truly safe, much less solve the ultimate question of meaning that haunts us all."  See "C.S.  Lewis and the coronavirus."

Msgr. Charles Pope's "Five Hard Truths That Will Set You Free" are excellent reminders that life is hard.  Accepting this "is a freeing notion.  Because we have not had to endure the large-scale suffering of previous eras, we have come to expect that things should be convenient and go smoothly.  This actually increases our sorrow and anger when they don't."

We end with Fr. George Rutler.  "One of the Church's youngest saints, Dominic Savio, told Saint John Bosco that if the Holy Angel blew his trumpet for the end of all things while he was on the playground, he would just keep on playing.  That is how we should want to play each day of our lives, in a friendship with God that will not find Heaven unfamiliar."

As Saint John Paul II exhorted us, "Do not be afraid."  - Meaghen Gonzalez

Web version of this CERC Weekly Update here
Previous CERC Weekly Update here
Subscribe/unsubscribe here
Visit the CERC website at

"We do not need a truth to serve us, we need a truth that we can serve." - Jacques Maritain

New Resources

Building Our Life on Christ - Pope Benedict XVI - from The Yes of Jesus Christ: Exercises in Faith, Hope and Love

If we remain alone with our own strength we do not succeed in building our life as a firmly established house.

Rediscovering a sense of community - Barbara Kay - National Post

On our street, we're not 'bowling alone' through this coronavirus thing.

C.S. Lewis and the coronavirus - John Stonestreet and Roberto Rivera - Breakpoint

The news changes so quickly day by day, even hour by hour, that it's hard to keep up, much less know, really, what to think about all of this.

Restoring Home Life, Room by Room - John A. Cuddeback - LifeCraft

A home is not only where the next generation is initiated into human life. It is also where each of us must find a space congenial to every-day life.

Five Hard Truths That Will Set You Free - Msgr. Charles Pope - National Catholic Register

The five truths that follow are indeed hard.

On being present-minded - Father George W. Rutler - From the Pastor

Geniuses often are thought to be absent-minded.

Editorials of Interest:

By the Waters of Meribah - Word on Fire
A Season of Restoration - Spiritual Direction
Questioning the Shutdown - First Things
The Realms of Tolkien - Fantastic Metropolis

Editorials of Interest

Message on the Combat against the Coronavirus - Cardinal Raymond Burke

For some time now, we have been in combat against the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19.

Why wear a mask - BBC

When to wear them? Do they work?

A Season of Restoration - Spiritual Direction

Lent is a season of restoration. That may sound odd because we all know it is a time of atonement. But what is the goal of atonement? The restoration of God's love within us that has been blocked or kicked out by our errant ways.

Lectio Divina for the Fourth Week of Lent - USCCB

The USCCB has released a Lectio Divina for the fourth week of Lent.

Coronavirus in Africa: Lessons from the Church and the Ebola experience - CWR

The Church in Africa, especially in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Guinea, has plenty of experience in providing care and support in times of panic, worry, and uncertainty.

Four virtues to help keep your eyes on Christ in this crisis - NC Register

St. Charles Borromeo reminds us that troubled ages like this are times for Catholics united with Christ truly to shine.

How Taiwan and Singapore managed to contain COVID-19, while letting normal life go on - National Post

The countries seem to have found the sweet spot between a 'it's just like the flu' reaction, and imposition of economically devastating lockdowns.

By the Waters of Meribah - Word on Fire

Bishop Barron's homily for March 15, 2020.

Lessons from the underground Catholic Church about spiritual communion - CWR

There is an interesting and inspiring parallel between the Soviet-era Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church and today's situation, as Catholics are now observing their Sundays largely in the privacy of their homes.

'My peace I give to you': Gaining peace of heart in a time of high anxiety - CWR

Earthly problems and resources are never our top priority, but they are a necessary concern, properly subordinated to our faith in God and spiritual welfare.

Yes, there's actually a St. Corona! And her remains are in Northern Italy. - Aleteia

Corona was only 16 and gave her life to comfort a fellow Christian.

Visualizing the History of Pandemics - Visual Capitalist

Throughout history, as humans spread across the world, infectious diseases have been a constant companion. Even in this modern era, outbreaks are nearly constant. Here are some of history's most deadly pandemics, from the Antonine Plague to COVID-19.

Bishop Donald J. Hying: "God will get us through this" - CWR

Hying has announced that public Masses would not be held in the Madison diocese's 102 parishes until further notice.

Pope Francis during coronavirus: Beware the 'poison' of laziness, complaining - Catholic Herald

Pope Francis Tuesday warned Christians to avoid living in a "fog" of sadness, sloth, and complaining, instead of rejoicing in the spiritual healing they have received from Christ.

How a chaplain brings Christ to patients at Rome's 'Covid Hospital 1' - CNA

"When people need us, we satisfy their need for God," said Fr. Cesare Pluchinotta, a chaplain in Rome's primary hospital for Covid-19 patients.

60 Italian priests dead from virus - Catholic Herald

At least 60 priests have died in Italy after contracting COVID-19. More than half of them were from the Diocese of Bergamo, a town outside of Milan in Lombardy.

Do bishops have the authority to cancel masses completely? - Canon Law Made Easy

There is a big difference between a bishop dispensing the faithful from attending Mass and a bishop cancelling all public Masses.

Joseph Ratzinger on fasting from the Eucharist - CWR

"A fasting of this kind — and of course it would have to be open to the Church's guidance and not arbitrary — could lead to a deepening of personal relationship with the Lord in the sacrament," Ratzinger wrote in Behold the Pierced One.

Questioning the Shutdown - First Things

Some institutions, organizations, and fellowships will rebound when the draconian limits on social life are lifted. But some will not. And the longer those limits last, the more will wither and fade away.

The Realms of Tolkien - Fantastic Metropolis

Daphne Castell's interview with J.R.R. Tolkien, published in the November 1966 issue of New Worlds.

St. John Henry Cardinal Newman and
St. Justin Martyr, pray for us

Subscribe / Unsubscribe
Copyright © 2020 Catholic Education Resource Center