Whew! The crisis caused by the new Corona virus has not yet completely disappeared, but we can certainly breathe a sigh of relief. A sigh of relief, we must admit, after months of restrictions and misery. A period that seemed to last forever.
Brother André had, like many people still today, his share of misery and misfortune. Orphaned by father and mother at the age of 12, sickly and uneducated, he had to work hard to earn his living and make his way. But he wasn’t destitute for all that.
Father Marcel Lalonde, CSC, died on May 26, 2020, at the age of 93 years and 11 months, following a long illness at the Maison Basile-Moreau, a residence of the Canadian Province of Holy Cross in Montréal. With tireless zeal, Father Lalonde was the leader at Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal, of which he was rector for 30 years.
“Behold, now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:1,2)
That is how Lent begins.
But, is it an “acceptable” time when we are struck down by catastrophe, anxiety, or doubt? When a pandemic hits the entire world, we can recognize at what point we become vulnerable and unsteady about that which we cannot control. The power of nature seems stronger than the power of science. Sometimes, there is panic. Fear presses us towards someone or something which can bring a feeling of security to our lives.
For over a month now, we’ve been learning to change our habits in important ways. The difficult task of preserving the quality of life on earth is just as critical and urgent as combating the virus which is threatening us today. The future of our planet rests in our hands.
You know the popular expression, “Out of sight out of mind.” We could take advantage of this crucial time to adapt this saying to read,” Out of sight near to heart.” The important measures of public health oblige us to live at a certain physical distancing. We have to remain at a distance from others, even those that we used to rub elbows with. These practices are not easy… but this fact illustrates that humans like to live in groupings, that we have need of others, their help, their affection.
To mark our gratefulness for Father Claude Grou’s recovery, following his attack on March 22, and to salute his return to pastoral fonctions, we are happy to share the homily he gave, in French, during Mass on Friday March 29.