March 20 – evening

March 20, 2020

Good Evening, Good Evening,

I am delayed in sending this letter as my computer crashed before it’s earlier completion.  It all happened just after I returned from going to Confession.  Now, I am afraid, I have to go again.  Hmm?

In my last letter there were two calls for clarification.  First, someone suggested I was being unfair to the Chinese by referring to them in the story of the famed flu of 1917.  I leave you with the website on the topic of the Spanish Flu.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu  Please refer to the subsection on China below the History section.  There was no malice intended by reference to the Chinese.  The flu of 1917 was an example of a virus of one distant region of the world beset upon a completely new environment.  Much like the tragedy of Captain Cook’s discovery of Hawaii where visiting ships introduced leprosy to the islanders.

The second question was quite interesting, dealing with the name, “Spanish Flu.”  I refer to the same website above.  It was all about political correctness.  “To maintain morale, World War I censors minimized early reports of illness and mortality in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States.  Papers were free to report the epidemic’s effects in neutral Spain, such as the grave illness of King Alfonso XIII, and these stories created a false impression of Spain as especially hard hit. This gave rise to the pandemic’s nickname, “Spanish flu”. Historical and epidemiological data are inadequate to identify with certainty the pandemic’s geographic origin.


Correction:  The Friday adoration hours will start at 1 PM, not 8 AM, and continues through 8 AM on Saturday


The focus of today’s letter deals with the sacrament of Confession.  Many a good and pious soul may delay in getting their wings dusted because they can’t remember the darned, “Act of Contrition.”  Not to worry.  Copies of the prayer are available at the Confessionals.  Starting Monday Confessions will be heard each day at:  8 AM, Noon, and 7 PM.

Now, not to worry if you are worried about what to say.  With the grace of God you will figure it out.   I am reminded of the kids coming to their first confession.  One girl started crying.  The boy next to her asked why she was crying and she said she couldn’t remember her sins.  He said, “just make some up.” The girl behind him said, “That would be lying.”  To which he retorted, “Well there you go.  You have a sin to confess.”  Oh the stress of it all.

Speaking of stress.  Some of you might want to draw from the Ten Commandments when you review your sins.  No easy task.  They can be long and carry many details.  My mother taught her children at a very young age to use the Seven Capital Sins:   PCL-AGES    Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Envy, and Sloth.  I remember that far distant time, as if it was yesterday, when in the Gould kitchen, on a late afternoon, with sun setting over the backyard,  our saintly mother coached us on the Seven Capital Sins.  I asked for the meaning of “Covetousness”, and a younger sibling asked for “Lust.”  Mom answered mine but found something burning on the stove when the younger was more insistent on the second question.  We would have to wait for our father came home to explain that one.

I painfully recall learning the Ten Commandments.  Painfully.  It was the first week of school at St. Agustin Grammar School, in Des Moines, during the Fall of 1962.  We proud little scholars stepped up to the upper floor for our new classrooms with our new style of desk that were no less than  sixty or seventy years in age.  We also received the new Sister in the School who was perhaps older than the desks.  Much older.  All went well in those early days with book bags absent Prang Paints from 1st-2nd grades but adorned with colored pencils and Sheafer fountain pens, with clear cylinders that may have been red, blue, green, or yellow.  According to the American president at the time man was going to the moon and we were going to third grade.  And like the moon trip we weren’t going because it was easy… we were going because it was hard.

Than it all changed on Friday in that first week.  Something happened that completely floored us by the angry Nun at the front of the class room.  For some unknown reason; known neither to God or man, we were chewed out royally and given the penance of writing the ten commandments ten times… in cursive and returned on Monday morning.  And if a page had a blemish we had to redo it.  It was our first introduction to stress in the world.  Real Stress.  The kind shared with the Poor Souls themselves.  Well, with a week’s load of ink cartridges each started for home.  All night Friday.  All day and night Saturday. And Sunday afternoon followed by night.  I remember, at Sunday morning Mass, praying for the immortal soul of the classmate whose actions brought all to near despair… in the third grade.

It took me nearly thirty years to figure out that crafty old Dominican Nun had set us up.  There was no terrible infraction by any student among the classmates.  She knew well that all of us had just taken up Cursive writing in the Spring semester, several months earlier, and that none us had practiced during the Summer.  She wanted our writing skills up to speed with her academic requirements.  PDQ.  God bless Sr. Ellen Clare, OP.  And, let it be known, we all know our Ten Commandments.

The teens and collegians know that I frequently ask of one particular sin in Confession.  Laziness.  Sloth, if you will.  When there is a hesitation I ask if they made their bed that morning.  If affirmative I applaud them saying anyone who makes their bed in the morning can never be lazy.  Such a practice sets the character strength for the whole day.  I leave you with a wonderful insight on the positive of making one’s own bed in the morning. www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgzLzbd-zT4

Please join us for confessions in the coming weeks.  Let pray for one another.

Mrs. Christin Peppiatt and the Legion of Mary strongly encourages all of us to join the Legion of Mary in the coming 54 day rosary novena.  It starts tomorrow.  I leave you the website to explain. www.romancatholicman.com/the-miraculous-54-day-rosary-novena/  The devotion finishes on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima.  God knows we can use every Ave we can get.

The maintenance men are replacing some of the rotted wood attached to the pillars at the front of the church.   Let a picture speak a thousand words.  God bless.

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