Mar 29, 2020

The Day of the Lord Approaches

In preparation for Sunday, know that I continually offer the sacrifice of the Mass for you. In doing so during these strange days of Lent, I find myself like Moses who has climbed the mountain of the Lord alone, having left the people I have shepherded on the plains below. Even though there is a physical distance between you and the Holy Mass, be assured that at the Lord’s altar I intercede for you continually.

I am aware that, at ground zero, many are afraid or anxious, even uncertain as to what the future may hold. God only grants us one day to rise from sleep, one day to rest from our day’s labor. But the day at hand is a gift. So always be grateful in the morning and give thanks at its close. Make every hour of the day count towards offering it back to the Giver of every gift. Avoid being enslaved into the passing things of this world that count for little on the Day of Salvation. Therefore, be generous to everyone who asks, comfort and assure those who are afraid and know that, even in solitude and in the quiet, God’s voice is clearly heard. Do not be afraid of silence. 

I recently called the sick and the homebound within the parish that our deacon would regularly visit to bring the sacrament of Holy Communion. Amazingly, each one of them were in good form, happy and appreciative for what little we can do. They have become our inspiration and intercession. They already know and live what we now call confinement and isolation. They live each day as a gift, never taking for granted the time allotted to each one of us. Their prayers for us, who dare to call ourselves strong, are powerful and authentic. And they know that even to receive Holy Communion once in a short lifespan is worth all the sufferings and trials of this present life. And when they partake of the divine medicine of immortality, it is never taken for granted. 

To that end, I want to assure you yet again, that “behind the veil”, I offer the Sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist for you. I do not take a camera with me, nor livestream my secret whisperings to God on your behalf before my little altar. I can offer you no comfort food to hold you over for better days, but only a true sacrifice pleasing to the Lord that speaks of eternity instead. 

On your part, always look towards Sunday as the victory celebration that we believe, despite the struggles, the fears and the rumors to the contrary, that Christ has already won any and every war and at every level, be it visible or invisible. We should never mistake the shouldering aftermath of the battlefield as defeat. He has risen from the dead and has already won. In His victory He is always humble, merciful and kind, tending the wounds of those who are injured, sick or afraid. Let us never be afraid of Him as He passes us by, but confess our sins and be assured of His mercy and His love that endures forever. This is the day that the Lord has made. With Mary our mother, let us rejoice and be glad. 

Mar 25, 2020

Announcement


This is the feast day of God’s announcement. Traditionally we call it The Annunciation when God’s Word became flesh and blood in the womb of the Virgin Mary. God’s announcement is this - I Am With You! 

He announces this, not in a text message or a verse from Scripture. He announces it in human flesh, as the Virgin Mary is overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and in that divine intimacy, she conceives. In nine months time the world will celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. 

This moment is relevant for us now, as it was just over two thousand years ago. Many saints have reflected, not just on the incredible fact that God has entered into our human history and story. Some have also raised their eyebrows and scratched their heads thinking about what the Virgin Mary did next. 

She left her home and went on a journey to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Her route took her up and down and through the hills “in her condition”! Was that wise? A pregnant girl whose divine child would be born to be the savior of the whole human race had broken her confinement and was now risking her health, and ours too, by venturing out into the open, traveling on foot through streets and trails. What was she thinking? But of course, it was only she, not us, who could risk venturing out. Why, because, despite the odds, Mary carried within her the divine person of the hidden Christ, God’s Word made flesh. 

We, on the other hand, are best represented by her cousin Elizabeth who has for months been in human isolation, homebound and confined because of her own “condition”. When the Virgin Mary arrives at her home announcing “Shalom”, even from a social distance, her greeting resonates deep within her cousin. Elizabeth’s child within her womb stirs and leaps with joy in the presence of Mary and Jesus. 

What does this tell us today? Even though we may find ourselves confined, homebound or isolated, Christ our savior still comes to us and visits us through our common mother, Mary. God alone has the power to reach across any human distance to enter into our own quarantined lives. 

Pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. Each “mystery”, (the annunciation, the visitation, the birth, presentation of the child and His disappearance for three days, presumed lost when He was a boy) do not seem at first glance “joyful”. Each episode has a backdrop of hardship and suffering. But in these moments, there must be joy knowing that our God not only understands but also experiences, feels and lives the dangers and trails we all face, particularly now. 

Share this special announcement!

Father Cávana Wallace

Pastor

Mar 23, 2020

Encouragement




Yesterday, Sunday, I witnessed at first hand, many parishioners and families who were able to stop by the church to pray or simply spend some time in the Presence of the Eucharistic Lord who abides with us locally through the Blessed Sacrament within the church’s tabernacle. The church will remain open 7 days a week 7am to 4:30pm

I was also grateful for the opportunity to meet and talk with many of you as you passed by throughout the day and to, for those in need, offer assurance and comfort. You also returned that grace to me. 

And for those who were not able to leave your homes or travel far, know of my prayers and the prayers of all our brothers and sisters for you and your families. Last night, when I returned home, I offered a Sunday evening Mass on your behalf. In short, know that I have you covered!

For now, while in the trenches, we continue to make petition to God on behalf of those who are sick, the vulnerable and those afraid. We give thanks to God for the heroic sacrifices made by those in the medical field, our men and women in uniform, and those working behind the scenes keeping our essential needs available. To the generosity of friends and neighbors, we give thanks. We also give praise to God for the gift of a new day, allowing us to refine our faith, our hope and purify our love.

Finally, I include the portion of Scripture assigned to today’s weekday Mass. It should offer us all a vision of hope for the future. The creative power of God’s grace is always at work in this world which He created and continues to love. 

Father Cávana Wallace
Pastor 


Isaiah 65:17-21

No longer shall the sound of weeping or the sound of crying be heard.

Thus says the Lord:

Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the things of the past shall not be remembered or come to mind.

Instead, there shall always be rejoicing and happiness in what I create; For I create Jerusalem to be a joy and its people to be a delight; I will rejoice in Jerusalem and exult in my people.

No longer shall the sound of weeping be heard there, or the sound of crying; No longer shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not round out his full lifetime; He dies a mere youth who reaches but a hundred years, and he who fails of a hundred shall be thought accursed.

They shall live in the houses they build, and eat the fruit of the vineyards they plant.

The Word of the Lord

Mar 19, 2020

Pray Always

Although watching Mass on TV or through the Internet may provide comfort and assurance, know that you can, wherever you are, fully participate in the official Prayer of the Church through the Liturgy of the Hours. 

Although we have a great treasury of private and devotional prayers such as the Rosary, this Liturgy is the heartbeat of the Church throughout the world fulfilling the Lord’s command to “Pray Aways”. All the world’s priests, deacons, religious and monastics pray this liturgy whether they gather in churches, chapels, homes or at work. It can be prayed in a community, with friends, together as a family or even alone. Doing so, we form not only a network of prayer throughout the world but we all pray together as a Church. 

The Morning Prayer liturgy gives praise to God for His gift of a Day, always anticipating the Resurrection of the dead and all creation renewed. 

The Daytime Prayer liturgy have us quickly reflect the challenges and hardships that we often must endure during the day when we often find ourselves “in the trenches”. 

The Evening Prayer liturgy and vigils, have us look back at our day, remembering with thanksgiving that God was, whether we sensed His presence or not, been with us through every step. 

The Night Prayer liturgy is a sort examination of our souls in preparation for sleep and anticipating our own resurrection into a new and eternal day with all the saint.  

(The Office of Readings liturgy provides an extended invitation for supplemental spiritual reading and mediation to be used at any time.) 

You can follow the Church’s official Liturgy of the Hours for Sunday’s and feast days using the following free resources. 

View, download or print any Sunday or Feast day Liturgy you plan to participate in by clicking on its date. 


DateDay




04/10/2020--Good Friday
04/11/2020--Holy Saturday
04/12/2020--Easter Sunday
04/13/2020--Monday within the Octave of Easter
04/14/2020--Tuesday within the Octave of Easter
04/15/2020--Wednesday within the Octave of Easter
04/16/2020--Thursday within the Octave of Easter
04/17/2020--Friday within the Octave of Easter
04/18/2020--Saturday within the Octave of Easter
04/19/2020--Second Sunday of Easter

Mar 17, 2020

Patrick’s Confinement

An Unusual
Saint Patrick’s Day
Dear Friends,

Saint Patrick’s Day has come. The saint’s day is traditionally celebrated socially and with good cheer with friends and strangers alike in church and tavern. But not this year. 

With public Masses during the day restricted and evening venues cancelled, Saint Patrick’s Day has lost it “punch”, and maybe also it’s “pinch” as well. 

However, the saint in question experienced, not only what we are undergoing right now, but did so much, much more. 

As a teenager, he spent six years of forced isolation from family, friends and neighbor, alone in a makeshift shelter in a damp and rainy land with little contact with anyone. Sound familiar?

God used Patrick’s sense of confinement and isolation to purify his senses, to fire his imagination and to speak to his soul. He was being prepared to, one day, respond with generosity to what God would eventually ask of him - to be a missionary disciple to the very people and nation who had captured and imprisoned him. 

This unique Saint Patrick’s Day providentially allows us to reflect on an often overlooked reality of the saint’s formative early years. Maybe we have more in common with him this year in particular than we thought we every had. 

From his own hand Patrick penned this prayer, no doubt evoked from his deep sense of being isolated from everyone. But he came to know in his heart and soul that we was never really alone. 

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger. 

The Blessings of St. Patrick

Father Cávana Wallace
Pastor
St. Margaret’s, Oceanside
The Pastor recalls the local St. Patrick

Mar 15, 2020

Time of Testing

Until further notice the clergy of the parish will be overseeing the spiritual needs of St. Margaret’s within the following constraints. 

1. Although unprecedented, all public Sunday and weekday Masses here and in all San Diego county Catholic churches will be suspended until further notice by direction of the Bishop of San Diego. Please follow prudently all health a safety guidelines issues by public health officials when you visit public or common areas.

2. Please be assured that I will be offering a private Mass every day for all our parishioners and in particular to fulfill the intentions of the faithful entrusted to my care.

3. Although some may prefer to watch a Sunday Mass on TV or through the internet as do many of the sick and housebound, If you are able bodied, I would encourage you to switch off your TV, computer or phone and, if heathy enough and taking prudent precautions, to visit the church when it is open. 

4. Until public Mass is restored, if able and prudent to do so, consider coming to the church and spending some quiet time in this sacred place away from the anxiety of the marketplace and media.

Subject to change: On Sundays the church will be open and the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed for Adoration from 8:00am to 3pm. 

Subject to change: The Sacrament of Confession will be available on Sundays beginning at 9am until 11am

5. During the weekdays, the church will be open as usual from 8:30am to 4:30pm.

6. Although the obligation to attend Sunday Mass is dispensed during these uncertain times by our Bishop, the obligation to support the upkeep of our church and contribute to its ministries and physical maintenance still remains for us all. 

To that end, please use the online offering link on the parish website to make your usual offering. You can also mail in your envelope. Or when you visit the church please make use of the secure offering boxes at the pamphlet stands in the narthex or at the shrines to the saints around the church who continually support us in our daily works and trails.

7. Check the parish website regularly for updates. Better still, sign up, through the website for regular updates and also as a way we can keep in contact with you by way of encouragement and spiritual support.

8. Reflect on how Christians before us attempted to live and pray during times of persecutions, the days of the catacombs, the penal days, and even during occupations. 

9. Wherever you are, continue to keep the whole day of Sunday always sacred. Pray together as a family, pray the rosary and/or the Stations of the Cross at home. Desire spiritual communion with Christ, and tell Him so and He will be with you. 

10. This is a time of grace. Use the gift of every day to give witness that you have faith in the purifying love of Christ. Let us give personal witness that we are not simply Sunday Christians or “one hour a week Catholics”. Allow this time of testing to be a true Lent and penance and Easter will come in due time in triumph and victory. 

Mar 7, 2020

Climb Every Moutain




One of the great attributes we cherish as individuals, as a community and even as a nation, is we are goal orientated. We have priorities we want to meet, obligations we want to ensure we fulfill and goals we would like to see accomplished. It might be as simple as graduating from high school or college, getting married and beginning a family, securing a job, paying off a debt or looking forward to retirement. For others, the goal of recovering from an illness, making sure the children are looked after, or even just losing a few pounds and staying healthy is a noble goal to aim towards.  

However, we can often get frustrated or tempted to despair when we encounter letdowns, obstacles or when that place we are trying to reach in life, like an ever moving rainbow, keeps slipping away from us - we sometimes are frustrated that goals are sometimes unreachable. It can seem at times daunting, even exhausting!

Whereas we have built freeways and roads that shot straight through hills and mountains in an attempt to avoid reaching our destination without delay, for Our Lord and His disciples of His day, hills and mountains were not obstacles. They were landmarks to guide one's journey. I can identify at least four of special significance in the New Testament.

At the every outset of His ministry, when the parishioners of His hometown Nazareth, with rage and anger dragged Our Blessed Lord up a hill to throw him to the dogs, He simply stepped to the side, changed direction and moved on. He would not allow Himself to pushed off the edge. He walk calmly down and continued His journey.

In today's Gospel we find Him on the top of Mount Tabor. From there something extraordinary takes place. He reveals the most beautiful glory of God shining through Him. His disciples are filled with joy and praise. But He told them afterwards, to get on their feet! We have still miles ahead of us to go.

Soon, He would allow Himself to be taken to the top of the hill of Calvary, to be brutally crucified to death, while those who consented, badmouthed and ridiculed Him. He took all their anger upon Himself, and redirected it to His heavenly Father asking Him to forgive them.

And after His resurrection from the dead, He would climb the Mount of Olives and wait for His disciples to join him there. From its summit, Our Lord would step into the realm of heaven where He now presently continues to offer Himself to His Father on all of our behalf. The disciples who were frozen in astonishment, were admonished by angels to stop gawking into the sky, but get themselves back down to work, God's work!

We have a tendency to pick our own hilltop to build a fortress to hide in. At times we target a hill or mountain for demolition because it's too much in the way.

Instead Lent turns these particular "points" in life into stepping stones, allowing us to accompany Christ along the way. With Him we pass over the the hill of discontent (Nazareth), the hill of beauty beyond imagination (Mount Tabor), the hill of bloodshed and violence (Calvary), to the hill overlooking the city where the doorway to heaven can be found (Mount of Olives).

But a word of warning! If you try to stay on just one, expect to be either left there alone, escorted away, or told to move on.

The message Christ seems to be sharing with us in only our second week of Lent, there are four more weeks to Easter) is to keep on moving, keep going forward, don't become complacent, or even disappointed even if our goals seem to be jumping around like that uncatchable rainbow we see everyone else passing through, but can't seem to do so ourselves!

Remember, the mountains or hills we come to in our lives are not necessarily obstacles to life or lookout posts to safely observe the world from. They are only one in a series of stepping stones that beckon us to keep moving towards the goal of entering through the gates of heaven. During this second week of Lent, even though we may have begun with all earnestness and resolve, pace yourselves. Don't get out of breath. Instead, save your last breath for that most holy day and hour when it can be offered to our heavenly Father in thanksgiving for allowing Christ to journey every step of the way with you.

May Mary, the Mother of all the mysteries of the rosary, be our guide along the way.
_________________

Los mismos que estuvieron en el monte de la transfiguración estarán con el Señor cuando su rostro estuvo en el huerto de los Olivos, pero esta vez el rostro del Señor se veía «transfigurado por el dolor».

 Más tarde los Apóstoles aprenderían la lección: lo importante es acompañar siempre al Señor. Y lo difícil es hacerlo cuando hay dificultades. Por eso, para que no nos vengamos abajo en los momentos duros, a veces nuestro Dios nos regala situaciones dulces. Si se va con el Señor, da igual dónde vayamos. Porque, aunque tengamos dificultades, somos felices siemper.

Mar 1, 2020

Are we there yet?





First Sunday of Lent 2020 -

As with any journey, the beginning sets the tone and the shape for every step forward. But a journey is something that each one of us makes, often individually - such as a journey of self discovery, a journey of personal development, and even a journey of faith is often personal. 

However, during the next 40 days, regardless where you are on your own path through life, we set out, not simply on a journey, but on a pilgrimage. What’s the difference? Basically, the goal we set is not to reach a greater understanding, appreciation or encounter with ourselves through testing, discipline or endurance. Instead, a pilgrimage involves others accompanying us, sharing our joys and hopes, our fears and our challenges, supporting us, encouraging us along the way, to keep us going forward. (That’s why we began our Mass calling out to the saints who are a few steps ahead of us). 

Another difference between a personal journey and a pilgrimage is the destination. It is the difference between self awareness and the discovery of somewhere beyond us, and of someone else who waits for us. So that, when we arrive at this new place, we encounter someone other than ourselves or each other. And we are told something new about who we are, something new about how we are to be.

Of course, the place our pilgrimage points us is the Kingdom of God. The person who waits for us at the end of our journey, is the first of our human race to have completed this pilgrimage, mapped out the route, overcome the obstacles, cleared the path, set out beacons along the way and has defeated all the enemies, even death itself, Jesus Christ, gloriously resurrected into physical immortality. Walk my path, he calls out to us, and do not be afraid or distracted. 

We have just been reminded by the retelling of the Genesis story of Adam and Eve how we can veer off the path by distractions planted along the way by the devil, how we can easily get lost. But the Psalm reminded us that when we swallow our pride, acknowledge our wrongdoing and call out to God for help, He will come to our rescue and guide us back on the track again. That is why St. Paul’s letter, we heard, assures us that even though our past history shows that we keep trespassing into hostile, death-infested lands, Christ will even go in on foot after us, doing battle against the devil who tries to even trip him with the same traps we so often get caught in.

So, do not lose heart or be discouraged on your pilgrim journey. Every morning we rise from sleep is training for rising from the dead. Every distraction ignored, every temptation to sin challenged trains us to keep our feet on the right path. Every Sunday Mass we gather at and Eucharist we celebrate is the training ground for life in the kingdom of God and an encounter, up close and personal, with the Lord of heaven and earth, Jesus Christ. 

Getting Outside

“On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he had to get into a boat and ...