Lockdowns in the light of Advent: Advice from a hermit on how to cope
December 8, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — In the latest episode of The John-Henry Westen Show, I am joined by Father Maximilian Mary Dean, who is a Hermit serving in the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where he offers daily Mass for the Cloistered Carmelite Sisters of the Monastery of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
Early this year in April, as COVID lockdowns were in full swing all across the country and the world, Fr. Maximillian and I spoke. So, now as the Church is preparing for the Christmas season, and we may all enter a possible second wave of more authoritarian lockdowns, which may affect Church celebrations of Christmas, he is back to talk about what it means during Advent to be carrying our crosses once again.
Fr. Maximilian’s first piece of advice is to turn ourselves “to Saint Joseph and our Blessed Lady during this period of Advent, and seeking to unite our hearts to their hearts in that longing for the coming of Christ at Christmas, the longing even for his coming at the end of the world.”
He notes that in the second coming of Jesus Christ, which “we need to long and pray for,” Our Lord will be coming as king and conqueror over sin, Satan and death. Father Dean adds that “the bridge from His first coming at Bethlehem to His final coming in glory is the Holy Eucharist,” which is why he calls the thought of more lockdowns and cancellations of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass “is devastating.”
Fr. Maximilian, in describing the story of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, highlights how when one is deprived of the Holy Eucharist, an act of spiritual communion, which he suggests to make frequently, “can be even more efficacious than an actual sacramental communion.” He compares the value of spiritual communion with the Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph, and their own longing for Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
“St. Joseph and Our Lady can certainly instruct us and give us special graces, if we unite our hearts with them in keeping our focus on the infant Jesus in the peace and the truth and the love and the grace that He came to bring to us.”
Father Maximilian discussed the beautiful devotions of Saint Louis de Montfort regarding the foster-father of Our Lord, namely “the relation of Saint Joseph with the angels... [whom] he was always in conversation with.” Fr. Dean explains the importance of this as our nation, the Church, and the entire world is “living in the midst of a huge spiritual battle...and that God has entrusted to each one of us a guardian angel to protect us, to guide us and with whom we can adore our Lord.”
He talks further about how this spiritual battle that is being played out, though it may be discouraging and frightening for us, is “not a natural battle,” so we have to focus on the supernatural perspective of this fight.
In our interview, he explains how the COVID lockdowns are “a dress rehearsal,” and how some world players are “taking notes on how they can move towards a global, one-world government without God, without the true Church.”
Regardless, Father Maximilian encourages us all to make an act of faith by putting our “trust in God and know that this is a battle against powers and principalities of darkness, wicked spirits, evil spirits that we can't see or detect…[and] that we have this legion of angels...at Our Lady's disposal to protect, to guard and to do battle for good.”
At the end of the show, Father Dean shares how he is offering “a novena of Latin Masses that people can enroll their family, friends themselves, their loved ones." He says that there is also “an option to have a Christmas card with the enrollment sent to the person,” as well as to receive his latest CD of Catholic songs.
Father Maximilian Dean’s music selection and work can be found on his website by clicking this link.
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