There is an old medieval principle that “the good diffuses itself.” Good things are often fragmented temporarily, sometimes intentionally, that the good may grow.
That notion is embraced in a new way by Thomas More College, as students have completed a final day of on-campus classes before moving into “Corona Exile.” In response to the crisis, Dr. Fahey calls for the entire community to enter deeply into the struggle at the spiritual level.
The College is making free spiritual resources available for those in need. These are special prayers calling for protection and directed against all the ill effects of the disease (see College’s dedicated COVID-19 page under “Spiritual Resources”).
“Catholics don’t cut and run,” observes President Fahey. “Catholics may retreat, but when they do so, they must do so with conviction and confidence in the future. Our confidence springs from our spiritual rock, the Church, our faith in Christ, who remains king.”
Last week, President Fahey placed the College under the special spiritual protection of the Mother of God and St. George.
“The Mother of God is our greater intercessor at all times,” remarks Fahey. “The church in Rome most beloved by Thomas More students has always been Santa Maria in Trastevere—it was dedicated to the Mother of God at its founding.”
For 40 days—from the Third Sunday in Lent until the Feast of St. George—the College requests everyone to rally and to increase their prayers. “As a College with a clear British heritage, we looked to St. George as an obvious patron. Also, when I traveled last year in the Holy Land, I was moved by seeing his image above the entrance of Christian homes. He is beloved in all Christian lands. His flag was flown by both English and Portuguese explorers who mapped New England. And he is rather good,” notes Fahey, “at slaying dragons. We have a number of those roaming at present.”
At this time, the College has produced PDF versions of key prayers, in the hopes that many will make use of them:
- “A Prayer for Protection in Time of Pestilence and Public Turmoil”
- “The Ave, Regina Caelorum”
- A Holy Image of St. George with invocations
- And Prayer Bidding Farewell to the Altar
This last prayer, says Fahey, is critical at this time. “Many Catholics—indeed most Catholics—have just lost access to the Mass. All Dioceses have restricted liturgies; some have forbidden it. This prayer I first encountered in Rome, at the Maronite monastery where our students were living. The prayer is said at the end of the Mass. It is quite moving. It is spoken to the holy altar. The speaker thanks the altar and prays that he will conduct himself worthy of the graces he has received. He wonders aloud if he shall ever see the altar again. The prayer comes out of the eastern Catholic tradition, a tradition in which one hears the voices of Christians fraught with danger. I see this prayer as a gift to us in the West. Now we are losing easy access to the Mass and the sacraments. This loss comes from a loss of faith.”
“I ask all members of the Thomas More Community to join together in prayer. I ask all to circulate these prayers widely to our friends at home and abroad. Let us mount a massive spiritual campaign to match and exceed all the frenzy of activity observed in the material world. I am confident that through God’s grace, and in God’s time, we will prevail.”