Welcome to The Open Door

“What Can We Do (for Lent)?”
We Can Praywe can pray and ask God to intervene with the needed grace for the salvation of our wounded world.  Again and again, throughout the Gospels, Jesus assures us that nothing is impossible to those who pray with faith and trust in God’s power.
We Can Have Faith – The Epistle to the Hebrews tells us that “faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for, and conviction about things we do not see” (Heb 11:1).  Faith is the free act by which we make a total gift of our whole being to God.
We Can Hope – Hope as a a virtue stands in the middle between presumption and despair.  Presumption is imagining that God will take care of all our needs without our doing anything.  Despair is imagining that, no matter what we do, the situation is  hopeless.  Having hope means that one has confidence in God’s mercy and love and that one also accepts the responsibility of cooperating with the grace God bestows upon us.
We Can Practice Charity – If we wish to practice charity, we must try to consistently put the interests of God and others ahead of our own interests, needs, and desires.  However this does not mean that we neglect to take the proper care of ourselves.  We owe it to God and to our neighbor to have a proper love and care for our own welfare so that we can be of maximum service to God and neighbor.
We Can Fast – The purpose of fasting is to bring about a healthy detachment from the pleasures of the senses.  Fasting dethrones these pleasures from their place as lord and master of our lives.  By a healthy regimen of sacrifice and self-denial we are able to keep bodily pleasure in its proper place.
We Can Give Alms – Jesus insists that the love of money and worldly possessions is a real threat to lordship of God over our life (Mt 6:24; Lk 16:13)  He says that we cannot serve two masters, we have to make a choice between God and money.  The giving of alms is a direct remedy to prevent the worship of money and material things.
Taken from the Open  Door, What Can We Do? (Jan-Mar 1993)




Monsignor Chester Michael (1916-2014) RIP

We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28) RSV

(favorite Bible quote of Fr. Chet’s)

 10498207_10204416414319929_1052966899565092963_oPhoto by Dr. Tim Short of Fr. Chet who loved to hike in the Shenandoah Mountains

It is with great sadness that we report that Monsignor Chester Michael peacefully passed away on Thursday at 3pm on July 31, 2014 at age 97 while in hospice care. Rev. Msgr. Chester P. Michael, a retired priest of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, was born in Berkeley Springs, WV, in 1916, ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in 1942, and was a faithful priest of the Diocese for 72 years. Please remember Msgr. Michael and his family in your prayers.

Remembering Monsignor Chester Michael (click for more stories and photos)